O or Oberon Class (1927) SS
or Oberon Class (1927) submarines were designed for long endurance
operations in the Far East. They were the first class to be identified by
names rather than class initial and hull number.
The longer range over that of the previous overseas patrol class, the L Class (1917), was achieved by fitting external fuel saddle tanks which had almost 200 tons capacity. Unfortunately they were of riveted construction and suffered from frequent seepage, which revealed the submerged presence of the submarines.
They had strengthened pressure hulls and had a rated diving depth of 300ft, ram bows and a gun mounted forward of the conning tower.
They were built in three groups, which are sometimes given three different class names.
Group 1 sometimes known as Oberon Class.
During WW2 HMS Oxley was the first British submarine lost in the war. When she was mistakenly torpedoed by the submarine HMS Triton while outside of her notified patrol area off Obrestad, Norway, 10-Sep-1939. This was the first of two friendly fire incidents between submarines off Norway. The second taking place four days later. After the second one the distance between submarine patrol's off Norway was increased from 4 to 16 miles.
Five of the nine boats which went to war were sunk by enemy action, three being sunk by Italian destroyers.
In 1942 the survivors were pulled back from frontline duties and used as training boats.
They were all paid off in the late 1940's.
This page last edited -
08 April, 2013.
Copyright © Ian M King, except where otherwise indicated.