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Hrabri-class submarine

The Hrabri class consisted of two submarines built by the Vickers-Armstrong Naval Yard, on the River Tyne, in the United Kingdom, for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). Launched in 1927, the vessels were named Hrabri (Brave) and Nebojša (Fearless). Their design was based on that of the British L-class submarine of World War I, and they were built using parts originally assembled for L-class submarines that were never completed. The Hrabri-class were the first submarines to serve in the Royal Yugoslav Navy, and the class was joined by the two smaller French-made Osvetnik-class submarines to make up the pre-war Yugoslav submarine force. They were armed with six bow-mounted 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes, two 102 mm (4 in) guns and one machine gun, and could dive to 60 metres (200 ft).

Hrabri class
a black and white photograph of a submarine underway on the surface
Hrabri underway in 1934
Class overview
Builders: Vickers-Armstrong Naval Yard, River Tyne, United Kingdom
Succeeded by: Osvetnik class
Built: 1925–1927
In commission: 1928–1954
Completed: 2
Retired: 2
Scrapped: 2
General characteristics
Type: Diesel-electric submarine
  • 975 long tons (991 t) (surfaced)
  • 1,164 long tons (1,183 t) (submerged)
Length: 72.05 m (236 ft 5 in)
Beam: 7.32 m (24 ft)
Draught: 3.96 m (13 ft)
  • 15.7 knots (29.1 km/h; 18.1 mph) (diesel)
  • 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) (electric)
Range: 3,800 nmi (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Complement: 45

Prior to World War II both submarines participated in cruises to Mediterranean ports. Hrabri was captured by Italian forces in April 1941 during the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. She was never commissioned by the Italians and was subsequently scrapped. Nebojša evaded capture, and served with British submarine forces in the Mediterranean as an anti-submarine warfare training boat until the end of the war. Following the war, she served in the Yugoslav Navy as Tara in a training role until 1954, when she was stricken.

Description and constructionEdit

Yugoslav naval policy in the interwar period lacked direction until the mid-1920s,[1] although it was generally accepted that the Adriatic coastline was effectively a sea frontier that the naval arm was responsible for securing with the limited resources made available to it. In 1926, a modest ten-year construction program was initiated to build up a force of submarines, coastal torpedo boats, torpedo bombers and conventional bomber aircraft to perform this role. The Hrabri-class submarines were one of the first new acquisitions aimed at developing a naval force capable of meeting this challenge.[2]

The Hrabri-class was built for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) by the Vickers-Armstrong Naval Yard on the River Tyne in the United Kingdom.[3] Their design was based on that of the British L-class submarine of World War I, and they were built using parts originally assembled for the Group III boats HMS L-67 and HMS L-68, which were never completed due to the end of the war. The L-class were designed for operations in the North Sea, but during the interwar period the Royal Navy had deployed them around the world, including in the Mediterranean from 1929 onward.[4] The two Yugoslav boats had an overall length of 72.05 metres (236 ft 5 in), a beam of 7.32 m (24 ft), and a surfaced draught of 3.96 m (13 ft). Their surfaced displacement was 975 long tons (991 t) or 1,164 long tons (1,183 t) submerged, and their crews consisted of 45 officers and enlisted men. They had a diving depth of 60 m (200 ft).[5]

For surface running, Hrabri-class boats were powered by two diesel engines which were rated at 2,400 brake horsepower (1,800 kW) that drove two propeller shafts. When submerged, the propellers were driven by two electric motors generating 1,600 shaft horsepower (1,200 kW). They could reach a top speed of 15.7 knots (29.1 km/h; 18.1 mph) on the surface and 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) on their electric motors when submerged.[6] On the surface, the boats had a range of 3,800 nautical miles (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).[7] The Hrabri-class were armed with six bow-mounted 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes and carried twelve torpedoes.[6] They were also equipped with two 102 mm (4 in) guns (one forward and one aft of the conning tower), and one machine gun.[3]

Service historyEdit

Both submarines were launched in 1927,[3] and left the Tyne in late January 1928.[8] In company with the Yugoslav submarine tender Hvar, the submarines arrived in the Bay of Kotor on the southern Adriatic coast on 8 April 1928.[9] In May and June 1929, Hrabri, Nebojša, Hvar and six torpedo boats accompanied the light cruiser Dalmacija on a cruise to Malta, the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, and Bizerte in the French protectorate of Tunisia. According to the British naval attaché, the ships and crews made a very good impression while visiting Malta.[10] On 16 May 1930, Nebojša was exercising her crew at periscope depth near the entrance to the Bay of Kotor when she collided with a Yugoslav steamship. The damage was not serious and there were no injuries.[11]

In June and July 1930, Hrabri, Nebojša and the fleet auxiliary Sitnica again cruised the Mediterranean, visiting Alexandria and Beirut.[12] In 1932, the British naval attaché reported that Yugoslav ships engaged in few exercises, manoeuvres or gunnery training due to reduced budgets.[13] In 1933, the attaché reported that the naval policy of Yugoslavia was strictly defensive, aimed at protecting her more than 600 km (370 mi) of coastline.[14]

Hrabri was captured in port by the Italians during the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941.[15][16] She was not commissioned by them and was scrapped later that year due to her poor condition.[3][6] Nebojša evaded capture during the invasion,[17] and was used by the Royal Navy as an anti-submarine warfare training vessel. After the war she was overhauled by the Yugoslavs and renamed Tara,[18] continuing in a training role until she was stricken in 1954.[3][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Jarman 1997a, p. 732.
  2. ^ Jarman 1997a, p. 779.
  3. ^ a b c d e Chesneau 1980, p. 358.
  4. ^ Akermann 2002, pp. 168–169.
  5. ^ Bagnasco 1977, p. 171.
  6. ^ a b c d Fontenoy 2007, p. 148.
  7. ^ Akermann 2002, p. 166.
  8. ^ Hood 1928, p. 154.
  9. ^ Luković & 6 April 2013.
  10. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 183.
  11. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 247.
  12. ^ Radio Tivat & 9 July 2014.
  13. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 451.
  14. ^ Jarman 1997b, p. 453.
  15. ^ Terzić 1982, pp. 267, 374, 457.
  16. ^ Bagnasco 1977, p. 251.
  17. ^ Willmott 2010, p. 311.
  18. ^ Novosti 2011.



  • Akermann, Paul (2002). Encyclopedia of British Submarines 1901–1955. Penzance, Cornwall: Periscope Publishing. ISBN 978-0-907771-42-5.
  • Bagnasco, Erminio (1977). Submarines of World War Two. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-0-87021-962-7.
  • Chesneau, Roger, ed. (1980). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships, 1922–1946. London, England: Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 978-0-85177-146-5.
  • Fontenoy, Paul E. (2007). Submarines: An Illustrated History of Their Impact. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-85109-563-6.
  • Jarman, Robert L., ed. (1997a). Yugoslavia Political Diaries 1918–1965. 1. Slough, Berkshire: Archives Edition. ISBN 978-1-85207-950-5.
  • Jarman, Robert L., ed. (1997b). Yugoslavia Political Diaries 1918–1965. 2. Slough, Berkshire: Archives Edition. ISBN 978-1-85207-950-5.
  • Terzić, Velimir (1982). Slom Kraljevine Jugoslavije 1941: Uzroci i posledice poraza [The Collapse of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1941: Causes and Consequences of Defeat] (in Serbo-Croatian). 2. Belgrade, Yugoslavia: Narodna knjiga. OCLC 10276738.
  • Willmott, H.P. (2010). The Last Century of Sea Power: From Washington to Tokyo, 1922–1945. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-35214-9.


  • Hood, A.G. (1928). "The Jugo-Slavian Submarines Hrabri and Nebojsa". The Shipbuilder and Marine Engine-builder. 35. London, England: Shipbuilder Press. OCLC 2450525.