10th Submarine Flotilla

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The 10th Submarine Flotilla was formed during the First World War. In January 1915 it was based on the Humber but by January 1917 it had relocated to the Tees.[1] During the Second World War it was formed at Malta in January 1941[2] and comprised Royal Navy and Polish Naval Force submarines assigned to the British Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta from early 1941.[3]

10th Submarine Flotilla
Submarines and Submarine Officers. 26 and 27 January, Malta Submarine Base. A14525.jpg
HMS Una one of the 10th Submarine Flotilla boats
ActiveJanuary 1941 - March 1943
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Navy
Garrison/HQHMS Talbot, Manoel Island, Malta
Nickname(s)"The Fighting 10th"
EngagementsBattle of the Mediterranean
Captain George Walter Gillow Simpson RN

Second World WarEdit

The flotilla was initially composed of U Class submarines including HMS Unbeaten, HMS Upholder, HMS United, HMS Upright, HMS Una, HMS Unseen, HMS Unbending, HMS Unbroken HMS Urge (N17), HMS Utmost (N19), HMS P38 and HMS Ursula (N59) together with ORP Sokół and ORP Dzik of the Polish Navy [4][5]

The Flotilla's base in Malta was the ancient fort on Manoel Island, in the Marsamxett Harbour opposite Sliema; this shore base was called HMS Talbot.[6] The submarine base at Manoel Island was a priority target for Axis aerial attacks[7] and was heavily bombed in 1942 which forced a temporary withdrawal of the Flotilla from Malta.[8]

HMS Rorqual and Thunderbolt mooring up at Malta's submarine base in 1943.

The flotilla never numbered more than 12 submarines, but this small force between January 1941 and December 1942, sank 412,575 tons of Axis shipping.[9]

On 24 May 1941 while assigned to the flotilla HMS Upholder attacked a convoy off the coast of Sicily and sank the 18,000 ton liner Conte Rosso. Upholder's captain, Lieutenant Commander Malcolm Wanklyn, was awarded the Victoria Cross for both this and also for completing many successful patrols.[10][11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Dittmar, F.J.; Colledge, J.J (1972). British warships, 1914-1919,. Shepperton: Ian Allan. pp. 15–27. ISBN 0711003807.
  2. ^ Gill, Stephen Paul (October 2011). Forging the flotilla The Royal Navy’s submarine campaign from Malta 1940-1943. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND MAYNOOTH. p. 2.
  3. ^ "1 September 1941: Malta is New Base for 10th Submarine Flotilla". Malta: War Diary. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  4. ^ Allied, Newspapers (19 February 2012). "Malta-based British forces destroy most of Rommel's supplies in 1941". Times of Malta. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  5. ^ "10th Submarine Flotilla Malta: War Diary". maltagc70.wordpress.com. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  6. ^ "The Malta Submarines". Weapons and Warfare. 1 May 2016. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  7. ^ "X Lighters - The Wreck of X127". www.xlighter.org. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  8. ^ "27 February 1942: Twelve 1-Ton Bombs on Malta Submarine Base". Malta: War Diary. 27 February 2017. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  9. ^ Gill, Stephen Paul (October 2011). Forging the flotilla The Royal Navy’s submarine campaign from Malta 1940-1943. NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF IRELAND MAYNOOTH. p. 3.
  10. ^ "British Submarines in World War 2". www.naval-history.net. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  11. ^ "HMS Upholder (N 99) of the Royal Navy - British Submarine of the U class - Allied Warships of WWII - uboat.net". uboat.net. Retrieved 24 July 2017.