british British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN HMS Cachalot (N83) [+1941]
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nationality british
purpose war
type submarine
subtype/class Grampus class submarine (br.)
Grampus class submarine (br.) Grampus HMS (N56) (+1940)
propulsion diesel and batteries
date built 1936
weight (tons) 2157  disp (subm)
dimensions 89.3 x 7.8 x 4.9 m
material steel
engine 2 x diesel engines (3.300 hp), 2 x electric motors (1.630 hp), dual shaft, 2 screws
armament 12 torpedoes, 6 T.T. (6 fwd, 0 aft), 1 x 4" deck gun, 50 mines
power 6600  h.p.
speed 15.5  knots
yard no. 565
about the loss
cause lost rammed
date lost 30/07/1941  [dd/mm/yyyy]
about people
Scott Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. - John & Robert Scott, Greenock
British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London
complement 59
about the wreck
depth (m.) 600 max. / -- min. (m)
war grave
entered by Lettens Jan
entered 28/08/2008
last update Lettens Jan
last update 02/12/2013
[1] Lettens Jan16/11/2009
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  Hydrographic Service UK  
Allen Tony25/11/2007Scuttled off Benghazi to avoid capture On 9th July 1941 Cachalot departed from Alexandria loaded with stores bound for Malta and arrived on the 16th. She left again on the 26th with personnel bound for Alexandria and instructions to look out for an escorted tanker heading for Benghazi.

At 2 o’clock on the morning of 30th July a destroyer was spotted heading towards Cachalot, forcing the submarine to dive. On returning to the surface the submarine was spotted and attacked by the Italian destroyer which steamed in firing it’s guns.

Cachalot’s diving drill was sorely hampered when the upper hatch jammed, thereby preventing a crash dive, and the Italian destroyer rammed into her, although not at great speed as the Italian Captain had realised that the order to abandon the submarine had already been given.

As the crew went into the water the main vents were opened and Cachalot sank in very deep water. All the crew, apart from a Maltese steward, were picked up by the destroyer and transported to Benghazi from where they were taken to a POW camp near Naples, until repatriation in 1943.
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Lettens Jan28/08/2008UK hydro member
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 UK Hydrographic Office

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About Owners
British Royal Navy - Admiralty - RN, London

In 1509 when Henry VIII was crowned he realised the growing navel power of King James IV of Scots. James had built an impressive fleet to control the Western Isles and was allied to France. Henry built up of his own fleet, the Navy Royal, as it was then known. New ships were constructed, the best known being the Mary Rose. Smaller types of warships (galleases) combining the best features of oars, sails and guns were also built. By Henry's death in 1547 his fleet had grown to 58 vessels.

In 1546 a 'Council of the Marine' was established which later became the 'Navy Board'. The Navy Board was in charge of the daily administration of the navy until 1832 when it was combined with the Board of the Admiralty.

Elizabeth I inherited a fleet of only 27 ships in 1558. Instead of building up her own fleet Elizabeth encouraged private enterprise against Spain's new empire. Men like Sir John Hawkins and Sir Francis Drake to command groups of Royal and private ships to attack the Spanish. When Spain threatened invasion with its Armada in 1588 the Navy of England both Royal and private defended the realm.

Early in the Seventeenth Century, larger galleons were built with heavier armaments. the largest English ship was Sovereign of the Seas built for prestige purposes by Charles I in 1637. The first ship with three gun decks to carry her 102 guns, she was the most powerful ship in the world for many years.

When King Charles II came to the throne in 1660 he inherited a huge fleet of 154 ships. This was a permanent professional national force and the beginning of the Royal Navy as we know it today.

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HMS Cachalot (N83) [+1941]
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