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HMS J7

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Name  HMS J7
Name  HMAS J3
Decommissioned  12 July 1922
Length  84 m
Builder  HM Dockyard, Devonport
Acquired  25 March 1919
Launched  12 February 1917
Draft  4.3 m
HMS J7 httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Fate  Transferred to Australia, 25 March 1919

HMS J7 (later HMAS J7) was a J-class submarine operated by the Royal Navy and the Royal Australian Navy.

Contents

Design and construction

The J class was designed by the Royal Navy in response to reported German submarines with surface speeds over 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph). The submarines had a displacement of 1,210 tons surfaced, but J7 had a lighter submerged displacement than her sister boats, at 1,760 tons. Each submarine was 275 feet (84 m) in length overall, with a beam of 22 feet (6.7 m), and a draught of 14 feet (4.3 m). The propulsion system was built around three propeller shafts; the J-class were the only triple-screwed submarines ever built by the British. Propulsion came from three 12-cylinder diesel motors when on the surface, and electric motors when submerged. Top speed was 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph) on the surface (the fastest submarines in the world at the time of construction), and 9.5 knots (17.6 km/h; 10.9 mph) underwater. Range was 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph).

Armament consisted of six 18-inch torpedo tubes (four forward, one on each beam), plus a 4-inch deck gun. Originally, the gun was mounted on a breastwork fitted forward of the conning tower, but the breastwork was later extended to the bow and merged into the hull for streamlining, and the gun was relocated to a platform fitted to the front of the conning tower. The conning tower on J7 was sited 60 feet (18 m) further back than her sister boats, as the control room was located behind the machinery spaces. 44 personnel were aboard.

J7 was built by HM Dockyard Devonport in Plymouth and launched on 12 February 1917.

Operational history

After the war, the British Admiralty decided that the best way to protect the Pacific region was with a force of submarines and cruisers. To this end, the offered the six surviving submarines of the J-class to the Royal Australian Navy as gifts. J1 and her sisters were commissioned into the RAN in April 1919, and sailed for Australia on 9 April, in the company of the cruisers Sydney and Brisbane, and the tender Platypus. The flotilla reached Thursday Island on 29 June, and Sydney on 10 July. Because of the submarines' condition after the long voyage, they were immediately taken out of service for refits.

By the time J7 was returned to service in June 1922, the cost of maintaining the boats and deteriorating economic conditions saw the six submarines decommissioned and marked for disposal.

Fate

J7 paid off on 12 July 1922, was sold on 26 February 1924 and her hulk scuttled on 4 June 1926. Her wreck sits at the bottom of the mini harbour of the Sandringham yacht club in Port Phillip.

References

HMS J7 Wikipedia


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