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Name  HMS L55
Name  Л-55 Bezbozhnik
Renamed  7 August 1931
Length  70 m
Beam  7.7 m
Fate  Sunk, 9 June 1919
Recommissioned  7 August 1931
Launched  29 September 1918
Draft  3.99 m
HMS L55 wwwwokinghamrememberscomwpcontentuploads2013

Acquired  Raised, 11 August 1928, and repaired
Builder  Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company

HMS L55 was a British L class submarine built by Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Govan, Clyde. She was laid down on 21 September 1917 and was commissioned on 19 December 1918.


In 1919 L55 was sunk in the Baltic Sea by Bolshevik vessels while serving as part of the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. The submarine was raised in 1928 and repaired by the Soviets. After being used for training, it was finally scrapped in the 1950s.

British service

HMS L55 was based at Tallinn, Estonia as part of the Baltic Battle Squadron which was supporting the Baltic states fighting for independence. On 9 June 1919 in Caporsky Bay in the Gulf of Finland L55 attacked two 1,260 ton Bolshevik minelaying destroyers - the Orfey-class destroyers Gavril and Azard. HMS L55 missed her targets and was forced into a British-laid minefield. Soviet sources stated that she was sunk by gunfire from the destroyer Azard. If she was sunk by gunfire, L55 would be the only British submarine to be sunk by hostile Soviet vessels.


The wreck was found by Soviet minesweepers in 1927. The Soviets raised her on 11 August 1928. As the Soviets refused to allow any British warship into their waters, the remains of 34 crew members were returned on the British merchantman Truro before transfer to HMS Champion. The crew was buried in a communal grave at Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery in Portsmouth on 7 September 1928.

Soviet service

The boat was rebuilt by Baltic Works, Leningrad, the reconstruction cost of 1 million roubles being financed by a public fund as "an answer to Chamberlain". She was recommissioned as a Soviet submarine with the same number (Л-55) on 7 August 1931. She was later named Bezbozhnik ("Atheist") and was used as the basis of design for the Soviet L class submarine. L55 was used for training until the beginning of World War II, when she was damaged in an accident in early 1941. She was scrapped in 1953 or possibly 1960.


HMS L55 Wikipedia