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HMS Sceptre (P215)

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Name  HMS Sceptre
Commissioned  April 1943
Class and type  S-class submarine
Launched  9 January 1943
Draft  3.4 m
Laid down  July 1940
Decommissioned  February 1947
Construction started  July 1940
Length  66 m
HMS Sceptre (P215) httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Fate  sold for scrap September 1949
Builder  Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company

HMS Sceptre (P215) was a 1940-programme S-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was launched on 9 January 1943, in Greenock, although her keel had been laid down in July 1940.

Career

In World War II, Sceptre joined the 3rd Submarine Flotilla in April 1943 and was based at Holy Loch. She then detached to Scapa Flow to be used for the Submarine Commanding Officer's Qualifying Course, the Perisher. Whilst exercising to the west of the Orkney Islands, she was depth charged in error by the Royal Air Force and her hull was slightly buckled, which required docking for repairs.

After an uneventful first patrol, she was fitted with special towing gear and proceeded to Loch a' Chàirn Bhàin. Here she joined up with two T-class and three S-class submarines, together with the depot ships Titania and Bonadventure, the latter being the depot ship for the X-craft midget submarines. Sceptre left Loch Cairnbawn on 12 September 1943, with X-10 in tow. The aim was to attack the German battleship Tirpitz at Kåfjord. This attack was intended to remove the threat of the German battleship to convoys on their way to Russia. Six X-craft were used to attack shipping in the fjords, with the attack on Tirpitz putting her out of action for nearly a year.

In April 1944, Sceptre left for another "special operation" with X-24 in tow. X-24 penetrated Bergen harbour and sank the merchant ship Bärenfels as well as damaging large sections of the floating dock in the harbour.

Sceptre earned the title of "Bring them back alive" as she was the only towing submarine which lost none of the X-craft in her care. Commanded by Lieutenant I. S. McIntosh, MBE, DSC, throughout her short but active service career, Sceptre sank six ships — four merchant vessels of 14,393 gross register tons and two escorts of 1,444 displacement tons. This total and tonnage was unequalled by any other submarine in home waters during the period.

At the end of the war, Sceptre was disarmed, streamlined and given more powerful batteries to serve as a high speed target submarine. She was allocated to the Seventh Submarine Flotilla and used for training, based at Loch Alsh. She continued to run as a training unit based in Portland until February 1947. She was damaged by a battery explosion on 8 August 1949. She was finally sold to the BISCO for scrap in September 1949.

References

HMS Sceptre (P215) Wikipedia


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