HMS Unity (N66)

HMS Unity was a U-class submarine, of the first group of that class constructed for the Royal Navy. The submarine entered service in 1938 and performed war patrols during the Second World War. On 29 April 1940, Unity was accidentally rammed and sunk in Blyth, Northumberland's harbour.

HMS Unity
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Unity
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 19 February 1937
Launched: 16 February 1938
Commissioned: 5 October 1938
Fate: Sunk 29 April 1940 in accidental collision
General characteristics
Class and type: U-class submarine
  • Surfaced – 540 tons standard, 630 tons full load
  • Submerged – 730 tons
Length: 58.22 m (191 ft 0 in)
Beam: 4.90 m (16 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.62 m (15 ft 2 in)
  • 2 shaft diesel-electric
  • 2 Paxman Ricardo diesel generators + electric motors
  • 615 hp (459 kW) / 825 hp (615 kW)
  • 11.25 kn (20.84 km/h; 12.95 mph) max surfaced
  • 10 kn (19 km/h; 12 mph) max submerged
Complement: 27

Construction and career

Unity was built by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 19 February 1937 and was commissioned on 5 October 1938.

At the onset of the Second World War, Unity was a member of the 6th Submarine Flotilla. From 26–29 August 1939, the flotilla deployed to its war bases at Dundee and Blyth.[1] She served in home waters in the North Sea, making a failed attack on the German submarine U-2.[2]


Unity sailed from Blyth on 29 April 1940 to patrol off Norway. The visibility was down to 300 yards (270 m) as Unity moved out of the harbour into the main channel, where the Norwegian ship Atle Jarl was proceeding on her way from Scotland to the Tyne. A short while later visibility was down to 100 yards (91 m) and neither vessel was aware of the other until the submarine spotted the Atle Jarl at 50 yards (46 m) on a collision course. There was just time to shut the bulkhead doors and order the engines astern before Atle Jarl smashed into the submarine. The order to abandon the submarine was given and Unity sank only five minutes after the collision.[3] Two members of her crew, Lieutenant John Low and able Seaman Henry Miller, gave their lives by remaining behind in the flooded control room so that their shipmates could escape from the sinking vessel.[4]

See also


  1. Rohwer, p.1
  2. "HMS Unity (N 66)". Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  3. "Submarine losses 1904 to present day". RN Submarine Museum, Gosport. Archived from the original on 8 August 2007.
  4. Gray, p.180


This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.