Hellenic Navy submarine HNS Papanikolis (Y-2)
When Greece entered WW-II the Hellenic Navy was engaged with the Italian Navy at the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic arena. Despite the great difference there was comparing the Hellenic to the Italian navy, in terms of number, armor, speed, fire power and sea time for the submarines, the Hellenic submarines carried out their difficult task without serious casualties. They sunk enemy transport vessels of a deadweight tonnage of several tens of thousands of tons and successfully convoyed through escort military missions to the front.

At Christmas 1940, the submarine Papanikolis under Lieutenant-Commander Miltonas Iatrides, patrolling in the Adriatic, attacked an Italian convoy, on its way to Avlon, and scuttled two troop-ships of between 15,000 and 20,000 tons. The submarine managed to escape despite the cruel pursuit by Italian cruisers.

HNS Papanikolis
came under operational control of the British Navy in 1941, she went on torpedoing transport ships in enemy waters. At some time the Italian battle ship Vittorio Venetto was torpedoed by the HNS Papanikolis and sunk while the Greek submarine was heavily damaged and barely managed to get to Malta.

On September 12, 1942, the Greek submarine Papanikolis put British commandos ashore at Kokkini Ammos who, with the help of two local men - Nikos Savvas and Georgios Kyrmichalis, made their way to the airports at Kalathos and Maritsa, where they destroyed German war planes.

Specifications, HNS Papanikolis (Y-2), Katsonis class:
Papanikolis was the second of six Katsonis class submarines acquired by the Hellenic Navy in France. Built by Ch. De La Gironde, Bordeaux, launched in1926, commissioned in 1927.
Displacement (srf/sub tons): 595/778
Dimensions (L*B*D metr): 62.4*5.3*3.35
Propulsion: 2*650hp 2-cycle Schneider-Carels diesels, 2*500hp electric motors
Speed (srf/sub knots): 14/9.5
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots): 3,500@10/100@5
Diving depth (meter): 73
Complement: 39 officers and enlisted
Torpedo: 4*21"(533mm) bow torpedo tubes, 2*21" stern torpedo tubes, total of 7 torpedoes
Mines: none
Armament: 1*4 inch main deck gun, 1*3 inch secondary gun

When WW-II broke these six Katsonis class  subs had very serious technical and operational problems and had past the approved life limit of ten years. They had maximum diving depth of 60 meters, auxiliary machinery very complicated and sensitive, main engines that had serious malfunctions .They were not equipped with ballast tanks for quick diving, plotting table and torpedo data computer.

Back to History Index

Image Country Year Description
Greece 1978 Submarine Papanikolis built in France 1926
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