HMS Oxley, first British Royal Navy loss of the war

The first submarines to be designed after the First World War were the O-class, a post-war concept of overseas patrol submarines. The lead of class was called Oberon, laid down right after were Oxley and Otway built by Vickers with an increase in surface speed. Oberon was the first submarine to carry ASDIC, the forerunner of SONAR.

HMS Oxley
and Otway were originally built for the Australian Royal Navy, delivered in 1928, but because of economic cut backs they were transferred back to the Royal Navy in 1931.These boats were primarily built for service in the Far East,where they all serveduntil the outbreak of the war, when they were dispatched to serve in the Mediterranean for which they were wholly unsuited for.

On September 10, 1939 HMS Oxley was mistaken for a U-boat and torpedoed by the submarine HMS Triton, off the Norwegian coast, being the first British Royal Navy loss of the war. The submarines had been in regular contact when HMS Triton spotted an unidentified submarine. Believing it might be HMS Oxley, Triton flashed recognition signals. No reply came and after several challenges Triton fired two torpedoes that sunk Oxley. Triton found Oxley`s captain, and two other survivors. A board of enquiry found that Oxley had made a navigational error and drifted off station into the adjacent patrol area of HMS Triton.

Specifications, HMS Oxley, Oxley class/O-class:
Keel laid down by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness, launched on June 29, 1926
Displacement (srf/sub tons): 1,636/1,872            
Dimensions (L*B*D feet): 275`0*27`8*16`8
Propulsion: 2*1,500hp 6-cylinder Admiralty diesel engine, 2*650hp electric motors for submergence driving, 3*112 battery cells, two shafts
Speed (srf/sub knots):
Range (srf/sub n/miles@knots): 14,000@8 or 8,450@10/60@4 or 16@9
Diving depth (feet): 300-450
Complement: 6 officers 47 enlisted
Torpedo: 6*21" (533mm) bow torpedo tube, 2*21" stern torpedo tube, containing a total of 16 torpedoes
Mines: none
Armament: 1*4" main deck gun
Three other boats of the Oxley class were built, all by Vickers, and supplied to the Chilean Navy. An early problem of the class was fuel seepage from the external tanks which were of riveted construction. It`s difficult to hide when there is an oil slick showing everyone on the surface where you are!

Back to History Index

Image Country Year Description
Eynhallow Is. (Scotland) 1982 Submarine Oxley (imperf souvenir sheet)
Liberia 2001 HMS Oxley,built August 1925.First lost in WW-2 accidentally torpedoed
Home  |   About  |   index  |   History  |   Articles  |   Wish List  |   Bibilo  |   Contact  |   Search
בניית אתרים - ITdesigns    עיצוב ומיתוג - Hadas-Studio All rights reserved to