British and Italian Submarines

British Submarines


T Class

A large long-range boat designed for patrols in the extensive Pacific Ocean. The T class was adapted to carry human torpedoes. Names are as under

  • Terrapin
  • Thetis*
  • Thorn
  • Thrasher
  • Thunderbolt* was the Thetis renamed
  • Tigris
  • Trafalgar
  • Traveller
  • Triad
  • Tribune
  • Trident
  • Triumph
  • Triton
  • Trooper
  • Truant
  • Truculent
  • Turbulent
  • Turtle

Those used to transport chariots were:


The tragedy of HMS Thetis occurred in Liverpool Bay on 1 June 1939 when she was hit and sank. Despite being only 6 metres below the surface all but four crew member’s lost their lives, poisoned by carbon-dioxide. The submarine was eventually recovered and renamed Thunderbolt.

The Thunderbolt sank the Italian submarine Tarantini on 15 December 1940 and then took over transporting Chariots under Lieutenant Commander C.B.Crouch. In 1943 delivered Chariots into Palermo on operation Principal. Then almost immediately took on a second mission Operation Welcome delivery Berey and Larkin to Tripoli. On 14 March 1943, she was depth charged by the Italian Corvette Cicogna and sank.


“T” Class submarine commanded by *G.M.Sladen DSO., DSC., R.N. before the Second World War.


Lost off Sicily


Took Chariots to the far east to attack Phuket harbour


“T” class Submarine used in human torpedo missions, 1943 Operation principal.


“T” class Submarine used in human torpedo missions


Unnamed submarine lost off Maddalena Northern Sardinian in January 1943 she was carrying three chariots and 10 charioteers

The only other submarines used for chariot missions were the U-Class Submarines Unrivalled & Ultor. They carried chariots to attack Taranto but the operation was cancelled prior to the attack.


Italian Submarines


Used to transport the “pigs” were:


Sunk August 1940 carrying pigs on their first mission. Commanded by Lieutenant F Brunetti


Sunk September 1940 carrying pigs on the second mission Commanded by Lieutenant F Brunetti


Commanded by Commander J.V.Borghese.


Commanded by Lieutenant M.Arillo

Join the Trust

We're a registered charity and our membership is free