History
United Kingdom
Name: HMS Usurper
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 18 September 1941
Launched: 24 September 1942
Commissioned: 2 February 1943
Fate: sunk 3 October 1943
General characteristics
Class and type: U-class submarine
Displacement:
  • Surfaced – 540 tons standard, 630 tons full load
  • Submerged – 730 tons
Length: 58.22 m (191 feet)
Beam: 4.90 m (16 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.62 m (15 ft 2 in)
Propulsion:
  • 2 shaft diesel-electric
  • 2 Paxman Ricardo diesel generators + electric motors
  • 615 / 825 hp
Speed:
  • 11.25 knots max surfaced
  • 10 knots max submerged
Complement: 27-31
Armament:

HMS Usurper (P56) was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name Usurper.

Career

Usurper had a short-lived career with the Royal Navy. During her work-up patrol off the Norwegian coast, she made a torpedo attack on the German submarine U-467. The target was not hit. On being assigned to operate in the Mediterranean, she sank the French ship Château Yquem.

Sinking

Lt D R O Mott DSC RN, Commanding Officer of HMS Usurper, Holy Loch, 6 February 1943 (IWM A14396)

Usurper had left Algiers on 24 September 1943 with instruction to patrol off La Spezia. On 3 October 1943 she was ordered to move to the Gulf of Genoa. No further contact was made and she failed to return to Algiers on 12 October 1943 as expected. The German anti-submarine vessel UJ-2208/Alfred reported attacking a submarine in the Gulf of Genoa on 3 October 1943 and it is believed that this may have been the Usurper.

During the war, Usurper was adopted by the town of Stroud as part of Warship Week. The plaque from this adoption is held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.[1]

References

  1. ^ Warship Weeks: Adopting Naval Vessels in World War Two | Royal Naval Museum at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard Archived 7 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine

Publications

  • "HMS Usurper (P 56)". uboat.net.
  • "Ursula to Utmost". British submarines of World War II. Archived from the original on 11 July 2007.
  • "Submarine losses 1904 to present day". RN Submarine Museum, Gosport.
  • Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) [1969]. Ships of the Royal Navy: The Complete Record of all Fighting Ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86176-281-8. OCLC 67375475.
  • Hutchinson, Robert (2001). Jane's Submarines: War Beneath the Waves from 1776 to the Present Day. London: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-710558-8. OCLC 53783010.