"D" Class Submarine (1908)

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The Royal Navy's eight "D" Class Submarines entered service between 1908 and 1911. The Royal Navy considered these to be "patrol" (as opposed to coastal or fleet) submarines.[1]

They were significantly larger than the preceding classes and, with twice the endurance offered the British their first plausible ocean-going submarines.


The Grand Fleet Battle Orders specified that the top speed on the surface was 13 knots, but that a more realistic "sea-going speed" was 11 knots.[2]


  • three 18-in tubes (two forward and one stern), six torpedoes

The two forward tubes were mounted one atop the other, which allowed a sleeker hullform but which complicated the loading arrangements in the confined space. A single cap for the forward tubes rotated 90° in "roll" to uncover both tubes at once. In effect, this piece was the prow of the submarine.[3]


in D 4 only:

  • one 12-pdr

D 4 was the first submarine to be armed with a gun.[4]

See Also


  1. The Technical History and Index, Vol. 3, Part 21. p. 11.
  2. Golding. Grand Fleet Battle Orders. p. 46.
  3. Kemp, British Submarines of World War I., Plate 20.
  4. "The Naval Situation." The Times (London, England), Friday, Mar 01, 1912; pg. 6; Issue 39835.


  • Gray, Randal (editor) (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906–1921. London: Conway Maritime Press. (on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk).

"D" Class Submarine
Vickers Boats
  D 1 D 2 D 3  
  D 4 D 5 D 6  
Chatham Boats
  D 7 D 8  
<– "C" Class Submarines (UK) "E" Class –>