HMS Triumph (N18)

For other ships with the same name, see HMS Triumph.
HMS Triumph
United Kingdom
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow
Laid down: 19 March 1937
Launched: 16 February 1938
Commissioned: 2 May 1939
Fate: sunk 14 January 1942
General characteristics
Class and type: British T class submarine
  • 1,090 tons surfaced
  • 1,575 tons submerged
Length: 275 ft (84 m)
Beam: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Draught: 16.3 ft (5.0 m)
  • Two shafts
  • Twin diesel engines 2,500 hp (1.86 MW) each
  • Twin electric motors 1,450 hp (1.08 MW) each
  • 15.25 knots (28.7 km/h) surfaced
  • 9 knots (20 km/h) submerged
Range: 4,500 nautical miles at 11 knots (8,330 km at 20 km/h) surfaced
Test depth: 300 ft (91 m) max
Complement: 59

HMS Triumph (N18) was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down by Vickers at Barrow-in-Furness and launched in September 1938.


At the onset of the Second World War, Triumph was a member of the 2nd Submarine Flotilla. From 26-29 August 1939, the flotilla deployed to its war bases at Dundee and Blyth.[1]

Home waters

HMS Triumph's bow displaying mine damage from December 1939

On 26 December 1939, Triumph hit a German mine in the North Sea. She lost 18 feet (5.5 m) of her bow when it was blown off and her pressure hull was also damaged. Fortunately, the torpedoes in the torpedo tubes did not detonate. She managed to limp back home under the protection of fighter aircraft and destroyers, and was under repair at Chatham Dockyard until 27 September 1940.


Operating in the Mediterranean from early 1941, Triumph sank the Italian merchants Marzamemi, Colomba Lofaro, Ninfea, Monrosa, the Italian auxiliary patrol vessels V 136 / Tugnin F, Valoroso, V 190 / Frieda and V 137 / Trio Frassinetti, the Italian tug Dante de Lutti and salvage vessel Hercules, the German merchant Luvsee, and the Greek sailing vessels Panagiotis and Aghia Paraskeva. She also damaged the Italian armed merchant cruiser Ramb III, the Italian tankers Ardor and Poseidone, the Italian merchant Sidamo and the German merchant Norburg

In June 1941 she sank the Italian submarine Salpa near northern Egypt.


Triumph was also used for covert operations, such as landing agents in German occupied areas. She was planned to be used as a rendezvous for commandos in Operation Colossus, but this had to be cancelled when the landing site became untenable. She undertook one such mission in December 1941, in which she successfully landed agents in Greece. She was lost just over a week later, off Greece, probably to a collision with a mine in early January 1942. All fifty-nine crew were lost.[2]

There is a memorial to her and her lost crew members in All Saint's church, Lindfield, West Sussex.



  1. Rohwer, p.1
  2. Submarine losses 1904 to present day, RN Submarine Museum, Gosport


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