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oscarquebec

HMS M1

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oscarquebec

I found what I now know is a well known picture post card of HMS M1 submarine amongst my grandfather's WW1 collection. There is a wealth of information about the boat on the internet including that it was built by Vickers and launched in 1917. It appears that after the war alongside M2 it was an experimental platform ending with its tragic sinking in 1925.

What I am unable to find is any information about its use during the war. Any information would be appreciated.

post-86894-0-07911300-1336052387.jpg

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Nepper

According to the team who found the wreck in 1999 it saw no service in the war as the Admiralty feared that the Germans might copy the design and weren't prepared to take the risk of the Germans developing a commerce raider of this type.

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Lörscher

To be correct, her enormous deck gun never saw action, but M 1 made two patrols out of Blyth off Norway in September and October 1918, than went to the mediterranean, being on transfer from Gibraltar to Malta when the Armistice was announced.

Oliver

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centurion

I believe that she did some trial firings when in the Med. The technique was to approach the shore target submerged but at periscope depth, surface so that he hull was still awash and only the turret and tower visible, fire a round and pop back down again out of sight until the next one.

I've often wondered at the claims that she was intended as a submersible commerce raider. The RN had zilch need of a commerce raider of any kind having surface superiority throughout its sphere of operations

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grantowi

fire a round and pop back down again out of sight until the next one.

The Submarine had to surface to reload the gun

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centurion

The Submarine had to surface to reload the gun

Well it certainly had to do so to fire it so what's your point?

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grantowi

I believe that she did some trial firings when in the Med. The technique was to approach the shore target submerged but at periscope depth, surface so that he hull was still awash and only the turret and tower visible, fire a round and pop back down again out of sight until the next one.

How would the men get to the gun if the hull was awash?

Where is the element of surprise if she has to surface, load the gun, and then finally fire the gun ?

I've often wondered at the claims that she was intended as a submersible commerce raider. The RN had zilch need of a commerce raider of any kind having surface superiority throughout its sphere of operations

Who made this claim ?

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healdav

At that time pretty well all subs had guns (as many did in WW2 and into the 1960s). A well trained team could surface, lift the gun out of its storage position, load aim and fire in about ten seconds. Take out the lifting the gun out of its storage well and you have some pretty quick shooting.

And in those days when a sub went down it went down fast.

The gun on the M1 was very useful. It acted as an extra hydroplane.

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oscarquebec

Thanks, really appreciate all the help. I also found this snippet within an article by Innes McCartney

On two occasions M1 lost half her barrel length when it simply went off in the same direction as the projectile. It is known that on another occasion when this occurred the steel winding within the barrel remained attached to the submarine and to the piece of the barrel that had broken off. The broken section landed in the sea a few hundred yards in front of M1 and effectively anchored her to the seabed. This is the only recorded time that a submarine has dropped anchor by firing her gun! In this case it was the seaman responsible for opening the tampion who had forgotten to do his job. He was most unpopular that evening because shore leave could not be enjoyed since M1 was anchored out at sea!

Can that really be true? Make a good Navy Lark episode or Carry On movie.

www.msac.org.uk/wrecks/affray.htm

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grantowi

At that time pretty well all subs had guns (as many did in WW2 and into the 1960s). A well trained team could surface, lift the gun out of its storage position, load aim and fire in about ten seconds. Take out the lifting the gun out of its storage well and you have some pretty quick shooting.

The gun on the M1 fired 12 " shells and the barrel was hydraulically sealed to keep the water out (which didnt always work), so to operate it would have taken about 10 minutes, which is a long time for a submarine to be sitting on the surface with no defence

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oscarquebec

Thanks again

Found a picture of that 12" firing. Also found out that there was an M3 that after the war was used as a portable power station in the London docks during the general strike then converted to a minelayer before being scrapped. wacko.gif

post-86894-0-05016800-1332872611.jpg

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grantowi

Iv'e Dived on her sister the M2 (just out side of Portland) and they were pretty big beasties

Grant

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Signals

M1 was in fact nothing more that a modified K Class, she was laid down as K18 which is also shown on the papers of the officer's first appointed to her, so many of the crews still related these vessels with the luck of the K Class. They were the start of what some like Fisher foresaw as a submersible battlecruiser, but as they did not continue in any form of progress is is obvious they were a failed waste and the RN always feared if the Germans follow the lead it would in the end be worse for England.

M1 was in Istanbul for the signing of the peace agreement with Turkey, the photo attached could be in Istanbul at the Galata Bridge, anyone agree, when i blow the photo up at home i can see the odd Turkish Fez in the crowd.

post-21377-0-44646500-1333010267.jpg

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oscarquebec

I think you are correct about the location. Check out http://www.levantine.com/troops.htm for some great pictures including M1

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sonofcmx

The book Submarines in Colour, Tall & Kemp, has this photograph of the M1 firing her 12" gun off Gibraltar in 1923. Water leaked into the barrel whilst dived. On firing, the shell took most of the muzzle with it, still secured to the wire winding between inner and outer jacket.

post-89047-0-10388300-1333719826.jpg

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oscarquebec

It’s suggested that the Admiralty were concerned that the Germans would steal the M1s design. One has to ask the question “Would they have improved the guns water proofing”?

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sonofcmx

They may have improved the gun's waterproofing, but I doubt the Germans could have improved the quality of the Wardroom!

post-89047-0-31555300-1333731532.jpg

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sonofcmx

Further to Post 13, thought this picture of M2 would be of interest. It is easy to understand how she could have been swamped with the hangar doors open. M2 is shown with the flight deck party preparing to launch the plane with the boat not at full buoyancy.

post-89047-0-06493000-1333801496.jpg

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grantowi

Nice photo, wish I had that sort of vizability when I visited her :-)

Grant

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sonofcmx

Some of the party would have been RAF. Expect they wished at that point they had joined the Infantry!

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Wrecktec

Here is the story of HMS/M M1

Her final patrol:

On November 9th 1925, M1 commanded by Lt. Cdr. Alec Carrie, left her base for exercises in the western Channel. The submarine had recently been painted a shade of green for aerial recognition purposes (Other ‘M’ boats were painted shades of blue). The submarine had recently been painted a shade of green for aerial recognition purposes (other ‘M’ boats were painted shades of blue). The exercise would simulate a troop convoy moving up Channel while M1 and a selection of other submarines would take up assigned escort positions. At 0030hrs on Thursday 12 November, M1 and M3 (Lt. Cdr. C. Mayers) left Plymouth in-line-ahead formation. The exercise began at 0707hrs and both submarines dived. At 0726hrs M3 surfaced to engage a motley array of surface ships in simulated ‘gun action’. Lt. Cdr. Mayers sighted M1 on the surface heading in a westerly direction about 3-miles away. The ‘enemy’ minesweeper NEWARK also spotted M1 and exchanged signals at 0736hrs. Apart from the minesweeper, the nearest ship was the 2,045-ton Swedish steamer VIDAR (1907 - Stockholms Rederi A/B Svea (Hj. Blomberg), Stockholm) an estimated one-mile to the northwest. At 0737hrs NEWARK watched M1dive for the last time. The SS VIDAR, which was pitching sharply in a heavy sea, was on her way from Cardiff to Stockholm with a cargo of coal. At 0745hrs, the crew of VIDAR (Captain Anell) felt a heavy blow forward and far heavier than the pitching experienced earlier.

Extract from log of VIDAR - 12th November 1925

‘07.45 - Heavy breaking sea…Shipping water over…Two severe shakings were felt as if vessel had struck something hard below water. As some English warships were exercising in the area it was supposed that they had fired some depth charges as our ship after sounding, was found perfectly right’.

When M1 failed to report in, a hydrophone search by minesweepers was ordered. It produced nothing. No immediate full-scale search was ordered and the following message was sent from Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet to the Admiralty:

‘..IT IS FEARED THAT THE SUBMARINE M1 HAS BEEN LOST WITH ALL HANDS’.

On the slightest of evidence it was being assumed in Admiralty circles that the entire crew of M1 had died on the very day she went missing. At 1945, Admiralty released the following statement to the media:

‘DURING EXERCISES EARLY THIS MORNING THE SUBMARINE M1 WAS SEEN TO DIVE IN A POSITION FIFTEEN MILES SOUTH OF START POINT. EVERY EFFORT IS BEING MADE TO LOCATE HER AND ESTABLISH COMMUNICATION’.

That evening a full-scale search organised using the most up to date equipment including magnetometers and the chernikeef log used for obtaining fixes. Although the search continued for two days no trace of M1 or her sixty-nine crew was discovered. Sadly it now appears from the search chart track that M1 had actually been located by magnetometer but the searchers were unable to differentiate the submarine from an older wreck. It is doubly sad to realise that we now know that M1 was leaking oil. The searchers actually found the oil slick but assumed it was issuing forth from a wartime wreck. More disturbing still was the detection of fragmentary W/T transmissions suggesting that some of the crew were still alive and attempting to communicate using Fessenden equipment. This information was not made public for understandable reasons. It should be noted that DSEA was still in the development stage when M1 sank.

If rescue was not on the horizon, at least the media had plenty of human-interest stories, to relay to the public. The press found Able Seaman Sales who had gone ashore on learning of the death of his mother just hours before the boat sailed;

‘When I last saw my mates they were in the best of spirits. They laughed and chatted at harbour stations. You could not have had a jollier bunch of messmates...most are married men with families...we all have the utmost confidence in Commander Carrie. He is simply splendid’.

There was more to print. Carrie had just become a father; Petty Officer Bell had suffered a premonition. Photographs of the smiling crew taken in earlier times occupied pages of the Daily Mirror. On November 13th Rear Admiral Haggard released this depressing communiqué to the newsmen:

‘THE ADMIRALTY DEEPLY REGRET THEY CAN NO LONGER HOLD OUT ANY HOPE THAT THE CREW OF M1 STILL SURVIVE’

What else could the Admiralty have said?

Could it have disclosed that identifying the boat amid the litter of wrecks off Start Point was beyond the Royal Navy’s technical capability?

Could Admiralty have revealed that even the event of M1 being located, the depth involved would have been too deep for the operating range of its rescue divers?

Above all, how could Admiralty have admitted to dependents that there was no chance whatsoever of those trapped men surviving the ascent to the surface?

Some drew wider conclusions about the tragedy. The Chairman of Lloyds turned to the letters page of the Times to denounce the submarine as a ‘deadly machine, which treacherously destroys those in charge of it and it is feared, inflicts slow torture as well as death’. The public and many politicians might have been forgiven for thinking that perhaps he had a valid point.

On November 16th as SS VIDAR was steaming through the Kiel Canal, Captain Anell learned of the loss of M1 from a German newspaper. The conscientious Swedish captain informed his employers who in turn advised the Swedish Defence authorities. When VIDAR arrived at Varta on November 18th, a diver found her bow buckled and bent to port. Traces of paint found on the crumpled stem matched that recently applied to M1. The Admiralty now had the probably cause of loss and they had a clear idea of the position but where precisely was M1? The search continued for a further month, then the following announcement was issued on December 2nd.

‘DIVING OPERATIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE SUBMARINE M1 HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED AS NO POSITIVE RESULTS HAVE BEEN OBTAINED. IT IS NOT CONSIDERED NECESSARY TO PROLONG THE SEARCH AS THE CAUSE OF HER LOSS HAS BEEN FULLY ESTABLISHED’.

And that was that. During the years that followed, the Admiralty did invest in new technologies and equipment, with a view to at least providing trapped submarine crews with a chance of escape. DSEA sets became standard submarine issue from 1932 and purpose designed (if complicated) escape chambers were introduced to new boats. Fleet Order 971/35 ‘subsmash’ entered the Naval lexicon as the designated general mobilisation signal in the event of a serious submarine accident. However, events surrounding the loss of THETIS (See Vol 3) were to demonstrate a misguided reliance upon DSEA to the exclusion of salvage was a dangerously complacent strategy.

.

Memorial plaques to the sixty-nine crew of M1 and an individual plaque to Lt. Cdr. Carrie can be found in St Ann’s Church, Naval Dockyard at Portsmouth. There is a wall plaque to L/S Herbert Neighbour in his parish church at Turville in Buckinghamshire. There is also a memorial to Lt Robert Thorp in Ryton Church, Tyne and Wear. ERA Harding was the youngest of five brothers, three of whom died in the Great War.

The men who perished in M1:

Adams, Cecil Passey P/J 52992 Leading Seaman

Alexander, Arthur Horace C/J 14439 Petty Officer

Allen, William Charles C/J 51725 Able Seaman

Andrews, Enoch James P/J 89562 Able Seaman

Baby, Ernest Arthur C/J 71374 Able Seaman

Baker, Edward Charles Goodchild C/K 12595 Stoker P.O.

Ball, Harold C/J 39475 Able Seaman

Ball, John Samuel D/K 35977 Leading Stoker

Bell, William Macdonald P/M 7020 E.R.Artificer

Bicker, Rowland P/ 223812 Chief Petty Officer

Buttle, James Fry D/J 22045 Able Seaman

Carrie, Alec Murray RN Lieutenant Commander

Casey, Robert Cameron Royal Australian Navy* Lieutenant

Clark, Walter Thomas C/J 98756 Able Seaman

Cleaver, Edward George C/K 58802 Stoker

Clough, Nelson Orlando C/J 39878 Signalman

Cowling, Albert George P/K 18120 Leading Stoker

Dearing, Leonard Andree Percy C/J 78620 Able Seaman

Dennis, Dennis Francis C/M 12651 Engine Room Artificer

Dixon, Reginald Charles P/ 231628 Petty Officer

Duggan, Albert Frederick Harvey C/J 62085 L/Seaman

Edden, Thomas Henry D/M 14577 Engine Room Artificer

Erskine, William P/K 63811 Leading Stoker

Evans, Albert D/J 96697 Able Seaman

Feltham, Frank C/K 57863 Stoker

Foley, John Frederick C/J 48119 Able Seaman

Gardner, Charles C/ 233422 Chief Stoker

Gay, Albert Arthur P/J 62961 Telegraphist

Good, Cyril Sidney RN Warrant Engineer

Gore, Sydney John Ethelbert C/M 4730 E.R.Artificer

Harding, Gordon George D/M 10953 E.R.Artificer

Hewson, Philip P/M 8641 Engine Room Artificer

Hobday, Albert Edmond C/ 236378 Petty Officer

Huckin, Reginald Augustus P/J 9676 Able Seaman

Jewell, Henry George P/J 48749 Able Seaman

Jones, Bertie William C/J 20035 Petty Officer

Kemble, George P/K 10187 Leading Stoker

Kent, Arthur William P/J 15182 Leading Seaman

Kidney, James D/J 53085 Leading Seaman

Law, John William D/J 65730 Able Seaman

Littell, Robert Charles C/M 35596 Engine Room Artificer

Lovering, Ernest Thomas C/J 24897 Able Seaman

Manning, John D/J 103109 Able Seaman

Mansell, Cecil George Cobden C/K 600530 Stoker

Martin, Charles James D/J 90561 Able Seaman

Millard, Harold P/K 62220 Stoker

Morgan, George Petvin D/ 239799 Petty Officer

Moyse, Victor Charles P/J 23751 Able Seaman

Neighbour, Herbert Edwards C/J 89917 Able Seaman

Nichols, David Richard D/K 57987 Stoker

Nicholson, William Frederick P/J 19870 Leading Seaman

Pearson, William Adolphus P/J 42467 Able Seaman

Philpott, Thomas Walter 1st Lieutenant - Gunnery Officer

Price, William Frederick P/J 25784 Leading Seaman

Sayers, Charles Alfred C/J 31401 Able Seaman

Smith, Frederick William P/J 9944 P.O. Telegraphist

Spratley, Percival C/J 69385 Telegraphist

Storey, Charles Clarence P/K 58715 Stoker

Tamblin, William John D/J 94557 Leading Seaman

Taylor, Robert C/J 41914 Able Seaman

Thorpe, Charles Arthur Robert RN* Lieutenant

Turner, Walter Isaac P/J 36092 Leading Signalman

Vaughan, William Charles Albert D/J 32281 L/Seaman

Washington, Sidney William C/J 24170 Leading Seaman

Webster, Albert Ernest C/J 92635 Leading Seaman

Williams, Henry Richard P/K 56132 Stoker

Wright, Charles Edwin C/L 12944 Officer Steward

Wright, Frederick George P/J 99863 Able Seaman

ADM 1/8679/85 ADM 116/2922 ADM 173/11205-11289

Cheers Ron

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sonofcmx

If the M Class boats were our 'Secret Weapon' towards the end of the War, I was wondering if the Germans were developing, or had developed, their own and if so, what were they?

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oscarquebec

I don't know what the IGN had up their sleeves but I guess the M class was no secret. Here is some footage of their conventional submarine fleet, good job they did not have an 'M'

www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=375sBc8Q-fo

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chrisharley9

HUCKIN, REGINALD AUGUSTUS

Rank: Able Seaman Service No: J/9676 Date of Death: 02/06/1921 Age: 27 Regiment/Service: Royal Navy HMS "Dolphin" Panel Reference Addenda Panel Memorial PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

Odd as CWGC has him dying in 1921; I have his service record which confirms this

Chris

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