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HMS Triad (N53)
HMS Triad.jpg
HMS Triad
Career (UK)
Name: HMS Triad
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow
Laid down: 24 March 1938
Launched: 5 May 1939
Commissioned: 16 September 1939
Fate: sunk 15 October 1940
General characteristics
Class & type: British T class submarine
Displacement: 1,090 long 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

6 internal forward-facing torpedo tubes
4 external forward-facing torpedo tubes
6 reload torpedoes

4 inch (100 mm) deck gun

HMS Triad (N53) was a T-class submarine of the Royal Navy. She was laid down by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow and launched in May 1939. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name Triad.


Triad had a relatively short career, serving in the North Sea and the Mediterranean. In April 1940 she sank the German troop transport Ionia and attacked, but failed to sink the German depot ship Tsingtau.

Mediterranean and loss[]

Shortly after, she was assigned to the Mediterranean. On 9 October 1940 she sailed from Malta to operate in the Gulf of Taranto, with orders to reach Alexandria on completion of her patrol. She failed to make port and by 20 October the submarine was declared overdue. She was believed to have been lost in a minefield or sunk by Italian anti-submarine aircraft. New evidence suggests that Triad was engaged and sunk on the night of 14/15 October by the Italian submarine Enrico Toti. It was assumed that the Enrico Toti had engaged and sunk HMS Rainbow, which was thought to be operating in the same area.

Last action[]

At 0100 hours on 15 October, the Enrico Toti sighted a large submarine 1,000 metres to port: both boats manoeuvred into attack position but the British opened fire first, supposedly scoring two hits, one on the conning tower, the other on the bow (Italian accounts claim all of Triad's shells missed). She also fired a torpedo which Enrico Toti avoided by turning sharply, then closed on the enemy submarine at top speed, firing as she approached. Soon, machine gun fire compelled the British gunners to abandon the exposed deck. As the British submarine started to dive, Toti fired a torpedo and hit the British submarine with two shells. The boat rose vertically then disappeared without survivors. The entire action had lasted less than 30 minutes Rainbow had been ordered to leave the area on 13 October, she would have been gone 26-30 hours before the action described above began. Even at the modest speed of 6 knots (11 km/h), Rainbow would have been 200 nautical miles (370 km) away from the spot at the time of the action. The only boat in Toti's vicinity was Triad.[1][2]

See also[]


  1. HMS Triad,
  2. Submarine losses 1904 to present day, RN Submarine Museum, Gosport

Coordinates: 38°16′0″N 17°37′0″E / 38.266667°N 17.616667°E / 38.266667; 17.616667

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