SUBMARINERS ASSOCIATION: EAST KENT BRANCH

Boat of the Month

HM Submarine Parthian

Parthian was ordered under the 1927 building programme. She was laid down on 30 June 1928 and following her launch on 22 June 1929, she moved from the river to the basin via the South Lock at 14:15.
Following her completion on 3 January 1931, she finally left Chatham when she moved out into the river via the North Lock at 11:00 on 12 January 1931.

During WW2 Parthian operated in almost all theatres of the Naval war. First in the Far East, then the Mediterranean before returning to home waters. She then crossed the Atlantic for America. After a refit in the USA, she returned across the Atlantic and back into the Mediterranean.
Intelligence reports in early 1940 made clear Italy was preparing for war. With few submarines in the Mediterranean Sea, the eighth flotilla in Singapore, which included Parthian was transferred to Alexandria.
On 20th June 1940 whilst patrolling north of Tobruk, Parthian sank the Italian submarine Diamante.
On 9th January 1941 South East of Sicily, she sank the 4200 ton Carlo Martinolich. Then, on 16 March 1941 she fired on two merchant ships damaging one of them. The counter attack caused damage but she was able to escape.
In May she sank the 5000 ton tanker Strobo and in June, using her stern tubes she sank two schooners and a lighter in Mitylene harbour. On 25 June she attacked the Vichy submarine Souffleur and sank her.
During March 1943 while operating in the Gulf of Kassandra, she sank 21 Caiques by gun action and also damaged a factory.
In May 1943 again by gunfire, she sank a 50 ton caique. Later that year in August, while on patrol in the Adriatic, she was lost. It is believed she hit a mine.
Parthian went down with all hands, her Captain, officers and 60 men.