HMS Swordfish (1916)

Swordfish before her conversion to an anti-submarine patrol ship. Note the funnel in the middle of her conning tower. Probably Royal Navy photo, believed to be in the public domain.

Ship Class
Ship Type
Laid Down
1914
Launched
1916
Commissioned
1916
Decommissioned
1918
AD/BC
AD
History

The second HMS Swordfish was an experimental submarine laid down in 1914. Her concept was to provide the Royal Navy with an overseas submarine, capable of high speeds, but she used steam turbines for propulsion, since the diesel engines of the day were considered unreliable. Swordfish commissioned 28 April, 1916, but was not completed until 21 July. Renamed S1 before commissioning, she proved a disappointment, being top heavy and slower than hoped. Swordfish was laid up after her trials, but was converted into an anti-submarine patrol craft, regaining her original name, and rearmed with a pair of 12 Pounder guns and depth charges. She served with the 1st Destroyer Flotilla until 30 October, 1918, when she was paid off. Swordfish was eventually sold for scrap in 1922, though she may have been resold the next year.