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Home » Royal Navy Ships Photo Options

Submarine K26

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Registered: August 2009
Location: Stratford-upon-Avon
Posts: 37
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The twin funnelled, coal fired, steam driven K boats were the biggest fastest submarines of the First World War. But these ‘submersible destroyers’, known as the ‘Kalamity K’s’, suffered an unprecedented series of accidents and disasters. Ordered by the Admiralty to satisfy the Grand Fleet traditionalists’ obsession with a fleet submarine and as a knee jerk reaction to rumours that the Germans had developed a submarine capable of 22 knots.

The boats displaced 1980 tons (surfaced) with a length of 3339 ft and beam of 20 ft 11 in. They had two 5250 bhp steam turbines and a 600 bhp diesel engine. They were capable of a surface peed of 24 knots and 9 knots submerged.

Out of the 27 ordered, 17 were built (K1-17) from 1915 to 1917. A further 4 were redesigned to be built as M Class of which only 3 were built. Out of the seventeen, 5 were lost in a series of dreadful accidents and collisions, including the loss of K13 during trials. Many many lives were lost. In addition, K5 mysteriously disappeared in the Atlantic.

Diving was a lengthy operation lasting three to five minutes, because of the number of hatches, vents and other openings that had to closed and sealed before the ballast tanks could be vented. The funnels had to be stowed and the twin door sealing took 30 seconds ..!!

K26 was in the second group of boats to be built with many design improvements. She was launched 26.08.1919, but not completed until 1923. She is shown in the photograph at Portsmouth on August 24th 1924 having just returned from endurance tests during which it covered a greater distance than any other nation. She was scrapped in 1931.
· Date: Tue, 25 August 09 · Views: 157
· Tags: 2 · Filesize: 395.3kb · Dimensions: 980 x 724 ·
Additional Info
Keywords: Submarine, K Class, World War 1, Portsmouth
Source of Image, If not your own: Original press photograph from my personal collection
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Cooky Boy
Senior Member

Registered: January 2009
Location: Somerset
Posts: 522
Tue, 25 August 09 15:21

Along with the Ms, the biggest and most stupid projects to hit the submarine service. A complete disaster from start to finish. Once again, pushed along by those who knew nothing and insisted on proving it to all.
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Senior Member

Registered: March 2008
Location: Peterborough U.K.
Posts: 539
Thu, 27 August 09 04:17

V & W Class destroyers in No 2 Basin, D29 Vanessa.
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