E Class

Group Three

Overseas Submarine

E Class Submarine


This class was the backbone of the Royal Navy during WWI and bore the brunt of the submarine contribution to the war effort. A few experiments were carried out with the 'E' class including the carrying of seaplanes. Seven of the class were sent to the Baltic to assist the Russians, E.11 failed to arrive and E.13 was lost on passage.

Six of this class were configured as minelayers, they could carry 20 mines in vertical chutes which were situated in the saddle tanks, five each side, two mines to a chute.

The main base for this class serving in the North Sea was Harwich, which operated a maximum of eighteen boats. They also operated from the Tees and Blyth, and also in 1918 from Killybegs in Ireland.

At the end of WWI the 'E' class were operating from Harwich (11), Tees (6), Killybegs (2), Mediterranean (6) and Adriatic (4). Most of them were put on sale during 1919-1920, only E.48 survived into the late 1920's.

36 Built

Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness
1914 - 1916

E25, E26
Beardmore, Dalmuir
19?? - 1915

Yarrow, Scotstoun
19?? - 1917

E29, E30
Armstrong Whitworth,
1914 - 1915

Scotts, Greenock
1914 - 1915

White, Cowes
1914 - 1916

E33, E34
Thornycroft, Woolston
1915 - 1917

E35, E36
Brown, Clydebank
1914 - 1916

E37, E38, E47
Fairfield, Govan
1914 - 1916

E39, E40
Palmer, Jarrow
1914 - 1917

E41, E42, E45, E46
Cammell Laird, Birkenhead
1914 - 1916

E43, E44
Swan Hunter, Wallsend
1914 - 1917


Technical Information

662 sf
807 sm

Length (ft):
180 oa

Breadth (ft):
22.5 oa

Draught/Height (ft):

Vickers-Admiralty Diesel Engines 1,600 hp
840 hp electric motors, 2 screws.

Speed (kts):
15.25 sf
9.75 sm

Oil Supply (tons):
45 tons normal
50 tons max.

5 x 18 inch tubes, 2 bow, 2 beam, 1 stern. 1 x 12 pdr and 1 x 2 pdr pom-pom on some.

Reloads: 10.

3,225nm at 10kts sf.
85nm at 5kts sm.

3 Officers and 28 Ratings