E Class

Minelaying Submarine

E Class Minelaying 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.

6 Built

Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness
1914 - 1916

Thornycroft, Woolston
1915 - 1917

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

Scott's, Greenock

Technical Information

658 sf
777 sm

Length (ft):
181 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):

3 x 18 inch tubes, 2 bow, 1 stern.
1 x 12 pdr/40 QF.
20 mines S Mk IV or S Mk IV*
Reloads: 6.

3225 nm at 10 kts sf
85 nm at 5 kts sm

3 Officers and 28 Ratings