Ultimatium Crest

Small Patrol Submarine



U Class
Second Group

Pennant No.:

Laid Down:
19th June 1940 as P.34.
Renamed Ultimatum in 1943.
Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness.

29th July 1941.
Lt. P. Harrison.

June 1941 - Nov. 1942
Lt. P. Harrison DSC.
Nov. - Dec. 1942
Lt. D.S.R. Martin.
Dec. 1942 - Jan. 1943
Lt. R.C. Bucknall.
Jan. 1943 - Dec. 1944
Lt. W.H. Kett RNR.
Dec. 1944 - Feb. 1945
Lt. C.H. Hammer.
Feb. - June 1945
Lt. P.D.C. Bennett.
June 1945
Lt. A.F. Esson RNR.
June - Sept. 1945
Lt. J..O. Coote.
Sept. 1945 - 1946
Lt. R.C. Bucknall.

4 Officers, 29 Others.

Service Career:
10th Flotilla, Malta.
10th Flotilla, Malta.
10th Flotilla, Alexandria.
1st Flotilla, Haifa.
10th Flotilla, Maddalena.
7th Flotilla, Rothesay.
5th Flotilla, Fort Blockhouse.

On completion of work-up joined the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta in October 1941.

26th October 1941 – Attacked but missed an unescorted merchant ship with two torpedoes in the Lampedusa area.

6th – 8th November 1941 - Departed Malta in company with Upholder and Urge to form an intercepting patrol line in the Ionian Sea some 120 miles east of the island.

1st December 1941 - Patrolling on the south east coast of Calabria.

5th December 1941 - Sighted a convoy and fired three torpedoes at a range of 5000 yards, probably damaging a ship and was counter attacked with 31 depth charges.

15th December 1941 - Formed a patrol line in company with Uproar, Upholder and Sokol across the middle of the Ionian Sea.
16th December 1941 - When nothing had been seen by dawn, new dispositions were ordered. Returned to Malta.

25th January 1942 - Patrolled off Messina she fired four torpedoes at a range of 5000 yards at an escorted southbound merchantman scoring one hit. This was Dalmatia L of 3320 tons and she remained afloat for some hours before finally sinking.

On 1st February 1942 - Returned to Malta from Messina.

16th February 1942 - Whilst enroute to patrol off Kerkenah ordered to form a patrol line north of Ras el Hamra to intercept a convoy along with P38 from the coast of Tunisia and P39 and Una from Malta. The patrol line was in position by 18th but further signal intelligence then indicated that the convoy had been delayed. The patrol line was therefore withdrawn sixty miles to seawards from its position close inshore for a period of forty-eight hours. It was back in position by dawn on 23rd. The Italian convoy from Taranto consisting of three large modern ships escorted by seven destroyers passed through the patrol line on the morning of 23rd. Sighted the convoy and fired a full salvo of four torpedoes at a range of 4500 yards but missed and was heavily counter attacked but fortunately without damage. Went back to Kerkenah while Una returned to Malta.

13th March 1942 - Patrolled off the south coast of Calabria sighted an escorted supply ship but was unable to get close enough to attack. This was the only sighting of a large Italian supply operation in which three convoys sailed from Brindisi, Messina and Naples for Tripoli, and a return convoy from North Africa, all of which got safely across without loss.

14th March 1942 - An Italian U-boat was sighted lying stopped on the surface. Approached up to within 2200 yards and fired four torpedoes hitting with two of them and sinking the large submarine Ammiraglio Millo of 1461 tons. Fourteen survivors were picked up and returned to Malta and also replenish with torpedoes. She was sent straight out on patrol again.

7th/8th April 1942 - Departed Malta to patrol the heel of Italy.

12th April 1942 - Whilst patrolling of the heel of Italy, south of the Gulf of Taranto she hit a mine and was blown to the surface which caused substantial damage putting all torpedo tubes out of action, returned to Malta for repair.

28th April 1942 - Sailed from Malta for Alexandria.

6th June 1942 - Departed Alexandria to form a patrol line to the north of the enemy convoy route with Una, Uproar and Umbra.
24th June 1942 - Attacked a German U-boat U-77 south of Crete. All torpedoes fired however missed their target.

29th June 1942 - Departed Alexandria for Haifa.

17th July 1942 - Departed Haifa for Malta.

31st July 1942 - Arrived Malta.

September 1942 - Assisted in providing cover for 'Operation Pedestal', a supply convoy for Malta.

7th September 1942 - Fired four torpedoes against the Italian merchant Luciano Manara in the central Mediterranean south-west of Schiza Island, Greece. All torpedoes fired missed their target.

25th September 1942 - Departed Malta for refit in the UK. She had completed thirteen patrols.

October 1942 to June 1943 - Refitting in the UK.

On completion of work up and trials departed for Malta.

18th September 1943 - Departed Gibraltar to patrol the Gulf of Lions.

30th September 1943 – Whilst patrolling off Toulon spotted four large self propelled 500 ton ammunition barges under the escort of seven French chasseurs.  Closed the convoy and attacked hitting and sinking the barges.  The explosion damaged the submarine causing it to plunge to a depth of 160 feet before hitting the seabed.  The collision with the seabed damaged the propeller and Asdic dome.

19th October 1943 - Departed Algiers to patrol the south of France.

26th October - Sighted an outward-bound U-boat but because of poor light and long range, no attack was possible.
27th October - A convoy of two ships was seen off Cape Sicie and four torpedoes were fired at a range of 7000 yards. Although she heard an explosion at the right range and later only one ship was in sight, German post war records do not confirm a sinking.
28th October - Informed that an inward bound U-boat might be expected. She sighted the enemy soon after daylight and fired three torpedoes at the long range of 6500 yards. One torpedo hit and sank U431, which was a remarkable shot. This claim was later over ruled by the Admiralty.

December 1943 – At Maddalena

January 1944 - Lent to the First Flotilla from the Tenth Flotilla and made the passage direct from Malta to Beirut arriving at the end of the month. Her first patrol in the Aegean from 6th January to 7th February was uneventful.

February 1944 - The First Flotilla base was moved from Beirut to Malta. The name Talbot, of the submarine base at Malta, had been taken with the Tenth Flotilla to Maddalena and so the First Flotilla brought the name Medway II to Malta from Beirut. The actual move took place between the 10h and 13th of the month.
The six submarines that patrolled in the Aegean during February had completely blank patrols. Ultimatum east of Salonika and Nereus in the southwest Aegean saw no targets whatever. Ultimatum was one of the last submarines that sailed in March to patrol in the Aegean in March 1944.

5th April 1944 - Went to Suda Bay and sank a 40-ton caique by gunfire.
6th April 1944 - Sank a 30 ton caique off Andikithira by gunfire.

26th April 1944 - Whilst still on loan from the 10th Flotilla sailed from Malta to patrol the south coast of Morea.

1st May 1944 - Sank a caique southeast of Cape Matapan and learnt from its crew that the Germans controlled a yard for building and repairing caiques at Koroni in Kalamata Gulf. She closed the place and at dusk surfaced and bombarded the yard at a range of 1400 yards. The bombardment lasted eighteen minutes, there was no opposition, fired 62 rounds which sank two 100-ton caiques, destroyed another five on the slips and damaged yet another. She was then ordered to the north coast of Crete to intercept a ship expected to sail from Piraeus. This ship did not materialise and Ultimatum ran into air and surface anti-submarine patrols.

10th May 1944 - Whilst off Suda Bay, she decided to attack two UJ-boats on patrol. They were alert, however, and detected her before she could fire. She was forced to dive and was counter attacked for three hours. Some depth charge patterns were close and she suffered some damage to instruments and electrical gear and at one time was forced down to 400 feet.

June 1944 - Returned to the 10th Flotilla after being on loan to the 1st Flotilla.

3rd July 1944 - Fired two torpedoes at a range of 1000 yards at a destroyer and a UJ-boat. No hits were obtained.

17th July 1944 - Relieved Universal off Port Vendres but she found nothing and moved east.

27th July 1944 - Off Ciotat she obtained a radar contact and identified it as a convoy of F-lighters with one escort. She fired three torpedoes at 1500 yards at the F-lighters and claimed to have hit both. She was then forced to dive by an aircraft.

She also assisted in mine detection in the Ciotat area, these were her last patrols before returning to the UK for refit.

Sold December 1949.  Scrapped in February 1950.