The British Pacific and East Indies Fleets

The forgotten fleets that fought the Japanese in the Pacific and Indian Oceans



S-Class Submarine

Motto: "We strike to kill"

Pennant No. P266


Battle Honours






Builder: Cammell Laird Shipyard, Birkenhead, United Kingdom

Displacement: 814 tons

Length: 217 ft

Beam: 23 ft  8 in

Draught: 11 ft

Propulsion: 2 × 950 bhp (708 kW) diesel engines, 2 × 650 hp (485 kW) electric motors driving two propellers

Speed: 14.75 knots (16.97 mph; 27.32 km/h) surfaced. 9 knots (10 mph; 17 km/h) submerged

Range: 7,500 Nautical miles surfaced (8,600 mi; 13,900 km) at 10 knots (12 mph; 19 km/h) 120 Nautical miles submerged ( 140 mi; 220 km) at 3 knots (3.5 mph; 5.6 km/h)

Armament: 6 × bow & 1 stern 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes – carried 13 torpedoes or 12 mines; 1 × three-inch (76 mm) gun (QF 4-inch deck gun; 1 × 20 mm Oerlikon AA gun; 3 × .303 calibre machine guns

 Crew complement: 48


Commanding Officers

T/Lt. Percy Clive Stanbury Pritchard, RNR 15 Feb 1945
Lt. Peter Tremayne Miles, RN 24 Sep 1945 - 4 May 1946 1945
Lt. S.W. Clayden DSC, May 1946
Lt. Cdr C.B. Mills, Oct 1951 – Dec? 1953
Lt. Cdr P.A. Fickling, Dec. 1953
Lt. Cdr B.H.G.M. Baynham Mar 1954
Lt. Cdr A.G. Tait DSC, Aug 1955 - Jan 1956
Lt. Cdr E.L.M. Moss, Dec 1957
Lt. Cdr D.A. Wooding 1 Jan 1958






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Image copyright IWM (FL 25840)


She was ordered from Cammell Laird Shipbuilders, Birkenhead, on April 7th 1943, one of the last eight boats ordered as part third group of S class submarines for the Royal Navy. Her keel was laid down on January 10th 1944. She was launched on February 15th 1945.

She departed her builders’ yard for Holy Loch on May 11th to begin a period of trials and training, escorted by the Sloop HMS BRIDGEWATER she arrived on the 12th. Here she joined the 3rd Submarine Flotilla, attached to the depot ship HMS FORTH, which was responsible for submarines operating in the North Sea and Bay of Biscay and also the supervising of the trials and working up of all new construction submarines. She commissioned as H.M. Submarine SANGUINE on May 13th 1945 under the command of Lieutenant P. C. S. Pritchard, RNR. She was the only RN vessel to bear this name.

While at Holy Loch she conducted Torpedo, Gunnery, Bombardment, D/F and RDF exercises and performed simulated day and night attacks, both submerged and surface actions. She also performed trials at the torpedo firing range at Arrochar. Local vessels acted as targets. On June 28th SANGUINE operated with sister boat SEA DEVIL to conduct day and night attack exercises with the Sloop HMS ICARUS and destroyer HMS HASTINGS acting as targets.

Allocated to the British Pacific Fleet

H.M. S/M SANGUINE sailed from Holy Loch for passage to Gibraltar on August 5th on the first leg of voyage to the Far East. She called at Gibraltar on the 10th sailing for Malta the following day. She arrived at Malta on August 15th the day that the surrender of Japan was announced.

She remained at Malta while a decision was made about her future; with the war over there was no need for her to be deployed and she was ordered to return to the UK, She arrived at Rothesay on 15 September 1945.

Post War history

After the war the surviving S Class boats were refitted to install a folding snorkel mast aft of the control tower; to accommodate this the stern torpedo tube and the 'Bandstand' Anti-Aircraft platform and 20mm Oerlikon were removed. Some had their main deck gun removed as well. The snorkel allowed a submarine to cruise on diesel engines while submerged allowing the batteries to be recharged without the need to surface and risk detection by an enemy. When raised the ‘snort’ was the only part of the boat above the surface drawing in clean air while discharging the toxic diesel exhaust. Later modernisation work included installation of an improved sonar mounted in a dome on the casing above the forward dive plane and improved radar.

On emerging from her modification refit SANGUINE began her second commission under the command of Lieutenant Commander C.B. Mills RN in October 1951. She was allocated to the1ast Submarine Squadron based in Malta attached to the depot ship HMS FORTH moored on the east side of Msida creek. In June 1953 SANGUINE with SENTINEL  and FORTH arrived in the UK to take part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. SANGUINE led 26 submarines from Portsmouth around the Isle of Wight and into Southampton water.

On October 9th 1958 SANGUINE and sister S Class boat SPRINGER were sold to the Israeli Navy to form Israel’s submarine force, which was established in 1959 by Capt. Yosef Dror. SPRINGER became the INS TANIN, and SANGUINE the INS RAHAV.  The INS RAHAV was retired in 1968 and cannibalised for spare parts for TANIN; she was broken up for scrap at Haifa in 1969.

Last modified: 23 February 2023


Primary information sources

Additional sources: entry for H.M. Submarine SANGUINE




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