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Midget Submarines

Discussion in 'British Submarines' started by Jim, Sep 23, 2010.

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  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The Victoria Cross was awarded, on Feb 23, 1944, to Lieut. B. C. G. Place, D.S.C., R.N. and to Lieut. D. Cameron, R.N.R., for their supreme courage when, as the commanding officers of two of H.M. midget submarines, X6 and X7, they carried out, on Sept. 22, 1943, a daring attack which crippled the German battleship Tirpitz, moored in the heavily protected anchorage of Kaafjord, North Norway. Through miles of fjord patrolled and protected by anti-submarine and torpedo nets, they manoeuvred their tiny craft after a passage of at least 1,000 miles from their base, successfully dealt with their objective, and then scuttled their vessels to prevent them falling into enemy hands. The two commanders, with most of their crews, were taken prisoner.

    Lieut. B. C. G. Place and Lieut. D. Cameron

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    Size of the X-Boats may be judged from these photographs of one under way, with a member of the crew on deck by the periscope, and another showing the hatchway open, so small were they that there was probably insufficient room for their personnel to lie down at full length or to stand up properly.

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    From their perilous positions within the screen of nets protecting the Tirpitz, and from a range of only 200 yards, X6 and X7 got to work. There was an enormous explosion. It lifted the huge bulk of the battleship and left her completely crippled. In the words of Rear Admiral C. B. Barry, “It was in fact, another answer to the ever recurring naval problem of how to deal with an enemy ship which will not come out to sea and fight."

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