List of submarine actions

American Civil War

  • 1864 February 17 — human-powered submarine H. L. Hunley sinks sloop USS Housatonic
    USS Housatonic (1861)
    The first USS Housatonic was a screw sloop-of-war of the United States Navy, named for the Housatonic River of New England which rises in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, and flows southward into Connecticut before emptying into Long Island Sound a little east of Bridgeport, Connecticut...

     with spar mine, off Charleston.(details
    Action of 17 February 1864
    The Sinking of USS Housatonic on February 17, 1864 during the American Civil War was an important turning point in naval warfare. On this night the Confederate States Navy submarine, H.L. Hunley made her first and only attack on a Union Navy warship...


First Balkan War

  • 1912 December 9 - Greek Submarine Delfin
    Greek submarine Delfin
    Delfin was a Greek submarine which served during the Balkan Wars and World War I...

     became the first submarine to launch a torpedo at an enemy ship, though the ship did not sink due to a weapons malfunction.

World War I

  • 1914 September 14 — is sunk at the start of World War I by becoming the first ship to ever be sunk by a torpedo fired by submarine.

  • 1914 September 22 — German submarine sinks three British armoured cruisers
    Cressy class cruiser
    The Cressy class cruiser was a class of six armoured cruisers launched between December 1899 and May 1901, for the Royal Navy.-Service:...

     , and in one action.(details
    Action of 22 September 1914
    The Action of 22 September 1914 was a naval engagement that took place during the First World War, in which three Royal Navy cruisers were sunk by one German submarine while on patrol. Approximately 1450 sailors were killed, and there was a public outcry at the losses...


  • 1914 October 18 — German submarine sinks in the first ever successful attack on one submarine by another.

  • 1914 October 20 — German submarine sinks in the first submarine sinking of a merchant ship during the world wars.

  • 1915 May 25/27 — In the morning of May 27 German submarine U-21 sinks the British Battleship off the Gallipoli peninsula. Two days after in the noon the same U-boat sunk the near Gaba Nepe.

  • 1916 March 22 — German submarine is sunk by the Q ship HMS Farnborough
    HMS Farnborough
    HMS Farnborough, also known as , was a Q-ship of the British Royal Navy that saw service in the First World War. Farnborough was a heavily armed merchant ship with concealed weaponry that was designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. Farnborough sank two submarines in her service in...

     in the first successful use of depth charge
    Depth charge
    A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare weapon intended to destroy or cripple a target submarine by the shock of exploding near it. Most use explosives and a fuze set to go off at a preselected depth in the ocean. Depth charges can be dropped by either surface ships, patrol aircraft, or from...


  • 1917 September 22 — German submarine is the first submarine sunk by aircraft.

World War II

  • 1939 October 14 — German U-boat
    U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

     U-47 sinks HMS Royal Oak in Scapa Flow
    Scapa Flow
    right|thumb|Scapa Flow viewed from its eastern endScapa Flow is a body of water in the Orkney Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom, sheltered by the islands of Mainland, Graemsay, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Hoy. It is about...

     base.The First Lord of Admiralty Winston Churchill officially announced the loss of Royal Oak to the House of Commons, first conceding that the raid had been "a remarkable exploit of professional skill and daring".
  • 1940 October 17–19 — The most effective wolfpack of the world wars including U-boat aces Kretschmer
    Otto Kretschmer
    Flotilla Admiral Otto Kretschmer was a German U-boat commander in the Second World War and later an admiral in the Bundesmarine. From September 1939 until being captured in March 1941, he sank 47 ships, a total of 274,333 tons. For this he received the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak...

    , Prien
    Günther Prien
    Lieutenant Commander Günther Prien was one of the outstanding German U-boat aces of the first part of the Second World War, and the first U-boat commander to win the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross. Under Prien's command, the submarine sank over 30 Allied ships totaling about...

     and Schepke
    Joachim Schepke
    Lieutenant-Commander Joachim Schepke was a German U-boat commander during World War II. He was the seventh recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves . The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its higher grade Oak Leaves was awarded by the Third Reich to recognise extreme...

     sinks 32 ships from Convoy SC 7 and Convoy HX 79 in two days.
  • 1940 November 23 — German U-boat
    U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

     U-100 sinks 7 Allied Merchant ships from Convoy SC-11 in only 3 hours.
  • 1941 May 24 - HMS Upholder
    HMS Upholder (P37)
    HMS Upholder was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 30 October 1939, launched on 8 July 1940 by Mrs. Doris Thompson, wife of a director of the builders. The submarine was commissioned on 31 October 1940...

     sinks the Italian troopship Conte Rosso, earning her captain the Victoria Cross
    Victoria Cross
    The Victoria Cross is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories....

  • 1941 June 25 - HMS Parthian
    HMS Parthian (N75)
    HMS Parthian was the lead boat of the six Royal Navy s, all launched in 1929. The submarine was sunk in 1943 during the Second World War. The submarine was nicknamed Peanut, from the identity letters PN painted on the fin....

     sinks the Vichy French submarine Soffleur
  • 1941 December 7 - Several Japanese midget submarines take part in the Attack on Pearl Harbor
    Attack on Pearl Harbor
    The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

  • 1942 May 30 - Japanese midget submarine M-24 sinks HMAS Kuttabul
    HMAS Kuttabul (ship)
    HMAS Kuttabul was a Royal Australian Navy depot ship, and former Sydney harbour ferry. During the Japanese midget submarine attack on Sydney Harbour on 31 May 1942, Kuttabul was torpedoed and sunk, with 21 Commonwealth naval personnel aboard....

     in Sydney Harbour
    Attack on Sydney Harbour
    In late May and early June 1942, during World War II, submarines belonging to the Imperial Japanese Navy made a series of attacks on the cities of Sydney and Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia...

  • 1942 September 15 — Japanese submarine I-19 mortally damages aircraft carrier USS Wasp
    USS Wasp (CV-7)
    USS Wasp was a United States Navy aircraft carrier. The eighth Navy ship of that name, she was the sole ship of her class. Built to use up the remaining tonnage allowed to the U.S. for aircraft carriers under the treaties of the time, she was built on a reduced-size version of the Yorktown-class...

     and destroyer USS O'Brien
    USS O'Brien (DD-415)
    USS O'Brien was a World War II-era Sims-class destroyer in the service of the United States Navy, named in honor of Captain Jeremiah O'Brien and his five brothers, Gideon, John, William, Dennis and Joseph, who captured the HMS Margaretta on 12 June 1775 during the American revolution.The O’Brien...

     and damages battleship USS North Carolina
    USS North Carolina (BB-55)
    USS North Carolina was the lead ship of her class of battleship and the fourth in the United States Navy to be named in honor of this U.S. state. She was the first new-construction U.S. battleship to enter service during World War II, participating in every major naval offensive in the Pacific...

     with a single salvo.
  • 1943 March 16–19 — The largest North Atlantic U-boat wolfpack attack of the world wars sinks 22 ships from Convoys HX 229/SC 122.
  • 1943 April 29–May 6 — Convoy ONS 5 is the last major North Atlantic wolfpack attack by surfaced U-boats as escorts demonstrate effective use of RADAR
    Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

     to sink 6 U-boats in low-visibility conditions.
  • 1943 May 14 — U-640 or U-657 is the first submarine sunk by a homing torpedo.
  • 1944 May 18–30 — USS England (DE-635)
    USS England (DE-635)
    USS England , a of the United States Navy, was named in honor of Ensign John C. England , who was killed in action aboard the battleship during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941...

     sinks 6 Japanese submarines (I-16, RO-106
    Japanese submarine Ro-106
    Ro-106 was a Japanese Ro-100 class submarine which saw service during World War II in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Laid down at the Kure Naval Arsenal on 17 December 1941 and launched on 30 May 1942. Completed on 26 December 1942. She torpedoed and sunk off the Solomon Islands on 18 July 1943. Ro...

    , RO-104, RO-116, RO-108, and RO-105) to establish the combat record for submarine destruction by a single ship.
  • 1944 June 18 - USS Albacore
    USS Albacore (SS-218)
    was a Gato-class submarine which served in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II, winning four Presidential Unit Citations and nine battle stars for her service...

     sinks the Japanese aircraft carrier Taihō
    Japanese aircraft carrier Taiho
    was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. With a heavily armored hull and flight deck , she represented a major departure in Japanese carrier design and was expected to not only survive multiple bomb, torpedo or shell hits but also continue fighting effectively...

     during the Battle of the Philippine Sea
    Battle of the Philippine Sea
    The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War...

  • 1944 October 23 - USS Darter
    USS Darter (SS-227)
    USS Darter , a Gato-class submarine, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for the darter.Her keel was laid down on 20 October 1942 by the Electric Boat Company of Groton, Connecticut. She was launched on 6 June 1943 , and commissioned on 7 September 1943, Commander William S....

     and USS Dace
    USS Dace (SS-247)
    , a Gato class submarine, was the first submarine of the United States Navy to be named for any of several small North American fresh-water fishes of the carp family....

     sink the Japanese cruisers Atago
    Japanese cruiser Atago
    was one of four Takao-class heavy cruisers, designed to be an improvement over the previous Myōkō-class design. These ships were fast, powerful, and heavily armed. The Takao-class ships were approved under the 1927 fiscal year budget as part of the Imperial Japanese Navy's strategy of the Decisive...

     and Maya
    Japanese cruiser Maya
    was one of four Takao-class heavy cruisers, designed to be an improvement over the previous Myōkō-class design. These ships were fast, powerful and heavily armed, with enough firepower to hold their own against any cruiser in any other navy in the world...

     in the Battle of Palawan Passage.
  • 1941 November 21 - USS Sealion II
    USS Sealion (SS-315)
    USS Sealion , a Balao-class submarine, was the second ship of the United States Navy to be named for the sea lion, any of several large, eared seals native to the Pacific....

     sinks the Japanese battleship Kongō
    Japanese battleship Kongo
    Kongō was a warship of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War I and World War II. She was the first battlecruiser of the Kongō class, among the most heavily armed ships in any navy when built. Her designer was the British naval engineer George Thurston, and she was laid down in 1911 at...

  • 1944 November 29 — USS Archer-Fish sinks Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano
    Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano
    named after the ancient Shinano Province, was an aircraft carrier of the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. Initially laid down as the third of the battleships, Shinano′s partially complete hull was converted to an aircraft carrier in 1942, midway through construction. Over the next two...

    , the largest vessel of that time.
  • 1945 January 30 — Soviet submarine S-13
    Soviet submarine S-13
    S-13 was a Stalinets-class submarine of the Soviet Navy. Her keel was laid down by Krasnoye Sormovo in Gorky on 19 October 1938. She was launched on 25 April 1939 and commissioned on 31 July 1941 in the Baltic Fleet, under the command of Captain Pavel Malantyenko.-Service history:In the first half...

     sinks the German ship Wilhelm Gustloff, with older and cautious estimates of 6,000 but more recent estimates of more than 9,000 casualties.
  • 1945 February 6- Royal Navy submarine becomes the only submarine to sink another submarine while they were both submerged when she sinks U-864 off Norway.
  • 1945 April 16 — Soviet submarine L-3
    Soviet submarine L-3
    The World War II Soviet submarine L-3 belonged to the L-class or Leninets class of minelayer submarines. It had been named Bolshevik and later Frunzenets, before it was decided that submarines should stop having names and carry numbers instead....

     sinks the German ship Goya
    Goya (ship)
    The Goya was a German transport ship sunk by a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea, near the end of the Second World War, while carrying wounded Wehrmacht troops and civilians who were fleeing the advance of Soviet forces. Most of the crew and passengers died...

    , with 6,000–7,000 casualties.
  • 1945 June 8 - HMS Trenchant
    HMS Trenchant (P331)
    HMS Trenchant was a British T class submarine of the Second World War.On completion she was given over to the crew of HMS Thrasher whose submarine was due for a refit.-Service:...

     sinks the Japanese cruiser Ashigara
    Japanese cruiser Ashigara
    Ashigara was a Myōkō class heavy cruiser of the Imperial Japanese Navy. The other ships of her class were Myōkō , Nachi , and Haguro...

     in the Bangka Strait
    Bangka Strait
    Bangka Strait is a strait which separates the island of Sumatra and Bangka Island in the Java Sea, Indonesia.-See also:* Japanese cruiser Ashigara* List of straits...

  • 1945 July 31 - HMS XE1
    XE class submarine
    Six XE-class midget submarines were built for the Royal Navy during 1944. They were an improved version of the X Class midgets used in the attack on the German battleship Tirpitz....

     and HMS XE3
    XE class submarine
    Six XE-class midget submarines were built for the Royal Navy during 1944. They were an improved version of the X Class midgets used in the attack on the German battleship Tirpitz....

     mine and damage the Japanese cruiser Takao
    Japanese cruiser Takao
    was the first of four Takao-class heavy cruisers, designed to be an improvement over the previous Myōkō-class design. The Myōkō had proved to be unstable and required modifications, which were incorporated into the Takao design....

     during Operation Struggle

Post-World War Two

  • 1971 Dec 9 — PNS Hangor was a Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    i Daphné class submarine
    Daphne class submarine
    The Daphné class was a type of diesel-electric patrol submarines built in France between 1958 and 1970 for the French Navy and for export.-History:...

    , which during the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War sank the India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    n frigate INS Khukri
    INS Khukri
    INS Khukri was a British Type 14 frigate of the Indian Navy. She was sunk off the coast of Diu, Gujarat, India by the Pakistan Navy Daphne class submarine Hangor on 9 December 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. This was the first warship sunk in action by a submarine since World War II...

    . This was the first submarine kill since World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    . It also damaged another warship, INS Kirpan. It was the heaviest casualty that a Pakistan vessel inflicted on the Indian Navy
    Indian Navy
    The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

     in the war. After the attack on Khukri, the Indian Navy ceased its attacks on Karachi and moved the focus of its operations to East Pakistan
    East Pakistan
    East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

     ports like Chittagong
    Chittagong ) is a city in southeastern Bangladesh and the capital of an eponymous district and division. Built on the banks of the Karnaphuli River, the city is home to Bangladesh's busiest seaport and has a population of over 4.5 million, making it the second largest city in the country.A trading...

     and Cox's Bazaar
    Cox's Bazar District
    Cox's Bazar District is a district in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh. It is named after Cox's Bazar, which is one of the world's longest natural sea beaches . It is located south of Chittagong. Cox's Bazar is also known by the name Panowa . Another old name was Palongkee...


  • 1982 May 2 — British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror
    HMS Conqueror (S48)
    HMS Conqueror was a nuclear-powered fleet submarine that served in the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1990. She was built by Cammell Laird in Birkenhead...

     sinks Argentine cruiser General Belgrano
    ARA General Belgrano
    The ARA General Belgrano was an Argentine Navy light cruiser in service from 1951 until 1982. Formerly the , she saw action in the Pacific theater of World War II before being sold to Argentina. After almost 31 years of service, she was sunk during the Falklands War by the Royal Navy submarine ...

     off the Falkland Islands
    Falkland Islands
    The Falkland Islands are an archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean, located about from the coast of mainland South America. The archipelago consists of East Falkland, West Falkland and 776 lesser islands. The capital, Stanley, is on East Falkland...

    . It was the first sinking by a nuclear-powered submarine in war and one of three submarine kills since World War II. This was also the first time that a nuclear powered submarine fired weapons in an act of war.

  • 1991 April 2 - American nuclear submarines USS Louisville
    USS Louisville (SSN-724)
    USS Louisville , a , was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Louisville, Kentucky. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 11 February 1982 and her keel was laid down on 24 September 1984. ...

     and USS Pittsburgh
    USS Pittsburgh (SSN-720)
    USS Pittsburgh , a , was the fourth ship of the United States Navy to be named for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The contract to build her was awarded to the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation in Groton, Connecticut on 16 April 1979 and her keel was laid down on 15 April 1983. She...

     fire Tomahawk Cruise Missiles
    BGM-109 Tomahawk
    The Tomahawk is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile. Introduced by General Dynamics in the 1970s, it was designed as a medium- to long-range, low-altitude missile that could be launched from a surface platform. It has been improved several times and, by way of corporate divestitures...

     in support of Operation Desert Storm demonstrating for the first time the effectiveness of submarine launched conventional warhead missiles against land based targets.

  • 2003 April 23 - American nuclear submarines launch missile strikes in support of the Invasion of Iraq.

  • 2010 March 26 - A North Korean Yono class submarine
    Yono class submarine
    The Yono class submarine is a class of North Korean miniature submarines, produced for domestic use as well as for export. Also referred to as Yeono class vessels, these submarines displace 130 tons, significantly less than North Korea's larger 1,800-ton Romeo class submarines...

     sinks the South Korean corvette ROKS Cheonan
    ROKS Cheonan (PCC-772)
    ROKS Cheonan was a South Korean Pohang-class corvette of the Republic of Korea Navy , commissioned in 1989. On 26 March 2010, it broke in two and sank near the sea border with North Korea...

     off Baengnyeong Island.(details
    ROKS Cheonan sinking
    The ROKS Cheonan sinking occurred on 26 March 2010, when the Cheonan, a South Korean Navy ship carrying 104 personnel, sank off the country's west coast near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea, killing 46 seamen...

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