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Date: 25 December 1917.


I. D. -Form I.

Submarine Losses.

No. of Paper.


SUBJECT 25.12.17.

December 25

52 DEGREE 56'N.

05 DEGREE 07'N.

Report from H.M.S. P.56 forming part of the escort force for a convoy of six ships from Dakar to Liverpool, and had been detached to escort S.S. "SOCRATES" which had dropped astern. When rejoining convoy at 1440 she observed a steamer the "AGBERI" torpedoed and received a signal from H.M.S. "BUTTERCUP", escorting convoy, to join her with all dispatch. On coming up she was ordered to pick up survivors and was proceeding to carry out the order when at 1510 the periscope of a submarine was sighted one point on the port bow, distant 150 to 200 yards. P.56 passed periscope about 10 yards on her port side and when it was abreast the bridge released two "D" depth charges. A heavy explosion took place which brought submarine to surface. Helm was put hard a starboard to turn and ram, and fire opened with the port 12 pdr 12 cwt. Three rounds were fired, two of which were hits, the second round striking port side of conning tower and splitting it, the third hitting abaft conning tower.
P.56 struck the submarine at a speed of about 20 knots on the port side between conning tower and stern, cutting her clean in two. The stern portion came to the surface momentarily and sank. another The foreward part remained on the surface with bow dipping, exposing the interior to view. Details of the interior could be plainly seen both by P.56 and H.M.S. "BUTTERCUP".

Helm was put to starboard. Four rounds were fired from the 4" gun and five more from the port 12 pdr. 12 cwt. at a range of about 200 yards. The 2nd and 4th round from the 4 inch were hits and the first three rounds from the 4 inch were hits and the first three rounds from the 12 pdr. 12 cwt., and the submarine then sank bow first.

When "AGBERI" was torpedoed the "BUTTERCUP" turned towards where the submarine was likely to be and considers she hit her, the shock being fairly severe. After P.56 had rammed, "BUTTERCUP" opened fire with her foremost 4" and a shot hit the base of the conning tower.
The action lasted 10 to 15 minutes.

On docking P.56 the damage to bows was found to be very extensive.

M. 017929. (green slip)


Source: ADM 137/4144. Assessments of results of attacks on German submarines. 1916 Oct-1917 Mar.

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