Yugoslav submarine Hrabri
Hrabri underway in 1934
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia|
|Builder:||Vickers-Armstrong Naval Yard, River Tyne, United Kingdom|
|Out of service:||1941|
|Fate:||Scrapped by the Royal Italian Navy|
|Class and type:||Hrabri-class diesel-electric submarine|
|Length:||72.05 m (236 ft 5 in)|
|Beam:||7.32 m (24 ft)|
|Draught:||3.96 m (13 ft)|
|Range:||3,800 nautical miles (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)|
|Test depth:||60 metres (200 ft)|
The Yugoslav submarine Hrabri was the first of the Hrabri-class diesel-electric submarines built by the Vickers-Armstrong Naval Yard on the River Tyne in the United Kingdom, for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia). Launched in 1927, her design was based on that of the British L-class submarine of World War I, and she was built using parts originally assembled for a submarine of that class which was never completed. She was armed with six bow-mounted 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes, two 102 mm (4 in) guns and one machine gun, and could dive to 60 metres (200 ft).
Prior to World War II she participated in several cruises to Mediterranean ports. During the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, she was captured by Italian forces. She was given the number N3 but was not commissioned and was scrapped later in 1941 due to her poor condition.
Description and construction
Yugoslav naval policy in the interwar period lacked direction until the mid-1920s, although it was generally accepted that the Adriatic coastline was effectively a sea frontier that the naval arm was responsible for securing with the limited resources made available to it. In 1926, a modest ten-year construction program was initiated to build up a force of submarines, coastal torpedo boats, torpedo bombers and conventional bomber aircraft to perform this role. The Hrabri-class submarines were one of the first new acquisitions aimed at developing a naval force capable of meeting this challenge.
Hrabri (Brave) was built for the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) by the Vickers-Armstrong Naval Yard on the River Tyne in the United Kingdom. Her design was based on that of the British L-class submarine of World War I, and she was built using parts originally assembled for HMS L-67, which was never completed. Like her sister submarine Nebojsa, she had an overall length of 72.05 metres (236 ft 5 in), a beam of 7.32 m (24 ft 0 in), and a surfaced draught of 3.96 m (13 ft 0 in). Her surfaced displacement was 975 long tons (991 t) or 1,164 long tons (1,183 t) submerged, and her crew consisted of 45 officers and enlisted men. She had an operational depth of 60 m (200 ft).
The Hrabri-class had two shafts driven by two diesel engines (when surfaced) or two electric motors (when submerged). The diesel engines were rated at 2,400 bhp (1,800 kW) and the electric motors at 1,600 shp (1,200 kW), and they could reach a top speed of 15.7 knots (29.1 km/h; 18.1 mph) under diesel power while surfaced, and 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph) on their electric motors when submerged. They were armed with six bow-mounted 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes, and carried twelve torpedoes. They were also equipped with two 102 mm (4 in) deck guns (one forward and one aft of the conning tower), and one machine gun. Their radius of action was 3,800 nautical miles (7,000 km; 4,400 mi) at 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph).
Hrabri was launched in 1927 as the first submarine of the navy of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which later became the Royal Yugoslav Navy. Along with Nebojša, she left the Tyne in late January 1928. In company with the Yugoslav submarine tender Hvar, the two submarines arrived in the Bay of Kotor on the southern Adriatic coast on 8 April 1928. In May and June 1929, Hrabri, Nebojša, Hvar and six torpedo boats accompanied the light cruiser Dalmacija on a cruise to Malta, the Greek island of Corfu in the Ionian Sea, and Bizerte in the French protectorate of Tunisia. According to the British naval attaché, the ships and crews made a very good impression while visiting Malta.
In June and July 1930, Hrabri, Nebojša and the fleet auxiliary Sitnica again cruised the Mediterranean, visiting Alexandria and Beirut. In 1932, the British naval attaché reported that Yugoslav ships engaged in few exercises or manoeuvres due to reduced budgets. In 1934, Hrabri visited Valletta in Malta and the Kelibia Roads off the coast of Tunisia, and in August 1935, Hrabri again visited Malta, this time in company with the more modern French-designed submarine Osvetnik. In August and September 1937, Hrabri, along with the other French-made submarine Smeli and the depot ship Zmaj, visited Greece, including the port of Piraeus, and the islands of Crete and Corfu.
When the German-led Axis invasion of Yugoslavia began on 6 April 1941, she was located in the Bay of Kotor along with the three other submarines of the flotilla. On 10 April, Hrabri and Osvetnik received orders for an operation against the Italian enclave of Zara on the Dalmatian coastline, but the mission did not proceed. She was later captured by the Italian XVII Corps at the Bay of Kotor. She was given the number N3 but was not commissioned and was scrapped later that year due to her poor condition.
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