HMS STUBBORN

DIVE MALTA SUBWAY ROZI 2

 

Location: 1.6 miles off Qawra Point
Maximum Depth: 56m
Constructed:
Launched: 11 November 1942
Type: S Class Submarine
Weight (tons): 990 tons
Dimensions: 66 meters long, Beam of 7m
Builders: Cammell Laird & Co of Birkenhead UK
Owners: British Royal Navy, Admiralty, Rn, London

‘P238’ was armed with 13 x 21 inch torpedoes. She has 6 bow torpedo tubes & 1 stern tube, 1 x 3” Gun in front of the conning tower and 1 x 20mm Oerlikon machine gun at the back. She had a crew of 44/48 under the command of Lieutenant Duff and later on in 1944 under Lieutenant Davies.

She served in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea and had her share of difficult times in these cold waters which instigated submariners’ fear on many occasions . In April 1945 a year before she was finally scuttled off Qawra Point, HMS Stubborn sailed into Malta for the first time en route to the Suez and eventually to the Far East where she took up patrolling duties with allied Navies in their struggle against the Japanese Navy.

It was at this phase of duty that Stubborn suffered its worst attack of the war and lost her complete tail fin which held the after hydroplanes and rudder. This loss was caused by depth charges but principally from hitting the sea bottom at 166 meters. S- Class submarines are only designed to dive to a max depth of 90 meters.

During the return voyage from Australia it became evident that the hull aft had suffered more distortion than was originally thought. Stubborn called back to Malta for her second and last time. As she was not fit to repair, she was stripped down from important equipment, instruments, armaments & periscopes before sent to her watery grave and used for ASDIC target, training naval officers listening on sonar devices to detect the presence of submarines.


HMS Stubborn is in magnificent condition lying upright with a 10 degree list toward starboard side. The three escape hatches are open. It is very difficult to enter inside; the widest hatch is only 60 cms in diameter with heavy sedimentation inside. S-Class submarines were designed as a replacement for the H-Class and they proved so successful a design that production of this class was re-started on the outbreak of war and continued until end of hostilities. Continual modifications were made to the vessels during the war.

A total of 67 S-Class submarines were build, 29 of them were sold for scrap, 20 were lost during the war, 12 were sold to other navies and again were cut down for scrap iron, 4 were canceled on construction and were never build and 2 were scuttled one of these is HMS Stubborn.

A team of divers first relocated Stubborn on 24/7/94. Although charted the wreck was found 200 meters off current charted position. Prior to 1994 nobody from the Maltese diving community knew that such a magnificent wreck existed so close to the Maltese shores.