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HMS B-1.jpg
United Kingdom
NameHMS B1
Launched25 October 1904
FateSold for scrap, May 1921
General characteristics
Class and typeB-class submarine
  • 287 long tons (292 t) surfaced
  • 316 long tons (321 t) submerged
Length142 ft 3 in (43.4 m)
Beam12 ft 7 in (3.8 m)
Draught11 ft 2 in (3.4 m)
Installed power
  • 600 bhp (450 kW) petrol
  • 180 hp (134 kW) electric
  • 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph) surfaced
  • 6.5 kn (12.0 km/h; 7.5 mph) submerged
Range1,000 nmi (1,900 km; 1,200 mi) at 8.7 kn (16.1 km/h; 10.0 mph) on the surface
Test depth100 feet (30.5 m)
Complement2 officers and 13 ratings
Armament2 × 18 in (450 mm) bow torpedo tubes

HMS B1 was the lead boat of the B-class submarines built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. The boat survived the First World War and was sold for scrap in 1921.

Design and description[edit]

The B class was an enlarged and improved version of the preceding A class. The submarines had a length of 142 feet 3 inches (43.4 m) overall, a beam of 12 feet 7 inches (3.8 m) and a mean draft of 11 feet 2 inches (3.4 m). They displaced 287 long tons (292 t) on the surface and 316 long tons (321 t) submerged. The B-class submarines had a crew of two officers and thirteen ratings.[1]

For surface running, the boats were powered by a single 16-cylinder 600-brake-horsepower (447 kW) Vickers petrol engine that drove one propeller shaft. When submerged the propeller was driven by a 180-horsepower (134 kW) electric motor. They could reach 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) on the surface and 6.5 knots (12.0 km/h; 7.5 mph) underwater.[1] On the surface, the B class had a range of 1,000 nautical miles (1,900 km; 1,200 mi) at 8.7 knots (16.1 km/h; 10.0 mph).[2]

The boats were armed with two 18-inch (450 mm) torpedo tubes in the bow. They could carry a pair of reload torpedoes, but generally did not as they would have to remove an equal weight of fuel in compensation.[3]

Construction and career[edit]

She was originally to have been called A14 but was renamed B1 on completion. The boat was built at the Vickers shipyard in Barrow-in-Furness and launched on 25 October 1904. She was too primitive to be of much use in World War I and was quickly relegated to training duties. B1 was sold for scrap in May 1921.


  1. ^ a b Gardiner & Gray, p. 87
  2. ^ Akermann, p. 123
  3. ^ Harrison, Chapter 27


  • Akermann, Paul (2002). Encyclopaedia of British Submarines 1901–1955 (reprint of the 1989 ed.). Penzance, Cornwall: Periscope Publishing. ISBN 1-904381-05-7.
  • Gardiner, Robert & Gray, Randal, eds. (1985). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships: 1906–1921. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 0-85177-245-5.
  • Harrison, A. N. (January 1979). "The Development of HM Submarines From Holland No. 1 (1901) to Porpoise (1930) (BR3043)". United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 16 September 2019 – via Submariners Association: Barrow in Furness Branch.
  • Kemp, Paul & Jung, Peter (1989). "Five Broken Down B Boats: British Submarine Operations in the Northern Adriatic 1915–1917". Warship International. XXVI (1): 10–29. ISSN 0043-0374.
  • Wilson, Michael (1981). "The British 'B' Class Submarine". In Roberts, John (ed.). Warship Volume V. London: Conway Maritime Press. pp. 38–44, 74–79. ISBN 0-85177-244-7.