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HMS Urge, Research and 80th Anniversary of Loss Commemoration

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Platon Alexiades:
Hi Darius,

The claim that the torpedo-boat Pegaso or German aircraft sank HMS Upholder in this area (as reported in Wikipedia) is certainly an error. At that time, HMS Upholder was part of a patrol line (with HMS Urge and HMS Thrasher) near Tripoli some 150 miles away. It had no orders to go to the area where she was reported "attacked" by Pegaso and the aircraft pilot (CANT Z.506) who reported sighting a submarine later amended his signal that it was probably a dolphin. An attack by a German aircraft on a presumed submarine east of Malta on 12 April is also bogus as HMS Upholder (or any other submarine) was not in the area. I believe that HMS Upholder was probably lost on the Italian "T" minefield near Tripoli.

Best regards,


Dann werde ich das in der Chronik des Seekrieg dem entsprechend ändern.
Gruß, Thomas

Platon Alexiades:
Hello Thomas,

The theory that German aircraft or the torpedo-boat escorting the Aprilia convoy may have sunk HMS Upholder on 14th April should be dismissed. It failed to take into account that the submarine had landed two SIS agents in the Gulf of Hammamet (Tunisia) and then ordered to intercept a convoy WEST of Tripoli (informed by ULTRA signals, this was the MONREALE/UNIONE convoy leaving Tripoli for Italy by the Tunisian route) before forming the patrol line off Tripoli. The position of the supposed sinking (34°47' N, 15°55' E) makes no sense at all. HMS Upholder coming from the WEST was ordered to take position in 33°10’ N, 14°23’ E. This patrol line was expected to intercept the Aprilia convoy only early on 15th April when it was approaching Tripoli. No evidence HMS Upholder ever went (or could have gone) east of 14°23' E. Mr Mattesini wrote a very interesting account of the Aprilia convoy but failed to take into account the British sources.

Best regards,


Platon Alexiades:

Last week, divers led by Professor Timmy Gambin of the University of Malta carefully examined the wreck found in 2019 and identified it positively as HMS Urge. They took videos and photos and obtained details missed during the ROV inspection of 2019. A 3-D image will be produced in time.


The name can clearly be seen on the port side of the conning tower. In 2019, the ROV had only examined the starboard side which had deteriorated with time and where the letters were hardly visible.

Some individuals had tried in the past to claim that this was HMS Pandora (obviously they could not tell the difference between a 'P' class and a 'U' class submarine!). We were certain it was HMS Urge as no other 'U' class submarine were known to have been lost in the North East Searched Channel. This brings to conclusion this episode. The wreck is a war grave.

The submarine was the victim of a mine laid by the 3rd Schnellbootflottille on 20 April 1942 (minefield MT 13).


Well done research!  :TU:)


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