K Class submarines were the most bizarre and ill-fated submarines of the First World War period.    Source Pages 1-6
Your Research Tasks * * * 
These fascinating vessels were revolutionary in design. They were made for the Royal Navy, for a specific tactical objective: to have submarines fast enough on the surface to accompany the British battle fleet in action. The intent was that they could be deployed during battle as a sort of 'mobile minefield' and so wreak havoc on the German fleet. The result was the K-class submarine.

To obtain this goal, they were propelled by steam- with boilers and funnels (chimneys)! At the time, they were not only the largest submarines in the world, but also the fastest, attaining speeds of 24 knots. They were in many ways ahead of their time.

 But was the K Class of World War I submarine also jinxed. From their beginning in the Spring of 1915, the K Class submarines were beset with one disaster and tragic accident after another. K became to stand for 'Killer', but not of the enemy, but of their own officers and crew.  

As you look and read through the following web pages, think about these questions:                                    Dictionary.com

Why were the K submarines jinxed? Why did they suffer one disastrous accident after another? What happened to the submarine K13?  Why is this British submarine remembered, with a large memorial built in Carlingford, Australia? Why did these submarines have no impact on the enemy, and yet cause the death of over three hundred of their own officers and crew?

             HMS Submarine  K13
(recommissioned as K22)

                K 13 Submarine Memorial, Carlingford, Sydney, Australia.


       K 13 Submarine Memorial, Glasgow, Scotland.

               Lowering the funnels, preparing to submerge.

                             Firing a torpedo

            Diesel smoke billows from the rear funnel of K5

To make them fast enough, the K Class submarines had oil-fired boilers. These boiled water to produce steam, which powered geared steam turbines. The turbines turned the propellers (screws), which propelled the submarine. But because the submarines used oil fuel burning boilers, they then needed twin funnels or chimneys. These would fold over and be covered by water proof lids, when the submarine wanted to dive under the water! 



   * * *  Your Assigned Tasks   * * *

    Research Source Pages
(6 pages)

1. British K class submarines

2. My End's Diving - What The Hell Is Your End Doing?

3. The K13 Disaster: From that day onwards
'K' stood for Killer

4.  What happened to the rest of the K Class Submarines?

5. Map: where the K Class Submarines were built

6. K13 Submarine Memorial Carlingford, Australia 

                              HMS_Dreadnought.jpg (107143 bytes)
                             Click to enlarge: HMS_Dreadnought_1906     


    4 Maps showing where the K 13 was built  




  4 More Photographs of the K Class Subs  

4 An animation of an Australian Submarine in action new

Other Sites of Interest: 
The Australian Submarine AE2 fighting at Gallipoli...  
   Watch the animation on the above site

    At this site, click Submarine AE2 on the left.
     Stop Press.  Turkey 2007 Expedition to recover the AE2 underway.
Click here for more information and news.