Military Wiki
HMS Usurper (P56)
Name: HMS Usurper
Builder: Vickers Armstrong, Barrow-in-Furness
Laid down: 18 September 1941
Launched: 24 September 1942
Commissioned: 2 February 1943
Fate: sunk 3 October 1943
General characteristics
Class & type: U-class submarine

Surfaced - 540 tons standard, 630 tons full load

Submerged - 730 tons
Length: 58.22 m (191 feet)
Beam: 4.90 m (16 ft 1 in)
Draught: 4.62 m (15 ft 2 in)

2 shaft diesel-electric
2 Paxman Ricardo diesel generators + electric motors

615 / 825 hp

11.25 knots max surfaced

10 knots max submerged
Complement: 27-31

4 bow internal 21 inch torpedo tubes - 8 - 10 torpedoes

1 - 3 inch gun

HMS Usurper (P56) was a Royal Navy U-class submarine built by Vickers-Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness. So far she has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name Usurper.


Usurper had a short-lived career with the Royal Navy. During her work-up patrol off the Norwegian coast, she made a torpedo attack on the German submarine U-467. The target was not hit. On being assigned to operate in the Mediterranean, she sank the French ship Château Yquem.


Usurper had left Algiers on 24 September 1943 with instruction to patrol off La Spezia. On 3 October 1943 she was ordered to move to the Gulf of Genoa. No further contact was made and she failed to return to Algiers on 12 October 1943 as expected. The German anti-submarine vessel UJ-2208/Alfred reported attacking a submarine in the Gulf of Genoa on 3 October 1943 and it is believed that this may have been the Usurper.

During the War Usurper was adopted by the Town of Stroud as part of Warship Week. The plaque from this adoption is held by the National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth.[1]



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