HMS Upholder
Artist: S BURBRIDGE
Original picture is acrylic on canvas board measuring 22 x 18
Subject: HMS Upholder - the most successful 'U' Class submarine

The story behind the painting...

This 'U' class submarine was ordered the day after war broke out between Britain and Germany. She was commissioned into service in October  1940.

Out of a total of 49 'U' Class submarines only 4 of them had bulbous bows accommodating an extra 2 external torpedo tubes.  Upholder was one of the four.

Her captain Wanklyn fired his torpedos wisely and Upholder became the most successful British submarine of the second world war. Wanklyn also became the first WW2 submarine commander to be awarded the Victoria Cross (for a particularly arduous 7th patrol during 1941).

Upholder was part of the 10th flotilla based in Malta.  She successfully completed 24 patrols and and over 120,000 tons of enemy shipping including 2 destroyers, 3 U-boats, 3 transport ships, 10 supply vessels, 2 tankers and 1 trawler. 

During April 1942, Upholder was never to return from her 25th Mediterranean patrol NE of Tripoli.   It is believed she was depth charged and sank with all hands.

However, she has not been forgotten: her memory lives on with this painting and I am proud to say that the original artwork found a good home in early 2002 and is now owned by a relative of one of Upholder's final crewmen. 

 



 

Technical Details
Built by Vickers, Barrow-in-Furness
Dimensions: 190'7" x 15'9" x 15'9"
Displacement: 630 tons surfaced; 730 tons submerged
Maximum speed: 11.5 knots surfaced; 9 knots submerged
Crew: 33
Armament: 6 x 21" torpedo tubes forward (2 external)

 
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