Under depth charge attack
21st April 1943: The tables turn on the successful British submarine HMS Splendid as it waits to attack a German convoy to North Africa
Soon after 8am on the morning of 21st April 1943, Lieutenant Ian McGeoch was roused from his bunk on HM Submarine Splendid.
McGeoch had successfully led five patrols since taking command of Splendid in August 1942 - and had sunk more enemy merchant shipping than any other submarine operating in the Mediterranean during this period. At the age of 29, he had recently been awarded the DSO.
He was now patrolling off Naples hoping to intercept an Axis shipping convoy intent on resupplying North Africa.
But the Officer of the Watch had roused him to report that the Asdic operator was hearing HE - Hudrophonic Effect - the sound of a ship nearby. After a series of very brief periscope searches McGeoch had decided to attack what was apparently an enemy warship, though one that he had difficulty identifying:
I stepped to the attack periscope and motioned for it to be raised. As it came up I looked at the clock.
It was 8.38 am. Thirteen minutes since I started the attack. At 20 knots the target would have covered just over 8,000 yards. She could be less than 3,000 yards away now. I must be very careful with the periscope.
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