SUBMARINES:  CHATHAM BUILT

HM Submarine E12

Laid down on 16 December 1912, E12 was launched on 5 September 1914 by Miss Anson.

During her construction, E12 was visited by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, who took time to speak to the workers.
At this time the dockyard workers were on 12 hour shifts working 0600 to 1800 or 1800 to 0600.

E12 left Yarmouth on 6th February 1915 to patrol the Western Ems. Poor weather made her return from Terschelling to Harwich.
Between 11th and 14th April she was patrolling off Heligoland. Late on the 17th April, she sailed from Harwich for another patrol. On her return journey she was bombed but received no damage.
During a nine day patrol in 1915, E12 had a hand to hand fight with three enemy ships. On 25 June, she sighted a passenger steamer towing two sailing ships. As he could see no guns, Lt Cmd Bruce took E12 alongside. He sent Lt T. Fox to board her. One of the Turkish crew dropped a bomb over the side which hit the casing but failed to explode. The Turks then started firing with rifles. E12 then used her 6 pounder to fire on the after end of the steamer. They then put ten rounds into her from forward to aft. The two sailing ships tried to foul E12's propellers and then opened fire with rifles. E12's crew fired back and stopped the attack from the sailing ships. Lt Cmd Bruce moved away from the ships them sank all three of them.
E12 immediately attacked another steamer towing three sailing ships. The steamer fired back and a shore battery opened fire on E12
The steamer was hit and caught fire. She later beached herself.
During these two actions, only one man on E12 had been injured. Lt T. Fox, the Coxswain and three seaman all received the DSM.

In October / November 1915, E12 broke the patrol record when she remained at sea for forty days. During the patrol, she attacked a powder factory near Constantinople, sank four steamers and thirty sailing ships. On her return journey, she got caught in the net at Nagara. Lt Cmd Bruce managed to work the boat free but she was obviously towing something. The boat had been pulled down to 245 feet and was leaking badly. Further along the coast, she met another obstruction but luckily this moved along the boat and took the first obstruction with it.
E12 returned to base having sailed more than 2000 miles.



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