SUBMARINES:  CHATHAM BUILT

HM Submarine E7

Laid down on 30 March 1912 E7 was launched on 2 October 1913 by Miss Anson, daughter of the Admiral Superintendent, Rear Admiral Charles E. Anson. MVO.

At the beginning of WW1, E7 was stationed off Heligoland with E6 and E8.
In June 1915 E7 made her way through the Dardanells. The journey was not easy. She was fired on by a shore based torpedo crew and a destroyer made two attempts to ram her. However, she managed to come through unscathed and on 30 June 1915 under the command of Lt Cmd Cochrane, she relieved E14.
July did not start well for E7. On the first day, having boarded a captured steamer, Lt Halifax and an AB were badly burned by an explosion in the engine room. In the following days, the two remaining officers and the telegraphist came down with dysentery.
Despite these setbacks, the patrol continued. Five steamers and sixteen sailing ships were sunk. On 17 July Lt Cmd Cochrane bombarded a railway cutting and succeeded in blocking the line.
E7 then sailed to Derinjie Burnu and successfully attacked an ammunition train blowing up all three carriages. She then sailed back to Karu Burnu where she attacked another train.
This patrol of E7 lasted over three weeks.

On 4 September E7 had passed her bows under the net at Nagara but one of her propellers became fouled. The boat was pulled back into the net and became entangled. Lt Cmd Cochrane spent some hours manoeuvring the boat in an attempt to free her. Throughout this time they had explosions sounding around them. The Commanding Officer (von Heimburg) of the German U-boat UB14 had heard the attack and sent an explosive charge to be used on the trapped submarine. Twelve hours had passed when the charge was dropped.
Lt Cmd Cochrane decided to surrender. Having destroyed the confidential papers and set explosive charges to scuttle the boat, he surfaced.
Soon after the crew had been taken, E7's charge exploded and she returned to the bottom.
The officers and men were imprisoned in local jails until the end of the war.
Lt Cmd Cochrane made two attempts to escape. He was recaptured after the first try but on the second attempt, he managed to steal a boat and sail to Cyprus.

 


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