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Posted on Jun 14, 2004 in Stuff We Like

Royal Navy Submarine Museum

Armchair General


With exhibits spread all over the site, it could be a little difficult to piece together Submarine history if you weren’t already "in the know". However, this should not distract the casual visitor, as there are some great displays.

Next to the hall containing Holland 1 is a two-storey building which details the development and history of the Submarine. The title of the display is called "From Pirate to Peace-Keeper" and accurately sums up the changing role of Submariners from their beginnings to the present day.

Here’s a Jolly Roger. Why is this here? Well, it’s a tradition in the Royal Navy that the Jolly Roger is flown by a boat every time it returns to port having sunk an enemy vessel. This one was recovered from HMS Porpoise, which was lost with all hands in January 1945.


There now follows a selection of the displays in the "Pirate to Peace-Keeper" exhibition. This one shows some of the very early model Submarines that were used in the First World War.

Some regalia associated with the Submarine service.

Items associated with Nazi Germany and the U-Boat campaign in the Battle of the Atlantic . The Swastika Ensign you see here was taken from U54 on May 7 th , 1945 following that U-Boat’s surrender at the end of World War II.

This is a model of HMS Sword.

A display of some equipment used on board Submarines between the wars.

A lovely model of HMS Valiant ? the first all-British Nuclear powered Submarine.

Models of Soviet Sub’s from the Cold War era.

This is a model and painting of HMS Dreadnought ? no, not the Battleship, but the later Submarine of the same name. She was the first nuclear-powered SSN in the Royal Navy, powered by an American S5W reactor.


HMS Conqueror was the Royal Navy Submarine that sank the Argentine flagship "General Belgrano" during the Falklands War in 1982. She was a nuclear attack Submarine and has since been decommissioned. One area of the display is set aside to show equipment that was on board Conqueror whilst she was a part of the fleet. This is the Captain’s quarters.

Here we see HMS Conqueror’s Crest, alongside a model of HMS Forth ? a Submarine supply vessel.

This is a control panel for the on-board nuclear reactor.

Here we can see some more confusing equipment. Can anyone say "Star Trek"?

This is the best bit ? here we see the original hydroplane and steering controls from HMS Conqueror, alongside the main periscope and the attack periscope from the same boat. Did I mention that this was the vessel that attacked and sank the "General Belgrano"? Well, you can actually use the periscopes that the Captain first acquired and then destroyed that ship. The museum has set the periscopes up so that they project above the building ? it gives you a very nice view of the sea!

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  1. Would it be possible for you to grant us a reciprocal link to our website at our site was set up as an Information/News website for ex-servicemen/women and serving forces around the world and also includes UK/US/NATO/UN/coalition-military armed forces many thanks Allan Dawling(GSM/bar)

  2. Has anyone seen on the net where France is going to disclose all their information on UFO’s? This coming Friday 6/12/2009.

  3. have you any infomation on H/MSubmarine Cachalot running on one main engine in the 60’s

  4. Greetings, I was wondering if the musem would be interested in acquiring the Japanese I 400 submarine collection that have? It is quite a rarity. Best Regards, Eric Blohm