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New Review: HMS M1 Submarine

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HMS Submarine M.1 was an innovative but ill-fated attempt to overcome the poor performance and high per-shot cost of contemporary torpedoes. The unique solution was to add a 12-inch Mark IX gun, initially intended for battleship use.  The gun was to be fired at a flat trajectory on the surface, or even at periscope depth (!) through use of a simple bead gunsight. 3 of the 4 M-class vessels that were ordered were actually completed, but operational results were poor at best.  To reload, the sub had to surface, and it has been reported that the Royal Navy was reluctant to risk the possibility of German replication of this concept.  M1, the first in the class, did not see wartime service, and sadly was lost in a collision with a Swedish transport vessel in 1925, and was discovered again in 1999, reported in a BBC television documentary airing the next year.

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