2007 Schools Wikipedia Selection. Related subjects: Air & Sea transport

E18 shortly after passing through the Oresund in September 1915. Note the camouflage paintwork to prevent detection by shore observers
RN Ensign
Laid down: 1914
Commissioned: 6th June 1915
Status: Lost with all hands, late May 1916
General Characteristics
Displacement: 662 tons (surfaced
807 tons (submerged)
Length: 54.86 m
Beam: 6.86 m
Draught: 3.81 m
Propulsion: Twin-shift, 2 x 1600 bhp Vickers diesel, 2 x 840 shp electric motors
Speed: 15.25 knots (surfaced)
9.75 knots (submerged)
Range: 325 nm surfaced
Endurance: 24 days
Complement: 3 officers, 28 ratings
Armament: 2 x 18" bow tube
2 x 18" beam tubes
1 x 18" stern tube
(10 torpedoes)
1 x 12 pdr deck gun

HMS E18 was an E-class submarine of the Royal Navy, launched in 1915 and lost in the Baltic Sea in May 1916 while operating out of Reval.



The E18 entered service in the UK in 1915, commanded by Lieutenant-Commander R.C. Halahan. She was dispatched to the Baltic from Harwich on August 29th with her sister-ship HMS E19, first travelling to Newcastle to repair one of E19's main armatures. They left Newcastle for the Baltic on the 4th of September. The two submarines separated and passed through the Oresund between Denmark and Sweden on the night of the 7th-8th September. During the passage E19 at one stage found herslf only metres from E18's stern and decided not to enter together. E18 encountered two German destroyers. She dived into water only 23 feet deep and - for almost three hours - progressed by crashing into the seabed and rising back up to break the surface. After several hours resting in deep water she surfaced in the morning only to be fired on by the cruiser Amazone; after escaping her she was set upon by another two destroyers one of which came close to ramming her. On the 12th she met up with E19 & E9 off Dagerort, arriving in Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia) on the 13th.

She operated out of Reval through the autumn of 1915. On October 11th, she was in position to attack the pre-dreadnought SMS Braunschweig whilst patrolling off Libau (now Liepāja, Latvia), but her bow torpedo tubes could not be opened and the opportunity passed.


After operations were halted for the winter, the E18 resumed patrols in the spring of 1916. Her second last patrol was to the Gulf of Riga with E1 to shell beaches from the 28th April, returning to Reval on the 2nd of May.

In late May, she sailed for her final patrol; E1, E8 and two Russian submarines left the same day. Records differ on her exact fate, but it is certain neither she or any of her crew ever returned.

The diary of Francis Goodhart, captain of E8, states that she and E18 left port together on May 25th; E8's patrol was uneventful, and she returned to Reval on the 31st. However, E18 failed to return; by 5th June Goodhart noted that the crews were "very worried". On the 6th, he noted that he had "Heard from Essen that their W.T. had vaguely indicated presence of a submarine off Redshoff on Tuesday. Very slender hope..." By the next day, June 8th, he recorded that a meeting had noted she had sailed with only 15 days food; the situation was "very hopeless now, I fear. No news whatsoever".

Michael Wilson, a historian, records that E8 and E18 sailed on the 25th and parted the next day. On the 26th, at 4:42 PM, E18 torpedoed the German destroyer V100, blowing off her bow. Had it not been for the calm seas, it is likely she would have sank from the damage; as it was, she was towed back to port with several of her crew killed, requiring major repairs. Two days later, on the 28th, E18 was sighted by a German aircraft off Memel (now Klaipėda, Lithuania), E18 was last sighted on the 1-6-1916 sailing north by the German u-boat UB30 northwest of Steinort. Wilson further states that it is believed she was lost "most likely by striking a mine" on her return to Reval west of Osel.

Various sources record her simply as having been sunk on May 24th by a German decoy ship, though this clashes with the known sinking on the 26th and the observations reported by Wilson and Goodhart in subsequent days. It is quite possible that this is a garbling of an encounter between one of the Russian submarines and a decoy vessel around the same time.

Tsar Nicholas II sent a telegram of condolences on the loss of E18, and awarded Halahan the Order of St. George, with the other two officers receiving the Order of St. Vladimir and each of the crew being posthumously awarded a medal. It is interesting to note that the Orders were not normally awarded posthumously. Two of E18's crew did not sail on her last mission; one, who had measles, later transferred to E19. The other was E18's signalman Albert Edward Robinson who was replaced on this mission by E8's telegraphist for unknown reasons; he was later sent home in January 1917 and joined E4 on her recommissioning. The wreck of E18 has never been located .

Retrieved from ""