British Ships Involved



X-Craft (Midget Submarine)
Technical Data (X-5 to X-10 series)
Length 15,76 meter (51,7 feet)
Beam 1,8 meter (5,9 feet)
Draught 1,62 meter (5,3 feet)
Displacement surface 27 tons
Displacement dived 29,7 tons
Weight of side cargo 4 tons
Explosive Charge 2.032 kg (4.480 lb) (explosive = Amatex)
Speed surface (max) 6,25 knots
Range at 4,5 knots 1.860 nm
Speed dived (max) 5,75 knots
Range at 2 knots 82 nm
Pressure Hull 4,54 kg (10 lb) "S" steel
Operational Diving Depth 91,44 meter (300 feet)
Number of Hatches 1
Builders Vickers, Barrow, UK
Diesel Engine Manufacturer Gardner
BHP at 1.800 rpm 42
Main Engine Manufacturer Keith Blackman
HP at 1.650 rpm 30
Type of Battery Cell Exide J380
Number of Cells 112
Capacity at 5 Hours Rate 440 amp per hour
Gyro Compass Browns A
Auto Helmsman Browns
Magnetic Compass ACO Mk.XX
Direction Indicator AFV 6A/602
Complement 4
Armament was two 2 ton side cargoes of HE that was attached to the submarine by a threaded bolt. This was released from inside the hull by turning a hand wheel. The craft would manouevre close to its target, release the side cargoes and move away before the charge exploded.

The X-Craft were also fitted with a wet-and-dry compartment that allowed a diver to swim from the boat to attatch limpet mines to enemy vessels.

The X-Craft used conventional diesel propulsion when on the surface, and electric drive when dived.

The X-Craft had a crew of four: commanding officer, first lieutenant, engineer and diver. The passage crews used during Operation "Source" consisted of three men only as it was not necessary to have a diver onboard while the X-Craft was under tow.

The X-Craft could be towed to within a few miles of the target by conventional submarines, suspended underneath surface vessels or launched from the deck of other submarines or surface ships.

The X-Craft were designed for use against the Tirpitz and Scharnhorst.

The targets for the X-Craft was: X-5: Tirpitz; X-6: Tirpitz; X-7: Tirpitz; X-8: Lützow; X-9: Scharnhorst; X-10: Scharnhorst

X-Craft (Midget Submarine) - Crew List
X-5 - Crew
Towed by Thrasher Commanding officer Lt. A. R. Hezlet
Passage Commanding officer J. H. Terry-Lloyd
Crew B. W. Element
N. Garrity
Operation Commanding officer H. Henty-Creer
Crew T. J. Nelson
D. J. Malcolm
R. J. Mortiboys
X-6 - Crew
Towed by Truculent Commanding officer R. L. Alexander
Passage Commanding officer A. Wilson
Crew J. J. McGregor
W. Oxley
Operation Commanding officer D. Cameron
Crew J. T. Lorimer
R. H. Kendall
E. Goddard
X-7 - Crew
Towed by Stubborn Commanding officer A. A. Duff
Passage Commanding officer P. H. Philip
Crew J. Magennis
F. Luck
Operation Commanding officer B. C. G. Place
Crew L. B. C. Whittam
R. Aitken
W. M. Whitley
X-8 - Crew
Towed by Sea Nymph Commanding officer J. P. H. Oakley
Passage Commanding officer J. Smart
Crew W. H. Pomeroy
J. G. Robinson
Operation Commanding officer B. M. McFarlane
Crew W. Y. Marsden
R. X. Hindmarsh
J. B. Murray
X-9 - Crew
Towed by Syrtis Commanding officer M. H. Jupp
Passage Commanding officer E. A. Kearon
Crew A. H. Harte
G. H. Hollett
Operation Commanding officer T. L. Martin
Crew J. Brooks
V. Coles
M. Shean
X-10 - Crew
Towed by Sceptre Commanding officer I. S. McIntosh
Passage Commanding officer E. V. Page
Crew J. Fishleigh
A. Brookes
Operation Commanding officer K. R. Hudspeth
Crew B. Enzer
Geoffrey George Harding (passed away 01.08.2006, age 83)
L. Tilley
British losses: 9 men killed (names written in red above) and 6 men captured (names written in blue above) and all 6 X-Craft.

X-Craft (Midget Submarine) Fate X-5 to X-10
X-5 Sunk 22 September 1943 during Operation "Source" (disappeared, wreck never found)
X-6 Scuttled 22 September 1943 during Operation "Source", after placing side cargoes beneath the battleship Tirpitz.
X-7 Scuttled 22 September 1943 during Operation "Source", after placing side cargoes beneath the battleship Tirpitz.
X-8 Abandoned 16 September 1943 during outward passage on Operation "Source"
X-9 Foundered 16 September 1943 as a result of broken tow rope during outward passage on Operation "Source"
X-10 Scuttled 23 September 1943 after Operation "Source"

X-Craft (Midget Submarine) - Gallery
X-Craft while under construction.
View of one of the side cargoes containing the explosives (Amatex). The side cargo was screwed on the craft and released by unscrewing the holding bolt by turning a wheel in the control room of the X-Craft.
An X-Craft seen from below. The two side cargoes contain the explosives. Port side of an X-Craft. To the left the air induction mast can be seen.
X-5 (X-Craft) onboard the depot ship, HMS Bonaventure.
The control room of an X-Craft.
Use of the periscope of an X-Craft.
The control room of an X-Craft looking aft. The helmsman can be see to the left.
The control room of an X-Craft looking forward. The helmsman can be see to the right.
X-5 being towed out of Loch Cairnbawn by HMS Thrasher (to the left) at the beginning of Operation "Source" 11 September 1943. X-5 disappeared during the attack against the German battleship Tirpitz, 22 September 1943