Q-ships, also known as Q-boats, decoy vessels, special service ships, or mystery ships, were heavily armed merchant ships with concealed weaponry, designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. This gave Q-ships the chance to open fire and sink them. The use of Q-ships contributed to the abandonment of cruiser rules restricting attacks on unarmed merchant ships and to the shift to unrestricted submarine warfare in the 20th century.[1]

They were used by the British Royal Navy (RN) and the German Kaiserliche Marine during the First World War and by the RN, the Kriegsmarine and the United States Navy during the Second World War (1939–45).

HMS Tamarisk
British First World War Q-ship HMS Tamarisk

Early uses

In the 1670s, HMS Kingfisher (1675) was specially designed to counter the attacks of Algerian corsairs or pirates in the Mediterranean by masquerading as a merchantman, hiding her armament behind false bulkheads. She was also provided with various means of changing her appearance.

During the French Revolutionary Wars, a French brig disguised as a merchantman, with hidden guns and most of her crew below decks, was beaten off by the privateer lugger Vulture out of Jersey.[2]:183

First World War

Mystery Ship trapping German Submarines
Q ships hid naval guns behind moveable panels.

In 1915, during the First Battle of the Atlantic, Britain was in desperate need of a countermeasure against the U-boats that were strangling her sea-lanes. Convoys, which had proved effective in earlier times (and would again prove effective during the Second World War), were rejected by the resource-strapped Admiralty and the independent captains. Depth charges of the time were relatively primitive, and almost the only chance of sinking a submarine was by gunfire or by ramming while on the surface. The problem was how to lure the U-boat to the surface.

A solution to this was the creation of the Q-ship, one of the most closely guarded secrets of the war. Their codename referred to the vessels' home port, Queenstown, in Ireland.[3] These became known by the Germans as a U-Boot-Falle ("U-boat trap"). A Q-ship would appear to be an easy target, but in fact carried hidden armaments. A typical Q-ship might resemble a tramp steamer sailing alone in an area where a U-boat was reported to be operating. By seeming to be a suitable target for the U-boat's deck gun, a Q-ship might encourage the U-boat captain to make a surface attack rather than use one of his limited number of torpedoes. The Q-ships' cargoes were light wood (balsa or cork) or wooden casks, so that even if torpedoed they would remain afloat, encouraging the U-boat to surface to sink them with a deck gun. There might also be pretence of "abandoning ship" with some crew dressed as civilian mariners taking to a boat. Once the U-boat was vulnerable, the Q-ship's panels would drop to reveal the deck guns, which would immediately open fire. At the same time, the White Ensign (Royal Navy flag) would be raised. With the element of surprise, a U-boat could be quickly overwhelmed.

The first Q-ship victory was on 23 June 1915, when the submarine HMS C24, cooperating with the decoy vessel Taranaki, commanded by Lieutenant Frederick Henry Taylor CBE DSC RN, sank U-40 off Eyemouth. The first victory by an unassisted Q-ship came on 24 July 1915 when Prince Charles, commanded by Lieutenant Mark-Wardlaw, DSO, sank U-36. The civilian crew of Prince Charles received a cash award. The following month an even smaller converted fishing trawler renamed HM Armed Smack Inverlyon successfully destroyed UB-4 near Great Yarmouth. Inverlyon was an unpowered sailing ship fitted with a small 3 pounder (47 mm) gun. The British crew fired nine rounds from their 3-pounder into UB-4 at close range, sinking her with the loss of all hands despite the attempt of Inverlyon's skipper to rescue one surviving German submariner.

On 19 August 1915, Lieutenant Godfrey Herbert of HMS Baralong sank U-27, which was preparing to attack a nearby merchant ship, the Nicosian. About a dozen of the U-boat sailors survived and swam towards the merchant ship. Herbert, allegedly fearing that they might scuttle her, ordered the survivors to be shot in the water and sent a boarding party to kill all who had made it aboard. This became known as the "Baralong Incident".

HMS Farnborough (Q-5) sank SM U-68 on 22 March 1916. Her commander, Gordon Campbell, was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). New Zealanders Lieutenant Andrew Dougall Blair and Sub-Lieutenant William Edward Sanders VC, DSO faced three U-boats simultaneously in the Helgoland (Q.17) while becalmed and without engines or wireless.[4] Forced to return fire early, they managed to sink one U-boat and avoid two torpedo attacks.[5] Sanders was promoted to lieutenant-commander, eventually commanding HMS Prize. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for an action on 30 April 1917 with U-93, which was severely damaged.

HMS President in the Thames

Perhaps remembering the early action aboard Q.17, Sanders waited, while his ship sustained heavy shellfire, until the submarine was within 80 yards, whereupon he hoisted the White Ensign and the Prize opened fire. The submarine appeared to sink and he claimed a victory. However, the badly damaged submarine managed to struggle back to port. With his ship accurately described by the survivors of U-93, Sanders and his crewmen were all killed in action when they attempted a surprise attack on U-43 on 14 August 1917.

There may have been as many as 366 Q-ships, of which 61 were lost.[6] After the war, it was concluded that Q-ships were greatly overrated, diverting skilled seamen from other duties without sinking enough U-boats to justify the strategy.[7] In a total of 150 engagements, British Q-ships destroyed 14 U-boats and damaged 60, at a cost of 27 Q-ships lost out of 200. Q-ships were responsible for about 10% of all U-boats sunk, ranking them well below the use of ordinary minefields in effectiveness.

The Imperial German Navy commissioned six Q-boats during the Great War for the Baltic Sea into the Handelsschutzflottille. None[8] were successful in destroying enemy submarines. The German Q-ship Schiff K heavily damaged the Russian submarine Gepard of the Bars-class on 27 May 1916. The famous Möwe and Wolf were merchant raiders.

A surviving example of the Q-ships is HMS Saxifrage, a Flower-class sloop of the Anchusa group completed in 1918. She was renamed HMS President in 1922 and served as the London Division RNR drill ship until 1988, when she was sold privately and remains moored at King's Reach on the Thames.

USS Gold Star (AG-12)
USS Gold Star (AG-12), at anchor off Sitka, Alaska, in September 1922, before her partial conversion into a communication intelligence ship in 1933

Interwar period

The United States had the USS Gold Star (AK-12), a civilian cargo ship purchased in 1922. During the 1920s and 1930s Gold Star became a familiar sight in the far-flung ports of Asia. Though assigned as flagship of the US Navy at Guam she made frequent voyages to Japan, China, and the Philippines with cargo and passengers. Prior to World War II, much of her crew was made up of Chamorro, natives of Guam with American non-commissioned officers and commissioned officers.[9]

Gold Star became a bit of a veteran Q-Ship dealing with communications intelligence as she moved from port to port and while in port in the Orient. As a station ship she was assigned to monitor 1) Internal Japanese Fleet frequencies 2) Frequencies measurements and DF or direction finder azimuths. She had three intercept operators and one chief radioman supervised by an officer. This all started in 1933 during the reconstruction of the Japanese fleet by Tokyo and continued into the summer of 1941. Gold Star along with ground stations in Guam, Olongapo and Beijing provided significant intelligence before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.[10]

Second World War

Uss anacapa crew
Yeomen and supply clerks of USS Anacapa (AG-49) exhibiting non-regulation attire typical of Q-ship duty to imitate merchant ships.

Germany employed at least 13 Q-ships, including the German "Dutch" Atlantis, which sank a number of ships with a total tonnage of 145,960t including the Norwegian tanker Tirranna on 10 June 1940, and Schürbeck which sank the British submarine HMS Tarpon.

Nine Q-ships were commissioned by the Royal Navy in September and October 1939 for work in the North Atlantic:[11]

  • 610-ton HMS Chatsgrove (X85) ex-Royal Navy P-class sloop PC-74 built 1918
  • 5,072-ton HMS Maunder (X28) ex-King Gruffyd built 1919
  • 4,443-ton HMS Prunella (X02) ex-Cape Howe built 1930
  • 5,119-ton HMS Lambridge (X15) ex-Botlea built 1917
  • 4,702-ton HMS Edgehill (X39) ex-Willamette Valley built 1928
  • 5,945-ton HMS Brutus (X96) ex-City of Durban built 1921
  • 4,398-ton HMS Cyprus (X44) ex-Cape Sable built 1936
  • 1,030-ton HMS Looe (X63) ex-Beauty built 1924
  • 1,090-ton HMS Antoine (X72) ex-Orchy built 1930
Anacapa flaps
Hinged flaps aft of the anchor hid 3-inch guns aboard USS Anacapa.

Prunella and Edgehill were torpedoed and sunk on 21 and 29 June 1940 without even sighting a U-Boat. The rest of the vessels were paid off in March 1941 without successfully accomplishing any mission.[12]

The last Royal Navy Q-ship, 2,456-ton HMS Fidelity, was converted in September, 1940, to carry a torpedo defense net, four 4-inch (10-cm) guns, four torpedo tubes, two OS2U Kingfisher float planes, and Motor Torpedo Boat 105. Fidelity sailed with a French crew, and was sunk by U-435 on 30 December 1942 during the battle for Convoy ON-154.[11]

By January 12, 1942, the British Admiralty's intelligence community had noted a "heavy concentration" of U-boats off the "North American seaboard from New York to Cape Race" and passed along this fact to the United States Navy. That day, U-123 under Kapitänleutnant Reinhard Hardegen, torpedoed and sank the British steamship Cyclops, inaugurating Paukenschlag (literally, "a strike on the kettledrum" and sometimes referred to in English as "Operation Drumbeat"). U-boat commanders found peacetime conditions prevailing along the coast: towns and cities were not blacked-out and navigational buoys remained lit; shipping followed normal routines and "carried the normal lights." Paukenschlag had caught the United States unprepared.

Losses mounted rapidly. On January 20, 1942, Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet (Cominch), sent a coded dispatch to Commander, Eastern Sea Frontier (CESF), requesting immediate consideration of the manning and fitting-out of "Queen" ships to be operated as an antisubmarine measure. The result was "Project LQ."

USS Atik AK-101 0975160801
SS Carolyn, aka USS Atik AK-101
USS Big Horn
SS Big Horn
USS Irene Forsyte (IX-93)
USS Irene Forsyte (IX-93)

Five vessels were acquired and converted secretly at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Kittery, Maine:[13]

The careers of all five ships were almost entirely unsuccessful and very short, with USS Atik sunk on its first patrol;[3] all Q-ships patrols ended in 1943.

American Q-ships also operated in the Pacific Ocean. One was USS Anacapa (AG-49) formerly the lumber transport Coos Bay which was converted to Q-ship duty as project "Love William". Anacapa was not successful in engaging any enemy submarines, although she is believed to have damaged two friendly subs with depth charges when they were improperly operating in her vicinity. Anacapa was also withdrawn from Q-ship duty in 1943 and served out the remainder of World War II as an armed transport in the South Pacific and Aleutian Islands.

The Imperial Japanese Navy converted the 2,205-ton merchant ship, Delhi Maru, into a Q-ship. On 15 January 1944, she departed from Nagaura (now Sodegaura on Tokyo Bay) on her first mission in company with the submarine chaser Ch-50 and the netlayer Tatu Maru. At 22:00 that evening, the vessels were detected by the USN Navy submarine USS Swordfish (SS-193), which launched three torpedoes. Delhi Maru was hit by all three on her port bow; following a number of internal explosions, she broke in two, the forward section sinking immediately and the aft section sinking later in heavy seas. Although the Swordfish was depth charged by Ch-50, she escaped unscathed.[14]

Proposed use against modern pirates

Attacks on merchant ships by pirates originating on the Somalia coast have brought suggestions from some security experts that Q-ships be used again to tempt pirates into attacking a well-defended ship.[15]

Q-ships in fiction

In Ernest Hemingway's novel Islands in the Stream, the main character Thomas Hudson commands a Q-ship for the US Navy around Cuba as he hunts the survivors of a sunken German U-boat.

Malcolm Lowry's novel Under the Volcano (1947) tells the story of Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic British consul in the small Mexican town of Quauhnahuac, on the Day of the Dead, 2 November 1938. Geoffrey Firmin reflects back to his time as a naval officer during World War I, when he was court-martialed and subsequently decorated for his actions aboard a Q-Ship (the captured German officers disappeared and were allegedly burned alive in the boiler).

In Nevil Shute's novel Lonely Road (1932) the main character, Malcolm Stevenson, was a Royal Navy Lieutenant on the Q-ship Jane Ellen which sank a U-boat in World War 1.

The climactic battle of the novel Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach pits main character "Rich" Richardson's U.S. submarine, Eel, against a Japanese anti-submarine team consisting of a Q-ship, the destroyer Akikaze, and a submarine. This team had killed several U.S. subs, two of them commanded by close friends of Richardson. Coordinated by the destroyer, the Japanese sub would ambush the American while it focused on shooting at the Q-ship.

In the Clive Cussler book series Oregon Files, the main base of operations is a Q-ship, a converted lumber carrier. The crew are mercenaries and former US covert and military personnel who carry out missions around the world in support of US policy while earning their living performing mercenary operations.

As with other naval concepts, the idea of a Q-ship has also been applied to space vessels in fictional works:

Q-ships feature prominently in David Weber's Honor Harrington series of books. Harrington destroys a Q-ship in the first novel, On Basilisk Station, and commands a squadron of Q-ships in the sixth novel, Honor Among Enemies. Harrington's snotty cruise captain, Thomas Bachfisch, commands a pair of privately owned Q-ships in the tenth in the series, War of Honor.[16]

A Q-ship is the first command of Kimball Kinnison in the 1937 science fiction novel Galactic Patrol.

In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Return to Grace", Major Kira and Gul Dukat convert a Cardassian freighter into a Q-ship to pursue a Klingon vessel which had destroyed an outpost.

In the Star Fleet Universe (based on Star Trek), all major spacefaring races use Q-ships disguised as small and large freighters as convoy escorts to thwart attacks from enemy races and the Orion Pirates.

In the Shatnerverse, a series of Star Trek novels co-authored by William Shatner that are not a part of the non-canonic expanded universe's continuity, Captain James T. Kirk commands the S.S. Belle Reve, one of Starfleet's best Q-Ships.

See also


  1. ^ "Q-ships". http://navymuseum.co.nz. Retrieved 2019-05-03. External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ Jamieson, A.G. A people of the sea. Methuen. ISBN 0-416-40540-1.
  3. ^ a b Beyer, Kenneth M.: Q-Ships versus U-Boats. America's Secret Project. Naval Institute Press. Annapolis, Maryland, USA. 1999. ISBN 1-55750-044-4
  4. ^ "Helgoland Q17 - Remembering War - Tauranga Memories". Tauranga.kete.net.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  5. ^ "Captain Andrew Dougall Blair (1872-1955) - Remembering War - Tauranga Memories". Tauranga.kete.net.nz. Retrieved 2017-06-30.
  6. ^ McMullen, Chris (2001). "Royal Navy 'Q' Ships". Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  7. ^ Preston, Anthonu (1982). Submarines. London: Bison Books. p. 58. ISBN 0-86124-043-X.
  8. ^ Lutz Bengelsdorf: Der Seekrieg in der Ostsee 1914-1918 Hauschild, Bremen 2008, p. 94-98, 106-108. ISBN 978-3-89757-404-5.
  9. ^ Lademan, J. U. Jr. (1973). USS Gold Star - Flagship of the Guam Navy. December 1973. United States Naval Institute Proceedings. pp. 68–69. Retrieved May 24, 2012.
  10. ^ National Security Agency - Naval Security Agency Report (1986). "The Origination and Evolution of Radio Traffic Analysis - The Period between the Wars" (PDF). NSA. National Security Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 4, 2014. DOCID: 3362395 - Approved for Release by NSA. on 06-16-2008, FOIA Case #51505 - UNCLASSIFIED See pages 31 & 32.
  11. ^ a b Lenton, H.T. and Colledge, J.J.: British and Dominion Warships of World War II, 1968, p. 279
  12. ^ Marder, Arthur (November 1972). "The Influence of History on Sea Power: The Royal Navy and the Lessons of 1914–1918". The Pacific Historical Review. 41: 413–443. JSTOR 3638394.
  13. ^ New Hampshire v. Maine, 426 U.S. 363 (1977)
  14. ^ Howard, Ed. "The Short Life of the First Japanese Q-Ship". www.subsowespac.org. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  15. ^ "Use Q ships against pirates?". Safety at Sea International. Lloyd's Register. 9 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-11.
  16. ^ "Chapter Four". Archived from the original on 2012-07-09.

External links

7th U-boat Flotilla

The 7th U-boat Flotilla (German 7. Unterseebootsflottille), also known as Wegener Flotilla, was the seventh operational U-boat combat unit in Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine. Founded on June 25, 1938, under the command of Korvettenkapitän Werner Sobe, it was named in honour of Kapitänleutnant Bernd Wegener. Wegener, a U-boat commander during World War I, died on August 19, 1915, after his submarine U-27 was sunk by British Q-ship HMS Baralong, which was itself a much disputed battle with the Royal Navy accused of war crimes by the German Navy.

The flotilla, under the name "Wegener Flotilla", was founded in Kiel in June 1938. In September 1940, the flotilla left its base in Kiel and moved to St. Nazaire in France. After the change in location, the flotilla was renamed "7th U-boat Flotilla".

This flotilla had one of the most famous emblems from World War II. The "snorting bull" emblem was first used by U-47, which is famous for sinking the British battleship HMS Royal Oak in October 1939. The emblem, based on a picture seen in a comic book, was adopted by the flotilla while based in St. Nazaire.

Action of 27 March 1942

The Action of 27 March 1942 was a naval battle fought between the United States and Germany during World War II in the Atlantic Ocean. While patrolling 300 miles off Norfolk, Virginia, an American Q-ship encountered a U-boat and a short surface engagement ensued.

Aubrietia-class sloop

The Aubrietia-class sloops were a class of twelve sloops built under the Emergency War Programme for the Royal Navy in World War I as part of the larger Flower class. They were also referred to as the "cabbage class", or "herbaceous borders". The Flowers were the first ships designed as minesweepers.

Like all the Flowers, the Aubrietia class were originally designed as single-screw fleet sweeping vessels, with triple hulls at the bows and an above-water magazine located aft, to give extra protection against loss from mine damage when working. However, the utility of the design was found to be as a convoy escort, and as such other classes took over the minesweeping role. The Aubrietias were re-classified as convoy sloops.

Unlike the preceding Flowers of the Acacia, Azalea and Arabis classes, with their unmistakable warship appearance, the Aubrietias were designed to look like small merchantmen, in the hope of deceiving U-boat commanders, a tactic known as the Q-ship. These vessels were built by commercial shipbuilders to Lloyd's Register standards, to make use of vacant capacity, and the individual builders were asked to use their existing designs for merchantmen, based on the standard Flower-type hull.

Two members of the following Anchusa group, HMS Chrysanthemum and HMS Saxifrage (renamed HMS President in 1922), survived to be moored on the River Thames for use as Drill Ships by the RNVR until 1988, a total of seventy years in RN service. President was sold in 1988 and preserved, and is now one of the last three surviving warships of the Royal Navy built during the First World War, (along with the 1914 light cruiser HMS Caroline in Belfast, and the 1915 monitor HMS M33 in Portsmouth dockyard).

HMS Dunraven

HMS Dunraven was a Q-Ship of the Royal Navy during World War I.

On 8 August 1917, 130 miles southwest of Ushant in the Bay of Biscay, disguised as the collier Boverton and commanded by Gordon Campbell, VC, Dunraven spotted UC-71, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Reinhold Saltzwedel. Saltzwedel believed the disguised ship was a merchant vessel. The U-boat submerged and closed with Dunraven before surfacing astern at 11:43 am and opening fire at long range. Dunraven made smoke and sent off a panic party (a small number of men who "abandon ship" during an attack to continue the impersonation of a merchant).

Shells began hitting Dunraven, detonating her depth charges and setting her stern afire. Her crew remained hidden letting the fires burn. Then a 4 inch (102 mm) gun and crew were blown away revealing Dunraven's identity as a warship, and UC-71 submerged. A second "panic party" abandoned ship. Dunraven was hit by a torpedo. A third "panic party" went over the side, leaving only two guns manned. UC-71 surfaced, shelled Dunraven and again submerged. Campbell replied with two torpedoes that missed, and around 3 pm, the undamaged U-boat left that area. Only one of Dunraven's crew was killed, but the Q-Ship was sinking.

The British destroyer HMS Christopher picked up Dunraven's survivors and took her in tow for Plymouth, but Dunraven sank at 1:30 am early on 10 August 1917 to the north of Ushant.

In recognition, two Victoria Crosses were awarded, one to the ship's First Lieutenant, Lt. Charles George Bonner RNR, and the other, by ballot, to a gunlayer, Petty Officer Ernest Herbert Pitcher.

Captain Campbell later wrote:

"It had been a fair and honest fight, and I lost it. Referring to my crew, words cannot express what I am feeling. No one let me down. No one could have done better."Captain Campbell had been previously awarded the Victoria Cross, in February 1917, for the sinking of U-83.

HMS Farnborough

HMS Farnborough, also known as (Q-5), was a Q-ship of the British Royal Navy that saw service in the First World War. Farnborough was a heavily armed merchant ship with concealed weaponry that was designed to lure submarines into making surface attacks. Farnborough sank two submarines in her service in the First World War. The first submarine was SM U-68 which involved the first successful use of depth charges. The second submarine was SM U-83, which was sunk on 17 February 1917 in an action for which Captain Gordon Campbell of Farnborough received the Victoria Cross. HMS Farnborough was severely damaged in the action and was beached the same day.


HMS J6 was a First World War J-class submarine built for the Royal Navy by HM Dockyard at Devonport in Plymouth. Commissioned in 1916 she was sunk in a friendly fire incident by the Q-ship Cymric in October 1918.

HMS Paxton

HMS Paxton was a First World War Royal Navy Q-Ship torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-46 on 20 May 1917 in the Atlantic Ocean 90 miles west of Great Skellig, Eire. The ship was originally ordered as Lady Patricia for the British and Irish Steam Packet Company but taken over on completion by the British Government as HMAV Lady Patricia.The ship was damaged by gunfire from the German submarine U-57 on 30 March 1917 in St George's Channel and six crew killed. Shortly afterwards work started on converting her to an anti-submarine Q-ship, Q25, which was completed on 30 April 1917. The ship was commissioned as HMS Paxton the following day and sunk less than three weeks later.

HMS President (1918)

HMS Saxifrage was launched in 1918 as a Flower-class anti-submarine Q-ship. She was renamed HMS President in 1922 and moored permanently on the Thames as a Royal Navy Reserve drill ship. In 1982 she was sold to private owners, and having changed hands twice, now serves as a venue for conferences and functions, and serves as the offices for a number of media companies. She is now called HQMS President (1918) to distinguish her from HMS President, the Royal Naval Reserve base in St Katharine Docks. She is one of the last three surviving Royal Navy warships of the First World War. She is also the sole representative of the first type of purpose built anti-submarine vessels, and is the ancestor of World War II convoy escort sloops, which evolved into modern anti-submarine frigates.

HMS Prize

HMS Prize was a schooner converted to a Q ship during the First World War and commanded by Lieutenant William Sanders of the Royal Naval Reserve.

Originally a German vessel called Else, she was captured by the Royal Navy in the first days of the First World War. In April 1917 she was commissioned into the Royal Navy as a Q ship with the name HMS First Prize, later to be shortened to HMS Prize. During her first patrol, Prize was involved in an engagement with a U-boat, U-93 for which Sanders received the Victoria Cross while the rest of the crew were also awarded various medals. Prize was destroyed by a torpedo on 13 August 1917, with all crew lost.

HM Armed Smack Inverlyon

His Majesty's or HM Armed Smack Inverlyon was a fishing smack that was converted to a Q-ship during the First World War. Q-ships served as decoys to lure German submarines near enough so that concealed weapons could be brought to bear and sink the submarines. On 15 August 1915, Inverlyon succeeded in luring German submarine UB-4 within range and sinking her with nine shots from her gun. The Royal Navy Gunner in command of the vessel, Ernest Martin Jehan, received the Distinguished Service Cross and members of Inverlyon's crew shared the bounty offered for German submarines. After Inverlyon's Q-ship career ended, she returned to fishing, but was sunk by U-55 on 1 February 1917.

Honor Among Enemies

Honor Among Enemies is a science fiction novel by American writer David Weber. It is the sixth book in the Honor Harrington series. In the book, Honor returns to active duty from her political exile on Grayson to command a Q-ship and fight space pirates.

Result (schooner)

Result is a three-masted cargo schooner built in Carrickfergus in 1893. She was a working ship until 1967, and served for a short time in the Royal Navy as a Q-ship during World War I. She currently rests on land at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, and in 1996 was added to the National Register of Historic Vessels.

Ronald Stuart

Ronald Niel Stuart, VC, DSO, RD, RNR (26 August 1886 – 8 February 1954) was a British Merchant Navy commodore and Royal Navy captain who was highly commended following extensive and distinguished service at sea over a period of more than thirty-five years. During World War I he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the Distinguished Service Order, the French Croix de Guerre avec Palmes and the United States' Navy Cross for a series of daring operations he conducted while serving in the Royal Navy during the War at Sea.

Stuart received his Victoria Cross following a ballot by the men under his command. This unusual method of selection was used after the Admiralty board was unable to choose which members of the crew deserved the honour after a desperate engagement between a Q-ship and a German submarine off the Irish coast. His later career included command of the liner RMS Empress of Britain and the management of the London office of a major transatlantic shipping company. Following his retirement in 1951, Stuart moved into his sister's cottage in Kent and died three years later. A sometimes irascible man, he was reportedly embarrassed by any fuss surrounding his celebrity and was known to exclaim "Mush!" at any demonstration of strong emotion.

SM U-68

SM U-68 was a Type U 66 submarine or U-boat for the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during the First World War. She had been laid down in December 1913 as U-9 of the U-7 class for the Austro-Hungarian Navy (German: Kaiserliche und Königliche Kriegsmarine or K.u. K. Kriegsmarine) but was sold to Germany, along with the others in her class, in November 1914. Under German control, the class became known as the U 66 type and the boats were renumbered; U-9 became U-68, and was redesigned and reconstructed to German specifications. She was launched in June 1915 and commissioned in August.

Six days into her first war patrol, on 22 March 1916, U-68 was sunk by Farnborough, a British Q-ship, with all hands. U-68 sank no ships in her brief career. A post-war German study found fault with U-68's captain for not following established procedures for avoiding decoy ships.

SM UB-19

SM UB-19 was a German Type UB II submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 30 April 1915 and launched on 2 September 1915. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 16 December 1915 as SM UB-19. The submarine sank 14 ships in 15 patrols for a totel of 11,558 gross register tons (GRT). UB-19 was sunk in the English Channel at 49°56′N 2°45′W on 30 November 1916 by British Q ship HMS Penshurst (Q 7).

SM UB-37

SM UB-37 was a German Type UB II submarine or U-boat in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. The U-boat was ordered on 22 July 1915 and launched on 28 December 1915. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on 17 June 1916 as SM UB-37.The submarine sank 31 ships in ten patrols. UB-37 was sunk by British Q ship HMS Penshurst in the English Channel on 14 January 1917.The wreck of UB-37 was identified by marine archaeologist Innes McCartney in 1999.


Seiner Majestät UB-4 was a German Type UB I submarine (U-boat) in the German Imperial Navy (German: Kaiserliche Marine) during World War I. She was sunk by a British Q-ship disguised as a fishing smack in August 1915.

UB-4 was ordered in October 1914 and was laid down at the Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel in November. UB-4 was a little more than 28 metres (92 ft) in length and displaced between 127 and 142 tonnes (125 and 140 long tons), depending on whether surfaced or submerged. She carried two torpedoes for her two bow torpedo tubes and was also armed with a deck-mounted machine gun. UB-4 was broken into sections and shipped by rail to Antwerp for reassembly. She was launched and commissioned as SM UB-4 in March 1915.UB-4 conducted the first sortie of the Flanders Flotilla in April, during which she sank the Belgian Relief ship Harpalyce, the first ship credited to the flotilla. She sank three more ships from mid-April to mid-August. On 15 August, UB-4 surfaced near the British Q-ship Inverlyon and was sunk by gunfire from the sailing vessel. None of UB-4's 14 crewmen survived the attack.

USS Asterion (AK-100)

USS Asterion (AK-100, AK-63, WAK-123) was a Q-ship of the United States Navy named for Asterion, a star in the constellation Canes Venatici.

USS Captor (PYc-40)

USS Captor (PYc-40), briefly the seventh ship to bear the name USS Eagle (AM-132), was a Q-ship of the United States Navy.

Built as Harvard, a steel-hulled trawler, in 1938 by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation's Fore River Shipyard, Quincy, Massachusetts, and handed over to General Sea Foods Corporation, Boston, and put into service as Wave.

U-boat lists
Major engagements
U-boat flotillas
Capital ships sunk


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