Sub-Hunter Locates HMS Triumph Off The Coast Of GreeceDIVEMONDO DIVEMONDO
After a 25-year search, a Greek diver has found the 200-meter-deep remains of the British submarine HMS Triumph, which went missing in the Aegean Sea in 1942.
During World War Two, Triumph had been involved in covert activities involving the resistance movement in occupied Greece and the British secret services.
Kostas Thoctarides, who in 1997 also uncovered the famous HMS Perseus’s wreck, had already unearthed several British submarines. Additionally, he has found three additional submarines off the Greek coast, including the Italian Jantina, which was sunk off the shore of Mykonos in 1941 by another British submarine, HMS Torbay.
The wreck researcher and his team started looking for HMS Triumph in 1998, a quest he has described as “the hardest and most expensive mission I have ever carried out in my life”. Thoctarides discovered the wreck using sonar scanning at an unknown position 10 km off the Greek coastline, followed by ROV investigations. It required extensive archival study in the UK, Germany, Italy, and Greece.
The 84m T-class submarine, launched in 1938, has completed 20 missions. Beginning in late March 1941, she operated in the Aegean Sea, destroying several adversary ships and the Italian submarine Salpa. She evacuated others from Alexandria, Egypt, and landed soldiers in Greece.
Under the command of Lt. John S. Huddart, Triumph departed Alexandria on December 26 for her 21st patrol before returning to Britain for upkeep. Two missions involving Special Operations Executive (SOE) and Military Intelligence MI19 operatives had been given to her.
The first one entailed sending money to Athens-based resistance members, while the second one required getting 30 British subjects off the island of Antiparos.
On December 30, Triumph sent her last encrypted transmission, marking the end of the mission’s first phase. The second phase, however, was disastrous since she could not pick up the British soldiers and the special operations team. After they were taken into custody, other Greek independence fighters were rounded up.
Triumph is believed to have launched its last attack on an Axis cement ship on January 9. An Italian aircraft pilot documented Triumph’s final sighting around Cape Sounion near Athens.
The submarine lost 64 people when it was officially reported missing on January 23, 1942: seven officers, 55 crew members, and two commandos.
Periscopes and hatches down
Thoctarides said that he had discovered the submarine wreck with its periscopes and hatches down, indicating that she had been struck while at deep, but moving at a predetermined depth rather than while diving. In the fore part, there looked to have been a large explosion.
It was discovered that the submarine was 8° to starboard. On the tower, there was a 4 in. gun that was slightly elevated, along with a wooden wheel and compass.
The researchers discovered three additional Mk VIII torpedoes close to the wreck that they think were launched by HMS Triumph during her last fight. Kostas Thoctarides claims to have logged the equivalent of two full years underwater since he began working as a commercial diver in 1987. He founded ROV Services and the Planet Blue dive centre located in Lavrio, south of Athens. He was once the pilot and manager of the manned submersible Thetis.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that DIVEMONDO may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate this website earn from qualifying purchases.