British W-class submarines were built for the Royal Navy as experimental boats, and were based on the French Schneider-Laubeuf design.
This design was modified very heavily by the Navy, which resulted in removing the issues of the previous design; the main difference was the removal of the drop-collars. The W-class subsequently performed significantly better, offering brilliant diving control and far more efficient venting and flooding systems.
Only four of the W-class submarines are constructed, being delivered between 1913 and 1916. In fact, the first two submarines took 15 and 17 months to build, which was hailed as a remarkable feat compared to other submarine building times during World War One.
The four W-class submarined were eventually transferred to the Italian Navy in 1916. W4 is thought to have been sunk by a mine after its transfer, while all three of the other submarines were striken after the war.
See the table below for more information on the characteristics of the W-class submarine:
W-class submarines statistics:
|Number completed before 1919||4|
|Number completed after 1919||0|
|Lost in action||0|
|Surface speed||13 knots|
|Submerged speed||8.5 knots|
|Torpedo tubes||18 inches|
|Number of torpedoes tubes||2|
"W-class submarines". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.