:: RUBIS (1931) ::

Rubis minelayer submarine (1931) High resolution picture

The Saphir class was a series of French minelayer submarines launched between 1930 and 1937. The illustration shows the Rubis, launched in 1931, as she was in 1943; they can be seen the hatches of the sixteen vertical mine tubes on the side ballast tanks. This disposition, known as the Normand-Fenaux system, is similar to that adopted in the British submarines of the E class during the First World War. The ships of the Saphir class carried a removable triple torpedo launcher in the aft superstructure (not included in the illustration), which had one 550-millimeter tube flanked by two 400-millimeter tubes. This latter torpedo was of lesser range and was intended for sinking the enemy merchant ships.

Until November 1936 these units were based in the Mediterranean. At the fall of France the Diamant was scuttled at Toulon, and the Saphir, Turquoise and Nautilus were captured at Bizerte. The Perle and Rubis joined the Free France. The first one was sunk mistakenly by the Allied aviation and the Rubis, which performed 22 missions during her career, survived the war and remained in service until 1949. She was finally sunk in 1958 for being used as a target for sonar practice, and the wreck rests since then at a depth of 41 meters somewhere between Cavalaire and Saint-Tropez.

Class: Saphir (6 units - Diamant, Nautilus, Perle, Rubis, Saphir, Turquoise)

Type: Minelayer submarine

Length: 65.9 meters

Beam: 7.1 meters

Draught: 4.3 meters

Displacement (surfaced): 761 tonnes

Displacement (submerged): 925 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x Diesel engine Vickers-Normand 650 horsepower, 2 x electric motor Schneider 550 horsepower

Speed (surfaced): 12 knots (22 kilometers/hour)

Speed (submerged): 9 knots (17 kilometers/hour)

Range (surfaced): 4000 nautical miles (7400 kilometers) at 12 knots

Range (submerged): 80 nautical miles (148 kilometers) at 4 knots

Test depth: 80 meters

Complement: 42

Armament: 16 x 1200-millimeter mine tube, 32 x mine, 2 x 550-millimeter torpedo tube (at prow), 1 x deck triple torpedo launcher (astern, with one 550-millimeter and two 400-millimeter torpedo tubes), 1 x 75-millimeter deck cannon, 1 x 13.2-millimeter machine gun, 2 x 8-millimeter machine gun

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