Allied Warships

FR Caiman

Submarine of the Requin class

NavyThe French Navy
Built byArsenal de Cherbourg (Cherbourg, France) 
Laid down11 Aug 1924 
Launched3 Mar 1927 
Commissioned7 Feb 1928 
End service27 Nov 1942 

Scuttled at Toulon on 27 November 1942 to prevent her capture by the Germans.
Raised in February 1943.
Sunk 11 March 1944 by Allied aircraft.


We don't have any commands listed for FR Caiman

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Notable events involving Caiman include:

9 Jun 1941
During the British operations against Vichy-French held Syria, the Vichy-French submarine Caiman narrowly misses the British light cruiser HMS Phoebe.

9 Jun 1941
Shortly after 0300 hours, the light cruiser HMS Phoebe (Capt. G. Grantham, RN, flying the flag of Rear-Admiral E.L.S. King, CB, MVO, RN) was attacked but missed by the Vicy-French submarine Caiman off the Syrian coast.

Also during this day, between 0949 and 1010 hours, the Vichy-French destroyers Guepard and Valmy from Beirut bombarded Allied Army positions in Syria.

The destroyer HMS Janus (Cdr. J.A.W. Tothill, RN), alone off Sidon, engaged the French destroyers and was badly damaged in doing so. The destroyers HMS Hotspur (Lt. T.D. Herrick, DSC, RN), HMS Isis (Cdr. C.S.B. Swinley, DSC, RN), and HMS Jackal (Lt.Cdr. R.McC.P. Jonas, DSC, RN), which were nearby, then joined and managed to drive the French destroyers off.

Two more destroyers later joined as they had been close inshore for bombardment duties, these were HMS Kandahar (Cdr. W.G.A. Robson, DSO, RN) and HMS Kimberley (Lt.Cdr. J.S.M. Richardson, DSO, RN).

HMS Kimberley then took the badly damaged HMS Janus in tow towards Haifa screened by HMS Kandahar.

HMS Hotspur, HMS Isis and HMS Jackal meanwhile were in pursue of the Vichy-French destroyer which managed to return to Beirut. HMS Jackal sustained some minor damage from a shell hit during the action.

The damaged HMS Janus safely arrived at Haifa on the 10th. (1)


  1. ADM 53/114865 + ADM 199/415

ADM numbers indicate documents at the British National Archives at Kew, London.

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