HMS P311 in Scotland, 1942. (Credits: IWM)

Lost British Submarine HMS P311 has been found

The long-lost British Submarine HMS P311 that fought during World War II has been found. It is thought that it still contains the remains of all 71 servicemen that were inside when the submarine went missing. P311 has been found by divers off the coast of Sardinia.

The wreckage was discovered by Genoa-based wreck-hunter, Massimo Domenico Bordone on Saturday. He told La Nuova Sardegna: “Immediately I thought of the destiny of the men who met their deaths down there. It was a fate shared by so many men, submariners in particular, fighting on all both sides of the conflict.

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MS P311 left home waters to join the 10th Submarine Flotilla at Malta in November 1942. On December 28, the submarine left Malta to take part in Operation Principle, a mission to destroy the Italian battleships Trieste and Gorizia as they lay at anchor in the port of La Maddalena, located on an island of the same name off the northern coast of Sardinia. However P311 failed to make the rendezvous; her chariots were never launched and took no part in the attack. Wireless messages were received on December 30, but no further news was heard.

The submarine should have returned to Malta on January 8, 1943. It is assumed that the submarine struck a mine and sank.

The Royal Navy told The Local that the HMS P311 would almost certainly not be moved from its final resting place, irrespective of whether or not bodies are sealed inside.

Wrecks are only raised if there are extremely compelling historical or operational reasons to do so. Once a military vessel sinks it becomes a war grave and is left where it lies.

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