81 Years Ago, a Navy Submarine Mysteriously Disappeared; It Had Recently Been Discovered

By: Ene Ayegba | Last updated: Nov 08, 2023

In 1942, a Royal Navy submarine vanished without a trace, leaving a mystery that has baffled historians for over eight decades. However, a recent breakthrough has surprised the world as a diver successfully located the long-lost submarine.

This find has reignited interest in uncovering the truth behind its disappearance. Let’s delve into the captivating tale of the vanished submarine and the diver who brought it back from the depths.

The British T-class Submarine— Triumph

In 1941, amidst the chaos of World War II, the British T-class submarine Triumph embarked on a daring mission in the Mediterranean. Its mission was to maneuver through heavily guarded waterways and hit enemy boats.


Source: @naftemporikigr/ Twitter

Triumph also secretly transported Allied operatives for secret attacks in Greece’s controlled territory. However, catastrophe struck during the submarine’s final mission in January 1942, when it vanished without a trace somewhere in the Aegean Sea.

Greek Diver—Kostas Thoctarides

Decades later, Kostas Thoctarides, a Greek diver, came upon the remarkable Triumph story. His newfound knowledge enthralled Thoctarides, and Triumph became his personal obsession.


Source: Kostas Thoctarides/ Facebook

Thoctarides, an experienced explorer well-versed in maritime mysteries, had previously surveyed numerous shipwrecks. He even located the debris of another British submarine off the coast of Greece in 1997. However, solving the Triumph enigma proved to be a time-consuming and thorough task.

An Odd Find

Thoctarides meticulously combed through historical archives and eventually narrowed down the search area in the ocean, spanning over 40 nautical miles.


Source: Getty Images

During one of his recent searches in the Aegean Sea, Kostas Thoctarides made a remarkable discovery. While conducting a sonar sweep, an unusual image caught his attention. He deployed a remotely piloted submersible, and as the live feed appeared on his monitor, an interesting sight emerged from the depths.

The Long-Lost Wreck

The finding of the sunken wreck was highly significant to Thoctarides. He recently took to social media to say that he believes the wreck he discovered is the long-lost Triumph.


Source: @naftemporikigr/ Twitter

Recognizing the significance of the discovery, a Royal Navy spokeswoman verified that Triumph was actually operating in the area where Thoctarides made his discovery. However, additional investigations are being conducted to identify the submarine definitively.

Extensive Research

Kostas Thoctarides and his colleagues carefully rebuilt the Triumph’s final mission using historical documents from the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Greece.

Source: @NavyLookout/ Twitter

The submarine was originally planned to return home after a tough year in the Mediterranean. However, in December 1941, it embarked on a daring and risky mission.


What Really Happened?

Triumph was expected to return to the island after successfully delivering supplies. However, a mishap struck when the submarine struck a mine and sank in January 1942, as reported by the Royal Navy. The submarine was carrying a crew of 64 people, all dying in the tragedy.

Source: @naftemporikigr/ Twitter

In the years thereafter, scholars have methodically scrutinized records and tracked alleged sightings of the submarine, striving tirelessly to narrow down its final resting place.


Striking Similarities

Thoctarides, relying on his extensive knowledge and expertise, identified several key design elements and features of the wreck that closely matched those of a T-class submarine.

Source: @naftemporikigr/ Twitter

These included the torpedo tube placement and the shape of the control tower. Additionally, Thoctarides highlighted that no other T-class submarine operated in the specific area where he discovered the wreck.


An Unwavering Conviction

As soon as the images from the submersible appeared on Thoctarides’s screen, he was filled with unwavering conviction. Without a doubt, he expressed that he was gazing at the fabled H.M.S Triumph—a legendary name that had eluded historians for decades.

Source: @Military_1st/ Twitter

Thoctarides noticed that the submarine he discovered showed evidence of an explosion in its bow, corresponding to historical documents showing that Triumph had struck a mine.


Expression of Gratitude

While British officials work to officially identify the submarine discovered in the Aegean Sea, Thoctarides has already received thanks from Triumph’s crew families.

Source: @JComm_NewsFeeds/ Twitter

Recognizing the discovery’s significance, Thoctarides intends to hold a memorial ceremony at the location, emphasizing the need to treat H.M.S Triumph as a “maritime war grave” with the highest care and dignity.