5 years after the arrival of the 2 "S" class submarines, Israel decided to enlarge her submarines' squadron and purchased another 2 submarines (and later a 3rd) from Great Britain. Again old and used submarines were acquired. 3 "T" class submarines were bought from the British Navy. Their names were: H.M.S. Turpin, Totem and Truncheon. Although built during the 40s, those submarines were bigger, faster and more modern than the "S" class. The submarines were built in Devonport shipyards and in the mid 50's they were renewed and refitted. 12 feet were added to the length of the pressure hull. The deck gun was removed, 2 more electrical motors were put in and the boats were streamlined with an enclosed new fin and a new deck.
T class submarine during the 40's
After refit during the 50's
H.M.S. Turpin, Totem, Truncheon
INS Leviathan, Dakar, Dolphin
After purchase by the Israeli Navy, Leviathan and Dakar were refitted and modernized again. The refit were done in Portsmouth.(The refit of the Dolphin took place in Israel) Each refit took between 18 to 24 months to complete. During that time the Israeli crew of the submarines stayed at Portsmouth and was involved along the whole refit process.
The refit of the Turpin/Leviathan-dismantle of the old fin
The 2 huge Admiralty diesel engines of the Totem/Dakar prior to refit
(click on small pictures to enlarge)
Michael Hadar(lost with the Dakar) hoists the Israeli Navy ensign on the Leviathan as the British goes down (4.1.1965)
Flag officer of the British submarine flotilla Rear Admiral Mc Geogh and Admiral Yochai Ben-Nun CIC of the Israeli Navy at the ceremony of transfering the Totem/Dakar to Israel. 23rd June 1965
At the beginning of May 1967 the refit of the Leviathan was completed and she sailed to Scotland for build up training, sea and dive trials. As the winds of war started to blow in the middle east, the Commander of the Leviathan, LC Zeev Almog was orderd equip the submarine with 12 torpedos and rush home. The Leviathan left Scotland on the 25th of May 1967. On their way home, in the Irish Sea, Two submariners were lost. Yaacov Tamir and Gershon Ben-Yehuda were washed into the sea after working on deck in the middle of the night. All attempts to find them failed. The corpse of Yaacov Tamir was found 3 weeks later on the Irish coast. Leviathan arrived at Haifa on the 12th of June 1967. One day after the end of Six Days War.
Leviathan leaves Portsmouth for Scotland, May 1967
LCD Zeev Almog, Skipper of the Leviathan photographed in Scotland, just before the long voyage to Israel
Totem received the Hebrew name of Dakar and Truncheon became INS Dolphin. Work on the Dakar continued with the boat scheduled to depart Portsmouth in early 1968. Dolphin was planned to leave few days after Dakar, as her refit to be undertaken in Israel. Enroute from Portsmouth to Haifa contact with Dakar was lost. (See different section) As Dolphin departed shortly after and took part in the search after her missing sister submarine. Dolphin entered Haifa on 5th February 1968, with the Dakar still missing. As the arrival of third submarine was not widely known, the entrance of the Dolphin caused a wave of rumors that the Dakar had safely arrived. After the mix-up had been cleared up, the disappointment and grief grew. Still, five families had a reason to cheer and celebrate as their sons were transferred from Dakar to Dolphin shortly before departure.
A rare picture of 4 submarines at Haifa port. Picture must have been taken on February 1968. From left to right: Rahav, Leviathan, Dolphin and Tanin
INS Leviathan cross proudly the bay of Haifa
After the loss of the Dakar, as the cause of her loss was unknown, restrictions limited the use and performances of her sister submarines. Nevertheless, both submarines took an important part in the War of Attrition, that followed the Six Days War. They were sent on many surveillance and other still top secret missions, deep into enemies waters.
Sea/Air operations
On the periscope LCD Israel Leshem
A view from the Helicopter
However, when the Yom Kippur War started on October 1973, the Leviathan was not allowed to dive anymore and the Dolphin was dismantled on the dry dock at Haifa. It was the Swan Song of the "T" class submarines with the Israeli Navy. Leviathan was decommissioned in 1973 and the Dolphin in August 1975. Leviathan was used as a target for an improved torpedo and the Dolphin was towed to the northern coast of Sinai and was used as a pier. The era of the "T" class submarines ended.

General Characteristics
Displacement: Approx. 1700 metric tons submerged, 1505 on the surface
Length: 89.5 meters
Crew: 67
Armament: Six torpedo 21 inches tubes forward

Speed: 15.25 knots on the surface, 15 knots submerged
Maximum Depth: 300 ft.
Range: 3600 miles

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Uri Dotan-Bochner