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HMS Turbulent (Hardback)

Maritime > Naval > Royal Navy P&S History > By Century > 20th Century WWII

By Stephen Wynn
Imprint: Pen & Sword Maritime
Pages: 280
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526736260
Published: 3rd February 2023



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HMS Turbulent was a Royal Navy T-class submarine. From its launch in May 1941 to when it was lost at sea, along with its entire crew, in March 1943, it was responsible for the sinking of nearly 100,000 tons of enemy shipping.

Besides the number of enemy vessels it sunk, HMS Turbulent has gone down in history for the attack on the Italian merchant vessel the Nino Bixio, which at the time was carrying more than 3,000 Allied POWS who had been captured during the fighting in North Africa.

Having left the Libyan port of Benghazi on 16 August 1942, accompanied by the Italian cargo vessel the Sestriere, the Nino Bixio was attacked the following day. A total of 336 Allied POWs, most of whom were either Australian or New Zealanders, were killed or died of their wounds in the explosion.

Although badly damaged, the Nino Bixio stayed afloat and was towed to Navarino, in southern Greece, where the surviving POWs disembarked. The wounded were treated in hospital, while the rest were shipped on to POW camps in Bari, Italy.

Although there have been different theories put forward as to how HMS Turbulent met its end off the Italian coast in 1943, there is still no absolute certainty as to where, when and how the boat and its crew were lost.

Review as featured

Ships Monthly - July 2024

Stephen Wynn has written a well-researched book on the possible fate of the vessel in a mined graveyard amongst other submarines, and their entombed crews, which suffered the same fate.

The book lists New Zealand, Australian British troops drowned on the Nino Bixio, also those buried at Phaleron War Cemetery.

The names and rank crew lost on the HM Submarine Turbulent are also given including those a mentioned in despatches.

A page turner.

Richard Gough - Historian, writer, author of the Escape from Singapore, The jungle was Red, Outpost of the Empire, SOE Singapore 1941-42. Waiting publication Tony Poe, CIA Paramilitary in SE Asia.


The Armourer

An excellent book and easy to read, a recommended book on a largely forgotten story of WW2.

Read the Full Review Here

The History Fella

"The author has produced a very interesting and thought provoking, book on the relatively short career of HMS Turbulent.......This book fulfils one certainty that the crew of HMS Turbulent and those who were her victims have not been forgotten."

Roger Coleman, The Wessex Branch of the Western Front Association

This book covers the short life of the submarine Turbulent from building to her loss. It is a story containing controversy surrounding the sinking of an Italian merchant ship, the Nino Bixio that was carrying Allied prisoners of war.

There are excellent photographs that have been located of the Turbulent and her crew which gives the book a more human touch.

Nigel Denchfield, IPMS Battleship Group

About Stephen Wynn

Stephen is a retired police officer having served with Essex Police as a constable for thirty years between 1983 and 2013. He is married to Tanya and has two sons, Luke and Ross, and a daughter, Aimee. Both Stephen’s grandfathers served in and survived the First World War, one with the Royal Irish Rifles, the other in the Mercantile Marine, whilst his father was a member of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps during the Second World War.
When not writing Stephen can be found walking his dogs with his wife, Tanya, at some unearthly time of the morning when most normal people are still fast asleep.

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