Malta reveals another Wreck in HMS Olympus

HMS Olympus was used in World War II for ferrying supplies between Gibraltar and Malta. This was known as the “Magic Carpet Service”.

HMS Olympus was an Odin class submarine. The Odin class was designed for long range work in the Pacific ocean for the Australian navy. HMS Olympus was originally stationed in the Far East and transferred to the Mediterranean after the beginning of the war.

Some damage had been suffered in mid 1940 when Olympus was bombed by an Italian aircraft in Malta harbor. Repairs were finished by the end of November that year.

On 8th May 1942, Olympus was lost around seven miles out from Malta. It was thought she struck a mine. 89 lives were lost including crew members from the submarines Pandora, P36 and P39 who were being taken back to Gibraltar after their vessels had been sunk in air raids. Nine survivors managed to swim back, the Independent reports.

The discovery of HMS Olympus was not confirmed until 2011 when a remotely operated vehicle was used to view the wreck. The shape and configuration showed the wreck was HMS Olympus.

Recently U-boat Malta Ltd used a Submersible C Explorer 5.8 to dive to the wreck site. They are hoping to continue research to ascertain what the actual cause of the sinking was.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE