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    The Only Submarine Kill by a Nuclear-Powered Sub in Warfare History

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    The UK’s Royal Navy’s Churchill-class fleet submarine HMS Conqueror stands as the sole nuclear-powered submarine known to have successfully sunk an enemy vessel.

    This achievement occurred during the 1982 Falklands War when the Conqueror engaged and sank the Argentinean Navy cruiser General Belgrano.

    Submarines have long been silent predators of the seas, with World War II seeing significant contributions from undersea fleets.

    German U-boats are particularly notorious, sinking an astounding 14 million tons of shipping.

    Not to be outdone, during World War II, the United States Navy’s submarines were acknowledged for the sinking of 1,314 enemy warships in the Pacific, accounting for approximately 55% of all Axis power military vessels lost during the conflict.

    Furthermore, U.S. Navy submarines also successfully destroyed 5.3 million tons of shipping in the War in the Pacific.

    Submarines remained a credible threat to modern warships.

    However, peacetime and the evolution of technology limited actual wartime engagements, with only two instances of submarines sinking enemy ships since World War II.

    The first, the Pakistani Navy submarine PNS Hangor, sank the Indian Navy frigate INS Khurki in 1971.

    060411-N-1810F-001 Kings Bay, Ga. (April 11, 2006) Ð The Ohio-class guided missile submarine USS Florida (SSGN 728) makes her way through Cumberland Sound to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. Florida will be officially welcomed to her new home in Kings Bay with a return to service ceremony scheduled for May 25, 2006 in Mayport, Fla. Florida is the second of four SSBN submarines to be converted to the guided missile SSGN platform. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Lynn Friant (RELEASED)

    It is also noteworthy that only a single nuclear-powered submarine has the distinction of successfully sinking an enemy vessel.

    That submarine is the UK’s Royal Navy’s Churchill-class fleet submarine HMS Conqueror, which famously engaged and sank the Argentinean Navy cruiser General Belgrano during the 1982 Falklands War.

    Commander Chris Wreford-Brown, at the helm of HMS Conqueror, tracked the General Belgrano for over 30 hours.

    An aerial stern-on view of the Russian Northern Fleet AKULA class nuclear-powered attack submarine underway on the surface.

    The torpedoes traveled directly and swiftly through the water at 45 knots, with two hitting the target on a perpendicular course. This devastating attack proved fatal for the aged warship.

    An aerial stern-on view of the Russian Northern Fleet AKULA class nuclear-powered attack submarine underway on the surface.

    The cruiser, experiencing electrical malfunctions, was unable to send out a distress signal and quickly sank, resulting in the tragic loss of 368 lives.

    The accompanying destroyers remained oblivious to the sinking for several hours, while the British submarine, concerned that the destroyers might pose a threat to the convoy en route to the Falklands, chose to depart instead of conducting search and rescue operations for survivors.

    Relevant articles:
    Only 1 Nuclear-Powered Submarine Has Sunk an Enemy Vessel (Not U.S. Navy), The National Interest
    Wild: Nuclear-Powered Submarines Have Only Ever Sunk 1 Ship in Combat, The National Interest

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