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stepping stones of maritime history


The K XIX was a submarine built in Schiedam in 1936. During construction it was renamed to O 19 and was first commissioned to the Royal Netherlands Navy on July 3,1939.

The O 19, together with the O 20 were the first two submarines in the world equipped with the 'getrimd diesel systeem' or 'snort system'. This system allows the submarine to run its diesels while submerged in order to recharge batteries, ventilate the boat and cover some useful miles underwater.

The O 19 was mainly used for mine laying operations in de Dutch East Indies during World War II. During her duty the submarine sank eight ships and damaged one.

On July 8, 1945 while on her way to the Philippines the O 19 stranded on the Ladd Reef (to the southeast of Vietnam). That same day the USS Cod received a message that the O 19 was stranded and set course for the Dutch submarine. The next morning the USS Cod attempted to pull the O 19 free but without success. After multiple attempts the crew of the O 19 was taken aboard the USS Cod and the O 19 was shot to prevent the enemy from gaining any usefulness from the stranded submarine.


The O 19 was an O 19 class submarine built at Wilton Feijenoord shipyard, Schiedam (June 15, 1936). It was launched September 22, 1938. It was scuttled July 10, 1945 and its crew was rescued by the USS Cod.

  • Length: 80.7 m
  • Beam: 7.4 m
  • Draft: 3.9 m
  • Propulsion: 2 x diesel engine with 2, 650 bhp
  • Electric motors 2 x 500 bhp
  • Speed: 19.5 knots (above water); 9 knots (under water)


  • 8 x 53 cm torpedo tubes bow and stern
  • 20 mine tubes
  • 8.8 mm canon
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