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stepping stones of maritime history


In 1941 the K XVIII was assigned to the 3rd division of the submarine flotilla in the Dutch East Indies (together with the K XIV, K XV and K XVI). In November 1941, the 3rd submarine division was stationed on the island of Tarakan, off the east coast of Kalimantan (Borneo). Here a Japanese invasion was expected.

In January 1942 the K XVIII was assigned to the 5th submarine division which was stationed in Makassar street. The K XVIII sunk two Japanese ships here (destroyer and patrol ship the P 37).

During the battle of Balikpapan, the K XVIII was severely damaged by depth charges and had to go to Surabaya for repairs.

Early March the K XVIII was sunk by its own crew because the fall of Surabaya was unavoidable. The submarine was lifted during the Japanese occupation and used as an anti-aircraft platform.

On 15 June 1945 the ship was torpedoed by the British submarine Taciturn.


The K XVIII was a Dutch submarine of the K XIV class. It was built at the Feijenoord shipwright in Rotterdam in 1931. The submarine was put into service on March 23, 1934 and withdrawn from service on March 2, 1942.

  • Dimensions: 73.6 x 6.5 x 8.3 m
  • Displacement: 865 tons (above water); 1045 tons (under water)
  • Machine power: 2 x 1600 hp (diesel engine), 2 x 430 hp (electric motor)
  • Speed: 17 knots (above water); 9 knots (under water)
  • Armament: 8 x 21-inch torpedo tubes, 1 x 8.8 cm cannon, 2 x 40 mm machine gun

Documentary made during the trip to the Dutch East Indies.

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