Thomas Broadbent and Sons Ltd, X-20 Midget Submarine Constructors, Huddersfield.

AddressQueen Street South, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire HD1 3DX, UK
CountyWest Yorkshire
Location typeOther
Site Ownership and Access Information?The site is still owned by Thomas Broadbent and Sons Ltd and resides on private land. It can however be seen from the street.
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Thomas Broadbent and Sons Ltd helped with designing and actually built the X-20 Midget Submarine. The X-20 was a very well safeguarded secret and had been developed from its predecessors over the last couple of years.

Following its completion, it was disguised as a large Motor Boat, with tarpaulin and framework put all around the Midget Submarine. It was then transported under armed escort to Hillside Railway Sidings, and taken north to the River Clyde where she was laid down.

X-20 would play a significant role in the D-Day Landings, acting as a key navigational tool for the incoming ships. This was done with the Submarine lying off the Normandy Coast from the 4th of June up until the Landings on the 6th. The Submarine had to remain undetected, along with its compatriot, X-23.

As the early hours of the morning of the 6th approached, both Submarines emerged from the water and began emitting a bright white light out towards the incoming ships, as well as relaying messages to act as a point of navigation for the incoming ships so that they didn’t go off target.

Photographs courtesy of:

View on the D-Day On Your Doorstep map