As the Second World War raged, 46 A Class submarines were ordered by the British Government in 1943. In the end only 18 A Class boats were built and 16 of them actually commissioned, including HMS Alliance.
HMS Alliance was built by Vickers Armstrong in Barrow-in-Furness, where the majority (10) of this type of submarine were built. The rest of this class were constructed in shipyards around the UK - Chatham, Devonport, Birkenhead and Greenock.
This class of diesel submarine was the only new British design throughout the entire war. It was capable of better speeds and could travel a greater range than its predecessors. Its hull was entirely welded. It also had the advantage of producing less noise underwater so the enemy would find it harder to detect her as she crept on by. Ironically through, only 2 of the 16 boats were completed before the end of the war – HMS Amphion being the first to be launched in August 1944 followed later by HMS Astute – and neither of these submarines saw enemy action. HMS Alliance was commissioned in May 1947.
HMS Alliance, together with her sister boats, served the British Navy for a period spanning almost three decades. The A Class was gradually replaced with the Porpoise and Oberon Classes. HMS Andrew was the last A Class in service, being decommissioned in 1974.
Today HMS Alliance is preserved as a museum piece at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum at HMS Dolphin, Gosport. It is possible to explore the whole boat and be told her history in detail by men who actually crewed on submarines themselves.