Did you know that a World War II sub once had a reindeer onboard?

Lieutenant Commander Sladen with his passenger, Pollyanna
(Photo: National Museum of the Royal Navy)
You’ve heard of ship’s cats before, but have you ever heard of a submarine’s reindeer? It’s strange but true: the British submarine HMS Trident was once occupied by a reindeer.
 
Trident operated in the North Sea between 1941 and 1943, and the crew was given a young reindeer as a gift during a stop at the Soviet naval base at Polyarny. Some versions of the story state it was a gift in return for the boat’s aid in the war effort. Another version claims that the captain, Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Sladen, was invited to dinner with a Soviet admiral. Sladen mentioned how his wife was struggling to push her stroller through the London snow, and the admiral decided that what Mrs. Sladen needed was a reindeer to pull the stroller.
Pollyanna the reindeer
(Photo: Royal Navy Submarine Museum)
The reindeer, named Pollyanna, was brought onboard by being pushed through a torpedo tube and given a barrel of moss for food. This was supplemented by condensed milk, scraps from the officers’ mess, and (on Pollyanna’s own initiative) several cartography charts that were left unattended.
 
Pollyanna put on a few pounds over her six-week voyage, and was too fat to get out through the torpedo tube when she arrived to Britain. A local butcher was summoned to truss her up securely so she could be hoisted up through the hatch with a crane. Pollyanna lived the rest of her life as a star of London Zoo. Pollyanna, the world’s only submariner reindeer, died in 1947, the same year her ride, HMS Triumph, was decommissioned and scrapped.
HMS Trident during the war
(Photo: Imperial War Museums)

V-J Day promotion

$500 discount on all our tours

U.S. Navy carrier planes fly in formation over the USS Missouri during the Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945.
(Photo: National Archives)

On the occasion of the upcoming 78th anniversary of V-J Day, also known as Victory over Japan Day, we are offering all our available tours with a discount of $500 if you book and pay in full until September 2, 2023. Note that this offer applies only in case of new bookings, and it cannot be combined with other special promotions. If you have any questions related to this promotion or our tours, feel free to contact our travel consultants.

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