Author Topic: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found  (Read 2352 times)

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Offline LongBlade

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41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« on: July 21, 2013, 11:53:31 AM »
This is pretty cool. A naval archeologist has found a "sunken graveyard" of 41 WWI U-Boats.

Quote
On the seafloor along the southern and eastern coasts of the UK, Dunkley and three other divers have found one of the largest graveyards in the world's oceans, with 41 German and three English submarines from World War I. Most of the submarines sank with their crews still on board, causing many sailors to die in horrific ways, either by drowning or suffocating in the cramped and airtight submarines.

Several U-boats with the German Imperial Navy are still considered missing today. Lists provide precise details on which of the U-boats the German naval forces had lost by the time the war ended in November 1918.

But it was completely unclear what had happened, for example, to UB 17, under the command of naval Lieutenant Albert Branscheid, with its crew of 21 men, or where the 27-member crew of UC 21, used as a minelayer and commanded by naval Lieutenant Werner von Zerboni di Sposetti, had perished.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/british-archaeologists-explore-wwi-submarine-graveyard-off-uk-coast-a-911648.html

Offline bob48

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2013, 12:48:36 PM »
Incredible to think that they have been lying on our doorstep in quite shallow water for all this time without being discovered before. Facinating.
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Offline besilarius

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2013, 01:30:07 PM »
If you know anything about the submarine campaign in WWI, this announcement shouldn't be a huge surprise.
The question I have, is why the brits ignored the sunken ships for so long.
Mass Hysteria following the terrible results of the war?
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Offline bob48

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2013, 01:47:39 PM »
No idea. Not a subject I've ever been that interested in, but it does make you wonder.
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Offline TheCommandTent

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2013, 03:10:39 PM »
Very interesting.
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Offline LongBlade

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2013, 03:20:05 PM »
If you know anything about the submarine campaign in WWI, this announcement shouldn't be a huge surprise.
The question I have, is why the brits ignored the sunken ships for so long.
Mass Hysteria following the terrible results of the war?

Yeah. Could be, but it seems kinda silly. It isn't as if WWI hasn't been over for a couple of years or anything.

Offline Martok

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 09:14:47 AM »
Cool story!  I had no idea so many U-boats were considered missing. 




The question I have, is why the brits ignored the sunken ships for so long.

That was one of my first thoughts as well. 

I suppose you could argue that nothing was done for the first few decades because shaky economies and heightened geopolitical tension kept attention & resources focused elsewhere, but after that I don't know.  Maybe everyone was simply too distracted by the Cold War? 

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Offline LongBlade

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 10:06:18 AM »
Cool story!  I had no idea so many U-boats were considered missing. 

Especially during WWI, but even during WWII you didn't always know who you were depth charging or what the results were.

Therefore a destroyer could be going after a U-boat, not know which one, and not know the results. All the Germans know is that one of their U-boats didn't come home. Ergo, it's "missing."

Even after the war when both sides try to piece together who-did-what-and-when there's still not a good way to figure out if U-123 was the one engaged by DD-123. Since no one could connect the dots any better than that, the status remains "missing" until some intrepid soul sends an ROV to take pictures and confirm what everyone suspected.

Offline Windigo

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2013, 10:14:21 AM »
Cool story!  I had no idea so many U-boats were considered missing. 

Especially during WWI, but even during WWII you didn't always know who you were depth charging or what the results were.

Therefore a destroyer could be going after a U-boat, not know which one, and not know the results. All the Germans know is that one of their U-boats didn't come home. Ergo, it's "missing."

Even after the war when both sides try to piece together who-did-what-and-when there's still not a good way to figure out if U-123 was the one engaged by DD-123. Since no one could connect the dots any better than that, the status remains "missing" until some intrepid soul sends an ROV to take pictures and confirm what everyone suspected.

I wonder how many went missing in South America?
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Offline besilarius

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2013, 04:52:45 PM »
From Enigma intercepts, the brits could probably track all the boats outside of the North Atlantic from 1943.  Except for a few situations, the surge for Pakenschlag, and after the Torch invasion, very few were deployed out of the main battle area at one time.
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Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: 41 WWI Sunken U-Boats Found
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2013, 07:39:47 PM »
in related news:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/odyssey-marine-recovers-61-tons-of-silver-from-ss-gairsoppa/2132582

Tampa's sunken treasure hunting firm Odyssey Marine Exploration has recovered its largest haul yet, a record-setting 61 tons of silver bullion from the bottom of the North Atlantic.

Odyssey Marine said the recovery of the silver from the sunken British cargo ship, SS Gairsoppa, is reportedly the largest precious metal recovery in history.

Odyssey retrieved the treasure from a depth of 3 miles below the surface, also a record.

"This was an extremely complex recovery which was complicated by the sheer size and structure of the SS Gairsoppa as well as its depth nearly 3 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey's chief executive officer.

In 2010, the United Kingdom Government Department for Transport awarded Odyssey Marine the exclusive salvage contract for the cargo of the Gairsoppa. In September 2011, the company announced that it had found the ship.

Under a contract with the British government, the Odyssey will retain 80 percent of the value of the silver it recovers, estimated at $210 million.

"We have accomplished a world-record recovery at a depth never achieved before," said Mark Gordon, Odyssey's president and chief operating officer. "We're continuing to apply our unique expertise to pioneer deep-ocean projects that result in the discovery and recovery of lost cultural heritage, valuable cargoes and important and needed natural resources."

The Gairsoppa, a 412-foot steel-hulled British cargo steamship, began its career in 1919 under the service of the British India Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. of London. It was engaged in commercial shipping activity in the waters of the Far East, Australia, India and East Africa.

The ship began its final voyage in December 1940 in Calcutta, India, loaded with nearly 7,000 tons of diverse and high-value cargo, including tea and a large quantity of silver that belonged to the British government. The ship joined a convoy in West Africa. Many of the merchant ships in the convoy were in a poor state of repair.

High winds and ocean swells forced the Gairsoppa to slow its speed. As the weather grew worse and the ship began running low on coal, it began sailing alone, without the protection of the convoy.

A German U-boat attacked the lone ship, spraying the Gairsoppa's 83-member crew and two gunners with heavy machine gun fire. One of four torpedoes fired from the U-boat struck the Gairsoppa, sinking it into the icy waters of the North Atlantic on Feb. 17, 1941. A lone crew member survived the attack, sailing in a life boat for 13 days back to shore.

Odyssey's stock price was down about 4 percent to $3.30 as trading continued Monday.
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