Friday, January 28, 2011

Cork Scuba Divers Discover WWI U-Boat

Historians believe the German submarine was destroyed in 1919.

All 27 crew on board the UC42 died when the submarine sank at the entrance to Cork Harbour on 10 September 1917.

It had been laying mines when an explosion was heard.

A team of five amateur divers from Cork discovered the submarine in good condition in 27m of water just off Roches Point on 6 November after a 12-month search.

Diver Ian Kelleher said they were very surprised and ecstatic to find it with little obvious explosive damage.

Positive identification was possible when they found its number stamped on a propeller.

Continue reading...

While U-boats in theory could have been quite useful as fleet weapons against enemy naval warships, they were practically most effective in an economic warfare environment (i.e. commerce raiding), charged with the enforcement of a naval blockade against enemy shipping. The primary targets of the U-boat campaigns in both world wars were the merchant convoys bringing supplies from the British Empire and the United States to the islands of Great Britain.

If you haven't already, Robert Kurson's Shadow Divers is a must read for scuba divers and history buffs alike. The journalistic narrative tells of John Chatterton and Rich Kohler, who in 1991 discovered an unidentified German U-boat at the perilous depth of 230 feet off the coast of New Jersey.

A story of the things men lose in order to find.

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