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Old 01-17-2019, 09:27 PM
Location: Cupertino, CA
838 posts, read 1,708,139 times
Reputation: 1119


The remains of a German UC-61 submarine have reappeared near a French seaside resort. The submarine was used to sink merchant ships during the First World War. Parts of the U-boat have been visible since December.

German Type UC II submarine

Type: Coastal minelaying submarine

400–434 t (394–427 long tons) surfaced
480–511 t (472–503 long tons) submerged

Length: 49.35–53.15 m (161 ft 11 in–174 ft 5 in) o/a

Beam: 5.22 m (17 ft 2 in)

Draught: 3.65 m (12 ft)

2 shafts
6-cylinder diesel engines, 500–600 PS (370–440 kW; 490–590 shp)
Siemens-Schuckert electric motors, 460–620 PS (340–460 kW; 450–610 shp)

11.6–12 knots (21.5–22.2 km/h; 13.3–13.8 mph) surfaced
6.7–7.4 knots (12.4–13.7 km/h; 7.7–8.5 mph) submerged

7,280–10,040 mi (11,720–16,160 km) at 7 knots (13 km/h; 8.1 mph) surfaced
52–60 mi (84–97 km) at 4 knots (7.4 km/h; 4.6 mph) submerged

Test depth: 50 m (160 ft)

Complement: 3 officers, 23 enlisted

Sensors and
processing systems: 1 periscope

2 Χ 50 cm (19.7 in) external bow torpedo tubes
1 Χ internal stern tube (7 torpedoes)
1 Χ 8.8 cm (3.5 in) SK L/30 or 10.5 cm (4.1 in) SK L/45 deck gun
1 machine gun
18 Χ Type UC 200 mines in 6 internal chutes
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:25 PM
Location: Aurora Denveralis
4,797 posts, read 1,581,829 times
Reputation: 6990
Wow. This stuff never ceases to be cool.

What year is that second photo?
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Old 01-19-2019, 10:25 AM
Location: Cupertino, CA
838 posts, read 1,708,139 times
Reputation: 1119
The period photo is of French sailors visiting the wreck near Wissant, Pas-de-Calais, France in August 1917.

I sometimes can't imagine the cramped living conditions on board for the 26 men in a sub of some 500 tons displacement. Add the stress and anxiety and the terrifying prospect of the sub becoming a watery tomb from depth charges, accidents etc.

UC-61 was ordered on the 12th of January 1916, laid down on the 3rd of April 1916 by A.G. Weser of Bremen, and was launched on the 11th of November 1916. She was commissioned into the German Imperial Navy on the 13th of December 1916.

She had a deck gun, three torpedo tubes and carried six naval mines. She had only 7 months of activity but in 5 patrols UC-61 was credited with sinking 11 merchant ships, either by torpedo or by mines laid.

Captain Georg Gerth, commander of SM UC-61 was on his 5th combat mission on the 25th of July 1917. The mission’s objective was to break through the French-British Dover Barrage and then lay mines in the shipping routes to the ports of Boulogne and Le Havre. Capt. Gerth had tried to navigate close to the coast between Cap Blanc Nez and Cap Gris Nez. However, he had overestimated the depth of the water along the route. Suddenly, the crew heard the keel grating on the sand. The U-boat was stranded on a sandbank and irretrievably lost.

Capt.Gerth new that it would not take long for the conning tower to come to the surface due to the falling tide. His only option was to abandon ship, destroy her and surrender to the enemy.

In the darkness of that night, nearby French customs officers heard the attempts by the crew to scuttle the sub and they alerted the nearest military force, namely the 5th Regiment of Belgian Lancers. The cavalrymen rushed to the scene but the crew managed to break the hull in half with a heavy explosion.

The crew were apprehended and ordered to walk the 20kms distance to Calais, escorted by the Lancers. The wreck was left with several unexploded naval mines on board.

In Calais, a Belgian engineer Pierre Van Deuren, had been testing a recently designed trench mortar (named after him), and was investigating the possibility of mounting this weapon on the deck of a ship – against submarines.

This could now be tested in September 1917 thanks to SM UC-61 being stranded on the beach near Wissant. As she was 4-5 metres under water at high tide, it was possible to examine the effects of explosions on a submerged sub.

First fire was opened on the target from the beach. The fifteenth mortar round fell so close to the target that the shock of the explosion set off the naval mines in the bow in a chain reaction. The entire bow was destroyed.
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Old 01-19-2019, 11:13 AM
Location: Germany
3,222 posts, read 576,921 times
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I have been there on holiday. Unfortunately the tide was always high and it was very windy, so even if it was uncovered by the sand, I would not have been able to visit it.
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Old Today, 01:14 PM
Location: London
3,955 posts, read 3,424,944 times
Reputation: 1699
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
Wow. This stuff never ceases to be cool.

What year is that second photo?



Last edited by John-UK; Today at 01:32 PM..
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