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Author Topic: WWI U-Boat wreckage in the River Medway  (Read 1522 times)
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cliveh
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« on: December 11, 2013, 09:32:48 AM »


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-25323057


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Pete
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« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 09:53:47 AM »

It might be the only nearly whole one visible but the bottom of a U boat hull is under Beachy Head on the beach. Lost under tow (same time as the Hastings one) she was salvaged between the wars but the concrete ballasted bottom of the hull still remains
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Goldbeater
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 12:23:51 PM »

Under the terms of Article XXI of the Armistice, signed at the end of the First World War,  Germany was required to immediately surrender all of their submarines. Those in home waters were brought into the submarine base at Harwich, and on the 21st November 1918, the first batch of ten U-Boats arrived under the control British crews flying the White Ensign from the conning towers. Over the next two weeks, 122 submarines and other associated craft arrived in Harwich. The German crews were returned to their own country.

Out of the 176 (accounts vary on the precise number) surrendered submarines, some were distributed to allied navies (some to France and six to the USA), others sunk under tow, or were scuttled. The Admiralty decided that a number of the U-Boats should be taken around Britain and displayed to the public. Among these places were Portsmouth, Devonport, Great Yarmouth, Cardiff, Bristol, and London.

It seems that 26 of the submarines were bought by a cement works for their diesel engines and generators, and afterwards the hulls were bought by a scrap company who, in 1920, moored them in the River Medway, awaiting scrapping. (One account says they were blown onto the mud flats by strong winds, whilst being towed for scrapping). Unfortunately, the price of scrap steel plummeted and in 1923, the scrap dealer went bankrupt before the submarines could be broken up. Whether they were moved again or not, it is not clear, but it does seem that were either scuttled, or just allowed to rot at their moorings.

Of the twenty-six, only three remain on the Medway mud flats. There doesn’t seem to be any record of the other twenty three, but it is suggested that they may have been subsequently towed away for scrapping. Alternatively, they may have rotted away and slipped beneath the mud 

One of the three boats sits on its own in Damhead Creek, near Humble Bee Creek, East Hoo, the other two are some 1400 feet away, and lie close together in Slede Creek, near Oakham Ness jetty. There is not a lot left of the Slede Creek boats after some further salvage during WW2.

There is some argument over the identities of these submarines. The Damhead Creek boat has been identified as a type UE2 - U122 or U123, and also as type UBIII - UB122, due to its size being to short for a UE2. U122 is recorded as being grounded on the East coast on 9th December 1917 whilst on her way to the breakers, with U123 suffering the same fate on the 26th January 1918. So there is a bit of a mystery there. No record of the identity of the other two boats.

MedwayUboat_1: Photograph of the Damhead Creek submarine wreck taken in 1930.
MedwayUboat_2: Recent aerial photograph of the same. Date unknown.
MedwayUboat_3: Same as previous.
MedwayUboat_4: Photograph of the boat at Damhead Creek taken in the late 1970’s.
MedwayUboat_5: As previous.
MedwayUboat_7: Aerial view of the two boats at Slede Creek. Date unknown.



The original source of these photographs is unknown. No copyright restrictions evident.

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cliveh
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 13:54:24 PM »

Thanks for a very informative post and photos Goldbeater

cliveh
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John Chiltz
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2013, 16:00:05 PM »

Very informative post many thanks
Just been reading about the 1920's sub on the Medway in the Current Archeology mag.
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John Chiltz
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 11:11:37 AM »

The remains of a U-boat surrendered after the First World War which now lies in Stoke Saltings on the north coast of Kent. The identity remains unknown, but it has been suggested it could be UB-122 which was lost while being towed for breaking in 1921.
The above information is taken from the Current Archeology magazine.
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John Chiltz
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 11:24:20 AM »

UB122 Specifications
UB122 was ordered on the 28th February 1917 at a cost of 3,654 marks. The builder who took on the order was AG Weser in Bremen.

UB122 was laid down May 21st 1917, launched Feb 2nd 1918 and commissioned Mar 4th 1918. UB122 joined 3rd Submarine Flotilla under the commanding officer of Oberleutnant zur See Alexander Magnus.

Making two war patrols with no successes between 7th July 1918 and November 11th 1918 UB122 was delivered to the UK on 24th November 1918 and accidently beached when it was on its way to the breakers yard.

UB122 had three commanding officers and 31 of other ranks on board when at sea.

Full specifications

512 tons on surface, 643 tons submerged. 55,85 x 5,80 x 3,72 m oa.

2 x Körting 6-Cyl 4-stroke diesel engines, 1060 SHP = 13,9 knots.
2 x Siemens Schuckert Werke electrical engines, 788 SHP = 7,6 knots.
2 x screws 1,40 m diameter.
2 x rudder.
4 x depth rudders.

Time to dive 30 seconds. Max diving depth 50 m.

5 x torpedo tubes (4 bow, 1 stern) with 10 x 50 cm torpedos.
1 x 88 mm dual-purpose gun L/30 with 160 rounds.
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Pete
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 11:37:48 AM »

Maybe down in part to confusion over UB and U types but U-boat net states UB-122 sank off the English coast 1921 on it's way to the breakers. U-122 is described as ran aground on the East Coast on it's way to the breakers and subsequently broken up.  The Hastings boat U-118 is listed as being beached and broken up at Hastings. However it goes adrift with the boat under Baileys Brow (Beachy Head) UB-121  and UB-130 which lies a few miles off Beachy Head with it's salvaged gun outside Newhaven Museum. U-boat net states both were destroyed at Toulon undergoing explosives trials. There is no doubt on the numbers of both these as parts have been salvaged carrying the boat numbers
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stiletto
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« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2017, 17:48:31 PM »

Last year

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