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WWI submarine found off Dutch coast

The Local · 16 Mar 2011, 15:58

Published: 16 Mar 2011 15:58 GMT+01:00

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The U-106 was discovered in the North Sea, north of the Dutch island of Terschelling, in October 2009 by a Dutch naval ship mapping the sea floor, the navy said in a statement.

The find was not announced earlier because the German government needed time to find and inform the next-of-kin of the 41 crew who sank with the boat.

"The ship will be left where it was found, and will become an official war grave," the statement said.

The submarine of 838 tonnes, 71.5 metres (234 feet) long, took to the water for the first time in July 1917, commanded by "Kapitänleutnant" Hans Hufnagel, fresh from submarine school.

It is believed to have hit a British mine on the night of October 7 after it lost radio contact in a British undersea mine field.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:54 March 16, 2011 by wood artist
Thank you, everyone, for finding this grave and taking the time to share the discovery with the families. Let them rest in peace.

Just curious. Is that a sonar picture of the boat?

22:27 March 16, 2011 by derExDeutsche
I guess Germany should feel lucky they aren't being sued and told to remove the u-boat.
23:16 March 16, 2011 by maxbrando
I am continually appalled that so many people, with nothing else to do, are intent on "discovering" something. It is their way to make their "mark" on life, I suppose. Poor things. These people continually remove romance from everyone's everyone elses lives - to the detriment of their own. Thety will get to sit around in some senioren home and tell everyone about their great "discovery". When they get Alsheimer's they get to tell it every day - many times!
04:07 March 17, 2011 by wenddiver
Maxbrando- You are being overly optimistic. More than likely the crew on this will just sit there and drool.
04:27 March 17, 2011 by SAXONETZ
Thats great news and a sad one as well, it was a nice decision by the government not to release the find until all surviving relatives of the crew had been notified. Good news because those relatives can now at least tell the Grandkids of their loved one and his role in the Great War, Sub-Mariners from all wars ( especially the infancy days of submarines) were a brave and unique men.Thanks also to the men who found the U-Boat. RIP.
08:40 March 17, 2011 by trapper
Perhaps the conning tower should be raised and placed alongside the tower of the British E 17 on Terschelling harbour.This submarine was also lost with all hands off terschelling probably to a mine. The wreck was found by the local diving team in the late 80's early 90's

A fitting epitaph to brothers in arms and the stupidity of war. another brave submarine's crew finaly at rest, their long patrol over. I write this as a retired British submariner.
09:34 March 17, 2011 by catjones
@maxbrando...I'm with you. What's with those guys who 'discovered' the wheel and agriculture? They took the romance out of struggle and starvation.
10:04 March 17, 2011 by michael4096
'..people, with nothing else to do, are intent on "discovering" something..'

Apart from being a very silly comment, you demonstarate quite clearly that you didn't read the article. If you had, you would know that it was discovered by accident by people creating charts to make travelling safer for me and you.

If anyone is interested, a sister ship is in the Deutches Museum in munich - cut in half longwise so that you can see the guts. The allies ordered all german u-boats destroyed after the first war but allowed that one, the first, to survive as long as it was cut in half.
10:07 March 17, 2011 by moistvelvet
@catjones LOL

@maxbrando, the North sea is pretty shallow in places so it has to be surveyed to keep shipping lanes free. What should they do, not bother/stay quiet and allow a cross channel ferry to hit a drifting wreck or unexploded mine? Apart from the purely logical safety veiw discovering wrecks gives families a place of burial and the victims some recognition, perhaps you wouldn't mind your corpse being tossed into a hedgerow and forgotten but is it too much to think that others might want to be remembered with a recognised grave after they've died?
12:07 March 17, 2011 by daddycat
Is it beyond modern technology to remove the human remains and have them buried with full military honours, thus giving the descendants of those who died a focal point which can actually be visited. Perhaps also use part of the wreck as a memorial and allow it to slowly rust away.
13:27 March 17, 2011 by HHayrider
Most likely, there are no remains left, after having been exposed to seawater for all this time. However, since sailors died there, it will be designated as a grave.
18:22 March 18, 2011 by dr.makni49
Fantastic find.

I would suggest, create an international war museum and pool up all such pieces there at a convenient place/country, including the one at Baltimore that sunk last Japanese ship on high seas, almost at the end of WW-II. The relatives of the crew would have their grief in this case reignited but that is a reality and I share their grief.

15:56 March 19, 2011 by aslanleon
These men deserve recognition for their heroism. The submarine corps of every nation were among the bravest of all those who served in the tragic wars of the last century. I am the great great grandson of a member of the first submarine crew on the Alligator, the first submarine in the American navy.
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