Sun, 18 Aug 2019

Wreck of a German WWI submarine uncovered on French beach

By Sheetal Sukhija, Boston News
14 Jan 2019, 02:30 GMT+10

CALAIS, France - The wreck of UC 61, which is a German World War I submarine, has mysteriously resurfaced on a beach in northern France, more than 100 years after it was abandoned. 

A relic from World War I, which was abandoned by its crew in 1917 and was entirely buried under sand by the year 1930, is now gradually resurfacing on a beach off Wissant, near Calais.

The UC-61, like other German submarines, targeted Allied shipping during World War One and was responsible for sinking hundreds of vessels.

According to historians, the UC-61 laid mines and fired torpedoes between November 1916 and July 1917 and has been credited with sinking at least 11 ships.

However, on July 26, 1917, the German U-boat ran aground after leaving Zeebrugge in Belgium to lay mines as it headed to Boulogne-sur-Mer and Le Havre.

Archives reveal that after its last journey, the 26 crewmen of the submarine surrendered to French authorities and its commander, Capt. Georg Gerth was a prisoner of war until March 1920. 

Now, decades after being buried in the sand, the wreck of the German WW1 submarine

has been uncovered on the French beach, becoming a major tourist attraction in the region.

Authorities in Wissant have revealed that in the remains of the UC-61 reappear every two to three years and could disappear again.

Local authorities said that two sections of the submarine have been visible at low tide about 330ft (100m) from the dunes since December 2018. 

Mayor of Wissant Bernard Bracq explained, "The wreck is visible briefly every two to three years, depending on the tides and the wind that leads to sand movements, but a good gust of wind and the wreck will disappear again."

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