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Divers discover WW1 U-boat lost off Scot. coast for 94 yrs

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Divers discover WW1 U-boat lost off Scot. coast for 94 yrs

Postby U-5075 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:48 am ... -21230804/

Divers discover WW1 U-boat lost off Scottish coast for 94 years

Mar 27 2009 By Robert Fairburn

SCOTS divers have tracked down a German World War I submarine which was sunk almost 94 years ago.

The wreck of U-40 was lying in 220 feet of water, 40 miles off the Berwickshire coast.

It was torpedoed on June 23, 1915, with the loss of 29 crew after the first British naval operation involving a decoy "Q ship" to lure it into a trap.

Eyemouth-based skipper Iain Easingwood spent months piecing together clues to U-40's final resting place from wartime maps.

His success follows a previous hunt which ended with another German sub, U-12, being located off Eyemouth in January last year.

Delighted Iain, 33, said: "Everyone has talked about U-40 for years but never got close to it. Given the history and amazing story behind it, this is probably our most significant find to date."

U-40's sinking was hailed by British naval chiefs as a big success in protecting North Sea cargo ships.

A decoy trawler named Taranaki - which had a line attached to British sub HMS C-24 - was used to lure U-40 into a trap. The British sub then managed to sink it with a torpedo.

Only U-boat commander Gerhardt Furbringer and two crewmen who had been in the conning tower survived and were taken prisoner.

Furbringer is later thought to have escaped and went on to command another U-boat.

German top brass condemned the attack as a "dirty trick". But the British regarded it as the first success for what became known as Q-ships.

Iain, who runs wreck finders Marine Quest, made his latest find last Wednesday. He said: "I'd been studying the U-40 since the start of last year and we established a location in December."

A team of divers spotted the hulk of U-40 lying at a 45-degree angle, still with its attack periscope raised.

The stern was badly damaged, which was thought to be due to the torpedo fired by HMS C-24.

Iain said they did not disturb the site - a war grave. The German authorities have been informed of the location.
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Postby U-5075 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:58 am


Final resting place of sunken U-Boat discovered off Eyemouth

Divers discover missing U-40

Published Date:
25 March 2009
By Simond Duke

A WRECK which has left people perplexed for the past 15 years has been found 40 miles off the coast of Eyemouth.
It's been a busy few years for Marine Quest, run by father and son team Jim and Iain Easingwood, and their latest find- the German U-Boat, U-40, is arguably their most impressive find yet.
The 65m submarine was sunk by British Submarine HMS C-24 and decoy trawler Taranaki on June 23, 1915, as part of what the enemy later described as a 'dirty trick' but for home forces represented the first success of a covert naval operation, now famously referred to as "Q-ships".
For years the final resting place of WW1 U-40 was thought to be much closer inshore near Girdle Ness than her actual position proved to be.
There have been a number of unsuccessful expeditions over the past decade or so which makes Marine Quest's discovery even more of an achievement.
A team of divers led by Jim Macleod and Martin Sinclair set off from Eyemouth just after breakfast on Wednesday, March 18, in the firm's boat, Silver Sky and couldn't have asked for better weather.
Iain Easingwood said after nearly a year's worth of research it was just a case of waiting for the right day to venture out.
He added: "I'd been studying the U-40 since the start of last year and we established a positive location in December.
"I spoke to the divers the week before last to say the weather was looking good for last Wednesday but it was still a bit of a rush getting everyone together.
"You can't just go out on an expedition on a hunch, there's a lot of groundwork involved and I try to put as much information together as possible.
"Even then you can't always be sure you've found the exact U-Boat you're looking for. There's a lot of them out there but thankfully from the pictures we took experts were able to pinpoint certain things."
The wreck of the U-40 submarine lies in 65 metres of water lying over at a 45 degree angle, still with her attack periscope raised. It is believed that the site hadn't been previously visited by divers.
There was a large amount of damage to the port side stern of the submarine this was thought to be due to torpedo impact fired by HMS C-24.
The wreck is a war grave, 29 German sailors lost their lives in total and only Gerhardt Fürbringer commander of the U-40 and two others who had been in the conning tower, escaped the sinking submarine, and were taken prisoner. It is belived that Furbringer later escaped and went onto command another U-Boat.
Iain said he still doesn't think people in Berwickshire realise the wealth of history there is on their doorsteps.
"This wreck in particular had such an amazing story behind it," he said.
"It's fascinating to think that there are many other wrecks out there in the North Sea which are still waiting to be discovered.
"We're always looking for the next exciting find and it's just a case of keeping your ear to the ground and playing a waiting game."
The Scottish dive team involved in last weeks expedition were were Martin Sinclair, Jim Macleod, Paul Dustan, Nigel Goodman, Graeme Govenlock, Jim Burke, Dave Ward, Tony Ray and Mike Wilcox.
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Postby U-5075 » Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:28 pm

More details ... 983148.ece

North Sea U-boat recovered after 100 years
Lindsay McIntosh

It was a pivotal moment in Britain's First World War effort which set the nation on a course to victory at sea. On the morning of June 23, 1915, the first German U-boat was lured by a covert Q-ship — a decoy trawler — and was then promptly sunk by a British submarine lurking below.

For almost 100 years since, the U-40 has lain in the depths of the North Sea, miles from where it was recorded as going down. Now, a father and son diving team has identified the wreck and it has been declared a war grave by the German authorities.

The U-40 was sunk by the British submarine HMS C-24, which was hiding beneath the decoy trawler Taranaki on a towline. When given the signal, the submarine surfaced suddenly and, despite becoming tangled in the cable, scored a direct hit with a single torpedo. Of the 32 on board, only the commander, Gerhardt Furbringer, and two others escaped. The other 29 perished.

The sinking prompted the Germans to accuse the British of "dirty tricks", but signalled the beginning of a campaign which helped ease the pressure on ships bringing food and supplies to Britain. It was the first in a series of attacks by the so-called Q-ships. The captain of the submarine was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the attack.

Iain Easingwood, who runs diving firm Marine Quest with his father, Jim, said he was delighted to have solved the mystery of the whereabouts of the U-40. The 33-year-old skipper led a team of divers out of Eyemouth earlier this month.

He said the sunken vessel, which lies 210ft beneath the sea, 40 miles off the coast of Eyemouth, remained in good condition, and even had its attack periscope still raised.

"She was torpedoed by a British submarine, so there's quite a lot of damage to the stern, and she's been there for a hundred years or so," he said. "But these things stay in pretty good nick because there's a pressure hull within the outer skin that you see, and those withstand pretty much anything, so they'll be down there forever, basically.

"The periscope's still up, with the glass lens still in it. Some of the stuff is still in really good condition, although obviously it's very dark down there."

Marine Quest discovered the wreck using hydrographic sonar and ships in December and then took measurements and photographs to confirm the boat's identity. Previous reports had suggested it was lying close to Girdle Ness, near Aberdeen. They waited until last week to venture out with divers in perfect weather conditions in their boat Silver Sky.

Mr Easingwood Jr said: "It's one thing finding these U-boats but it's another thing to identify them, so the divers go to huge lengths to get it right before we release any information. Because, especially for the families of the people on board these ships, it's really important that we don't wrongly identify them."

He said the divers had a strict policy to touch nothing on the wreck. They had previously found another u-boat, about four miles off the coast, and the commander's son came to lay a wreath. "It was nice to be able to do something like that for someone," he said. "It meant so much to him, and it made me realise these wrecks are graves and have to be respected as that. Somebody's great grandfather's down there so you don't want to be doing anything underhand and picking things off it."

The 200ft U-40 is also significant because it was the first submarine to have an aeroplane carried on its deck. The concept was soon disregarded by German naval chiefs as a failure. "Given the history and amazing story behind the U-40, this is probably our most significant find to date," said Mr Easingwood jnr. "There are so many other wrecks out there in the North Sea and we will be on the lookout for another exciting find."
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Video footage unveils U-40 secrets

Postby U-5075 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:55 pm ... 971642.stm

Footage unveils U-boat secrets

BBC News - ‎Mar 30, 2009‎
Video of underwater footage from the wreck of a German U-boat sunk more than 90 years ago has been released. The vessel - the U-40 - was recently discovered by..............
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