German WWI submarine resurfaces in France - 100 years after it was sunk and abandoned | Eurasia Diary -

26 June, Wednesday

German WWI submarine resurfaces in France - 100 years after it was sunk and abandoned

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The wreck of a German submarine from World War I has resurfaced off the coast of France, more than a century after it was sunk and abandoned by its crew in 1917.

Shifting sand and tide levels on the beach of Wissant, near Calais, have caused the UC-61 to be visible to residents, and the incredible vessel has become a local attraction after it reappeared this week.

The submarine, which was used primarily to lay mines, ran aground on the shores of Wissant in July 1917 due to heavy fog, and was flooded and sunk by the crew so it couldn’t be used by Allied forces. All 26 member of the crew surrendered to French authorities, according to the BBC.

This is not the first time locals have spotted the remains of the submarine, as sections have emerged before, depending on weather conditions.

Since December, two sections of the submarine have been visible at low tide about 330 feet from the dunes, the BBC reported.

“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,” said Mayor of Wissant Bernard Bracq.

This is the first time, however, that large sections have resurfaced, said a local tour guide.

German submarines, known as U-boats (from the term U-boot, a shortening of Unterseeboot, literally “underseaboat”), targeted Allied shipping during World War One, sinking hundreds of vessels.

According to historians, the UC-61 has sunk 11 ships. It was also credited for the sinking of the French armored cruiser Kléber in June 1917, which lost 42 of her crew.

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