Lost World War I Submarine Found With Remains of 23 Crew on Board

The sub wreck could solve a hundred-year-old mystery.

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Researchers have located the wreck of a World War I German U-boat off the coast of Belgium. The submarine, which sank more than 100 years ago, was part of a campaign to harass Allied shipping. The submarine may be one that was reportedly sunk by a mine but whose wreck was never found.

According to ABC News, the submarine was discovered off the coast of Belgium in the North Sea. The submarine is reportedly lying at a 45-degree angle on the ocean floor at a depth of 82 to 98 feet. The remains of 23 crewmembers were found onboard.

The submarine is reportedly a Type UB II U-boat, a smaller class of submarine that typically operated in coastal waters. Just 88 feet long, the submarines had a crew of 23, carried six torpedoes, and were armed with a 88-millimeter deck gun. Thirty Type UB II subs were built. And not all were accounted for at the end of the war.

World War I German U-boat in port.
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ABC News claims the submarine suffered extensive damage to its bow and that it "may have struck a mine." This sounds remarkably similar to the fate of the German Type UB II submarine UB-20, which, on July 28, 1917, reportedly struck a mine off the coast of Zeebrugge, Belgium during diving trials. UB-20 was lost with all hands. The submarine just discovered off the coast of Belgium had a full crew onboard when it went down.

According to the Belgian government, the location of the wreck is being kept a secret until it can be properly protected, and the German ambassador to Belgium has been contacted to make arrangements for the crew remains.

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