Finnish wreck diving team find German First World War submarine

Posted on on 06 June 2014
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The wreck of the German submarine SM U-26 has been found in the Gulf of Finland.

It disappeared in 1915 during the First World War, having sunk the Imperial Russian cruiser Pallada in October 1914.

It had been believed that the submarine had either struck a Russian mine or suffered a technical failure around the south-west side of the Estonian islands of Hiiumaa and Saaremma, or in front of Libaun (present day Liepaja, Latvia).

The discovery of the wreck by Badewanne divers now shows that the U-26, captained by Lieutenant-Commander Egewolf von Beckheim, disappeared in August 1915 in the Gulf of Finland, which had been heavily mined by the Russians.

The position of the wreck suggests that it was hit on the surface by a mine which exploded in the stern. 

Badewanne has described the U-26 as having been "superbly protected" by the natural assets of the Baltic Sea, namely, low salinity (salt-water content) and a lack of oxygen, which has slowed down the corrosion process.

The double-hull design of the submarine has also meant it has resisted the pressure of being at such a depth. Badewanne describes the wreck as "the most well preserved German World War One U-boat in the world".

Source: Badewanne 

Images courtesy of Badewanne 

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News