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View Full Version : U-118 Beached on my doorstep! Photo's & Story



Ant__.
03-07-2007, 06:23 AM
Browsing around for a Rolling Quiz question, I came across references to U-118, that beached at Hastings, UK on April 15th, 1919. I didn't know this! A U-boat beached virtually on my doorstep!

Here's some photo's. Just look at the clothes the locals are wearing - they really date the pictures! Also, they give some scale as to the size of the U-Boat itself.

There's more. Mystery initially surrounded the sudden deaths of Coastguards that inpsected the U-Boat, stranded on the shore opposite the Queens Hotel:

German U-Boat UB118 was built by A.G Weser, Bremen following an order on 8th February 1917 and was launched on 13th December 1917 and commissioned on 22nd January 1918. It was commandered by Hermann Arthur Kraub from 22nd January 1918 to 11th November 1918. Whilst on five patrols from 26th March 1918 to 11th November 1918 it sunk five ships, total tonnage 23.967 tons ( Warships excluded), finally surrendering to France on 20th November 1918.
On 15th April 1919 the U Boat became washed ashore opposite the Queens Hotel, Hastings. Coastguards Chief Officer William Henry Moore and William Charles Heard, together with a Mr L Penton entered the vessel. As they did so they reported a smell like rotten eggs coming from within. On leaving they were all
violently sick. A few months later they all became ill. As a result Willam Moore died on 7th September 1919 and William Heard on 12th February 1920. Mt Penton survived. Both deaths were attributed to breathing in poisonous gases. It was thought that this was due to the action of the sea water on the vessels batteries, possibly giving off chlorine gas.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/u118huge.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/u1185.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/u1184.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/u1182.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v642/antsmith/hastings2.jpg

mariuszj1939
03-07-2007, 06:29 AM
Originally posted by Realjambo:
that beached at Hastings,

Great pictures ! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/clap.gif

Is it that place Hastings where somebody from continent attacked England many centuries ago ?

Ant__.
03-07-2007, 06:44 AM
Is it that place Hastings where somebody from continent attacked England many centuries ago ?


Correct Mariuszj - 1066 - The Battle of Hastings (http://www.battle1066.com/) - Where Harold caught an arrow in his eye - ouch!

Goose_Green
03-07-2007, 06:46 AM
Hey RJ

Maybe this could be a an extra piece in your next installment of the Gibraltar Heraldhttp://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Sturat66
03-07-2007, 06:46 AM
Very interesting.

Ant__.
03-07-2007, 06:59 AM
Maybe this could be a an extra piece in your next installment of the Gibraltar Herald

Mmm. Goose you could have a point there. Mind you, it would have to be 'Ye Olde Gibraltar Heralde' Perhaps http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Liddabit
03-07-2007, 07:19 AM
Is that a type 2 or earlier? WOW it was deep in the channel!

The poison gas thing seems like the curse of king tut's tomb :P

Gmuno
03-07-2007, 07:47 AM
The sub is a "Mittel-U", an WWI-type which fathered the type IX.

Goose_Green
03-07-2007, 08:16 AM
Originally posted by Gmuno:
The sub is a "Mittel-U", an WWI-type which fathered the type IX.

You can see strong resemblances with this one and the Type IX

Ant__.
03-07-2007, 08:21 AM
Some further digging reveals:

UB III
Shipyard A.G. Weser, Bremen (Werk 291)
Ordered 8 Feb, 1917 Laid down 4 Apr, 1917
Launched 13 Dec, 1917 Commissioned 22 Jan, 1918
Commanders
22 Jan, 1918 - 11 Nov, 1918 Hermann Arthur Krauß
Career 5 patrols
26 Mar, 1918 - 11 Nov, 1918 III Flotilla
Successes 5 ships sunk for a total of 23.967 tons (warships excluded).
Fate 20 Nov, 1918 - Surrendered. Despite often reported claims that she was transferred to France, UB 118 remained under British control. She is very likely the U-boat that sank while under tow on November 21, 1920 near Falmouth (50.11N, 04.46W).

Bonesattack
03-07-2007, 08:23 AM
Just imagine that? a u boat washing up on the beach!

Did anybody manage to board the boat at all?

Where they ever able to ventilate it?

Did they manage to recover any artifacts?

All these questions...perhaps I should just google it & find out for meself? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

Great post RJ

Celeon999
03-07-2007, 08:26 AM
I bet RJ will check the beach everyday from now on http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

joeap
03-07-2007, 08:37 AM
Originally posted by Goose_Green:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gmuno:
The sub is a "Mittel-U", an WWI-type which fathered the type IX.

You can see strong resemblances with this one and the Type IX </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Rather big in fact!!

RedTerex
03-07-2007, 09:21 AM
Nice wee post RJ.

The photo of the sub is super and does illustrate the size of these things.

Great tourist attraction ! they should have left it there, cleaned it out of all the chlorine gas etc and charged for tours of it. A missed opurtunity there me thinks !

A small riddle though, where had the boat been between 20th Nov 1917 and 15th April 1919, thats 5 months...what, floating around all on its own?

Ant__.
03-07-2007, 09:43 AM
A small riddle though, where had the boat been between 20th Nov 1917 and 15th April 1919, thats 5 months...what, floating around all on its own?


Good question RT. There doesn't seem to be much informnation on the net at all regarding U118, or to be more precise, Ub118, as the two are often confused.

U118 was an XB class, built between 1939-41 and sunk 12th June 1943 west of the Canary Islands, in position 30.49N, 33.49W by depth charges from eight Avenger aircraft of the US escort carrier USS Bogue. 43 dead and 16 survivors - Clearly not the same vessel!

Mmmm. I may have to order R.J Ambo to Hastings to do some investigating.

Ant__.
03-07-2007, 09:47 AM
Heh heh, Not much gets away from R.J. Ambo. I've found out this much, so far:

"23 Feb, 1919 - Surrendered. To have been transferred to France, but the tow parted and she went aground off Hastings on April 15, 1919. Broken up"

"U-118 was under tow to the breakers yard when she parted her tow and was washed up onto Hastings Beach. She would later be broken up in situ on the beach"

http://inlinethumb27.webshots.com/218/1124235106033241453S600x600Q85.jpg (http://news.webshots.com/photo/1124235106033241453JvgjSb)

wm4668
03-07-2007, 10:35 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Realjambo:

Coastguards Chief Officer William Henry Moore and William Charles Heard, together with a Mr L Penton entered the vessel. As they did so they reported a smell like rotten eggs coming from within. On leaving they were all
violently sick. A few months later they all became ill. As a result Willam Moore died on 7th September 1919 and William Heard on 12th February 1920. Mt Penton survived. Both deaths were attributed to breathing in poisonous gases. It was thought that this was due to the action of the sea water on the vessels batteries, possibly giving off chlorine gas.

[quote]

A rotten eggs eggs smell is often related to H2S (Hydrogen sulphide), chlorine smells somewhat different - think bleach or swimming pools. See this link - quite interesting but what could be the source of H2S?

H2S (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/external/faq/eggs.htm)

Ant__.
03-07-2007, 10:45 AM
See this link - quite interesting but what could be the source of H2S?

H2S


The mystery deepens! Award winning investigative reporter and Editor of The Gibraltar Herald R.J. Ambo dons his raincoat and Speedo's and sets off for Hastings...

Wolfvram
03-08-2007, 01:30 AM
H2S can come from a number of places, most common are: burning sulphur, processes around oil refineries (can't remember which ones), also things like rotting seaweed (and sewage I think)

Another thing about H2S not on that link is a measure of its lethality.
At about 4ppm you will smell rotten eggs, at 10ppm you lose your sense of smell fairly quickly, at about 50ppm-75ppm it will knock you out within minutes and at about 150ppm it will kill within minutes. Also for every metre it travels from source its concentration halves.

Ant__.
03-08-2007, 03:48 AM
Also for every metre it travels from source its concentration halves


Interesting. So in the confines of a U-Boat the levels must have been pretty high - it wouldn't have had much room in which to dissipate then?

mariuszj1939
03-08-2007, 04:07 AM
RJ - two other pictures
http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/1764/uboat20u1182bzi4.jpg (http://imageshack.us)
http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/4614/uboatcluskerbh7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

Wolfvram
03-08-2007, 04:15 AM
The fact they got out alive at all suggests the levels weren't that high, high enough to do long term damage, not enough to kill instantly. Somewhere on the boat could have been a source.
In the confines of the boat a constantly emmiting source may well fill the boat with a certain level until the outside air is allowed in, and that may change the metre from source half concentration figure, not 100% sure my knowledge is chemistry not gas dynamics.
There will be a point where the concentration in the air and is great enough that the source would require an input of energy to force any more gas into the atmosphere due to the concentration gradient.

H2S tends to kill by disrupting the respiratory system, effectively it paralyses the lungs.

Ant__.
03-08-2007, 04:25 AM
The fact they got out alive

That's made me think. I'm not sure if there was a full crew on board or not. UB-188 was being towed when it broke free. I'm making this my little project to research.

If anyone knows more, I'd be grateful if they would share http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/25.gif

RedTerex
03-08-2007, 05:41 AM
Hey RJ Why not get a little website up and running and dedicate it to this U-boat.

I'm sure that many people would find it an interesting site to visit.

Just an idea http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Ant__.
03-08-2007, 07:07 AM
Hey RJ Why not get a little website up and running and dedicate it to this U-boat.

I'm sure that many people would find it an interesting site to visit.


Not a bad idea. I've never made one before. Where do I stand using photo's already 'published' on the net? and does anyone have a any domains or web building software / sites that are free to use they'd recommend?

Ant__.
03-08-2007, 11:30 AM
Double Post! http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/51.gif

Going slightly off thread - anyone used MS Frontpage to build a website? A friend has suggested it to me, easy to use, almost Jambo proof he says http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_confused.gif

Jose.MaC
03-08-2007, 01:01 PM
You may find more useful Web Perfect. Almost any program will make better and lighter webpages.

Ant__.
03-09-2007, 12:40 AM
Web Perfect


Thanks. Any links Jose.Mac? Google throws up lots of references to it but I can't be sure I have the one you mean.