A First World War relic - the wreck of a German U-Boat is uncovered on French beach

A First World War relic - the wreck of a German U-Boat is uncovered on French beach

The wreck of a German U-Boat from the First World War has emerged from the sand on Wissant beach, near Calais. The wreck, which was stranded and flooded in 1917, became visible in December due to sand movement caused by the tides and wind.

The wreck has become briefly visible every two to three years, but this this the largest amount of the metal structure that has ever been exposed. The two pieces of wreckage, believed to be the front of the sunken sub, rest just 100m from the sand dunes of Wissant.

The submarine, identified as UC-61 had left Zeebrugge, Belgium and was heading to Boulogne-sur-Mer and Le Harve to lay mines when it ran aground in heavy fog. The crew chose to flood the vessel and later surrendered to the French authorities. The commander, Captain Georg Gerth, was kept as a prisoner of war until March 1920.

UC-61 is accredited with sinking 11 ships. Though a coastal mine laying submarine, she also carried torpedoes and deck guns.

It is believed that the sand movement could expose more of the wreck before she is buried once more.

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Added: 17th January 2019

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