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UB-41 and UB-75, off Robin Hood's Bay: Marine Geophysical Survey Report

Project 6552

By D. Howell, P. Croce

This report covers geophysical surveys and associated archaeological assessments of the wreck sites reported as those of UB-41 (UKHO No. 62887) and the UB-75 (UKHO No. 6438). Both are believed to be German submarine wrecks dating from World War I (WWI) recorded as being lost during 1917 and are located approximately 15km ENE of Robin Hood's Bay, North Yorkshire.

  • The geophysical data consisted of sidescan sonar and marine magnetometer data acquired by Wessex Archaeology during September 2013. The geophysical data interpretation was cross-referenced with historical records and descriptions provided by past dives at the site where possible
  • Both of the targeted wrecks were identified at their given positions. UB-41 appears generally intact, although a debris field along its eastern edge and other scattered individual pieces of debris suggest an amount of damage, probably due to the explosion that sank the vessel. The data could not be correlated with certainty with the description provided by a previous dive report, and the orientation of the vessel could not be determined. However, the dimensions of the wreck are similar to the known dimensions of UB-41, suggesting the current identification is correct
  • UB-75 has been found to be in two separate, unequal pieces, with a large main structure and smaller additional separate piece to the NW. A previous dive report description indicates the bow of the vessel was missing, which is potentially the smaller separated part, and suggests the vessel is orientated with the bow to the WNW. The previous dive report also suggests the stern section of the vessel is missing, although this has not been identified. The dimensions of the wreck are similar to the known dimensions of UB-75, suggesting the identification is correct
  • It is not precisely known what caused the vessels to sink, although correlation with historic mapping suggests they strayed into a British mine field and detonated mines. Circumstances of loss and definitive identification cannot be determined using geophysical data alone, and diver survey will be needed if these questions are to be answered.

Wessex Archaeology were commissioned to carry out the project by English Heritage - now Historic England. Where the report refers to English Heritage these functions have been transferred to Historic England.


  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Project baseline
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Appendix 1: Anomalies of archaeological potential

Additional Information

  • Publication Status: Completed
  • Pages: 31

If you require an alternative accessible version of this document please contact: Wessex Archaeology, Portway House, Old Sarum Park, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 6EB

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