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Research Submarine Wrecks

As part of the 2014-2018 Centenary, Historic England commissioned Cotswold Archaeology to assess First World War (WW1, WWI or World War One) submarine losses in England's territorial waters.

Strategic Assessment of Submarines in English Waters: Project Report

Strategic Assessment of Submarines in English Waters: Project Report

Published 12 September 2014

The aim of the study was to inform a policy on future designation approaches by identifying the best examples of submarines in England within the Territorial Waters.

Forty-seven wrecks have been identified: three British submarines and 44 German U-Boats. 

What we know

Of the 47 submarines, 11 boats have particular special interest on account of their confirmed identity and rarity:

British loss : HMS D5 (off Lowestoft, Suffolk)

German losses :

  1. U-8 (off South Varne buoy)
  2. UB-12 (off Ramsgate)
  3. UB-17
  4. UB-30
  5. UB-55
  6. UB-75 (off Robin Hood's Bay)
  7. UB-109 (off Folkestone, Kent)
  8. UC-6 (Thames Estuary)
  9. UC-46
  10. UC-70

The other 36 submarines are listed below:

Mark Dunkley, a Maritime Designation Adviser at Historic England, has developed expertise in the strategic investigation and management of England’s protected wreck sites.
Mark Dunkley, a Maritime Designation Adviser at Historic England, has developed expertise in the strategic investigation and management of England’s protected wreck sites. You can help Mark and his team with their research into First World War submarines.

Help write history

Historic England needs your help to understand the condition of each submarine, as well as to confirm their identities with recorded seabed positions.

We would like to use your written logs, records, photographs and videos, and reports to enrich the national record of each site and make them available for others to see. Your contribution will be fully credited where we use it and it will remain your copyright.

Contact the team

Mark Dunkley, a Maritime Designation Adviser at Historic England, has developed expertise in the strategic investigation and management of England’s protected wreck sites. To help with their research into First World War submarines, contact Mark and his team by emailing designationoperations@HistoricEngland.org.uk.

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  • The River Medway, the rusting, skeletal remains of a German U-boat, believed to be UB122, which broke its tow while on its way to a scrapyard, lie preserved in tidal mudflats

    First World War: Submarine Wrecks

    Historic England’s marine archaeologists have launched a four-year project to exactly locate the wrecks of forty-five U-Boats and three British submarines that sank within territorial waters 12 miles off the English coast during the First World War.