vintage, nostalgia and memories


December 17, 2015

U-Boat 110: Ghostly Images Show the Inside of a German Submarine, 1918

These ghostly century-old images show the inside of a German World War One U-Boat which was raised from the depths of the North Sea after being sunk by a torpedo boat destroyer.

The twin-screw U-boat 110 was readying an attack on a convoy of merchant vessels when her periscope was sighted, only 50 yards away, and she was forced to the surface by Allied depth charges. With her forward diving rudders jammed in the up position and fuel tank damaged, the submarine was then rammed twice by the H.M.S. Garry and hit with several bursts of gunfire.

The relentless attack caused the U-Boat to sink off the north east coast of England, not far from the town of Hartlepool, on July 19, 1918. Thirteen survivors were picked up.

Divers were soon sent down to recover important documents and the U.B. 110, built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, was recovered in September that year.

She was taken to the Wallsend dry docks of Swan Hunter Wigham Richardson Ltd with orders to restore her to working condition as a fighting unit. However, the Armistice on November 11, 1918 caused work on her to be stopped, and she was later dismantled and sold as scrap.

But before this took place a series of photographs were taken providing a rare glimpse of the U-Boat's mechanics and giving an insight into what the cramped atmosphere would have been like for those serving onboard the killing machine.

Control room looking aft, starboard side. The manhole to the periscope well and various valve wheels for flooding and blowing are visible.

Control room looking aft. Wheels for raising and lowering the periscope are visible.

Forward torpedo room.

Control room. The gyro compass, steering control shaft, engine telegraphs and voice pipes are visible.

Diesel engine room.

Forward torpedo room.

The four torpedo tubes.

Torpedo room looking aft. The beam for lifting torpedoes into place is overhead.

Number 5 compartment, starboard side.

Electric control room, looking aft to motor room and stern torpedo room.

Number 6 compartment with sleeping berths.

Crew space.

Engine room, looking forward on starboard side.

Electric control room, looking forward.

Aft torpedo room.

Control room looking forward to port. Wheels to control air temperature and pressure are visible.

Control room looking forward. Hydroplane gear, depth and fuel gauges are visible.

Control room looking forward. The depth gauge, engine telegraphs, wheels for flooding and blowing, and hydroplane controls are visible.

Electric control room.

Electric control room, looking aft to port.

Third compartment, crew's lockers.

Mess table and lockers.

U.B. 110 in dry dock.




(Images: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, via Daily Mail)

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