HNLMS Makkum has found 8.5 miles from the Cap Barfleur (Normandy) wreckage of a German submarine from the First World War. It is highly likely that the UC-69 wreck, which sank in 1917 after a collision with another German submarine, the U-96.
The find is already in late October, but it’s only known what wreck it is.
The UC-69 departed from Zeebrugge on December 4th, 1917, to lay mines on the waterways to and from the French port city of Cherbourg. On the 6th of December at about 20.00, the submarine was accidentally rammed by U-96 who was on his way home. 18 crew members including commander Oberleutnant zur See Hugo Thielmann were able to switch to the U-96. The German submarine sank within 10 minutes, with 11 crew members taking on board. The moment when the boat hit the seabed, the boep torpedo explodes.
The Makkum, currently part of the Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 1, discovered the German wreckage by coincidence. During an exercise, the ship was busy mapping the seabed for the French coast.
The crew “saw” the wreckage with the sonar lying on the bottom. On the sea charts it was mentioned that there had to be an unknown wreck at that place. However, registers of sunken ships did not result. Commander of the Makkum Lieutenant-to-Sea of First Class Maarten Veenstra decided the wreck investigated with the Self Propelled Variable Depth Sonar. That made sharp recordings of the remains of the submarine. They were sent to submarine expert captain Lieutenant-by-Sea bd Jouke Spoelstra.
After studying the construction drawings of the German UC class II submarines, it turned out that it was about the UC-69.
The Netherlands has still missed 1 submarine since the Second World War: the O 13. It must be somewhere on the North Sea. Frequently searched.