WWI Soldiers May Have Been Found in North Sea

German submarine

The well-preserved wreck of a World War One German submarine, possibly still containing the bodies of 23 crew members, has been found off the Belgian coast, Belgian broadcaster VRT said Tuesday.

"The submarine is in such good condition that we reckon all the bodies are still on board", said West Flanders Governor Carl Decaluwé.

The UB-II type submarine is said to be in a good condition, and was found at a depth of 30 metre off the Belgian coast.

The vessel is thought to have been sunk by a mine. More than twenty bodies were found on board the vessel. The bow sustained the most damage but the hatches were still shut.

Mr Decaluwé said: "In such a submarine there were as standard 22 crew members and a commander".

Belgian authorities have informed the German ambassador and processes to identify the men and to protect the discovery have begun.

The conning tower is described as intact and the periscopes are still visible. It appears that the sub may have struck a mine with its upper deck while two torpedo tubes have been destroyed. According to researchers the submarine may have become caught up in the cable of the mine, dragging it up towards the surface and leading to it doing the damage, putting the submarine out of action.

Earlier this year, unseen photographs of German World War One submarines washed up on a British beach were published for the very first time.

Of the 11 German submarine wrecks that are known, it is not yet clear which had been found, but this is now the best preserved specimen.

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