beached submarine

German WW2 submarine U 995 Former German Word War II submarine U 995. This ship belongs to the back then very common German Type VII submarine which was also used in the famous movie “Das Boot” by Wolfgang Petersen. After the end of the war, the U 995 became confiscated and was used as training ship. Finally the U-boat was returned to Germany and serves nowadays as naval museum and slightly macabre also as tourist attraction. Shot was taken from the Laboe Naval Memorial also known as Laboe Tower. by dscharp

Beached german submarine SM U-118, from wikipedia:

Following surrender U-118 was to be transferred to France where it would be broken up for scrap. However, in the early hours of 15 April 1919, while it was being towed through the English Channel towards Scapa Flow, its dragging hawser broke off in a storm. The ship ran aground on the beach at Hastings in Sussex at approximately 12:45am, directly in front of the Queens Hotel.

Initially there were attempts to displace the stricken vessel; three tractors tried to refloat the submarine and a French destroyer attempted to break the ship apart using its cannons. These attempts however were unsuccessful and the proximity of the submarine to the public beach and Queens Hotel dissuaded further use of explosive forces.

The wreck of the submarine immediately became a popular tourist attraction with thousands of visitors to Hastings that Easter flocking to see the beached vessel. The vessel was put in charge of the local coastguard station and the Admiralty allowed the Town Clerk of Hastings to charge a small fee for people to climb on the deck of the submarine. This continued for two weeks, during which time the town collected almost £300 (UK£ 12,800 in 2015) which helped fund an event to welcome the town’s troops returning from the war.

Two members of the coastguard, chief boatman William Heard and chief officer W. Moore, were tasked with showing important visitors around inside the submarine. The visits however were curtailed at the end of April when both men became severely ill. It was thought that rotten foodstuffs in the submarine were causing the problems however, despite the visits being discontinued, the illnesses continued and got worse. Moore died in December 1919 and Heard followed in February 1920. At his inquest it was heard that a noxious gas, possibly chlorine released from the submarine’s damaged batteries, had caused abscesses on the lungs and brain of the dead man.

Even after visits inside the submarine had been stopped it remained common for tourists to take pictures of themselves standing alongside or even on the deck of the U-boat. Eventually, between October and December 1919, U-118 was broken up and the pieces removed and sold for scrap. The gun was left in place but later dug up in 1921. It is believed that some of the keel from the submarine may still lie underneath the sand of the beach.

GIF Artists Collective Challenge May – Retro

…I gradually tuned in to her image of a shadowy America-that-wasn’t, of Coca-Cola plants like beached submarines, and fifth-run movie houses like the temples of some lost sect that had worshiped blue mirrors and geometry. And as I moved among these secret ruins, I found myself wondering what the inhabitants of that lost future would think of the world I lived in.

– William Gibson, “The Gernsback Continuum”