World War I Folklore — The Legend of the UB-85 Seamonster
On April 30th, 1918 British patrols in the North Atlantic came upon the German U-Boat UB-85 in the open ocean, manned by a visibly terrified crew. Rather than dive, the crew of the U-Boat immediately surrendered, offering no resistance. It was noticed that the submarine had sustained damage which prevented it from submerging, however there were no reports of combat actions by Allied forces in the area. Immediately, the U-Boat’s commander, Captain Gunther Krech was interrogated. His explanation was one that the British officers certainly did not expect.
According to Krech the submarine had surfaced the night before in order to recharge its batteries when a large monster crawled out of the dark waters and climbed aboard the deck of the sub. Krech described the creature as thus,
“This beast had large eyes, set in a sort of skull. It had a small head, but with teeth that could be seen glistening in the moonlight. Every man on watch began firing a sidearm at the beast, but the animal had hold of the forward gun mount and refused to let go.”
Immediately the creature began to shake the sub back and forth, attempting to capsize the boat. The battle continued as the men fired upon the monster while it continued to rattle the boat. Eventually the monster gave up and let go, disappearing into the dark abyss. The U-Boat was saved, but damage to the U-Boat resulting from the battle with the creature made it impossible for the boat to submerge.
UB-85 was scuttled by the British, her crew taken as prisoners of war.