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The first world War, a German submarine unearthed in Northern France

A century-old German submarine from the first world war has been unearthed in Northern France
(AFP/Getty)

More than a century after it sunk in the sand of a Northern France beach, a German submarine from the first world War, is dug up.

The UC-16 was wrecked on the coast of Wissant, France in July 1917 by the heavy fog, and was overwhelmed by the crew, so it could not be used by the Allies. The course of the time, the wind and the sand thoroughly buried the abandoned ship under the ocean water. Now, two major parts of the fixed structure is to be visible to residents and tourists alike to only 330 meters from the coast, and has become something of a local attraction.

There is little known about the century-old German submarine, with the exception of some elements of the fight the history, and what became of its crew members. The UC-16 was responsible for the sinking of 11 vessels during the first world war, mainly from France and the United Kingdom. On his last trip, traveled from the village of Zeebrugge, Belgium and was on the way to the ports of Boulogne-sur-Mer and La Havre in France to lay mines.

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The German UC-16 ran ashore in 1917, and was overwhelmed by the crew, so it could not be used by the Allied forces before they ceded to the French
(AFP/Getty)

However, the UC-16 is not far away, run to the shore just to the north of Boulogne-sur-Mer in the Sea. When the crew realized the ship was not more to use, they are quickly overwhelmed and surrendered to the French authorities.

The opinions about what will become of the wreckage differences between Wissant the local population. Bernard Bracq, the Mayro of the Sea, is of the opinion that this revival of the UC-16 will not last long.

“The wreck is visible in the short two or three years, depending on the tides and the wind which leads to displacement of sand, but a good gust of wind and the wreck will disappear,” he told BBC.

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Other historians and the local population did not agree. Wissant guide Vincent Schmitt argues that the coming tides and winds can be exposed in the submarine even more. He talked about the excitement surrounding the emergence of the UC-16, and what we could stand to learn from seeing a detail of the historic ship.

“All the inhabitants of Wissant knew that there was a submarine here, but the wreck is usually silted, and therefore invisible,” he said.

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“Pieces appear from time to time, but this is the first time that we discover so much.”

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