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Swedes discover British WWI sub in Baltic Sea

TT/The Local · 23 Oct 2009, 11:31

Published: 23 Oct 2009 11:31 GMT+02:00

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The British navy submarine, the HMS E18, sent to the Baltic Sea to sink German ships during the First World War, was found by the Swedish company Deep Sea Productions and confirmed in a statement on Thursday.

Together with five other submarines the HMS E18 was sent to the Baltic to support Russia. The vessel was last seen during routine exercises in May 1916, and has since then been recorded as missing without trace.

But with the help of maps detailing the location of mines littering the Baltic Sea bed the expedition, led by the diver Carl Douglas together with the Swedish firm Marin Mätteknik, located the submarine off the coast of the Estonian island of Dagö.

When the HMS E18 was found the submarine's hatch was open which indicates that the vessel was at the surface when it experienced problems.

On board the vessel when it disappeared were stationed 30 British and three Russian seamen.

Deep Sea Productions is a Swedish firm founded in 1997 for the purpose of under water research, diving and film making. The firm says its driving force is "a passion for the unsolved mysteries of the sea."

The First World War was the first major conflict which featured the deployment of British submarines as a weapon of war, after the launch of the country's first submarine on November 2nd 1902.

Story continues below…

The British E-class submarines were fitted with a twelve-pounder gun and were equipped with additional torpedo tubes.

The E-class was the main submarine used by the British navy's submarine service in the First World War and saw action in the Atlantic, the Baltic, the Dardanelles and the North Sea. In total 58 vessels were built.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:07 October 23, 2009 by Nemesis
This is very good news.

Now the descendants of there relatives will know where there family members are.

It is only recently that my family has found most of the rest of our war dead from World War 1 and 2.

Unfortunately the immediate relatives from the time of there deaths are now mostly all passed away, but they can still be honoured.
17:48 October 23, 2009 by maxbrando
Firms like this are taking all the mystery out of life. It's like sex without love.
09:43 October 24, 2009 by Nemesis
@ maxbrando,

This is nothing to do with mystery.

There is a very different, very personal side to this for lots of people. I will try to explain why.

Literally tens of thousands of families from world war 1 and 2 have never found where there loved ones were buried. Those familes are Russian, German, British, Canadian, etc. They are from every country that fought in the conflicts, from all sides.

My grandfather died not knowing where his own brothers were buried. It is only in the last few years that we have made headway in tracking down our war dead. The people in the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom are disgrace and not in the slightest helpfull. We had more help from the German government and German ex-service associations than from the country that our family members died trying to protect. That I was uncomfortable with at first, but eventually seen there gestures for what they were, bridge building and respect for our war dead.

All those families, no matter what side of the conflicts, deserve to find where there family members died. It brings closure.

All the pictures of the war dead are still up in our homes. The reason they are still up, is because they were never found.

A good thing about tracking down all the war dead, is what I see when families from both sides are there at ceremonies. I have watched as young kids whose grandparents and great grandparents did there best to kill each other, play together.

Those kids playing together, lets me know there is hope for the future, regardless of what all the doom-sayers think.

We have more in common with all our European neighbours than differences. Hopefully our children will grow up, travel around, make friends, maybe marry people from other countries and cement good friendships across borders, so that people can live in peace.

We must never forget our history, but we should also never relive it. We must move forward together for the sake of future generations.
10:58 October 24, 2009 by The Traveller Returns
Rememberence Day In The United Kingdom - 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. A minutes silence for those who died RIP.

Also a growing trend in England is to wear red on Fridays for those losing their lives in Iraq and Afganistan.
20:19 October 25, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Just saw an interview about the sub and it was mentioned that this and other subs in the Baltic "prevented the trade of iron ore exports Sweden (to Germany)"

You got to love a neutral country that supplies materials to help build up the war machine of the aggressor in both world wars.
00:22 October 26, 2009 by Nemesis
@ Renfeh Hguh

America laudered money for the nazi's during WW2. Thats why George Bush's grandfather was arrested during the war.

Ireland made money out of WW2. Sweden did, so did the USA when it gave loans to the UK, which all had to be paid back at a slightly higher than market rate of interest.

Everyone did it, everyone does now and will for all time. No country can say it is innocent of profitering of war.

Every country is guilt of profitering of war.

Singling out Sweden for that one, is pointless.

Even worse, look at all the countries that hid war criminals after WW2. Ireland, Spain, Vatican, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguy, Switzerland, Chile, etc. USA and USSR actively sought them out to work for them.
14:45 October 26, 2009 by GefleFrequentFlyer
That's funny Nemesis. GWB's grandfather was arrested while his son was flying missions against the japanese, thus I'm sure his intent was malicious.

Great story!

The difference is, Sweden is in this kind of perpetual denial about thier involvement in WW2. While other countries net lost greatly (money, men and machines), Sweden just looked the other way, without losing a soul. I once remember reading a placard discussing the Krylbo Explosion at a Swedish Museum once; it read "In 1941, there was a tremendous explosion on a train, and, it was horrible, no cause was ever found". No mention of what it REALLY was.
04:17 October 27, 2009 by randyt
"And the sea shall give up her dead."

I use to teach telecom courses for one of the famous Swedish companies, you can guess which one, and one of my students showed me a book about Swedish code breaking during WW2. Seems they broke some of the German diplomatic codes and passed information they obtained on the the US and/or the UK.
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