Wave Shape
Wave Shape

UB 78

Wave Shape

UB 78

The German attack Submarine UB 78 was for many years believed to have been sunk after ramming on the 9 May 1918 off Cherbourg, however the raising of the sub’s propellers identified the wreck off Dover as that of the UB 78. This sub had struck a mine of the Dover Barrage on April 19, 1918 while outbound on Patrol as part of the Flanders Flotilla. The Royal Navy had incomplete patrol date information and misassigned credit for some sinkings, causing the confusion with UC 78 (which was the boat sunk on May 9, 1918).

UB 78’s patrols:

  1. 12-Jan-18 to 20-Jan-18, northern North Sea
  2. 16-Feb-18 to 18-Feb-18, Transfer to Flanders
  3. 25-Feb-18 to 2-Mar-18, English east coast
  4. 16-Mar-18 to 28-Mar-18, English east coast
  5. 18-Apr-18 to 19-Apr-18, English Channel, mined April 19, 1918

Ships sunk/damaged. All three were British:

  1. POLLEON, 1155 grt, 22/3/1918, 3 miles ENE entrance River Tyne
  2. BORDER LADS, 86 grt, 25/3/1918, River Tyne area
  3. BRITISH STAR, 6888 grt, 26/3/1918, 1.5 miles E of Tyne – damaged only

More details on UB 78: http://www.uboat.net/wwi/boats/index.html?boat=UB+78 (ignore the ships sunk numbers/tonnage)
Crew list: http://ubootwaffe.net/ww1/crews.cgi and search for UB 78.

Propeller from the UB78

Close up the propellers reveal the following information

Markings:

Kaiserliche Marine = Imperial German Navy symbol, a Crown and M)
B&V = Blohm & Voss, the dockyard in Hamburg that built UB 78
D. = Durchmesser = diameter (in millimeters)
Steig. = Steigung = pitch (in millimeters)
Proj. Fl├Ąche = area (in square meters)
Propeller Bronze = means the same thing in English
St.B. Schiffsschr… = (literally) starboard ship’s screw. By part: St.B. = steuerbord = starboard (B.B. for Backbord would be port), Schiffs = ship’s, schr. = Schraube = screw
UB 78

The significance of the 303 at the bottom is not known — it’s NOT a yard number. UB 78’s yard number was 307

(Information provided by Michael Lowery of U-Boat Net)

Diving: The Wreck sits upright on the seabed in a max depth of 27m, the stern has been blown off by the mine and she lies along the current with the bows facing down channel. So the masts, cables and bow net cutter have all gone, there are holes in her outer hull. The gun and conning tower are still in place and she has a list of approximately 40 Degrees to Starboard. The stern is blown off in the area of the stern bulkhead. This is an interesting Sub dive and being a small coastal sub she can be well covered in 1 dive.

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