submarine found after 94 years

Heck of a discovery and I can’t think of anything to add. Worth sharing though I hope.

First World War British submarine found 94 years after being abandoned

By David Blair
A British submarine which executed one of the most daring raids of the First World War, penetrating the Dardanelles to sink a small flotilla of Turkish warships, has been found 94 years after being abandoned.


HMS E14 was located intact by Turkish documentary-makers on the ocean bed of the Dardanelles after a search that began in January.

In 1915, Lt-Cdr Edward Courtney Boyle was decorated with the Victoria Cross after steering E14 through these heavily defended straits at the height of the Gallipoli campaign.

Boyle sailed beneath a minefield and evaded the guns and searchlights arrayed along the Narrows. Having defeated the supposedly impregnable defences of the Dardanelles, E14 reached the open waters of the Sea of Marmara on April 27 1915.

Boyle then “cruised about at will” for the “next three weeks,” wrote Alan Moorehead in “Gallipoli”, brazenly surfacing off the Golden Horn beside Istanbul itself.
During this time, E14 sank two warships and a White Star cruise liner packed with 6,000 Turkish troops bound for Gallipoli. After inflicting more damage than any submarine commander before him, Boyle escaped through the Dardanelles, evading the minefields for a second time.

The citation for his VC praised his “conspicuous bravery” for overcoming “great navigational difficulties” and the “hourly danger of attack from the enemy”. E14’s entire crew of 30 received Distinguished Service Medals. Boyle, aged 27 at the time of his decoration, was run over by a lorry and died in 1967.

A later captain of E14, Lt-Cdr Geoffrey Saxon White, also won the VC in the Dardanelles. But he was decorated posthumously after an operation in these waters resulted in the submarine being abandoned in January 1918. Its location remained unknown until this month, when the vessel became the first “E” class submarine ever to be discovered intact.


[ Drew does a bit of follow-up because stuff on old ships is just too neat to pass up ]

On 20th January 1918 the Turkish battlecruiser Yavuz Sultan (German Destroyer Goeben) had sunk two English vessels off the Dardanelles. The Yavuz Sultan had been damaged by mines but managed to withdraw up the Dardanelles until she ran aground off Nagara Point. It was decided to make a concerted effort to sink her; over five days 270 aircraft sorties were flown and although 16 hits were scored the Yavuz Sultan refused to sink. On 27th January air reconnaissance reported that the destroyer was still aground and E14 was sent from Muldros to finish off the Goeben.

Unfortunately, the Yavuz Sultan had been moved that very afternoon and E14 had negotiated the treacherous straits for nothing. On the journey back E14 fired a torpedo at another Turkish ship at 0845 on the morning of the 28th. Eleven seconds later an enormous explosion shook her; either a torpedo had detonated early or E14 had been depth charged. Whatever the cause, E14 was severely damaged, with water pouring in unchecked. The submarine was forced to surface where it was met with a barrage of gunfire. After half an hour it was clear that the best hope for survival was to beach her. While attempting to beach the submarine, she received a direct hit, E14 was now beyond hope and sank with the loss of 23 of her crew.

Nine of her crew rescued and taken prisoner.

E14 was the last submarine to be lost in the conflict with Turkey.

The E-14 today:

The wreck was discovered by marine expert Selçuk Kolay and film-making diver Savas Karakas, who had spent three years trying to find it.

After studying documents at the national Archives in Kew, west London, and surveying Turkish defences, they scanned an unusual object from a boat on the surface.

But they could not establish what it was because it was near the mouth of the straits – a sensitive military area where diving was forbidden.

It took two years to get permission from the military before their team were able to dive to the wreck and confirm it was the E14 earlier this month.

The vessel appeared to be less than a quarter of a mile from getting out of the straits and safely out of the range of the Turkish guns.

The E class boats were quite unusual in that they had 5 torpedo tubes. 2 forward, 1 stern, and 1 on each flank for firing sideways. Wiki has more.

Above, as not below: No rescue for HMS Plymouth.

Posted by peiper    United States   on 06/19/2012 at 02:02 PM   
  1. Yet another historical tale of English naval bad-assery. Thanks for the post!!!

    Posted by Amidoinitright    United States   06/20/2012  at  10:58 AM  
  2. And yet, and yet the liberal mantra in the US is STILL that no WMD were found in Iraq (2003-2011, a mere 8 years). Bite Me.

    Posted by wardmama4    United States   06/20/2012  at  11:43 AM  
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