1st Edition

The Maritime Archaeology of a Modern Conflict Comparing the Archaeology of German Submarine Wrecks to the Historical Text

By Innes McCartney Copyright 2015
    346 Pages
    by Routledge

    346 Pages 119 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Over the last 30 years, hydrographical marine surveys in the English Channel helped uncover the potential wreck sites of German submarines, or U-boats, sunk during the conflicts of World War I and World War II. Through a series of systemic dives, nautical archaeologist and historian Innes McCartney surveyed and recorded these wrecks, discovering that the distribution and number of wrecks conflicted with the published histories of U-boat losses. Of all the U-boat war losses in the Channel, McCartney found that some 41% were heretofore unaccounted for in the historical literature of World War I and World War II.

    This book reconciles these inaccuracies with the archaeological record by presenting case studies of a number of dives conducted in the English Channel. Using empirical evidence, this book investigates possible reasons historical inconsistencies persist and what Allied operational and intelligence-based processes caused them to occur in the first place. This book will be of interest to scholars and researchers in the fields of nautical archaeology and naval history, as well as wreck explorers.

    @contents...Part I: Introduction  1. Introduction, Aims and Objectives  Part II: World War One  2. Introduction: The Wrecks of the First U-Boat War and Contemporary Historical Texts  3. The Dover Patrol and its U-boat Wrecks  4. The English Channel and its U-Boat Wrecks  5. Conclusions, Bringing WW1 U-Boat Losses into Focus  Part III: World War Two  6. Introduction: The Wrecks of the Second U-Boat War and Contemporary Historical Texts  7. Known WW2 U-boat Wrecks Which Match the Historical Text  8. Mystery U-boat Wrecks Case 1 U269 and U1191  9. Mystery U-boat Wrecks Case 2 U984, U988 and U441  10. Mystery U-Boat Wrecks Case 3 U480 and U1208  11. Mystery U-Boat Wrecks Case 4 U1021, U400 and U683  12. Mystery U-Boat Wrecks Case 5 U1279, U325, and U650  13. Mystery U-Boat Wrecks Case 6 U322 and U772  14. Conclusions, Bringing WW2 U-Boat Losses into Focus  Part IV: The Overall Results  15. Overall Results, Comparisons between the Two World Wars and Concluding Remarks


    Innes McCartney is a nautical archaeologist, historian, author and broadcaster. He obtained his PhD from Bournemouth University and is known for his work in using archaeological research to identify 40 new German submarine wrecks in the waters around the UK and Ireland. He has published in such places as the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, and SKYLLIS, The Journal of the German Society for the Promotion of Underwater Archeology.

    "An essential addition and corrective to accounts of the submarine war in European waters during World War I and World War II." - Paul G. Halpern, Emeritus, Florida State University, USA

    "Innes McCartney brilliantly shows how archaeology has rewritten the history of submarine warfare in a compelling look at the extensive underwater battlefield off Britain’s coasts. This is a must-have in the library of any naval enthusiast, scholar and archaeologist, or wreck explorer." - James P. Delgado, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Maritime Heritage, USA

    "Collating the results of some 15 years of fieldwork and archival research, this volume presents an assessment of the records of wartime U-boat losses, compiled by allied naval intelligence, with observed wreck sites present on the seabed. The work is enhanced by analysis of some of the intelligence matters related to submarine tracking and attacks." - Mark Dunkley, Historic England, UK