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.
"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"… a highly significant work. It re-writes the history of the Uboat war. It also demonstrates the vital interaction of archaeology and history. This can only enrich both disciplines as well as establish the author’s stature as a leading practitioner in both fields." - Eric Grove, Maritime History North, Blackpool, England, UK in International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 2017
@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