Humans are amazingly imaginative, if it concerns to invent machines to kill other humans, the more the better. If one
regards those particularly for war purposes invented and in front technologies brought, then gets the idiom of "the war as
the father of all things" one the Perversion close contents. There it also is not comforting, that it in the history of mankind
always was like that. As Jules Verne wrote his novel of captain Nemo and his submarine this was an interesting fiction,
however nobody thought of a serious conversion. But already a short time later the first serious projects were submitted,
realized and finally used by all larger sailor nations also militarily. Continual improvements brought more progressive
submarines, one of it was realized at Vickers yard on the 27 April 1911 in Barrow-in-Furness England.
This submarine of the E-class displaced maximally 795ts, was 53,65m long and/or 6,86m broad and was appropriate for a
maximum submerged depth of 61m. Two in each case 800 HP of strong Vickers diesel engines affecting two three-blade
screws could reach a maximum speed of 14 knots over water and/or obtain with diesel of 42t on board with a cruising speed
of 10 knots a range of 3,000 nautical miles. For progressive movement under water provided two in each case 420 HP strong
electric motors, which made possible with the help of on board accumulators present the speed up to 9.5 nautical miles. If it
should be however necessary away-creep, this drive system was enough to obtain an additional range of 99 nautical miles
and a speed of three knots more. The armament consisted of eight Mk VIII -torpedoes that could be fired from the
45cm-Bow torpedo tube, two 45cm-sidetorpedo tubse and a 45cm-stern torpedo tube.
After completion this submarine ran on 29 October 1912 from the pile.
Finally the submarine was handed over to the crew, consisting of three officers and 28 under officers, and they tested the
submarin thorougly. On 29 May 1914 the submarine with the tactical number 83 was activated finally and incorporated
under the command by lieutenant Commander other G.F. Cholmley and the name changed into E 3 and brought under the
comman of the 8. submarine flottille of the Royal Navy into Harwich.
With the outbreak of the 1e World war the Home fleet was extended with the 10 most modern submarines of the whole
Royal Navy. With beginning of hostilities these were used also immediately, since they also only could become offensive
against the German coast because of their large range. They became now an important component of the British blockade
politics and announced as forward observers by radio the movements of German naval forces. At particularly favorable
opportunities they then intervened in the happening, while they left the remaining naval warfare to regular surface armed
forces of the Royal Navy. On 16 October 1914 the E3 was put down for the first time from the submarine mothership HMS
Maidstone and went off on its first enemy travel into the North Sea in the assigned area of operations before Borkum on and
to stand over there to observate German ship movements.. Often the submarines layed itself on the ground to listen to the
German traffic control . Thus first E 3 proceeded and went into the proximity of the Ems delta. Since the underwater stay is
dependent however on the air supply and the current supply in the accumulators, they must be occasionally emerged to
refresh the air supply and load the accumulators with the dieselengines . On 18 October 1914 it was in the morning times
again so far and E 3 rose to the surface to load the accumulators. Some days before the German Uboot U 27, under the
command of captain second lieutenant Wegener, had left it's home port in Emden.
U27 in Emden
A goal of U 27 was this Uboot assigned patrol area between Ems delta and Borkum. There arrived and in the tower of U 27
the crew sighted a buoy-similar body in the water at 11.25 o'clock.
During the approximation to this object one stated that this buoy-similar body in fact another submarine was.
U 27 immediately dipped away to make itself not attentive. A further observation of this submarine led, due to the tactical
number I 83 painted clearly on the tower, to the perfect identification of a British sub. Out approx. 300m distance the U 27
now solved two G6-Torpedos from its 50cm-Bugtorpedorohren on E3. These met after a running time from twelve seconds
the tail of E 3. The two warheads of the torpedoes provided with in each case 160kg of a TNT/Hexanit Sprengstoffmischung
detonated immediately and sank the British sub. The U 27 afraid of other enemy vessels in the neighbourhood submerged
and returned after half an hour but, but despite an appropriate search of the U 27 over the sinking place there were no
With sinking of E3 by U 27 for the first time in history a sub sank another sub in naval warfare history. Over 80 years long now
the submarine was unaffected on the sea-bottom. On 14 october 1994 the wreck was discoverd by diveteam ZEESTER
between Borkum and Schiermonnikoog. There the tail section of the E3 blown off by the German torpedo went "into the net"
of a fischerman.
At the end of the tail section one sees an opened hatch. behind this was clearly the rear "prick" from E 3 - the
If one would like today go to the wreck of E 3, for now there is only the possibility to book at some divecharters from
Lauwersoog or with the MS ZEESTER of Klaas Koch. Theo Beelien is the videographer of the team who films the adventures
of the diveteam. He captured these photo's from video and for this report he donated them generously.
If one hops now from the boat into the water and dips off, one sees the Uboot which is in approx. 30m depth on the
sea-bottom with an average range of vision of approx. 6 mtr. but it can vary between nothing and 25 mtr. depending on
circumstances. If one begins the diving course at the rear stern, one can look, because of the torn off tail section, directly
into the engine room.
Here the housing one of the electric motors of the submarine jumps also immediately in the eye.
From the stern of the submarine forward, one goes past to lateral on the submarine attached bulges. These are the ballast
tanks for water ballast in those also the fuel were stored and/or also served as ballast cells.
Somewhat further forward one can recognize then also still remainders of the afterdeck. By this are the exhaust gas pipings
of the ship Diesel.
If one continues the dive here along the wreck upper edge, one meets the remnants of the tower.
The tower is missing one sees however all connection pipes for the tubular accommodated in the tower like e.g. the
panorama periscope, the attack periscope and airsucking tube for ventilating the submarine. In addition one sees here also
the sad remnants of a broken off periscope.
At the back before the engineroom (from the bow to the stern) is an escape shutter where we enter the belly of the sub.
Here you see a speaking tube, manometers, periscope and the ladder to get into the the tower ( it was given to museum in
Gosport in England )
From the center you can go further forward trough another bulkhead into the torpedo area where you see an open shutter
from the front torpedo tube.
In addition, one meets here up to some few meaningful handwheels and a torpedo engine.
Finally leaving the belly trough te escape breach in the torpedo room
Directly at both sides of the escape breach, one meets one of the four depth rudders of E 3. In each case two at each ship
side in the front and in the back.
Directly at the nose cone one meets then the characteristic of the E-class series submarines : the single nose torpedo pipe.
Some salvaged items by diveteam ZEESTER a telegraph made by the company Chadburn.
From the command spot this is a switching box with ammeter for the electric motor that moved the periscope up and down.
Today still you can read on the dial the manufacturer and company Everett, Edgcumbe &Co. Ltd. in London.
From the center originate also the speed and the rangefinder as well as the sugarpot illustrated here.
In order to make reports from the center and and backwards into other submarine sections, one used these speech tubes.
To regulator for the waterpumps to pump water in and out of the the ballast tanks. They used these regulators to activate
the pump engines. Particularly this one served control of the to starboard tanks.
This is how it looks after it's restoration
Finally also the bell could be saved by E 3 with the label "H.M.Submarine E 3 May 29 1914" in the center.
From the front torpedo area originates the electrical hand firing for the torpedoes and at the right the prisma from a
The Gyros from the 1.736kg heavy torpedoes in this submarine . That is not grilled meat, but the mechanism that holds the
heavy torpedo, with its explosive freight of 145kg TNT, during its run in the water on course and correct its depth.
From the nose torpedo area then also these bronze shutters of the torpedo tube in- and outside.
From the engine room still all kinds of small articles were then saved like e.g. this revolution counter of the ship Diesel of
the company Chadburn in Liverpool.
In the engine room were in addition numerous manometers and other armatures on.
Also U 27 should not experience the end of war. After it had sunk 1915 nine ships with altogether 29,402 BRT in that year, it
met on 19 August 1915 approx. 70 nautical miles south of Queenstown in west Ireland two trading vessels. One of it was the
US trading vessel SS Nicosian sailing with contraband goods. The other one was the British submarine HMS Baralong
camouflaged sailing under the neutral US flag. The first ship was torpededod by U 27 and floated then on the water, then the
HMS Baralong opened against generally accepted martial law under this flag the fire and showed this flag after reports of
survivor citizens of the SS Nicosian also during whole combat. After the Uboot was sunk on the position 50°25`N/80°15`W and
approx. a dozen German sailors could save themselfs in the water, the commander of the British submarine instructed to
open fire on the German shipwrecked ones.
With the exception of three sailors all were murdered in such a way. The three surviving sailors saved themselves on the
driving SS Nicosian. A search command of the HMS Baralong came on board the SS Nicosian, found the three survivors and
shot the unarmed German sailors.
This incident received large international attention but the involved ones were never punished.
Most of the artikel was written by Oliver Meise from Tauchernet
British submarine E 3
Here you can see a painted 8, for tactical reasons,
on the side of E3 on the day he sank 18 oct.1914
Name of the wreck: E3
Country of origin: British
Build : 1911
Sunk : 18 oktober 1914
Ship type : submarine
Depth : 30 mtr