Target: U-155 IXC
Depth: 73 metres
Weather and sea conditions: Sunny – 4-5W – 25 metres underwater visibility
U-155 at last!
The location of this most famous of U-boats was one of the key expedition targets, and today, we believe we achieved it. To be the first to dive on Adolf Piening‘s U-boat was a great treat for the team and a just reward for the efforts all of us have put in, especially to keep diving during this period of marginal weather.
In stunning visibility at 73 metres the unmistakable giant shape of the Type IXC U-boat was found sitting bolt upright on the seabed. Her forward hydroplanes and torpedo tubes have fallen off to one side, revealing the bow end of her pressure hull, apart from this damage, the wreck was entirely intact. This included all of the outer cladding attached to the pressure hull, which gave this wreck the ‘beamy’ shape of the Type IX.
Some observations about the wreck include the schnorchel on the starboard side of the foredeck (with round dipole), the heavily reinforced support for the wintergarden still in place (like the one on U869), conning tower hatch open (allowing the divers to see clear into the control room via the opened lower hatch), aft dingy recess on the deck was empty, both external torpedo doors were shut. All of the external torpedo containers have been removed.
There was no evidence of life raft canisters having been fitted to this U-boat.
This was undoubtedly one of the most impressive dives we have done during the course of the expedition. The video footage of this wreck is some of the most mind-blowing taken so far. Extensive stills photographs were also taken.
All text and images are Courtesy of Innes McCartney and have been published under his permission.
50m down the wreck of a submarine comes into view 25m below. Diver Greg Marshall can be seen on the wreck (Innes McCartney).
Damaged foredeck (Innes McCartney)
The broad foredeck characteristic of the long-range Type IX U-boat (Innes McCartney)
The snorkel (Innes McCartney)
Snorkel head in its housing on the starboard side of the foredeck. The ball float is in place along with the air warning radar dipole on the top (Innes McCartney)
The double periscope stand – a design feature on larger U-boats which dates back to WW1 (Innes McCartney)
Conning tower of U-155 (Innes McCartney)
Looking down the conning tower hatch into the control room below (Innes McCartney)
The massive stand for the 37mm AA gun of U-155 (Innes McCartney)
Aft deck with spare torpedo holders (Innes McCartney)
Stern with twin rudders and torpedo tubes of U-155 (Innes McCartney)
The tender container on the aft deck – boat shaped! (Innes McCartney)
After deck facing conning tower (Innes McCartney)
Aphrodite cylinders aft of the conning tower (Innes McCartney)
Innes’s Wife Patricia photographing the open conning tower hatch (Innes McCartney)
Compass repeater binnacle and HF loop lying on the foredeck (Innes McCartney)
Open forward torpedo loading hatch (Innes McCartney)
Inside the forward torpedo room (Innes McCartney)
The torpedo tubes which sunk an aircraft carrier – HMS Avenger (Innes McCartney)
Torpedo tubes with the fore hydroplanes assembly on the sand behind (Innes McCartney)
Forward end of the pressure hull, with the top two torpedo tube recesses clearly visible (Innes McCartney)
Stunning visibility meant the wreck of U-155 could be seen from 40m during the ascent (Innes McCartney)