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HM Submarine M1

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HMS M1 was a submarine of the British Royal Navy, one of four vessels of her class ordered towards the end of the First World War. She sank with the loss of her entire crew in 1925.

The Loss of Submarine M1

"During the forenoon of November 12th while a flotilla of submarines was engaged in exercises off Start Point, the M.1 failed to reappear after diving. The alarm was at once sounded, and every effort was made to locate the missing boat, but without success. On Saturday the Admiralty issued a communique to the effect that it was no longer possible to hold out any hope of saving the crew. Shortly after the disaster a German firm volunteered to place its deep-sea diving plant at the British Admiralty's disposal for the purpose of finding the wreck. This offer was accepted, and the destroyer Wolfhound, which had been dispatched from Rosyth to Cuxhaven to embark the German divers and their gear, reached Portland on Sunday afternoon after covering the journey from Cuxhaven at an average speed of 27.5 knots. Unfortunately, the weather conditions in the early part of the week precluded a trial of the German apparatus, and up to the moment of writing the result of the diving operations remains in doubt. While there is, of course, no hope of finding any member of the crew alive, an examination of the wreck by divers might throw some light on the cause of the disaster. Owing to thee great depth of water in which she is lying, it is considered almost impossible to raise the vessel.

The M.1 was a submarine monitor of 1600 tons surface displacement, launched in 1917, and was chiefly remarkable for mounting a 12in gun. She had previously enjoyed an excellent reputation for safety and reliability of control. At the time of her loss she was manned by a company of sixty-nine officers and men. In consequence of this latest disaster a campaign for the total abolition of submarines by all nations has been launched by Mr. Maclcinnon, the chairman of Lloyd's, and is receiving a good deal of support. " [1]

The Fate of Submarine M1

THE mystery surrounding the fate of submarine M 1, which disappeared on November 12th, -while exercising off Start Point, has been cleared up by a statement emanating from the master of the Swedish steamship Vidar. This vessel, it appears, was in the neighbourhood of Start Point on the morning of November 12th when two distinct shocks were felt. These shocks were at first attributed to heavy seas striking the ship, but when Captain Anell heard on arriving at Cuxhaven that a British submarine had been lost off the Devonshire coast, he thought it well to communicate his experience to the Swedish naval authorities. An inspection of the ship's hull at Stockholm has established the fact that she had been in collision with some obstruction, and in view of the coincidence of time and place, and the fact that marks of grey paint have been found on her hull, no reasonable doubt exists that the Vidar was the unwitting destroyer of M 1. In the Admiralty's opinion, the submarine was rapidly and completely flooded, and the crew must have perished immediately. It is some consolation to know that the loss of the boat was not caused by a mechanical defect, but the failure of the Swedish vessel to receive any warning as to the presence of submarine; in the area through which she was steaming has yet to be explained. [2]

Her wreck was discovered by a diving team led by Innes McCartney in 1999 at a depth of 73 m. Later that year, the wreck was visited again by Richard Larn and a BBC TV documentary crew, and the resulting film was broadcast in March 2000. The wreck is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.[3]

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