A link in the chain

The discovery of a British shipwreck has taken on new significance as the early link in a chain of events that forced the United States into World War One. Allan George reports

A 3D model based on multi-beam sonar data illustrating the newly identified remains of SS Hartdale
UNPATH’D WATERS/ UNIVERSITY OF BANGOR

The final resting place of a British merchant ship, SS Hartdale, missing since being torpedoed by a German U-boat during World War One, has been established by a team of researchers from Bangor University.

While the discovery of Hartdale is of little obvious relevance to maritime history, her predator, U-27, had a contentious role to play in the evolution of submarine warfare and the eventual entry of the United States into World War One.

Furthermore, Dr Michael Roberts – the leader of the team that found the wreck – hopes the discovery will be the first of many uncovered by Unpath’d Waters, a research project focussed on identifying important wrecks in the Irish Sea.

The exact location of Hartdale has been a mystery since the vessel was attacked by U-27 in the Irish Sea on March 13, 1915, but her remains have now been identified lying at a depth of 260ft, 12 miles off the coast of Northern Ireland.

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