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Uc-55 [possibly]: North Sea

Submarine (20th Century)

Site Name Uc-55 [possibly]: North Sea

Classification Submarine (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) U55; Uc55; C34; C-34; Mousa Light; '6 Miles East Of Lerwick, Off Helliness'; Helli Ness; Uc-55

Canmore ID 102953

Site Number HU53SE 8001

NGR HU 5758 3026

Datum Datum not recorded


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Shetland Islands
  • Parish Maritime - Shetland Islands
  • Former Region Shetland Islands Area
  • Former District Maritime
  • Former County Not Applicable

Archaeology Notes

HU53SE 8001 5758 3026

N60 3.2167 W0 57.95

NLO: Lerwick [name: HU 475 415]

Helli Ness [name: HU 462 286]

Mousa [name centred HU 460 240].

Quality of fix = EDM

Evidence = Echo sounder

Horizontal Datum = OGB

General water depth = 103

Orientation of keel/wreck = 015/195

Circumstances of Loss Details


The German submarine U55 was sunk by depth charges and gunfire from HM ships TYRADE, SYLVIA and the trawler MORAVIA.

Source: Warships of World War I.

Surveying Details


9 November 1970. A request to purchase the submarine was made by C J Oldfield.

18 December 1985. The site was examined on 3 July 1985 at 60 03 13N, 000 57 57W or decca [n scot] red a 8.15, green f 34.65, purple d 64.50. The least echosounder depth was 97 in a general depth of 103 metres. No scouring was observed. The side scan sonar indicated a height of 5.6 metres, length of 50 metres (164 feet) and beam of 10 metres (32 feet). The vessel is lying with its keel on an orientation of 015/195 degrees. The sonar trace indicates apparently a submarine.

Report by Naval Party

Note: this could also possibly be the wreck of the British submarine C34 - see 59 51 00N, 001 05 00W.

[For this vessel, see HU50NW 8001].

Hydrographic Office, 1995.

(Classified as Submarine : date of loss cited as 29 September 1917). UC-55: this vessel was depth-charged 6 miles East of Lerwick, off Helliness [Helli Ness]. 10 dead.

Registration: German. 498 tons displacement. Length: 52m. Beam: 5m.

(Location of loss cited as N60 2.0 W0 57.0).

I G Whittaker 1998.

Length: 162/173ft (49.3/52.7m)

Beam: 17ft (5.2m)

Displacement: 400/434-480/511 tons

Propulsion: diesel engines; two propellers; 500-600/460-620 hp; 11.5-12/6.6-7.4 kts

Armament: 3 x 19.7in (500mm) torpedo tubes (2 bow above water, 1 stern); 1 3.4in (86mm) gun; 18 mines in 6 vertically-inclined tubes

Complement: 26/28

The identity cited by the Hydrographic Office for this loss is evidently incorrect. Le Fleming identifies what is evidently this boat as UC55 (rather than U55) and records her sinking 'off Lerwick' in 1917.

This boat was a unit of the 64-strong UCII class of coastal minelaying submarine, and was built at Danzig Dockyard in 1916. Significant variations apparently existed within the class but are not individually cited in the available literature.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 25 February 2004.

H M Le Fleming 1961; [Jane] 2001.


Reference (2011)

Whittaker ID : 716

Name : UC-55

Latitude : 600200

Longitude : 5700

Registration : GERMAN


Tonnage : 498

Tonnage Code : D

Length : 52

Beam : 5

Draught : 4m

Position : Position Approximate

Loss Day : 29

Loss Month : 9

Loss Year : 1917

Comment : Depth charged 6 miles east of Lerwick, off Helliness. 10 dead


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