Lost Second World War submarine HMS Urge discovered off Malta

Lost Second World War submarine HMS Urge discovered off MaltaA Second World War submarine paid for by charity dances and card games has been found more than 70 years after it vanished. The wreck of HMS Urge, which was built with money raised by the people of Bridgend in south Wales, was discovered by a University of Malta survey team two miles off the coast of the island. The discovery came after Francis Dickinson, the grandson of HMS Urge's captain Lieutenant-Commander E.P. Tomkinson, requested the university team search an area that had been heavily mined during the Nazi's two-and-a-half year siege of the island.  A sonar image revealed a submarine-like shape at a depth of 130 metres.     "The damage to the bow shows a very violent explosion … indicating that the ship would have sunk very fast giving no chance to anybody to survive from this tragedy," said professor Timothy Gambin, who led the team. A graphic illustration compares a picture of a U-Class Submarine to a Sonar image of the wreck of HMS Urge Credit: UNIVERSITY OF MALTA/PROJECT SPUR/VIA REUTERS "Besides the damage on the bow, the wreck is in absolutely fantastic condition. It is sitting upright on the seabed, very proud, in the direction that it was ordered to take on its way to Alexandria," he told Malta's PBS. The U-class submarine disappeared in 1942 after being ordered with other vessels to sail from Malta to Egypt, with the loss of all 32 crew, 11 Royal Navy passengers, and a journalist.  She put to sea on April 27, but never made the rendezvous in Alexandria on May 6. The wreck of a submarine, which the University of Malta says is Britain's HMS Urge that vanished during World War Two, is seen lying at the bottom of the sea off Malta Credit: University of Malta/Project Spur/via Reuters   The Royal Navy and most family members have long said she was most likely sunk by a mine shortly after putting to sea, a theory confirmed by the discovery. Another theory, based on German naval reports, suggested that she was sunk on 29 April by a dive-bomber as she tried to attack an Italian vessel near Libya.  Those lost included Bernard Gray, a British war correspondent who had previously covered the Dunkirk evacuation and is thought to have used his connections to wangle a berth on the vessel so he could cover the war in North Africa.  His presence on the vessel was only confirmed in 2002 following an inquiry by archivists at the Royal Navy Submarine museum. A ceremony to declare the site an official war grave will take place in April.



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