Google Maps users spot rusting remains of German World War One submarine in Kent

Google Maps users have spotted the wreckage of a more than 100-year-old German World War One submarine.

The impressive wreckage lies encased in the mudflats of the River Medway in Kent.

Sharing a post on Reddit, a Google Maps user said: "As we're on a sub tip: The rusting remains of a WW1 German U-boat who slipped her tow on the way to the breaker's yard in heavy weather."

Experts believe that the U-boat, which is the only visible wreckage of the deadly weapon in the UK, might be the UB122.

It has been marooned on mudflats off the coast for over a century, but more recently it can be seen more fully than usual after low tides following storm surges.

Launched in February 1918, the vessel was surrendered nine months later – having undergone just two unsuccessful patrols.

Mark Dunkley, a marine expert with English Heritage, said in December 2013: "Everything has been taken out of the U-boat that would lead its identification, but our best hunch is that it is the UB122."

He added: "We know that some U-boat engines were re-used at a cement works at Halling and the Medway U-boat does show that her engines were cut out."

The vessel was among 100 U-boats that were brought to the River Medway to be scrapped after the First World War.

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Mr Dunkley believes it is well protected in situ, adding: "The U-boat is not under threat of deterioration and is being preserved where it is."

It is located near Humble Bee Creek, Stoke Saltings, on the Isle of Grain marshes, but people are advised the area is difficult and dangerous to reach.

According to research, the vessel, captained by Oberleutnant zur See Alexander Magnus, had surrendered at the end of the war, and been taken to Britain.

It had later been towed up the Medway to Halling, where its diesel engines were removed and fitted at a local cement works.

In 1921, it was being taken back down the river, towards the Thames Estuary to be further dismantled, when its tow broke and it was swept ashore, coming to rest in Humble Bee Creek, near to the Isle of Grain, where it remains.

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