World War II Submarine Identified Near Malta

Malta HMS Urge

(Courtesy of Timmy Gambin)

MSIDA, MALTA—Live Science reports that maritime archaeologist Timmy Gambin of the University of Malta and his colleagues have identified a wrecked submarine in more than 360 feet of water some six miles off Malta’s eastern coast as the HMS Urge. The vessel’s name was still visible on its conning tower, Gambin explained. A 3-D digital scan of the wreckage, he added, matches the recorded dimensions of the Urge. The submarine went missing in April 1942 after it crippled an Italian battleship and sank an Italian cruiser in the area, which was mined by German ships. The British Admiralty ordered the submarine to travel to safer waters in Egypt, but the vessel and the 44 people on board never arrived in Alexandria. Gambin said the inspection revealed damage to the bow likely caused by a German naval mine. The bow section broke off when the submarine hit the seafloor. For more on the underwater archaeology of World War II, go to “Scuttled but Not Forgotten.”