29th August 1918 GERMAN SUBMARINE UB-109 sunk off Folkestone

The Coastal Patrol Submarine, UB-109 was built by Blohm & Voss, Ordered 23 September 1916. Launched 7 July 1917 and Commissioned 31 December 1917. Length 55.30 meters, beam 5.8 meters, Draught 3.68 meters, height 8.25 meters, Displacement 516 tons surface, 651 tons submerged, Maximum depth 75 meters, Speed on surface 13.6 knots, 8 knots submerged, range 9,040 miles at 6 knots on surface, 55 miles at 4 knots submerged. Armed with 10 torpedoes, four bow tubes one stern tube. One 88mm deck gun with 160 rounds. Crew around 34 men.
UB-109 a Class Type UBIII submarine, was part of Germany’s Flandern I Flotilla, 30th March 1918- 29th August 1918 U-boat commander was Kapitänleutnant Kurt Ramien from 31th December 1917 to 29th August 1918, sinking seven ships. On 9th April 1918 torpedoed the French steamer ‘President Leroy-lallier’ 26 casualties. On 10 April 1918 torpedoed British steamer ‘Henley’ 6 casualties. On 13th April 1918 stopped and scuttled the British sailing vessel ‘Wilson’, no record of any casualties. 18th April 1918 torpedoed the British steamer ‘Runswick’, no record of any casualties. 19th August 1918 UB-109 sunk the British steamer ‘Zinal’ two casualties. 25th August 1918, the submarine sunk the French steamer ‘Pontect Canet’ no record of any casualties. On 26th August 1918 torpedoed the Swedish steamer ‘Helge’, 13 casualties.

While seemly returning to base at 3.05am on 29th August 1918 the UB-109 became a victim of the allied channel defence barrage when she was detected by the Folkestone Gate hydrophone Listening Station set-up in Martello tower No. 4, which could remotely control a line of mines which they detonated as the submarine crossed them. It is reported that Ramien escaped through the conning tower hatch after momentarily wedged in with the struggling navigator, seemly then followed by 6 men who reached the surface, leaving 28 of the crew entombed in their boat. The Auxiliary patrol trawler ‘St. Germain’ picked up the survivors of UB-109. Kapitanleutnant Ramien became a 'Prisoner of War in England until 1919. Kurt Ramien who had success while in command of UC-1, UC-48, & UB-109. suck 57 ships with a total of 103,443 gross tons, and damaged 6 ships with a total of 26,509 gross tons. He was decorated with the Iron Cross 2nd Class, U-boat War Badge, Iron Cross 1st Class, Hanseatic Cross, and the Royal Order of Hohenzollern on 23rd July 1917. On 9th August 1939 at the age of 49, he committed suicide in Kiel.


Sunk off Folkestone on 29th August 1918

We should remember them.

This shipwreck is not protected as an official War Grave.

However WW1 mementoes or souvenirs taken by divers from this shipwreck including the bones of the dead, should be reported to the Receiver of Wreck . https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/receiver-of-wreck

Click here for a underwater video of the German Submarine UB-109 wreck
Click here for BSAC 326 Canterbury Divers web page on UB-109



Canterbury Divers have adopted the German Submarine UB-109 wreck under the ‘Adopt A Wreck’ scheme organized by the Nautical Archaeological Society.

Click for UB-109 adopt-a-wreck link