Original WWI German U-Boat Navigational Parallel from UB-50 Surrender - Sank HMS Britannia

Item Description

Original Item: One Only. This is a Navigational Instrument beautifully made of quality wood with brass fittings. It may well be British made, as it is marked :- CAPT. FIELD'S IMPROVED PARALLEL and consists of two wood slats joined by three brass arms and operated with two brass turned knobs.

Across the central brass arm is has been engraved:-
FROM U.50 Surrendered at HARWICH 16-1-19 (Actually referring to January 16th 1919).

Harwich is a major East Coast port in the County of Essex in England, and internet research tells us that on that date a squadron of German U-Boats appeared there and surrendered, UB-50 being one of them. Of course the First World War ended of November 11th 1918 but many German U Boats were at sea and surrendered only on hearing that the war was lost, some weeks later.

There were several series of of U-Boats (underwater boat), designated U for ocean going boats, UB for coastal patrol, and UC for coastal patrol minelayers. Research shows that U-50 was sunk August 31,1917, while UC-50 went missing January 7, 1918. UB-50 however not sunk, and records show it was surrendered at Harwich, and eventually broken up at Swansea, England in 1922.

UB-50 was a Type UB III coastal torpedo attack boat, produced at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany. It took part in 7 patrols during WWI from September 30 1917 - to November 11 1918 as part of the Pola/Mittelmeer II Flotilla.  Records on UB-50 show that it sank 38 ships with a total tonnage of 97,284. The last of these was the largest displacement, and only warship sunk by UB-50, the British Battleship HMS Britannia. The ship was sunk in the Strait of Gibraltar on November 9 1918, two days before the armistice was signed. With a total tonnage of 16,350, this was one of the largest ships sunk during the war, and definitely the largest British warship lost to U-boat warfare.

A top quality Navigational item, probably made well before WW1, recovered from UB-50 and marked to commemorate the occasion. In WW1 as in WW2, German U-boats inflicted great damage to Allied shipping, including the sinking of the Royal Mail Ship Lusitania on May 7th 1915, killing 1198 people, 128 of whom were American citizens, which became a major factor in the U.S. entering WW1 in 1917.

A totally original WW1 German U-Boat item.

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