BU’s research in maritime archaeology is to be featured on two episodes of a More 4 documentary.
World’s Greatest Shipwrecks: History Beneath the Waves features Bournemouth University maritime archaeologist Dr Innes McCartney and his research into sunken U-boats and a scuttled German battlefleet.
In the first episode to feature Dr McCartney ‘Assassins of the Deep’ – first airing at 9pm on 17 May 2021 on More 4 – the programme features three different German U-boat wrecks from the First and Second World Wars.
Two of the U-boats featured (UC66 from WW1 and U480 from WW2) were researched by Dr McCartney during his PhD, with the third (U87) researched by Dr McCartney at Bournemouth University and Bangor University.
Dr McCartney’s PhD found that an unidentified submarine wreck off Scilly Isles was UC66, with fieldwork filmed during the PhD included in the documentary. U480, which was found off the coast of Poole, also researched in Dr McCartney’s PhD was the first submarine in history to be fitted with stealth technology to keep it invisible to sonar, making it historically important.
The second episode, ‘Lost Fleet of WWI’ airing 24 May 2021, tells the story of the scuttling of the entire 74 ship German battlefleet in Scapa Flow in 1919, which was done to prevent their seizure by the British.
This film tells the story of the scuttling of the entire 74 ship German battlefleet in Scapa Flow in 1919. This was done to prevent their seizure by the British. The story was told in Dr McCartney’s 2019 book ‘SCAPA 1919: The Archaeology of a Scuttled Fleet’.
Dr Innes McCartney said, “In a globalized world, every human on the planet is in one way or another dependent on the sea. In Britain, it has been our lifeblood and the engine of the nation’s historical development for 2000 years. The remains of the ships which lie in the sea are an essential component in our very identities. By studying and learning from these shipwrecks we remind everyone of how important the sea is to all of us.
“The ships featured in these films were the centerpieces of some of the most momentous events of the twentieth century. It is the role of archaeology to investigate the past and to develop a greater understanding of the actions of our forebears. Both films reveal aspects of maritime history which could not have been uncovered without the role of archaeology.”
The two programmes are part of a ten part series, a co-production between National Geographic Channel, More 4, Welt 24 (Germany) and Discovery Science in the US. The programme has a global audience as it will be shown in 172 territories in 44 different languages.
The programmes will be available afterwards on All 4 to watch again. For more information about Archaeology at BU, visit the BU website.