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Submarine sunk by British warship during First World War found after more than 100 years

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 03/08/2018 Nick Squires
a large ship in a body of water: The Italian submarine, Alberto Guglielmotti, was mistaken for a German U-boat by a British warship © Marina Militare The Italian submarine, Alberto Guglielmotti, was mistaken for a German U-boat by a British warship

An Italian submarine that was sunk by accident by a British warship during the First World War has been found after lying on the seabed for more than a century.

HMS Cyclamen mistook the submarine, Alberto Guglielmotti, for a German U-boat and sank her by gunfire and ramming off the island of Capraia, between Corsica and the Italian coast, in March 1917.

a screen shot of a television: An image of the rediscovered submarine provided by an underwater robot - Credit: Marina Militare © Provided by Telegraph Media Group Limited An image of the rediscovered submarine provided by an underwater robot - Credit: Marina Militare

Italy and Britain were allies during the First World War, although they would find themselves on opposite sides during the Second World War.

The 14 crew members on board all lost their lives.

a large ship in a body of water: One of two minesweepers that identified the submarine, more than 100 years after it was sunk off the island of Capraia - Credit: Marina Militare © Provided by Telegraph Media Group Limited One of two minesweepers that identified the submarine, more than 100 years after it was sunk off the island of Capraia - Credit: Marina Militare

The submarine was on its way from the big Italian naval base of La Spezia, on Italy’s west coast, to Brindisi in the Adriatic when it was spotted by the British warship, which mistook it for a German U-boat and sank it.

The wreck was found by two Italian navy minesweepers that were involved in a routine exercise in the area at a depth of around 1,300ft.

The navy described it as “an important discovery”.

a close up of a computer: Another image of the sunken sub, taken by an underwater robot - Credit: Marina Militare © Provided by Telegraph Media Group Limited Another image of the sunken sub, taken by an underwater robot - Credit: Marina Militare

Specialists used an underwater robot called a Multipluto to explore the wreck and verify its identity.

The robot also took photographs and video, in which the cannon fixed to the prow is visible.

“This discovery is testimony to the courage and dignity of these men who, more than 100 years ago, served their country and made the ultimate sacrifice,” the Italian navy said in a statement.

In pictures: The Fading Battlefields of World War One (Provided by: The Atlantic )

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