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Lowering Torpedo into Submarine E. 23

The improved E class submarine, E.23, takes on fresh torpedoes for another stealth mission in this WWI news film

1917 7 mins Silent


This WWI newsreel takes to the seas to offer cinema audiences a glimpse of Britain's underwater offensive. Launched in September 1915, E.23 played a crucial role as part of the Royal Navy's backbone in the North Sea and the Baltic. 55 E class improved submarines were built, having extremely successful - though sometimes short - lives. In hyperbolic media fashion, perhaps necessary for morale at the time, this newsreel makes some tall claims about the victory of a sunken German Dreadnaught just 10 days after the film was shot.

E.23 did indeed inflict a direct hit with a torpedo on the German dreadnought SMS Westfalen, holing her off the North Coast of the Netherlands on 19 August 1916. The German vessel only suffered minimal damage, however, and was soon repaired, casting its shadow on the North Sea for the duration of the war.