Surveyors Find Sunken WWI Battleship

Danton in top condition deep under Mediterranean
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 19, 2009 11:02 AM CST
Many of the Danton's gun turrets survived the descent, the BBC reports.   (Wikimedia Commons)
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(Newser) – A French battleship famously sunk by Germans in World War I has been found in “extraordinary” condition on the Mediterranean Sea floor, the BBC reports. A geosciences firm came upon the Danton while surveying the waters between Italy and Algeria for a planned gas pipeline, set to be diverted to avoid the site. The ship sits upright, more than 3,200 feet below the surface, 22 miles southwest of Sardinia.

Some 1,000 sailors were onboard the 500-foot Danton when it was hit en route to Corfu on March 18, 1917. Most were rescued by other vessels, but the captain is said to have gone down with nearly 300 crew members. “After it was hit by the torpedoes, the Danton clearly turned turtle and rotated several times,” said a director for the surveying firm. “You can see where it slid along the seabed before coming to a rest.”