German warship granted official protection 142 years after sinking in English Channel

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LONDON, June 5 (Xinhua) -- A German warship which sank in the English Channel in 1878 was Friday declared a historic wreck by the British government.

The Grosser Kurfurst sank off Folkestone in Kent after being accidentally rammed by another German warship during a training exercise.

As an "ironclad" ship, the Grosser Kurfurst was built during a revolutionary period in naval warfare when designers moved from wooden to armored ships

The wreck of the ship and a Folkestone memorial which pays tribute to the 284 men who lost their lives have been granted protection by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the advice of Historic England.

The wreck has been added to the National Heritage List for England, meaning its contents are given a level of official protection.

Historic England CEO Duncan Wilson said: "This historic shipwreck tells the story of Germany's increasing naval strength in the late-19th century... The Grosser Kurfurst is important as it was the only non-Royal Naval warship recorded as wrecked in English waters for the period 1860-1913."

Divers surveying the Grosser Kurfurst have confirmed that it had been lying on the seabed upside down, which is the way that it sank. Enditem

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