Added by: H2O Globe
Location: Molch  (45.76673°, 13.63133°)
DEPTH: 8 - 10 m
SKILL: Beginner
Molch, midget submarine, German Navy
Built: 1944, Germany
Sunk: 1st-2nd May 1945 (scuttling)
Dimensions: l=10.78 m. w=1.82 m, displacement: 11.01 t
Coordinates: 45.76642° N, 13.63097° E
Location: about 100 m from the shore, off the beach in the bathing area of Sistiana
Access: 5/5 access is possible from the shore
Visibility: 3/5 visibility is mostly average, in the winter occasionally very good
Current: 5/5 mostly without current
Flora and fauna: 2/5 modest life on and around the wreck


The Molch submarine was one of a series of several types of small single-seat submarines which the Germans designed during the war for the fight against surface vessels using various commando tactics. It was able to creep around war bases and surprise slow moving warships, at anchor or moored, if it was in the position to have overcome the obstacles which were always dangerous at such bases.

There is no reliable data whether the Molch submarines from Sistiana participated in any executed operations. It is known that raids were planned on Allied ships in the Northern Adriatic, but as all the operational documentation of the 411th K-flotilla was destroyed (most likely during their retreat), this is unfortunately no longer possible to ascertain.

Upon abandoning the base the Germans buried explosives at the entrance to the underground warehouse and workshops and today it is not known what was inside at the moment it was sealed. It is certain that the Germans, during the night of 1st-2nd May 1945 upon the advance of the Partisans and Allies destroyed a number of smaller craft, and amongst them at least two Molch subs. Due to the rush, they both sank to shallow depths and then one of them, during the 1970s, was removed and later in a poor condition, stored in one of the depositories of the museum in Trieste. Another Molch has remained on the seabed and today reminds us of the terrible days of war and the meaningless losses of insanely brave submariners.


The wreck is located just off the beach of the little harbour of Sistiana, at a depth just 10 metres. Visibility during our dive was unexpectedly good (about 15 metres), the sea was like oil. Swimming on the surface, we immediately found the wreck.

Diving down to the bottom it was possible to determine that the submarine was intact, with the exception of the cover on the little turret and the plexiglass dome on top of it. It lies gently tilted on its left side and is in fact reminiscent of a large torpedo. The hull is intact, only the plating on the fins at the stern has in places partially fallen away. At the rear part of the hull is located the little turret which was the place of the “pilot”, the only crew member. Now the interior of the cabin is full of mud so it is not possible to see inside whether something remains of the submarine’s control panel. On the little turret there was once a fixed periscope, but today it is no more. Along the right side of the submarine can be seen the long rail which was used to hang a torpedo from (one on each side) which were its only armament, and through an opening in the rear part of the hull can still be seen the levers which connected the navigator in the cabin with the tail rudder for depth and direction.

The description and illustrations are a curtesy of Danijel Frka and Jasen Mesić. Buy the whole book here: