Skip to comments.Adolf Hitler's 'lost fleet' found in Black Sea (U-Boats had been carried 2,000 miles overland)
Posted on 02/02/2008 8:20:19 PM PST by Stoat
Adolf Hitler's 'lost fleet' found in Black Sea
By Jasper Copping
Last Updated: 2:36am GMT 03/02/2008
They formed part of the German U-boat fleet that almost brought Britain to its knees during the Second World War
Six submarines were taken almost 2,000 miles across Nazi-occupied Europe, by road and river, from Germanys Baltic port at Kiel to Constanta, on Romanias Black Sea coast
The epic odyssey, which lasted several months, saw them taken from their base at Kiel, by canal to the river Elbe, and upstream to Dresden
From here, they were partly dismantled and loaded onto lorries for a cross country trip to Ingolstadt, on the Danube, and then downstream to the Black Sea, where they were rebuilt
In a two year campaign, the fleet attacked more than 50 enemy vessels, sinking 46,500 tonnes of shipping
Otto Kretschmer, known as Silent Otto, commanded U-23, and became the most successful U-boat ace of the war
But, in August 1944, the remaining three vessels suddenly found themselves stranded in the Black Sea after Romania switched sides and declared war on Germany
Without a base to return to and unable to sail home, their captains were ordered to sink their U-boats at secret locations along the Turkish coast
Now, more than 60 years on, explorers have located the final resting place of a flotilla of three submarines, dubbed Hitlers lost fleet
They have now been discovered by a team led by Turkish marine engineer, Selçuk Kolay, who established the positions of the ships through research in German naval archives, interviews with surviving members of the fleet, and by sonar studies of the seabed
Mr Kolay was also helped by a map drawn by Rudolf Arendt, who, in 1944 was the 21-year-old captain of U-23
He has already completed successful dives onto the wreckage of one of the vessels, U-20, and believes he has discovered the position of another, U-23
Military History Ping request :-)
Thanks for posting this!
You're quite welcome, and I'm delighted if you're finding it interesting :-)
I’m impressed that the Germans were able to keep track of all those nuts and bolts. I’d hate to be the one to admit I left a bag of screws back in Kiel.
bkmark/ great article. thanks.1
Indeed, and I'm amazed that the vessels were able to be designed in such a way that a major disassembly / reassembly of such incredibly complex vessels such as this could even be done in the field.....just astonishing!
You're quite welcome! Thank you for your kind words :-)
Great article. Trailer Boat magazine never covered anything like that.
Great article! Reminds me of how the British sought to attack the US forces on Lake Champlain in 1776. They sailed their fleet up the St. Lawrence River to the Richelieu River where they disassembled their ships, transported them overland around the rapids on the river, and then then reassembled them for service on Lake Champlain. The showpiece of the British fleet was the HMS Inflexible, an 18-gun man-of-war.
I'm delighted that you're finding it interesting :-)
Trailer Boat magazine never covered anything like that.
Perhaps they might enjoy it if you were to send it to them?
Perhaps re-titled: "And so you think that trailering your 18' runabout is hard work?"
I can’t even keep track of a few U-bolts, let alone a fleet of U-boats.
He lost the battle (of Valcour Island), but delayed the British enough for Winter to set in, and Washington to build an Army.
Didn't the Germans also move a ship across land in Africa during WWI?
Yes, the U-19, U-20 and U-23 were all Type IIB's.
You can read more about them here:
I see Indcons has been pinged. I suppose I should have some witty comment available so that I can bump a cool thread like this.
Thanks for posting this.
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