Plan aims to raise WWII U-boat

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by syscom3, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Plan aims to raise WWII U-boat
    Wednesday, 31 January 2007, 08:41 GMT

    There is an ambitious plan to raise a U-boat from the seabed off County Donegal.

    If it gets the go-ahead the aim is to house the boat in a museum where people can get a glimpse of one of the iconic vessels from WWII.

    The British, Irish and German authorities could all be asked to help out with the educational project.

    A number of U-boats lie 70 metres deep off the coast of Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
    Even in the murky depths the outline of the U-boat is quite clear, with divers saying the aerials and periscopes are still intact.

    It is estimated there are about 150 of them lying off Malin Head - all vivid reminders of the Battle of the Atlantic during WWII.

    One of the divers who has been examining the wrecks of Hitler's Wolf Pack, Geoff Millar, said he had been surprised they were in such good condition.

    "When we first started diving them we expected to see an old rusty stain lying on the bottom, but it's amazing the condition they're in," he said.

    "They're the ones that haven't been shelled or used for target practice.
    "There's more ocean going liners lying off Malin Head than anywhere else in the world - 99% of them sunk by U-boats over the two wars.

    "Also there's a ship out there called the Empire Heritage - it has just rows and rows of Sherman tanks on it - there's a lot of stuff there that should be lifted and raised and put forward for a museum."

    The U-boats were used by the Germans to attack the Allies in the north Atlantic, and were an important part of Hitler's war strategy.

    But that eventually floundered and about 60 of the vessels were surrendered at Lisahally docks in Londonderry in 1945. Many were later taken to sea and decommissioned.

    Military historian Richard Doherty said the losses they cause had posed a real threat to the Allied war effort.

    "The U-boats were the thing that frightened Winston Churchill most during the Second World War," he said.

    "They were the greatest threat to the survival of Britain and therefore the building up of the alliance bases in Britain for the invasion of Europe.

    "The U-boats were the weapon with which Germany could have won the war had Adolf Hitler been a sailor and had more appreciation of maritime strategy."

    So far only two U-boats have been brought up from the seabed and preserved for public display in Europe - one in Birkenhead in England and another in Germany.

    It would be a very expensive project, but those behind the project believe it would be worth it to preserve more of those remnants of the Battle of the Atlantic.

    http://news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/uk_news/ northern_ ireland/6315153. stm
     
  2. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    When you think about all the stuff on the bottom of the ocean, just sitting there, sunk during the war, it boggles the mind. Any of the Allied Single Seat fighters are probably to be found scattered all over the floor of the Atlantic. Considering they were packed for shipment before leaving port, there is a decent chance they are in good enough condition to restore.

    Just a thought.
     
  3. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very cool. That would definatly be cool to see.
     
  4. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    The link doesn't work for me.

    What type of U-boot are we talking about? A Type IX?

    Kris
     
  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  6. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    wasn't this mentioned nearly 2 years ago with plans in the works ? maybe I am thinking of another one. there are many sitting at the bottom but personally I would like to think they be left as a memorial to the fallen ......

    not my call E ~
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Actually now that you mention it. I completely agree, they are war graves. They should be left alone.
     
  8. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    side note and a bit OT but here goes .......... there has been for years talk of raising portions of the Titanic or at least allow for deep diving for exploration on the wreck ............ ah leave it alone is my philosophy. Shouldn't it be the same for the sunken U-boots ? sure I would be very interested in the U-boot Kapitän's written diary if they were not erased in time due to the ocean depths but ........
     
  9. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I agree and I too have heard they wanted to raise parts of the Titanic. I dont think it would survive the accent to the surface anyway.
     
  10. twoeagles

    twoeagles Member

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    My take on this is that beyond our generation of people who had family
    members lost on the boats, their memory will rapidly fade. Raising even
    one more boat and putting it into a museum in proper historic context,
    where the names of all the sailors can be listed for visitors to read as they
    view what is now and will always remain a fascinating artifact, will allow
    their memory to live for hundreds of years into the future. And while, as
    an ex-Navy man I am very sensitive to respecting war graves of fighting
    ships, sometimes there is more to be gained than lost. Hundreds of other
    U-boats will rust into the seabed in the next hundred years - raising one
    now as a tribute to them makes sense to me.
     
  11. str8jax

    str8jax Member

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    I agree raising one and showing it would be a better memorial,the youger generations are forgetting.what took place. I try to teach my kids so they wont forget. But are they raising one that was sunk in combat or scuttled?
     
  12. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    If that is the case there are plenty of U-Boots then that are allready in Museusms.

    U-995 is a Type VIIC in Laboe, Germany

    U-2540 is a Type XXI in Bremerhaven, Germany

    U-534 is a type IXC in Birkenhead, England

    U-505 is a Type IXC and in Chicago, USA

    And there are 3 more Type XXI in Hamburg, Germany that are in the underground U-Boot bunker and will hopefully be removed and put into museums.
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    I think they are subs that were scuttled after the war. Not sure, but I get that impression from the article. There were a large number scuttled after the war. But I thought they were dumped in deeper water.
     
  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    I agree Chris, if there are so many in museums (and in the underground pens) then raising what is a war grave shouldn't be done.
     
  15. str8jax

    str8jax Member

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    Did not know there were that many but none are anywhere near close enough for me to go see. And I would also raise the ones that were scuttled not sunk with men inside.
     
  16. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    The scuttled ones I can understand.
     
  17. bigZ

    bigZ Member

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    Live a couple of miles from U534. Unfortunately the site is to be redeveloped and the submarine to go elsewhere. Missed my chance to go aboard.
     

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  18. str8jax

    str8jax Member

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    Nice pic tell them to send it to texas :p
     
  19. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Damn she is in bad shape.

    Here is U-995 and U-2540 below it. Both are in Germany.
     

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  20. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    I see no harm in raising a vessel that was a target boat or scuttled IE Scapa Flows German fleet as these are not war graves and contain no human remains but theres a few scuba guys that need there arses kicking. I spoke to an instructor some years ago and he said that even vessels like the Royal Oak are being raided by sport divers for prizes.
     
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