German U-boat may be at bottom of Labrador river




 
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August 3rd, 2012  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: German U-boat may be at bottom of Labrador river


Divers believe they have located WWII submarine 100 kilometres from ocean
CBC News Posted: Jul 25, 2012 6:16 PM NT Last Updated: Jul 26, 2012 12:41 PM NT Read 241 comments241

An important piece of history from the Second World War may be sitting in a river in Labrador.

Searchers believe they've found a German U-boat buried in the sand on the bottom of the Churchill River. The discovery has yet to be authenticated.

Two years ago, searchers scoured the bottom of the Churchill River with side-scanning sonar. They were looking for three men lost over Muskrat Falls.

When they reviewed the footage from that search, they made an unexpected discovery.

"We were looking for something completely different, not a submarine, not a U-boat I mean, no one would ever believe that was possible," Brian Corbin told CBC News.

"It was a great feeling when we found it."

At first glance, it can be hard to spot the submarine on the sonar image of the riverbed. When you put it next to a drawing of the boat, some of the features become a lot clearer.

The length is about 30 metres, or "exactly what our side-scan sonar shows," Corbin said.

"So we're pretty sure it is, and we've filed this with receiverships and wrecks, and I think they're confirming that it is possibly a U-boat."

It's unclear how the sub may have ended up that far inland, more than 100 kilometres from the ocean.

The area, though, was strategically important during the Second World War. An air force base, which the U.S. military used extensively during the war, was built in the early 1940s, and operates still as 5 Wing Goose Bay.

German reaction
The German government says it is possible, but added that it would be "sensational and unusual," that a submarine could have ended up so far inland.

"We do know that German U-boats did operate in that region," said Georg Juergens, the deputy head of mission for the German Embassy in Ottawa.

He notes that a Second World War-era, battery-operated weather station was found decades after being left in Labrador by a U-boat. It is now on display at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.

"We must brace ourselves for surprises," Juergens told CBC News, while stressing that the submarine has yet to be positively identified.

More than a dozen U-boats may still be unaccounted for, he said.

If the mystery find is proven to be a submarine wreck, the German government does not favour bringing it to the surface.

"That would be against our tradition and our naval customs," Juergens said. "This site then would be declared a war grave at sea."

He said Canadian policy dovetails with German policy on such matters.

According to Juergens, the Newfoundland and Labrador government is now involved in efforts to authenticate the possible wreck.

Back to the river
If the German government agrees, Corbin wants to head back out onto the Churchill River.

He'll use a remote-operated vehicle to take a closer look and, he hopes, answer the question of whether there is a submarine there once and for all.

Oddly enough, the story of a U-boat beaching in the Churchill River is the subject of a novel written in the early 1990s.

In that story, the crew defects. Over the years, many have taken this fictional story to be fact.

Other incidents
There have also been other recorded incidents of U-boat activity in the waters off Newfoundland and Labrador.

In 1942, a German torpedo sank the ferry SS Caribou on a run between North Sydney, N.S., and Port aux Basques, N.L., killing 136 people.

According to the Newfoundland and Labrador heritage website, submarine U-587 fired three torpedoes at St. John's earlier that year. Two of them hit the cliffs below the city's iconic Cabot Tower.

U-boats sank four ore carriers off nearby Bell Island in late 1942, killing more than 60.

When the war ended in 1945, U-190 surrendered to Canadian forces and sailed into Bay Bulls, just south of St. John's.

A piece of that U-boat stayed in Newfoundland its periscope found a home at the Crow's Nest Officers' Club in downtown St. John's, where it remains to this day.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfou...overy-725.html
August 3rd, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
reading this further I have my doubts that it is a U Boat as 30 meters long is far too short for any ocean going U boat with the exception of a type II which would not have had the range to get there.
August 3rd, 2012  
Yossarian
 
 
What are the coniditions of the river bottom in question? Is there a strong current and doesn it carry much silt or build up?

I was pondering that the object is partially burried in the river bed, however I am not sure what type of bottom it has here.

Of course it could be anything, who knows what could have landed in the river over the years that humans have traveled there.
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August 3rd, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian
What are the coniditions of the river bottom in question? Is there a strong current and doesn it carry much silt or build up?

I was pondering that the object is partially burried in the river bed, however I am not sure what type of bottom it has here.

Of course it could be anything, who knows what could have landed in the river over the years that humans have traveled there.
The thing is that it is:
A) Too small, 30 meters when a type VII as I recall is about 70 meters long, it is even small for a type II (44 meters) but it is about the right length for the pressure hull of the type II (28 meters).

The only type II that had the range was the IID which had a range of 9,000km at 8 kn.

However no Type IID was sunk anywhere near North America.

In fact the majority of the Type II's were scuttled at the end of the war.

B) 250km up a river.

My money would be on an old boiler or the like.
August 3rd, 2012  
Yossarian
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
The thing is that it is:
A) Too small, 30 meters when a type VII as I recall is about 70 meters long, it is even small for a type II (44 meters) but it is about the right length for the pressure hull of the type II (28 meters).

The only type II that had the range was the IID which had a range of 9,000km at 8 kn.

However no Type IID was sunk anywhere near North America.

In fact the majority of the Type II's were scuttled at the end of the war.

B) 250km up a river.

My money would be on an old boiler or the like.
How shallow is the river? Do you small vessel may have run aground here? And dumped something to lighten it's weight to unbeach itself?

I mean, what about air records, has any aircraft gone missing here? Being as somtimes it's better to put a fondering aircraft down over water than land. As far fetched as it could be in this region of the world.

I do think however that the press is trying to milk the nostaliga of it being a U Boat, being as it's more interesting to read an article labled that than.

"large piece of junk found in river nobody has ever heard of".

Of course who knows what it could be, this kinda reminds me of the re discovery of that mini sub outside Pearl Harbor all these years later.

Or the location several German tanks at the bottom of Eastern European rivers over the decades where the discoverers didn't even know what they had salvaged until the huge muddy hulk broke the surface.
August 3rd, 2012  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian
I do think however that the press is trying to milk the nostaliga of it being a U Boat, being as it's more interesting to read an article labled that than.

"large piece of junk found in river nobody has ever heard of".

Of course who knows what it could be, this kinda reminds me of the re discovery of that mini sub outside Pearl Harbor all these years later.

Or the location several German tanks at the bottom of Eastern European rivers over the decades where the discoverers didn't even know what they had salvaged until the huge muddy hulk broke the surface.
My best guess is that they have found some large bit of junk which is being made into a "U Boat" based on the novel that was written about a U Boat in the area.
August 3rd, 2012  
Yossarian
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
My best guess is that they have found some large bit of junk which is being made into a "U Boat" based on the novel that was written about a U Boat in the area.

Agreed, gotta sell papers.
 


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