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Wreck of the most modern U-boat of WWII found

During research work carried out by scientists from the Naval Warfare Museum in Thyborøn, a remarkable discovery was made. On 13 April, the wreck of the legendary German U-boat 3523 was found at the bottom of the Skagerrak Strait off the coast of Denmark. Located at a depth of 123 metres, the wreck is a
Published: April 22, 2018 - 17:36
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:45
Wreck of the most modern U-boat of WWII found

During research work carried out by scientists from the Naval Warfare Museum in Thyborøn, a remarkable discovery was made. On 13 April, the wreck of the legendary German U-boat 3523 was found at the bottom of the Skagerrak Strait off the coast of Denmark.

Located at a depth of 123 metres, the wreck is a state-of-the-art Type XXI U-boat. It was also the largest and most technologically advanced ship ever possessed by the Kriegsmarine, or any other army at the time.

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nintchdbpict000399598244

The wreck is located approximately 10 Mm north of Skagen. The sinking U-boat has penetrated the soft bottom of the strait, approximately at the level of the kiosk. At the moment the ship’s stern is sticking up 20 metres above the bottom.

Interestingly, for many decades after the war, legends circulated about the ship that had just been found, claiming that Adolf Hitler had escaped from Europe to South America. The ship’s enormous range allowed it to theoretically reach as far as Argentina without stopping.

Thanks to the documents collected and the work done in the archives, it was possible to establish that the wreck of U-boat 3523 was sunk at 18.39 on 6 May 1945 by a B-24 Liberator bomber from 86 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force. This situation took place after the liberation of Denmark from occupation, so it is assumed that the crew of the ship tried to evacuate the region in the direction of Norway.

submarine

Due to the great depth, exploration of the wreck by divers is complicated. For the same reason the Danes do not plan to raise such a unique wreck, which would undoubtedly be an attraction drawing tourists from all over the world. The only U-boat type XXI is in the museum in Bremerhaven, Germany.

U-Boot-typ-XXI-4-e1524080767139

U-boats of type XXI were a real gem among the submarines of their time. Their extremely modern design solutions, starting with the construction of the hull itself, the snoopers or the use of passive sonar, were to make it possible to cover most of the voyage while submerged.

nintchdbpict000399598230

As designed, the Type XXI U-boats measured 76.7 metres long and 6.6 metres wide. They reached a speed of 15.5 knots when surfaced and 17.2 knots when submerged, which translated respectively into a range of 15500 Mm at an economic speed of 10 knots on the surface and 340 Mm submerged at 5 knots. Armament consisted of 2 twin 20mm anti-aircraft guns and 6 torpedo launchers on the bow, with a reserve of 23 torpedoes.

nintchdbpict000399598240

The ship was ordered and built in F. Schichau GmbH in Danzig. On 7th October 1944 the keel for the construction of the ship was laid. In turn the launching took place on 14 December 1944 and then she was put into service on 23 January 1945. Out of 118 ordered units only the 3523 was finished and went out on combat patrol.

Source: nypost.com, livescience.com, independent.co.uk

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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