17 August 1945

In the sparkling waters off Mar del Plata, Argentina, a submarine's prow breaks the surface. Up comes the U-977, commanded by Captain Heinz Schäffer. She sits dead in the water until the Argentinian cruiser 'Belgrano' comes alongside. Then Schäffer is piped aboard the 'Belgrano' and surrenders his boat and crew.

During the debriefing, the Argentinian Commodore told Schäffer:

"Captain, I must tell you that your boat is suspected of having sunk the Brazilian steamship 'Bahia' a few days ago. It is also suspected that you had Adolf Hitler, Eva Braun and Martin Bormann on board and put them ashore on the southern part of our continent".

While Schäffer was a "guest" aboard the 'Belgrano', the newspaper "El Dia" in Uruguay's capital of Montevideo ran a Page One story, claiming that U-977 had stopped first near Comodoro Rivadavia in southern Argentina.

"El Dia" claimed that Hitler, Eva Braun, Bormann, Hitler's twin six-year-old sons by another mistress, their nanny and half a dozen leading Nazis had taken to the rubber dinghies in the Golfo San Jorge, gone ashore in Patagonia, and now they were all on their way to "the new Berchtesgaden in Antarctica".

Argentina's president, Juan Domingo Peron, took the report seriously enough to have Schäffer brought to Buenos Aires and interrogated.

Did  Unity 'Valkyrie' Mitford' have Hitler's children? 

If you read this story in a "Harlequin Romance", you probably wouldn't believe it. Most of this story is true. It's just that whatever happened after 8 November 1939 is shrouded in mystery.

Her name was Unity, and she was born 8 August 1914, about a week after her future boyfriend, one in a cheering throng celebrating the German proclamation of war, had his photograph taken at the Odeonplatz in Munich.

She was the fifth child of David Freeman-Mitford, later Lord Redesdale, and Sydney Bowles, the daughter of a British publisher, and although born in London, England, she was conceived in the small town of Swastika, Ontario in Canada, where her family had gold mines.

The Mitfords were stumped for a middle name, and then Bertie Redesdale, David's father, came up with one.

"As a war baby, her second name, 'Valkyrie', after the warrior maidens of 'The Ring,' was a tribute to her grandfather Redesdale's passion for Wagner".

Indeed, Bertie's closest friend was none other than Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Wagner's son-in-law and the Nineteenth Century apostle of "Aryan supremacy"."

Unity Valkyrie became one of the Mitford Girls, the younger sister of Nancy, a famous British author, and Diana, who came  close to becoming the first woman since Mary, Queen of Scots, to "shake hands with Jack Ketch at the Tower". By all accounts, it was a pretty boisterous family, with the girls referring to their parents as "Muv and Farve" and shrieking in unison whenever they felt amused. It was definitely a laugh a minute at Asthall Manor, Oxfordshire during the 1920s.

At age 18, Unity had her coming-out party with her cousin, Robin Farrar, on 7 July 1932 at Cheyne Walk, London, the home of her sister Diana, now married to millionaire brewer Bryan Guinness.

Diana Churchill was Unity's second cousin. Her grandmother, Lady Blanche Hozier, was the sister of Grandmother Redesdale. Unity occasionally visited Chartwell, the Churchill estate, but not as often as her older siblings, Diana and Tom, who were the regular playmates of Winston's kids, Diana and Randolph Churchill--a fact which may or may not have something to do with what happened to Unity after 1939.

In September 1933, while on tour in Munich, 19-year-old Unity dropped in on the annual rally of the Nazionalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterspartei [NSDAP or Nazi Party] She had found the first Nazi Party Congress so exciting that she was determined to return and bombarded her parents with requests to go back.

Accordingly in May 1934, she was installed by Sydney in the house of a respectable elderly German Baroness who made ends meet by taking in young foreign girls of good family.

Unity soon had a circle of friends. As well as the other English girls staying with the baroness, she met young Germans through Putzi [Ernst] Hanfstängl's sister Erna. She also met a young artist, Derek Hill. Unity's younger sister, Pam, who had known Derek when he was a schoolboy, had told him to look up Unity, and the two of them often went sightseeing or walking in the mountains together.

Derek knew that Adolf Hitler, now the head of state, made a habit of stopping at tea rooms in Munich whenever he drove from his retreat at Berchtesgaden back to Berlin. So, on 11 June 1934, Derek brought his mother and his aunt, both from Scotland, to the Carlton Teeraum. While they were having their "cuppa," in walked Hitler, followed by [Dr. Josef] Göbbels, [Rudolf] Hess and various henchmen.

Excusing himself, Derek went to the cashier's desk and used the telephone to ring the Baroness's house. "Guess who's here?" he said, "The Führer's here--if you want to look at him, you'd better come quick."

Unity rushed out, jumped into a taxi and arrived in a state of breathless excitement. She was trembling so much as she stared at Hitler that she was unable to drink her chocolate and had to hand her cup to Derek.

Later he was to recall a more bizarre manifestation of Hitler's extraordinary charisma: his mother and aunt, strong-minded, apolitical Scotswomen, were so affected by this sight of the Führer that they gave the Nazi salute as he left the Teeraum.

When Unity left the Teeraum, she now had only one goal in life--to meet this man that everybody's talking about. She enrolled at the University of Munich, joined the NSDAP and, in effect, became "Hitler's groupie," attending every Nazi event he was bound to be at.

Hitler's remarkable appeal to women of all ages is a hard thing to describe. There was nothing significantly sexy about the man. Except for his obsessive neatness and peculiarly white, well-shaped hands, he was unremarkable to the point of ordinariness--a man of about five feet, nine inches, with a clear skin, fine dark hair and gold-filled teeth.

When not in uniform, his clothes, said Randolph Churchill, "had all the unpretentious respectability of the German or Austrian middle class"--grey or dark blue suits, not very well cut, worn with soft-collared white shirts and, instead of an overcoat, a mackintosh.

"Oh, he's so sweet in his dear little old mackintosh," [Unity's sister] Diana would coo.

His most striking feature was his eyes, of a greyish blue so dark that contemporary observers often mistook them for brown, dull and opaque when in repose, piercing and vivid when he was speaking to a crowd or an individual.

Unity learned that, when in Munich, Hitler often had "lunch" at the Osteria Bavaria, an artists' cafe full of drawings and watercolours that Hitler, himself a watercolorist, loved. He would usually arrive at about 2:30 p.m. and often later, accompanied his constant companions, photographer Heinrich Hoffman, his secretary Martin Bormann, Reich press chief Otto Dietrich and the Nazi Gauleiter of Munich, Alfred Wagner. They always made straight for their regular table, in a corner of the room shielded by a low partition.

Hitler, 46, was a creature of routine. After spending five minutes looking at the menu, he ordered the same thing every day--a dish of meatless ravioli, with either mineral water or herbal tea on the side. In a meat-eating, coffee-drinking culture, he was a vegetarian, subsisting largely on pasta, eggs, salad and fruit.

Unity Mitford

Unity, 20, was impossible to overlook.

A tall, striking, well-dressed blonde, her scarlet mouth and silkily powdered complexion contrasted vividly with the scrubbed faces of the women around her as she sat at her corner table, her huge blue eyes fixed on the Führer. It was not long before he asked one of the waitresses who she was, but, to Unity's annoyance, the [1934] Christmas holidays intervened.

The meeting Unity longed for finally happened on 9 February 1935. Hitler arrived at 3 p.m. with Bormann and the usual gang. Ten minutes later, the maitre d' sidled up to Unity's chair and whispered: "The Führer would like to speak to you".

Their hour together seemed like a minute or two. Describing it in a letter to her father, she wrote "it was the most wonderful and beautiful day of my life"

In her diary, Unity wrote, "I am so happy I wouldn't mind dying".

Hitler's favourite piece of music was Wagner's "Die Meistersinger", which was also the favorite of Unity's Grandfather Redesdale. Also she was a big fan of "Cavalcade", which was Hitler's favourite film after "King Kong".

Albert Speer also spent time with Unity Mitford and Hitler at the Osteria Bavaria.

"I met her in the Osteria Bavaria. She was very romantic. The Osteria was a small inn, it is still there, and hasn't changed much. Small tables. There was a wooden partition, and behind it a table to seat eight. An adjutant would phone the owner to warn that Hitler might be coming and to have the table clear. There was also a courtyard, with one table under a pergola and this was Hitler's favourite seat when the weather was not cold. Unity was quite often there, I was invited only every second or third time. Like me, Mitford would be invited by the adjutant [Julius] Schaub. She was highly in love with Hitler, we could see it easily, her face brightened up, her eyes gleaming, staring at Hitler. Hero-worship. Absolutely phenomenal. And possibly Hitler liked to be admired by a young woman, she was quite attractive - even if nothing happened he was excited by the possibility of a love affair with her. Towards an attractive woman he behaved as a seventeen-year-old would. She was influential with Hitler in that she was of the group in the Osteria".

Ostensibly a "student," Unity continued her work for the NSDAP and even spoke at a Nazi rally in Hesselberg. She became friends with Julius Streicher, another of Hitler's "old Party comrades" and publisher of the anti-Semitic newspaper "Der Stürmer". Streicher took it open himself to educate" Unity "in all matters pertaining to the Jewish Question".

Like Eva Braun, Unity was enveloped in a shroud of secrecy by the SS, her existence unknown to the German people. Throughout the second half of the 1930s, she lived in Munich and had only sporadic contacts with her family. These were mainly with Diana, now married to Tom Mosley and struggling with the declining fortunes of the British Union of Fascists, and with younger sister Jessica, who scandalized UK society in 1937 by running off to Spain with her second cousin, Esmond Romilly.

The UK and Germany came to the brink of war in 1938 over the Czechoslovakia crisis. The last-minute Munich accord, engineered by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, averted war that year, but relations between the two countries deteriorated swiftly. Hitler refused to back off from his pledge to bring all the Germans of Eastern Europe under the rule of the Third Reich.

Henriette Hoffman, the daughter of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's official photographer, got to know Unity during this period. She claimed that Hitler "raved over Unity's personification of perfect German womanhood".

She believes that Hitler had good reasons to encourage his relationship with Unity:

"He was aware of the value, for Propaganda purposes, of Unity and her blind devotion to him... with every fibre of her being she yearned to see Britain and Germany closely united. She often said to me, she dreamed of an impregnable and invincible alliance between the Ruler of the Seas and the Lord of the Earth; the land of her birth with the country of her hero could, she was convinced, achieve a world domination".

Nerin E. Gun, the author of "Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress" [1969] has speculated that Hitler might have considered marrying Unity Mitford on political grounds:

"Did he envisage marrying her [Unity] one day in order to consolidate this future union of empires? Or did he merely allow Unity to cherish this illusory hope? Adolf Hitler loved Eva Braun, or so he claimed. But this love or affection was subordinated to reasons of state, and it is quite possible that, like Napoleon, who loved Josephine but married Marie-Louise, the daughter of the Emperor of Austria, Hitler might have wedded Unity Mitford if he could thereby have ensured the goodwill of England. Hitler always tried to imitate Napoleon except in his defeats. Unity boasted of the success at Munich, of the pact limiting naval armament, of the Hitler-Chamberlain interview. She reassured everybody in Berlin by swearing that England, her native country would never declare war - and Hitler believed her".

Lady Redesdale was very much concerned about Unity, who resisted all suggestions that she return home.

Joseph Kennedy Jr., son of the USA's ambassador to UK [and older brother of President John F. Kennedy] visited Unity in Munich in early 1939. Writing to his mother in Hyannisport, Mass., Joseph Junior commented:

"She [Unity] believes Hitler to be more than a genius...He can make no mistake and has made none. She has been afraid to go to England lately for fear there would be a war and she would be caught there".

Finally, Diana made a last-ditch effort to persuade Unity to leave. Flying to Munich on 1 July 1939, she joined Unity as Hitler's guest at the Bayreuth music festival. On 1 August 1939, they went to see the "Gotterdämmerung".

Afterward, Diana wrote:

"Never had the glorious music seemed to me so doom-laden. I knew well what Unity, sitting beside me, was thinking. Next day, I left for England with death in my heart".

On 4 September 1939, Unity wrote to Diana and several friends; then she took the small Walther pistol Hitler had given her from its drawer in her writing table and drove to see the Munich Gauleiter, Alfred Wagner, to ask him if she would be interned. Reassured that she would not be, she requested him, "if anything happened," to see that she was buried in Munich with her photograph of Hitler and her party badge, both of which she handed him for safekeeping.

After a few last errands, she walked to the Englischer Garten, a small park near the river Iser, sat down on a bench, took her  pearl-handled pistol -allegedly given to her by Hitler- out of her handbag, took a trial shot at the ground and then put the muzzle to her right temple and pulled the trigger. She fell unconscious, but she had not succeeded in killing herself.

[This made Unity the third woman, after Angela Raubal and Eva Braun, to attempt suicide because of her relationship with Hitler].

Unknown to Unity, however, Himmler and Wagner had assigned two Gestapo agents to keep her under surveillance. Hearing the first shot, they rushed towards the park bench. Their quick response undoubtedly saved Unity's life.

Almost immediately a Luftwaffe car arrived and took Unity. Any witnesses were told not to talk about what they had seen. Unity was alive but she was in a coma and not expected to live.

Unity was put in a private room at the Chirurgische Universitäts-Klinik, paid by Hitler. The bullet, it was discovered by the doctor who examined her the next day, had lodged in the back of her skull and was impossible to extract. Upon hearing the news, Hitler dispatched his personal physician, Dr. Theodor Morell, to Munich and visited the clinic himself a couple of days later.

The next two months of Unity's life are a complete mystery. Apparently, she remained a patient at the clinic, unconscious.

Perhaps the most amazing fact about Unity Mitford is that, had it not been for her, Adolf Hitler would most likely have been killed in November 1939 – two months after the start of the Second World War.

As it was he escaped death by just 13 minutes. The blast killed eight of his sympathizers but Hitler had left the building when the bomb that had been painstakingly hidden in a pillar by carpenter Georg Elser exploded.

His destination? The hospital bedside of the intellectual young Englishwoman whose presence had made ­Hitler’s girlfriend, Eva Braun, so jealous that she attempted suicide in a bid to secure his attentions.

But on the night of 8 November 1939, it was Unity Valkyrie Mitford who had tried to take her life.

According to a new biography by the best-selling political science writer Michaela Karl, published in Germany under the intriguing title, "I Was Leafing Through Vogue When The Führer Spoke To Me", Mitford was so distraught by the turn of events, after Britain declared war against Germany. that she shot herself in the head in the English Garden in Munich.

Hitler immediately arranged for her treatment at the best hospital in Munich and it was there he was headed when Elser’s time bomb tore through the Munich beer hall where the Führer and his cronies were holding a reunion. His visit to Mitford’s bedside saved his life.

But in that moment of compassion millions were condemned to death in the six years that followed.

When the dictator learned of his lucky escape he took it as a sign that divine intervention had spared him for greater things. Pope Pius XII even sent him a telegram congratulating him on his survival.

As for Mitford, when the hospital could do nothing more for her and once she was in a stable condition, she was repatriated to Britain where she died of her wounds nine years later in May 1948.

According to the book’s author, Hitler never got over the loss of his aristocratic English love, for it is clear that their relationship was an especially intense one.

Then, on 8 November 1939, the day before the NSDAP's "Day of the Martyrs" [commemorating the "Beer Hall Putsch" of 9 November 1923], Hitler "went to see Unity and asked her if she wanted to stay in Germany or go back to England. "England," she replied. Her belongings in Germany were put into storage at Hitler's expense, and she was dispatched to a nursing home in Switzerland by train, in a reserved carriage paid by Hitler.

In December, Lady Redesdale and her youngest daughter, Deborah, arrived in Berne to bring Unity home to England on 3 January 1940.


The only person outside of Hitler's inner circle to see Unity was her sister Diana, on 1 August 1939, about a week before Unity's 25th birthday. At the time, Unity was living in a plush apartment in Munich, found with Hitler's help--it had belonged to a Jewish couple who had "decided to leave".

Then there are the two Gestapo watchdogs [bodyguards?], the paid-for trip to Bayreuth, Hitler's rushing Dr. Morell to her bedside, Hitler paying for a private room at the clinic, the private railroad car to Berne, the long-term storage of Unity's belongings, the stay at the Swiss nursing home, and the personal visit on 8 November 1939. All of this suggests that Unity was more to Hitler than just another girl friend.

Was she the mother of Hitler's children?

Let us assume that Unity gave birth the day before Hitler's arrival -- 7 November 1939.

Of course, that is only speculation. What is known for certain is that, after her failed suicide attempt, when Britain declared war on Germany, Unity was confined in the clinic under tight security for two months. And then Hitler made an unusual personal visit, giving her the option of remaining in Germany or returning home.

Unity retired to Inch Kenneth, her family's island off the coast of Scotland. Here her health steadily deteriorated, and she died on 29 May 1948, at the West Highland Cottage Hospital, Oban. The cause of death was given as meningitis stemming from the bullet wound she had inflicted on herself almost nine years earlier.

If the "Hitler Twins" do exist, then they celebrated their 77th birthday in 2016.

The conspiracy theory

It is claimed that when Unity returned to England, she was pregnant with Hitler's baby. The chief reason for this is that a small nursing home in the depths of the country was used as a maternity home at the time and that Unity spent some time there was a patient. This nursing home was evidently used by society women who were giving birth to illegitimate babies and had facilities to arrange adoptions.

Even though this was in 1940, witness have been interviewed and their reports conflict. Some say that the pregnancy is a fact, others say that she was there to recover from a nervous breakdown. However, it does seems very likely that she was there - a fact not mentioned by official biographers and denied by her sisters.

Points to consider

There was no birth registered. However, this was not unusual, especially in wartime and especially in very rural areas. This was also before the days of the National Health Service and matters such as registrations [especially the birth of an illegitimate baby to a young woman with wealthy parents] were disorganized.
• There is a conflict in the report by her sister about her condition. The sister had travelled to Switzerland with her mother to collect Unity. She described Unity as dreadfully ill, having had lost thirty pounds, with sunken eyes and with shorn hair. However newsreel footage of her return shows her on a stretcher and a) she is certainly not skinny b) she hardly looks ill and c) her hair is a shoulder-length bob.
• Those who say that the theory is nonsense say that had Unity been pregnant, a baby bump would have been seen by reporters [and there were many] when she returned. However, if she became pregnant during August -and her return was at the very beginning of January- she would have been just over four or possibly five months pregnant. Furthermore, she was swathed in blankets.
• If she did indeed go to the nursing home because she had a nervous breakdown, why? Her parents owned many properties, many in isolated areas. A nurse could have been hired to care for her in one of these homes. But pregnancy was a more dangerous game in those days and her parents would have wanted her to have the best medical attention rather than a home birth. Plus, the nursing home had adoption facilities.
• Her family say that the incident left Unity with a mental age of eleven. They also said that for the rest of her life, she was incontinent due to the injury to her brain. However, there is strong evidence that by October 1941 she was having an affair with a married RAF test pilot. [The pilot was then transferred to the wilds of Scotland and later died when he was shot down]. This information comes from official sources. Would a woman with a mental age of eleven who was incontinent have an affair? Would someone have an affair with her?

On 1 December 2002, following the release of declassified documents [including the diary of wartime MI5 head Guy Liddell], investigative journalist Martin Bright published an article in "The Observer" that claimed Home Secretary John Anderson intervened to prevent Mitford being questioned on her return from Germany and that the shooting, which "has become part of the Mitford myth," may have been invented to excuse this

-- Bright, Martin [30 November 2002]. 'The truth about the Minister, Unity Mitford and the hole in her head'. London: "The Observer"

In the article Bright pointed out that press photographers and other observers that witnessed the return of Mitford, and "her entourage" that he claims included other known Nazi supporters, to Britain on 3 January 1940 said that, "there were no outward signs of her injury".

Liddell's diary entry for 2 January states:

"We had no evidence to support the press allegations that she was in a serious state of health and it might well be that she was brought in on a stretcher in order to avoid publicity and unpleasantness to her family".

He had wanted to search her upon her return but had been prevented from doing so by the Home Secretary. On 8 January, Liddell notes receiving a report from the Security Control Officers who were responsible for meeting the arrivals that states "there were no signs of a bullet wound".

-- "Hitler's British Girl", Part 1, Channel 4 Documentary 2007

Mitford's cousin, Rupert Mitford, 6th Baron Redesdale, replied to the accusations by saying:

"I love conspiracy theories but it goes a little far to suggest Unity was faking it. But people did wonder how she was up on her feet so soon after shooting herself in the head".

Unity's sister, Deborah, rebutted by stating that the entourage that returned with Unity consisted of herself and their mother and although she doesn't remember them being searched upon return, that Unity "could not walk, talked with difficulty and was a changed personality, like one who had had a stroke", and that she has detailed records from Professor Cairns, neurosurgeon at the Nuffield Hospital in Oxford, on her condition, including X-rays showing the bullet.

-- Mitford, Deborah [8 December 2002]. 'My sister and Hitler: Unity Mitford's war'. London: "The Observer"

In a subsequent article for "New Statesman" Bright states:

"In fact, Liddell was wrong about her injuries. She had indeed shot herself and later died of an infection caused by the bullet in the brain".

--  Bright, Martin [13 May 2003]. 'Unity Mitford and 'Hitler's baby'. The New Statesman

In December 2007, Bright published an article in "New Statesman" stating that following a previous article on Unity Mitford, he had received a phone call from a Ms Val Hann, a member of the public, offering new information on the story. The caller said that during the war, her aunt, Betty Norton, had run Hill View Cottage, a private maternity hospital in Oxford where Mitford had been a client.

-- Yeoman, Fran [13 December 2007]. 'Did Unity Mitford have Adolf Hitler's love child?'. London: "The Times"

According to Hann's family legend, passed from Betty to Val's mother and then on to Val herself, Mitford had checked into the hospital after her return to England where she had given birth to Hitler's child, who was subsequently given up for adoption. Bright states he was initially sceptical.

Bright travelled to Wigginton where the current owner of Hill View confirmed that Norton had indeed run the cottage as a maternity hospital during the war. Bright met with elderly village resident Audrey Smith, whose sister had worked at Hill View. She confirmed seeing "Unity wrapped in a blanket and looking very ill" but insisted that she was there to recover from a nervous breakdown and not to give birth. Bright also contacted Unity's sister Deborah who denounced the villager's gossip and claimed she could produce her mother's diaries to prove it. Bright returned to the National Archives where he found a file on Unity sealed under the 100-year rule. He received special permission to open it and discovered that in October 1941, while living at the family home in Swinbrook, she had been consorting with a married RAF test pilot – throwing doubt on her reported invalidity.

Bright then abandoned the investigation, until he mentioned the story to an executive from Channel 4 who thought it was a good subject for a documentary film. Further investigation was then undertaken as part of the filming for 'Hitler's British Girl'. This included a visit to an Oxfordshire register office, showing an abnormally large number of birth registrations at Hill View at that time, apparently confirming its use as a maternity hospital. No records were found for Mitford, although the records officer stated many births were not registered at this time. The publication of the article and the broadcast of the film the following week stimulated media speculation that Hitler's child could be living in the United Kingdom.

-- Rennel, Tony [13 December 2007]. 'The truth about Hitler's British love child'. London: "The Daily Mail"
-- Online Reporter [13 December 2007]. 'Is Hitler's child living in the UK?'. London: "The Sun"
-- Pitel, Laura [13 December 2007]. 'Is your neighbour Hitler's son?'. London: "The Sunday Times"
-- Routledge, Paul [14 December 2007]. 'A real little Hitler'. "The Mirror"

Schäffer recalled:

"Not one paper acknowledged the skill and endurance that had gone to make this first long underwater journey under such conditions. No, every news story, every report, feature article and lead turned on the same old stale theme of Heinz Schäffer, who had stowed Hitler away".

This episode was not the only World War II affair involving Mar del Plata. A less well-known German landing had taken place the year before: early on 3 July, 1944 the yawl 'Santa Bárbara' anchored a few yards off the coast near Punta Mogotes, then an area with extensive sand dunes, some two miles south of the port. The vessel had been chartered by the Abwehr [German Combined Intelligence Office] with the mission of infiltrating two fully equipped spies in Argentina and to repatriate another three. The operation was a complete success, and the Allies only learned about the 'Santa Bárbara' several months later. The sailboat had departed from Arcachon, France, on 16 April. The D-Day landings prevented the return to France, and the sloop delivered her passengers to Vigo, in neutral Spain.

On 10 July 1945, two months after V-E day, a fishing boat leaving the port of Mar del Plata was surprised by coming upon a rusty German submarine. This U-Boat, U-530, departed from Kristiansand, Norway, on 3 March, with a complement of 54 men, under the command of 24-year-old Otto Wermuth. After a failed attack on an Allied convoy off New York City, the boat received a clear message ordering the surrender at the nearest allied base. The situation looked suspicious to the confused Wermuth, who just a couple of hours before had heard on the wireless station the codename 'Regenbogen' [rainbow], imparted by Admiral Karl Dönitz, which ordered the immediate scuttling of all operational U-Boats. Facing these conflicting reports, he decided instead to continue on a southern course, finally reaching the Argentine coast during the early days of July. Unlike the usual procedures of the German military, the decision was taken by consensus. Before entering port to surrender to the Argentine authorities Wemuth threw overboard the codes and code machines, and discarded the 88-mm deck gun and torpedoes. The boat had been launched in 1941, and in 1943 had sunk the freighter 'Milos' and the tanker 'Sunoil', and torpedoed and damaged the oiler 'Chapultepec'. The crew was immediately interned by presidential decree and taken by bus to Buenos Aires.

So, with Heinz Schäffer actually standing before them in the flesh, it was only natural these gentlemen should be on their meddle to extract information about the Führer, whom they were so anxious to capture alive in spite of his being for so long reported dead.

Schäffer's ordeal was only beginning. The USA's War Department "asked for me to be handed over to the United States, and before long I was transferred to a camp for important prisoners of war at Washington, where I found a number of high-ranking German officers."

For weeks on end, day after day, the Americans repeated the charge: "You stowed Hitler away".

A British Admiralty interrogator told him:

"It's because you helped Hitler to escape, Schäffer, that you are considerably more interesting, from our point of view, than [Otto] Skorzeny, who set Mussolini free".

"Otto Wehrmut, Commander of U-530, was suddenly brought face-to-face with me, after which we were left in the same room together. We had never met before, but we saw at once what all this added up to. They were hoping that in the first flush of our joyful reunion we would so far forget ourselves as to discuss, in front of all their dictaphones, the whole inside story of a ghost convoy.

"They must have been very annoyed when nothing emerged from our talk save the true facts about the completely independent voyages of both our submarines".

U-530 sailed for Argenti
na after carrying out a highly dangerous secret mission in waters near the United States at the beginning of April 1945.

It was the desire of her commander, Otto Wermuth, to surrender to the Argentinians rather than to any other of the Allies. Wermuth was not involved with the cargo operation.

The boat surrendered at Mar del Plata 10 July 1945. All logs, code books, papers, guns, torpedoes (bar one dud) and munitions had been jettisoned overboard beforehand and an attempt made to sabotage the Diesels. The boat was found to be in an inexplicably corrosive state.

In his well-documented "The Hitler Survival Myth" [1981], Donald McKale identifies the earliest source of the myth of Hitler's escape to the southern hemisphere as the unexpected surrender of a German submarine in early July 1945 at Mar del Plata, Argentina. Several Buenos Aires newspapers, in defiance of Argentine Navy statements, said that rubber boats had been seen landing from it, and other submarines spotted in the area. One paper, "Critica", carried on 17 July 1945 the report that Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun had landed from U-530 in Antarctica, and mentioned the 1938-39 expedition, as a result of which a "New Berchtesgaden" was "likely to have been built." This report received wide distribution through quotation in "Le Monde" and the "New York Times" on 18 July; on 16 July, the "Chicago Times" had carried a sensational article on the Hitlers having slipped off to Argentina.

The Hitler-in-Argentina tale is an old one. It first surfaced in a book by Ladislao Szabo entitled "Hitler Esta Vivo" [Spanish for Hitler Is Alive] back in 1947.

Szabo, a Hungarian advertiser, witnessed the arrival of the U-530 and saw its crew disembarking. He had heard that the destination was the German Antarctica and, mistakenly, made a supposition that Hitler had escaped to Antarctica, and published the book "Hitler esta Vivo" (Hitler is Alive), where he speaks about the possible location of Hitler, in Queen's Maud properties, opposite the Weddel Sea, that was then renamed Neu-Schwabenland, when the area was explored in 1938/39 by the German expedition led by Captain Ritscher.

Zsabo made the wrong assumption.

Had he read the book by Professor Hugo Fernandez Artucio published in 1940, "Nazis en el Uruguay", [National Socialists in Uruguay] he would had discovered that there actually was a plan referring to German Antarctica, but this was nothing but the term they used for the Patagonia and that this information had been made public in New York in 1939.

Did U-530 and U-977 visit Antarctica?

It was Szabo who invented the story that these two submarines had shepherded a convoy that took Hitler to Antarctica. He did so to explain why it had taken the two submarines so long to reach Mar del Plata. His tale has been widely repeated. The interrogation reports, and observations of U-530 by the interrogators, tell us that U-530 was a Type IXC U-Boat. The correct denomination is Type IXC/40. These boats could reach 19 knots surfaced and 7.3 knots underwater, had a range of 22,150km at 10 knots, and of 100km submerged at 4knots,and were depth rated to 230m.

There is no hard evidence to support the proposition by Szabo that U-530 was not the "real" U-530 but a much faster larger boat. Some authors embellished that supposition, claiming that U-530 was a fast modern Type XXI boat capable of 30 knots underwater [equivalent to 55 km/hour]. In fact Type XXI U-Boats could only reach a submerged speed of 32km/hour, equivalent to 17.2 knots. In any case, only two Type XXI U-Boats ever were launched for combat.

From the interrogation records, the captain of U-530 was Leutnant Otto Wermuth, though Szabo referred to him as Wermoutt, and suggested, that because the captain had disposed of the ship’s papers before entering port, that this name could be a pseudonym. Independent confirmation that the name was Wermuth arises from Heinz Schäffer [1952]), the captain of U-977, who records meeting the captain of U-530 in Washington later in the year.

According to the interrogation reports, and Szabo, which were based on interviews as the ship’s papers had been destroyed, U-530 sailed from Kristiansand in Norway on 3 March 1945, spent 10 days at Horton in Oslo Fjord, then headed for the open sea on 13 March. Other authors have U-530 leaving harbour on 2 May; or even have a departure date of 13 April. None of these authors offer any evidence in support of their claims, but having U-530 leave on the same day as U-977 [2 May] is convenient for the notion that both boats were parts of a secret submarine convoy. Interrogation records have U-530 operating off New York from 4 to 7 May.

When Wermuth learned that Germany had capitulated on 8 May, he decided to flee to Argentina, which he thought would be friendly to Germans, leaving the New York area on the 10 May and arriving in Argentina on 10 July. The interrogators found no evidence to suggest that U-530 had deposited treasure or passengers in Antarctica or anywhere else en route to Mar del Plata, nor that it had been part of a large submarine convoy on a secret mission. Interrogators were told that the vessel had crossed the equator on 17 June. Wermuth reported that they sailed submerged at first, then at 7.5 knots [13.9km/hr] at the surface at night, and at 2 knots [3.7km/hr] submerged during the day, as far as 20S. There they surfaced and increased speed to just 9 knots, because faster speeds would have used too much of their fuel reserve. Accepting these speeds and assuming that U-530 had steamed for 6 hours on the surface at night and for 18 hours submerged during the day, then it would have taken 57 days to cover the 8500km between New York and 20◦S. The final 3300km would have taken around 8 days, making a total voyage of around 65 days, which is approximately correct as the actual trip took 61 days.

U-977 was a type VIIC U-Boat. Its numbering makes it likely to have been a Type VIIC/41. These boats were capable of 17.7 knots surfaced and 7.6 knots underwater, had a range of 14,500km at 10 knots [18.5km/hr], and of 125km submerged at 4 knots [7.4km/hr]), and were depth rated to 250 m. These details agree with information provided by the U-977’s captain [Schäffer, 1952]. U-977 sailed from Kristiansand on 2 May 1945. With the end of hostilities on 8 May, Schäffer, like Wermuth, decided to attempt to reach Argentina rather than be captured. Sixteen of his men opted to go ashore near Bergen, Norway on the night of 10 May. On the morning of 11 May, the boat with its crew reduced to 32 dived to skirt the UK, using a Schnorchel to secure air. A record 66 days later, when they were safely past the British naval base on Gibraltar, they surfaced. As they had little fuel, having been allocated only 80 tons in Oslo, they had to travel very slowly.

From North Africa, they steamed south on one of their two Diesel engines while on the surface at night. During the day they ran on electric motors while submerged [Schäffer 1952]. They crossed the equator on 23 July, and surrendered in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on 17 August, with all of the ship’s papers intact. U-977 took 25 days to cross 5200km of oceanbetween the equator on 23 July and Mar del Plata on 17 August. That requires an average speed of 4.7 knots, or 8.7km/hr, which seems reasonable given the circumstances. Crew lists for both vessels were provided by the Argentine Navy and reprinted by Szabo.

It was incorrect to assume that both submarines should have had crews of just 18–27 men, an assumption on this part that has been frequently repeated. The typical crew for a Type IXC U-Boat [U-530] was around 54 men, and for a Type VIIC [U-977] it was 44 to 52 men. These numbers are consistent with the numbers seen [remembering that 16 men from U-977 had been put ashore in Norway]. Apart from Wermuth having destroyed his ship’s papers and military equipment, the only unusual thing about U-530 was that it seemed to carry rather more cigarettes than might have been expected. According to Szabo there were 540 "colis" of cigarettes [colis is French for parcel; the authors takes it to mean cartons containing about 200 or so cigarettes in packets of 20]. The volume of these cigarettes has grown with the telling; Szabo’s "colis" have grown to "540 large tin cans or barrels", and the text is accompanied by a photo of a submarine with oil drums on its deck, the implication being that these are drums full of cigarettes. This photo could, of course, be of any submarine. 

Consideration of dates, times and speeds suggests that neither U-530 nor U-977 had time to visit Antarctica. But, sailors can lie, and ship’s logs can be forged. The question to be asked here is: was such a visit physically possible under the conditions prevailing at the time? All previous considerations have omitted to note that June, July and August are mid-winter months in the southern hemisphere. Could a submarine reach the coast of Dronning Maud Land, surface, and unload onto the ice shelf in mid-winter? The first obstacle would be the notorious Southern Ocean itself. The second obstacle would be the pack ice 1–2 m thick that surrounds Antarctica during the winter.

Satellite data collected by NASA show that off Dronning Maud Land the pack ice extends around 500km out from the coast in late May and June, and 1665km from the coast in July, August and September. To reach the coast and to return en route to Argentina, U-530 would have had to travel about 1000km under ice, and U-977 would have had to travel about 3300km under ice. Is that feasible? U-Boats did hide under sea ice to escape detection after attacking ships on the Russian coast during World War II. They also attacked ships from under the ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. However, they did not go far under the ice. Under ice the main problem for U-977 or U-530 would have been access to fresh air, as was the case for Captain Nemo’s 'Nautilus' caught beneath the Antarctic ice in Jules Verne’s "Twenty thousand Leagues under the Sea". Without an independent air-producing capacity, Diesel submarines are inappropriate for under-ice operations. The Schnorchel of U-997 would have been useless under ice.To secure fresh air, the boatwould have had to force its way up through the ice to the surface at least every 2 days, because these boats lacked CO2 scrubbers to clean their air. Once it had enough air it might theoretically have been able to submerge and continue its journey. Taking air stops into consideration, its average speed could not have been more than about 3–5 knots under the ice.

Could U-boats surface through 1–2m of pack ice? Because of their low freeboard, World War II submarines could easily be damaged by pack ice. In the southern summer of 1947–1948, during Operation Highjump, the low-decked submarine 'USS Sennet' was damaged by the movement of the summer pack ice, and had to be helped to open water by the ice-breaker 'Northwind'. That was in a southern summer. Conditions would be far worse in an Antarctic winter, when fierce winds cause sea ice floes to collide forming huge pressure ridges. Pressure between winter ice floes was the cause of the sinking of Shackleton’s ship 'Endurance' in the Weddell Sea in 1915.

Furthermore, it would have been difficult for any U-Boat to punch up through ice, because such boats were typically not ice-strengthened. Navigation would also have been practically impossible. Even if U-530 or U-977 had surfaced through the ice, obtaining sun or star sights would have been difficult because of cloud. In winter at the NBSA Expedition’s Maudheim base on the Dronning Maud Land coast the sun just rose to the horizon at around noon in May, and did not rise above the horizon throughout June and July. The 24-hour darkness and the cloud cover would vastly increase the danger in navigating in ice close to a poorly mapped coast. Even seeing the ‘coast’ would have been difficult, because it comprises the 10–30m high ice cliff at the edge of the ice shelf, which would be more or less invisible in the dark from the low deck of a submarine, not forgetting that the icy seas would be strewn with icebergs.

Supposing that U-977 had reached the coast, what circumstances would have met the crew? The average winter temperature at the NBSA Expedition’s Maudheim base was around−26◦C. The average wind speed was 15 knots or about 28km/hour. The wind chill induced by that wind speed combined with an averaget emperature of −26◦C, would have lowered the effective temperatures to−40◦C, not forgetting that there mightbe blizzards.Under these cold, dark conditions, the men at Maudheim in the southern winters of 1950 and 1951 sensibly stayed indoors for the whole of June, July, August and most of September. Anyone landing from a submarine would have faced the most extraordinary difficulties in trekking 250km across ice penetrated by hidden crevasses, in the dark and without navigational aids to a lair in the mountains where the temperatures would have been lower, down to −50◦C and the weather worse. 24 hour darkness, combined with the wide and dangerous belt of winter sea ice, means that it would have been physically impossible for U-530 or U-977 to have gone anywhere near the coast of Antarctica in June, July or August 1945.

There is no hard published evidence from any reliable original source to show that U-530 or U-977 were part of a submarine convoy, nor that they (or any other part of the alleged convoy) could have reached Dronning Maud Land in the southern winter of 1945.

For over a year, Schäffer was held prisoner, he said, "as if I were a leading figure of the Third Reich." Then he was repatriated to Germany and lived for a few years in Düsseldorf.

"What was more serious was my discovery that in Germany itself there was widespread a sort of mystical premonition that one day Hitler would return. People just refused to believe that the Führer was really dead and secretly looked to the day when he would come back from some unknown Elba".

Dissatisfied with life in occupied Germany, Schäffer returned to Argentina in 1950. Two years later, he wrote his book, "U-Boat 977". For the rest of his life, he vigorously denied being part of a "ghost convoy" that had carried Hitler to South America.

Was Hitler aboard the U-977? Schäffer says no; a surprisingly large number of researchers say yes. 

Recently declassified documents at the Argentine Naval Archive show that Schäffer's book about him being 66-days submerged on the Schnorchel from Europe to the Cape Verdes was a fiction calculated to place him well north of the Equator on 4 July 1945. U-977 was within fifty miles of the Brazilian Cruiser "Bahia" when she blew up on 4 July 1945. This was on the Equator. 

It is now clear that Schäffer, commander of U-977, conspired with the Argentine Navy to falsify his movements during July 1945. Schäffer was scout boat to the two submarines which unloaded on 27 July 1945 near Necochea.

For these reasons, and because the Argentine authorities wished to disguise their knowledge of Schäffer's true activities off the Argentine coast, they got their heads together with him and invented the 66-day slow voyage which put him so far north on 4 July 1945 that (a) he could not have torpedoed the 'Bahia' - something of which he was suspected at the time - and (b) he could not have been sailing as scout-boat for the two cargo U-boats off the Patagonian coast in mid-July 1945. The two transport U-boats had been attacked by the Brazilian warship 'Babitonga' on 18 July 1945 and behaved in a strange manner, as the documents show. As now appears to be the case, the 'Bahia' was sunk by crew negligence - during AA practice a volley was fired into the depth charges stored on the poop deck and the stern was blown off, resulting in the loss of the ship and most of the crew.

The 'Bahia' was a light cruiser of the Brazilian Navy stationed on the Equator on the morning of 4 July 1945. Just after 0910 she blew up with heavy loss of life. The cause was attributed immediately to a rogue German U-boat.

It was established that U-530 could not have been the submarine responsible because it was not possible for him to have made Mar del Plata on 10 July from the Equator on 4 July.

When U-977 surrendered at Mar del Plata on 17 August 1945, suspicion fell immediately on Schäffer. Newly released documents from the Argentine naval archive indicate that from his charts Schäffer was within 50 miles of the "Bahia" on the morning of 4 July 1945. For this reason, it was agreed on 17 August 1945 between the Argentine Navy and Schäffer that he would invent the story of the "66 day Schnorchel Voyage" from Europe, which put him falsely in the vicinity of the Cape Verde Islands on 4 July 1945, where he could not have torpedoed the cruiser 'Bahia', and this fiction was not only enshrined in the so-called interrogation report, but became a well-known book, also in two versions.

Only one officer of the 'Bahia' survived, and his detailed report has been adopted by the Brazilian and US Navies as accurate. This officer was Eng-Lt Torres Dias (report quoted in Almirante Saldanha da Gama, 'A Tragedia do Bahia', "Historia Naval Braileira", Vol 5, Band II, Servicio de Documentacao Geral da Marinha, Rio de Janeiro 1985).

Lt Torres Dias, the only officer-survivor of the 'Bahía', stated in an interview for "Revista do Club Naval" by Odyr Buarque de Gusmao that in the course of the official investigation the possibility of a torpedo by U-530 and U-977 was considered but discounted. This would indicate that the Brazilians knew that both boats might have been close to the position where 'Bahía' sank. Captain Gomes Cándido wrote in "O Naufragio do cruzador 'Bahía' e a hipótese de seu torpedeamento" in "Revista Marítima Brasileira" No 4-6 that the US Navy advised the Brazilian Navy to discount the possibility of submarine attack as a possible cause. This indicates that the US Navy had an undue influence on the Brazilian Navy's internal affairs.

 
The salient circumstances are as follows: The 'Bahia' carried a stack of depth charges on the poop deck. She had seven 20mm Oerlikons. These weapons had a free field of fire because the blocking wedges had all been removed. At 0900 the cruiser was stopped in the water in order to launch a target float to exercise the Oerlikons. When the float was the required distance off, the commander rang down for "slow ahead". This was at 0910 hrs. At that moment No 7 Oerlikon commenced firing, and the fifth round was fired into the depth charges, blowing off the stern of the ship and spreading a terrible fire through the superstructure.

The official Brazilian Navy version of the sinking is that the cruiser was engaged in AA practice and during a pause while a float was lowered into the sea five or so rounds from an Oerlikon cannon were fired accidentally into a stack of depth charges on the poop. As a result there was an explosion which destroyed the ship.

This account of the tragedy is based solely on the evidence of engineering officer Sub-Lt Torres Dias, who was at all material times in the engine room and saw nothing. In his deposition he said he had just received a telegraph order to put the ship to slow ahead, and a minute or so later he heard Oerlikon Nr 7, which was above his head, fire the fatal rounds.

Of the survivors on deck at the time of the incident, ten witnesses, all ratings, were on the starboard quarter watching the target float astern. The board of enquiry refused to hear any of these witnesses. Why? All ten claimed to see what happened next. A submarine under a disguise appeared two miles off the stern. The 'Bahia' commander ordered Oerlikon No 7 to fire a burst ahead of the submarine to bring it to a stop. The Oerlikon fired and hit the submarine which replied at once from a gun on the platform on the after deck. The 'Bahia' then blew up.

The entire mystery surrounding the U 977 voyage resulted from this encounter. A round, not from the cruiser's Oerlikon, but from the submarine, hit the depth charges and the cruiser blew up. Depth charges are not supposed to explode if hit by stray rounds in action or they could never be carried on deck by cruisers and smaller ships.

Defective depth charges manufactured in the United States - proved defective in later testing - were sold to Brazil, and led to the loss of a cruiser with many lives. Who would want this fact broadcast far and wide? If the submarine was Schäffer's, he sank the Bahia by accident. He was attacked and his submarine hit, but he could not have expected to sink a cruiser merely by firing a round from a flak gun in her general direction. The entire incident had to be covered up by the US and Brazil and U 977 placed officially as far from the Equator on 4 July as possible.

When U 977 berthed at Mar del Plata she had her full complement of torpedoes, but no flak ammunition. Schäffer had ditched it all at sea. He could not explain to the Argentines why he had done this.

But, it is now also clear that U-977 was involved in shielding an unloading operation along the southern coast of Buenos Aires Province. When she surrendered at Mar del Plata on 17 August 1945, U-977 had a large amount of fuel aboard, depth charge damage, and had been repainted. A submerged object, identified by hydrophones, was followed and depth charged by the Argentine torpedo boat 'Mendoza' near San Antonio del Oeste on 18 July 1945. This was was almost certainly  U-977. The attack was called off abruptly for unknown reasons. Understandably Schäffer is silent on the depth-charging he received, after which somebody, somewhere, helped him repair his sub.

Some people of the town San Antonio Oeste in the province of Rio Negro, in 1945 saw a man and a woman had disembarked from a submarine.

This testimony nourished the idea that Hitler and Eva Braun were the persons that disembarked.

"Fantastic Voyage"  of the U-977

On 25 May  1945, while people were celebrating the end of World War II in Europe, a long, slender gray submarine cleaved the waters of the Atlantic, heading south on a mission that is still debated, even today. She was Unterseeboot U-977, with Korvetenkapitän Heinz Schäffer commanding, and this is the story of her strange final cruise.

On 26 April 1945, the U-977 finished her war patrol and put in at the German U-boat base at Christiansund in Norway.

German submarine U-2511 was a Type XXI U-Boat under the command of Korvettenkapitän Adalbert Schnee.

After training with 31. Unterseebootsflottille, U-2511 was transferred to 11. Unterseebootsflottille at Bergen, Norway, for front-line service on 15 March 1945.

According to the commander of U-977, Heinz Schäffer, Captain Schnee was in port in Denmark taking on stores when he started bragging about the wonders of the boat. After an extended period, Cpt. Schäffer lost his temper and bet him a cask of champagne that he would reach Norway before Schnee. The bet was taken, Schnee believing that he would win easily. On the way to Norway, U-977 was having trouble with their Schnorchel while dived: the exhaust from the Diesels kept filtering into the rest of the boat, the Schnorchel head would shut as it dipped beneath the waves, and all the air would be sucked out of the boat. So the captain ordered the boat to surface. After airing it out, Schäffer decided to continue to Norway on the surface. His reasoning was that no U-boats had been seen on the surface in those waters in some time, and he doubted the Allies would strain themselves carrying out extra checks now that the war was basically over. He beat Schnee by two days. 

Captain Schäffer recalled:

"I won my champagne because neither of the other U-boats arrived till the 27th. We were now ready for operations. I bivouacked with all my crew on a mountain slope. We had lit a log fire and the flames blazed scarlet against the sky, the sparkling stars and the shimmering sea. We lay in a circle around the fire, forty-eight of us in all, talking of the troubled days in our own country and the fate of our families and friends.

"A few day's ago, my engineer had learned of his father's death. He had lost an arm in the First World War only to be killed serving with the Volkssturm in the Second. Germany, the mighty nation of only three years ago, was now defeated and broken, with foreign (Allied) troops pouring over her countryside".

U-977 was scheduled to return to sea on 2 May 1945. Grossadmiral Karl von Dönitz had succeeded Adolf Hitler as Führer of the Third Reich, and, Schäffer recalled:

"Everyone said he would carry on the war from Norway. Dönitz ordered the U-977 to infiltrate the harbor in Southampton (UK) and sink as much enemy shipping as he could".

Four days later, on 6 May 1945, almost on the eve of the German surrender, the U-Boat's periscope collapsed, and Schäffer turned back.

How could they navigate blindly for 66 days?

Schäffer writes in his book the following:

"A few days after we had sailed our main periscope collapsed. This was serious, as we now had no choice but to use the Snort, and with the Snort we had to travel blind. [...] True, we carried a reserve periscope, but that did not help us out as it was a short type, designed only for use when we attacked at night or in the twilight. The glass was a special one and through it we could only see what lay directly on top of us".

On 7 May, he received a radio message from Dönitz's headquarters, advising all German U-Boats to surrender.

"We didn't pick up the speaker's name because the aerial attached to our Snort (Schnorchel) broke before we got so far. Who was it who had been speaking? Certainly not von Dönitz, after all his fine words? No, it was probably an enemy trap...

"Next day [8 May 1945--VE Day] we again picked up another signal, which I again felt must come from the enemy since it was quite irreconcilable with the outlook and temper of our own leaders and completely at variance with our own orders. I decided to ignore it and act on my own initiative.

"Finally [on 10 May 1945] there came a third signal to all U-Boats at sea to surface, put their armament out of action and hoist blue or white flags--from the Allied Disarmament Commission. I could stand it no longer and gave orders to shut off the wireless".

Here is where the account gets a little fuzzy. Schäffer claims that it was his decision, and his decision alone, to undertake the epic voyage. But critics argued that a trip to Argentina was already in the cards when U-977 left Norway.

According to Schäffer, he called the ship's company into the chart room on 12 May 1945 and made his speech:

"Kameraden [Comrades], it seems the darkest hour has struck both for us and for Germany. We have lost the Second World War. We all knows what lies before the German people--the enemy propaganda has made no secret of it...We must decide the right course to take. We can either hoist the white flag, or sink our boat, or put into harbor in some country that has behaved honorably all through the war. One of our engineers knows Argentina and has kept in touch with friends there, so he is well-informed about this South American republic, and I myself have friends and acquaintances there...I suggest, therefore, that we continue on our way, but that we do not attack a single ship, for I would not have us avenge ourselves with the blood of innocent men. It is futile to carry on the war alone. As it is, we have all the stores we need for our voyage to Argentina to spare us the bitter bread of captivity".

The crew voted on it.

"Thirty out of the forty-eight plumped for South America, two wanted to go to Spain, hoping to make a surer and speedier return (to Germany) from there, and sixteen expressed a wish to return to their familes--these last married men, nearly all of them petty officers, the oldest on board".

Schäffer gave the sixteen men the U-Boat's rubber dinghies, surfaced at night off the coast of Norway, and then let them go. Once submerged again, U-977 headed for the British Isles. Getting down the Channel would be like running a gauntlet, for, as Schäffer pointed out, "the British would certainly be patrolling the approaches. They didn't mean to let any leading personality of the (Third) Reich slip away, and were well aware of the audacity of their enemy. We turned out to be right. The sea around Britain was thoroughly patrolled without relaxation for a long time after the war...Often we heard mines and depth charges exploding in the distance. Were they after other U-boats?"

To a stunned crew, Schäffer outlined his incredible plan. He intended to sail to the Equator--without surfacing at all. Such a voyage had never before been attempted by any submarine. By cruising at a depth of 25 fathoms (150 feet) by day, and 10 fathoms (60 feet) by night, and by slowing the cruising speed to 3 knots to conserve Diesel fuel, he calculated that they could reach Cabo Verde "in a couple of months."

"After eighteen days without a break, the crew began to get on edge, with black rings under their eyes, and faces pale and even greenish-looking. The bulkheads, too, were turning green with damp. Since we were permanently dived, now we couldn't get rid of the refuse from the galley and this piled up into a revolting mess, apart from the smell, breeding flies, maggots and other vermin
.

"After seven weeks of the same old faces, some of us were on the verge of nervous breakdowns. With rubbish and dirt piling up everywhere, there was clearly only one thing to do, namely to unload a torpedo, jam the refuse into the empty tube and fire it out by compressed air.

"The mould was getting the upper hand, and unless we washed down the bulkheads every day, they began to turn quite green. Our clothes stuck to our bodies, and as we had to wash in salt water, we began to itch all over. Some of the chaps broke out in rashes, others into boils, but it couldn't be helped. We had been fifty days under water, and we had to hold out till we were off Gibraltar, when we should be able to proceed surfaced by night. The U-boat's crew began having second thoughts about the voyage.

"One of the men came to me to suggest that we put in to a Spanish port," but Schäffer was "determined to stick fast to my resolution. Something had to be done, for discipline was going to pieces. I would come upon a group of men muttering together, but when I approached they would suddenly fall silent.

"The boat was often full of vapour (Diesel smoke), which hurt our lungs and made our eyes smart, for every wave would automatically shut off the Snort valve and temporarily reduce the (air) pressure before the valve could open and let the (fresh) air rush in".

Schäffer was well on his way to becoming the Captain Ahab of the Twentieth Century. While some crewmen remarked, "Are you certain this white whale is in Argentina?" and "The skipper must be half-fish. Maybe he doesn't need air down here, but we do!" others worried aloud about being executed as pirates should the U-977 be caught by an Allied task force.

Schäffer "decided to act rigorously...When my Number One reported, 'All hands mustered forward,' I put on my white cap, which had been lying in my locker for ages, as well as my blue uniform with all my decorations and went to address the men".

"In our darkest hour, you bore yourselves in a way history won't forget--they didn't call us the Sea Wolves for nothing," he shouted, "'And are you going to let yourselves go now? Go sulking around looking like whipped curs? You've lost all interest in our dash for freedom, haven't you, just because life seems too tough for you at the moment? Because you can't see the sun and have to spend your time down in this hold and don't know what the future holds in store? How often have I heard it said, 'Oh, we should have done this or that;' 'Our fuel won't take us to South America;' 'We might run out of stores' and 'Our health is being undermined?' What sort of fool do you take me for? Do you think I don't know what I'm doing or never foresaw all this? Didn't you all decide freely on this venture and put your trust in me? Well, it's too late to go back now".

Mutiny had been narrowly averted, but the U-Boat's ordeal went on.

"Woodwork started to rot, condensation was permanently dripping down the bulkheads, bunks and linen permanently damp. When they were not on watch, the majority would just lie down on their bunks in a complete stupor".

Finally, on Day 66, Schäffer gave the order everybody had been waiting for. "All hands, prepare to surface".

"I raised the conning-tower hatch and climbed out onto the bridge," Schäffer recalled.

"The senior watch-keeper came up after me, and we looked about us. There was no ship anywhere in sight. Overhead stretched the starry vault of sky, astern all was a-sparkle with the moon's diamond glimmer, and everywhere about us rolled a vast expanse of sea. I gazed on the universe around me with a new kind of awe. To breathe great breaths of this clear fresh air was indeed an elixir, for after the scanty oil-laden atmosphere of our underwater prison, this sea- air seemed the most precious of all gifts. The U-977 made straight for Cabo Verde.

"I saw...that some of the islands of the group were uninhabited, and the crew jumped at the idea of landing on one of them. We made for Branca Island and surfaced off of it, feeling by now quite secure. Everyone came up on deck to admire the dead-calm sea with the rocks mirrored in stretches of blue, and the white beaches beyond".

From this point on, the U-Boat's voyage became almost a pleasure cruise.

"Naturally, everybody wanted to bathe in the sea. The ideal thing would be surf-riding behind the boat, and, as we had plenty of wood and, of course, rope, in a day we had our surf-board ready...One day a man on the surf-board gave a terrifying yell, for an enormous fish was swimming alongside. We wondered if it was a shark. I had never seen such an enormous sea monster in all my life, but luckily it turned out to be a whale. If the man was terrified, the whale was quite unimpressed.

"No sooner had they gotten the terrified crewman back aboard the sub than 'Moby Dick' began sounding. With a crash of its rear flippers, the whale disappeared beneath the waves"
.

When its prow broke the surface, U-977 had entered a new postwar world.

"We often passed passenger ships with all their navigation lights on, for, after all, the war was over now. One night a passenger steamer overtook us, and we caught the distant strains of dance music. People were walking up and down on the promenade deck, and we looked on, itching to take action, while the giant vessel, a very mountain of light, passed unconcernedly on its way, remaining in view for a full hour. The Sea Wolf, once the terror of the ocean, had become a very tame puppy indeed".

Crossing the Equator without incident, the U-Boat continued on its journey southward.

"Time passed quickly. At one time we saw the haze of light in the sky that betokened Rio de Janeiro. We were proceeding now more and more to the south, and it was colder again--we had left the tropics behind us".

[In 1945, Rio de Janeiro was the capital of Brazil. Fifteen years later, in 1960, President Juscelino Kubitschek opened the new and present capital city of Brasilia].

"One day, we learnt from the wireless that U-530 [under the command of Korvetenkapitän Otto Wehrmuth) had put into the Rio de la Plata (the estuary between Argentina and Uruguay]. We listened anxiously. What was going to become of the ship's company?...Then we heard that U-530 had been handed over to the United States with all its complement as prisoners of war".

Schäffer wrote that this news "depressed" him and he briefly considered surrendering in either Brazil or Uruguay. But then he made up his mind to head for Mar del Plata in Argentin

"17 August 1945 was a brilliantly sunny day. We first made out the Argentinian coastline and then the [Mar del Plata] lighthouse; when this last came into view, the whole crew fell in on deck...While we were still outside the three-mile [five-kilometer] limit we flashed in English the signal German submarine and stopped our engines...Very soon, the Argentinian minesweeper P.Y. 10 and two submarines came alongside and informed us in English that an advance party would be coming out".

According to Dr. Dimitri Filippowitsch, a high-ranking officer in the Russian military:

“The German U-Boats U-530 and U-977  were unusual U-Boats from the so-called 'Führer Convoy', an extremely secret formation, whose exact mission remains unknown to this day". Because the crews of the submarines refused to talk, the Americans were able to learn very few details, although the captain of U-530 did supposedly speak of an operation by the name of 'Walküre 2'. In line with this operation, his ship set sail from Kiel in Northern Germany for Antarctica two weeks before the end of the war; thanks to the Walther Schnorchel, it only had to surface once during the entire voyage across the Atlantic.

"On board were passengers whose faces were allegedly masked, as well as important documents from the Third Reich. The captain of U-977, Heinz Schäffer, confirmed that he sailed the same route with his boat shortly thereafter and in conducting their own research, the Americans realized that numerous German U-Boats traveled in the direction of Antarctica during the war. What was the reason for these voyages?"

In his book "Aftermath, Martin Bormann and the Fourth Reich" Ladislas Farago talks about Operation Fire Land to ship documents currency and gold reserves to Argentina from 1943 onwards through Spain. It is also reputed that Bormann shifted documents incriminating Roosevelt, Churchill, the British Royal Family and the Vatican etc to Argentina with which to blackmail their persuers.

-- Heinz Schäffer, "U-Boat 977" W.W. Norton & Co. New York, N.Y., 1952

REPORT ON THE INTERROGATION OF
PRISONERS FROM U-977 SURRENDERED
AT MAR DEL PLATA, 17 AUGUST 1945

The officers and crew of the U-boat had hopped by going to Argentina to avoid being turned over to the Russians and even possibly to be allowed to settle in South America.

Statement of Schäffer C.O. of U–977
 
I left Kristiansand S. on 2 May 1945, normally equipped, and under orders to proceed to the Channel, (i.e. English Channel).  
     
A few days later I picked up fragments of signals, which I suspected of being the work of enemy deception.  When, however, these signals were not cancelled, I had to assume that the radio stations had fallen into enemy hands and that we had lost the war.  The fact that the uncoded signals signed "Allied Committee" were coming through, convinced me that the orders contained in these signals were illegitimate and not in agreement with the German High Command.  When we began our patrol, an official slogan had been posted on all Naval establishments and ships which said:  "The enemy shall find in Germany nothing but rats and mice.  We will never capitulate.  Better death than slavery".

It must be remembered that radio reception on board the U-977 was only sporadic since, for tactical reasons, we only occasionally came to Schnorchel depth.  However, enough signals had been received so that I no longer had any superiors, and that I was relieved of my oath.  In any case, I did not feel obligated without direct orders from my government to accept enemy orders.  
     
I no longer considered my ship as a man-of-war, but as a means of escape, and I tried to act for the best interests of all aboard.  I respected the wishes of members of my crew insofar as they did not imperil the ship or cause damage to it.

One of my main reasons in deciding to proceed to the Argentine was based on German propaganda, which claimed that the American and British newspapers advocated that at the end of the war, all German men be enslaved and sterilized.  Another consideration was the bad treatment and long delay in return home suffered by German prisoners-of-war held in France at the end of World War I.  Then again, of course, the hope of better living conditions in the Argentine.  

It was absolutely my intention to deliver the boat undamaged into Allied hands, while doing the best I could for my crew.  I felt that the ship’s engines might be a valuable adjunct to the reconstruction of Europe.  I carried out these intentions and delivered the boat in perfect condition.



Route and stations of U-977: Sailing date in Kiel, April 1945 (1), intermediate station in Norway,
2 May 1945 (2), end of the war, 8 May 1945 (3), return to Norway and start of the submerged
passage, 10 May 1945 (4), end of the submerged passage and touch at the Cape Verde Islands,
July 1945 (5), arriving in Mar del Plata, Argentina, 17 August 1945 (6)

In 2006 Schäffer's original memoir "El Secreto del U-977" was published for the first time in Argentina. This book makes it clear that the 66-days' "world record" voyage submerged was a fiction and that U-977 was the provisions boat for the Patagonian boats coming down from Norway and Germany. This book and the 1945 interrogation coincides.

From this material we know that U-977 and U-530 were never where the Allied versions put them at any stage of their voyages..

U-530 arrived at Mar del Plata on 9 July 1945 and went down the coast to Miramar that day. At Miramar there was an Etappendienst station. A U-Boat's rubber dinghy was left behind in the surf. U-530 was on the Argentine coast for 24 hours, quite long enough to unload passengers or materials. Brazilian and US intelligence officers suspected at the time, and photographs seem to confirm it, that U-530 had two commanders, both known as Otto Wermuth, one short and dark, the other blond and tall. What was the purpose of this?

Wermuth arrived with no books and documents, Schäffer had two of everything, one set of books and charts for the slow voyage, the other for the fast voyage. Not all of these documents have been declassified, but in the interrogation of Schäffer the Argentines criticized the practice of keeping two different sets of navigation charts all in pencil for the same voyage. Some of the fast voyage documents were admitted into evidence by the Brazilian Navy during its 1945 investigation into the sinking of their light cruiser 'Bahía' of which Schäffer was believed to be guilty.

The actual U-977 story would fill a small book. To tackle just one point: The purpose of the fictitious "world record 66-day voyage always submerged" was twofold:

(1) It gave U-977 a very slow voyage south. It appeared that U-977 was always heading slowly for Argentina and doing nothing else. Schäffer had loaded 80 tons of fuel before leaving Norway. On this 80 tons the Argentines calculated that he could just possibly have made Argentina in three months if he had made the voyage mostly on the Schnorchel and Batteries as he had suggested. On the other hand, because of the fuel consumption involved in the greater speed, Schäffer must have refuelled at least twice at sea from "Milchkuh" U-boats which officially did not exist if he got to the Equator by 4 July 1945, and was off Rio de Janeiro on 10 July. From the Argentine declassified interrogations, and Schäffer's recently published book "El Secreto del U-977" we know that the latter was true, and that is why we are certain that more information is being withheld by the Argentine authorities: and

(2) to conceal the fact that the activities of U-977 are unaccounted for for thirty-eight days from 10 July 1945, when the boat was admitted to be off Rio de Janeiro. The problem is that all of the 'Milk Cows' were sunk in 1943 and none of the planned "Milk Cows" was launched so it is hard to imagine that U-977 used the services of the "Milk Cows".

 
The Type XIV U-Boat was a modification of the Type IXD, designed to resupply other U-Boats. They were nicknamed "Milchkuh" (milk cow).
Due to its large size, the Type XIV could resupply other boats with 613 t (603 long tons) of fuel, 13 t (13 long tons) of motor oil, four torpedoes,
and fresh food that was preserved in refrigerator units. In addition, the boats were equipped with bakeries, in order to provide the luxury of fresh bread for crews being resupplied. They had no torpedo tubes or
deck guns, only anti-aircraft guns.

In 1942, the milk cows allowed the smaller Type VIIC boats to raid the American coast during the "Second Happy Time" of the Battle of the Atlantic. The milk cows were priority targets for Allied forces, as
sinking one milk cow would effectively curtail the operations of several regular U-Boats and force them to return home for supplies. Ultra
intercepts provided information concerning sailing and routing,
and this, coupled with improved Allied radar and air coverage
in the North Atlantic, eliminated most of them during 1943.
By the end of the war all ten had been sunk.
.

The following passage from Schäffer's book is very interesting:

"It took twenty-four hours to reach Berlin (where he was going on leave to see his family)……….Next to me sat an SS officer who, in spite of my flatly contradicting him, simply would not stop talking about decisive new secret weapons. I was fed up with the secret weapons by now for I knew perfectly well from my own experience that if all the blueprints were there, so were the air-raids on our factories. 'Well, of course, you aren’t in a position to judge,' he said, but he was, naturally, because he was working at some SS HQ or other and was out watching the tests every day. If I would only come and look him up I would see something that would make me sit up.

"When I got to Berlin I really did look him up, and after I had waited at the HQ entrance for some time my new acquaintance appeared and started showing me around. Everybody was certain we were going to win, with a conviction I’d never seen the like of even after the fall of France. Among the fantastic contrivances of which I was shown photographs was one I called a 'Death Ray' which my friend wanted me to come back and see in action next day.

"But I wasn’t wasting more time. I wanted to see my mother……."

U-530 surrendered at Mar del Plata, Argentina, on 10 July 1945, U- 977 surrendered on 17 August 1945.

When the U-530 and U-977 surrendered so late after the European War's end, Allied intelligence was more than a little concerned, and dispatched agents to interrogate the German officers. They certainly did not believe that the German captains had taken their ships on a South Atlantic excursion of three to four months just to surrender to the Argentines, as Captain Schäffer of the U-977 and Captain Wermouht of the U-530 actually, and apparently in all seriousness, stated.

Henry Stevens, "The Last Battalion and German Arctic, Antarctic, and Andean Bases", summarizes the Allies' real concern - Nazi survival in no uncertain terms:

"The Allies first believed that these U-Boats had taken persons of special importance, perhaps even Adolf Hitler, from Germany to South America. In light of this possibility both captains were held for questioning. Captain Schäffer, who surrendered last, was taken to America for a month or so then to England for another period of questioning. Both captains maintained that there had been no persons of political importance deposited in South America. Eventually the captains were released although Schäffer found living in Occupied Germany intolerable and relocated to South America. Captain Schäffer even went on to write a book explaining his voyage and actions".

Unfortunately, nobody really believed Schäffer. It is claimed that American and British Intelligence had learned that U-530 and U-977 did visit Antarctica before landing in South America but the exact nature of their mission eluded them.

The Typ XXI U-Boat, like most U-Boats in the German Navy by that time, was fitted with the special Schnorchel device that allowed its main Diesel engines to operate while submerged underwater. It is quite possible that these newer Type XXI U-boats also had the newer Schnorchels fitted with special anti-radar coatings. But the Type XXI was also outfitted with the special "Walther" turbine, an "underwater jet" device that utilized hydrogen peroxide that allowed great underwater cruising speeds. In effect, these turbines were "silent" engines allowing great underwater speeds for limited durations of time. Thus, the Type XXI had brought submarine technology and warfare to a new and sophisticated level by the war's end. But would even the Type XXI have been able to brave the North and then South Atlantic Oceans, by that point in the war all but Allied lakes? There is some indication that not only were they successful in doing so, but wildly so. The Germans had adapted special new guidance systems to missiles, and torpedoes. These systems included wire-guidance, as well as magnetic proximity fuses.

Stevens reports that on 2 May 1945, a flotilla of U-Boats, many of them Type XXIs, carefully husbanded by Dönitz at Kristiansand fjord in Norway, departed in a wolf pack for Iceland, making the traditional run through the straits between Iceland and Greenland.

"On 2 May 1945, six days before the German surrender on 8 May 1945, a U-Boat convoy ran from Kristiansund, Norway, which consisted of approximately 120 of the new electric submarines [range 30,000 km] and several giant cargo submarines.

"Aboard the E-class submarines were out only the young, without living relatives, or existing ordinary occupation

(a) young SS men and Hitler Youth leaders,
(b) many young army nurses and BDM girls
which (a and b) also consistently possessing no living family, and
(c) some of the personalities of the German leadership [partly including families], who were still able to escape in time before the Allies.

"Of course, such a large German U-Boat fleet did not escape the attention of the Allies, so that the German U-Boats, as they wanted to advance in the open Atlantic, were attacked by a considerable Western Allied naval force between Greenland and Iceland, but thanks to two new weapons systems, previously unknown to the Allies, the secret German U-Boat armada did not only break through the blockade of the Allied powers, but devastatingly beat them to their massive horror. One of the few survivors of this battle was the captain of a British destroyer ... one of the Allied hushed up fiasco of their armed forces ... "

-- "The New Age", No. 20, 9 May 1980, Huter Verlag, Munich

What happened next has been deleted from what passes as history, at least in the countries of the former Allied Powers. What happened was the last great sea battle of the Atlantic. The German U-Boat convoy ran straight into an Allied naval battle formation.The result was stunning. Using the new torpedoes, Allied ships were totally annihilated. Apparently the Allies never quite realized what they had run into.

  Type XXI U-Boat in action
- Michel Guyot -

Our only third-party report of the event was an article in a South American newspaper which learned of the event. A quote  from the only survivor of the attack,  a British destroyer captain: "May God help me, may I never again encounter such a force", was reportedly carried in "El Mercurio" Santiago, Chile, and "Der Weg" a paper published by exiled Germans living in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The British consistently maintained a flotilla of destroyers, accompanied occasionally by heavier units of light and heavy cruisers, on station in the straits between Iceland and Greenland throughout the war. The use of new torpedoes - whether wire-guided, acoustic-seeking, or magnetic proximity-fused -  plus the high-submersible speeds and "proto-stealth" capabilities of the Type XXI U-Boats would have been more than a match for the British destroyers on station.

There exists a British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee [BIOS] report entitled "Production and Further Investigation of Wesch Anti-Radar Material, CIOS Black List Item 1 RADAR, BIOS Target No. 1/549" whose significance is rather obvious from its title.

The objective of this team was to acquire some 500 feet of this material for secret testing by the British Admiralty. The report details the production of various RAM materials [Radar Absorbent Material] by the Germans, via techniques that involved shredding and heating rubber, and combining zinc oxide, finely ground iron powder [the powder was ground into micro-spheres], which was all then pressed into sheets, and then transferred to press molds, trimmed and heated under small pressure. This material was actually used on the hulls of some late Type XXI U-Boats, as well as on U-Boat Schnorchel devices, to scatter Allied radar to return distorted or indeed, no radar signals.

This report also corroborates yet another allegation, often derisorily dismissed by mainstream researchers, that in May of 1945, a small flotilla of the new Type XXI U-boats, with their revolutionary hydrogen peroxide underwater "turbine" propulsion allowing extraordinary undersea cruising speeds, met, and annihilated, a flotilla of British destroyers.

The allegations included the German use of new types of wire-guided, and magnetic proximity torpedoes.

At least one corroboration of this strange encounter occurs in the BIOS report:

"Vierling has heard of electrical homing devices for torpedoes and their firing by a proximity effect. Torpedoes used magnetic fields varying at about 500 cycles per sec. Torpedoes were built by AEG in Berlin. Some work was done also at Gdynia. These torpedoes were reported to have sunk 12 Destroyers in one engagement in Arctic waters".

Dr Oskar Vierling in 1941 established the Vierling research group  with a staff of 200 employees. The secret research establishment was located in Burg Feuerstein, Ebermannstadt disguised as a hospital with red-cross emblems on the roof to avoid allied bombing.

Here, the acoustically controlled torpedo "Zaunkönig" [Wren] where the torpedoes located their target from the propeller noises of enemy ships -for the time a technological revolution- was developed.  Vierling co-operated under the direction of the High Command of the Armed Forces,  with Erich Hüttenhain and Erich Fellgiebel .

He worked on encryption technology to improve the Cipher SZ 42 . He started testing for acoustic ignition of mines and he invented an anti-radar coating for submarines "Schornsteinfeger" [chimney sweep].  In addition, Vierling and his team developed radios and electronic computers.

After the fall of Nazi Germany the Burg Feuerstein castle was sealed-off by the British troops. Vierling revealed his previously secret work which he had hidden in secret walled off chambers in the castle and collaborated openly with the new occupiers.

He made his knowledge of Intelligence technology available to the Gehlen  Organisation, for which he designed wiretaps in the post-war period .

From 1949-1955 he was a professor of physics at the Philosophical and Theological College in Bamberg.

There was plenty of evidence, to indicate that as late as 1947, elements of the Kriegsmarine, or German Navy, were still very much active in the South Atlantic, operating either out of South America, or some base, previously unsuspected, in the Antarctic.

They were thought to be Type XXI U-Boats, with the “Schnorchel” that allowed them to make the entire passage from Germany submerged and operating out of Argentina, possibly under the Argentine flag, but crewed by German crew.

The French "Agence France Press" on 25 September 1946 stated "the continuous rumours about German U-Boat activity in the region of Tierra del Fuego [Feuerland’ in German] between the southernmost tip of Latin America and the continent of Antarctica are based on true happenings".

 

The "Almirante Latorre" Incident reported by Chilean newspapers in mid 1945, noted a German type IX U-Boat exchanging materials and charts off Iquique with the Chilean cruiser.

Toward the end of World War II a German submarine from the Monsun Gruppe 33rd Flotilla operating out of Penang, Malaysia was said to have shown up at the La Palma Secret Base, a primitive submarine-pen hewn out of the jungle-like estuaries of Chiapas along Mexico's far southern reaches of the Pacific Coast by the Japanese. That German U-Boat, a long range Type IXD2, was the U-196.

Unlike records of most of the known U-Boats, the background facts of U-196 are literally all over the map.

In the early stages of her career the U-196 is most notorious for having completed the longest patrol by any submarine in WWII, 225 days from 13 March to 23 October 1943. After that the official picture is pretty bland

A more in depth view of the official records gives much the same basic imprint, indicating that the U-196 departed the German U-Boat base in La Pallice, occupied France, into the Bay of Biscay 16 March 1944 thence then into the Atlantic under orders for Penang, Malaysia. By early July she had passed east of Cape Town South Africa into the Indian Ocean arriving at the Malaysia base 10 August 1944, five months after her departure from France. On 30 November 1944, U-196 left Penang to undertake a war patrol around Australia with two other boats. When she failed to respond to repeated transmissions requesting her position sometime around 1 December, she was listed as missing in the Sunda Straits south of Java, effective 12 December 1944.

The above paragraph are facts typically found in the official record. What follows is information from the unofficial record, as well as legend, folklore, speculation and secondhand eyewitness reports that reveal a truth that stretches way beyond the official demise of the U-196 in the Sunda Straits in early December 1944.

Trailing in the wake of the U-196 was Nazi uranium mined in Czechoslovakia under slave labor. Both Axis powers had been feverishly working on developing an operable and deliverable nuclear weapon for some time, even to the point, according to a variety of reports, of the setting off a 1944 German Atomic Bomb on the northern island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea and the Japanese somewhat later around Konan (now known as Hungnam) in north-eastern Korea. The Germans, in conjunction with their own efforts, sensing a potential collapse of their regime in Europe, began shipping uranium through France, loading it into U-Boats and transporting it to Japan for the Japanese nuclear bomb project. In turn Japan paid for the enriched uranium-oxide with gold bullion. As things in Europe deteriorated for the Germans and hard to come by materials used in their far-flung war efforts became more scarce and difficult to obtain the Nazis began using submarines to transport the rarest and most important of those materials to their homeland. A good part of the Japanese gold intended to be shipped through to Germany as payment started piling up in the far east submarine ports because of being continually bumped by those more important strategic materials.

The piles of bullion, worth a fortune, easily transported in the hold of a submarine, began making an ever increasing mouth-watering target for anyone in the far east, uneasy with an unfavorable outcome of the war, and having in their hands a way to get away with absconding with it.

Enter the U-196. It is a hunch that a number of Nazis and German military, senior or otherwise, living in Japanese territory, possibly in collusion with some crew members of the U-196 fled from Djakarta in 1944 with a cargo hold full of gold. If the gold was just taken on their own discretion or the crew was originally mandated under official orders to transport the gold outside of Japanese territory and bury it for safe keeping is not known. In any case they took it upon themselves to take the gold and simply disappear. By then, with the whole world open to them and no known destination they were at least at the time, free and well beyond the reach of German authorities and the arm of the Gestapo. 


Even though the U-196 was stricken from the records after having been listed as missing, as some suggest, blown up or sunk by mines in the Sunda Straits south of Java, it appears
the U-196 headed toward the open Pacific charting a course for Mexico and the La Palma Secret Base. With no one at the base having any reason to suspect any wrong doing they were co-operatively provided with fresh water, supplies and fuel as requested. Then the U-196, headed north toward the mouth of the Sea of Cortez and the coast of Sonora --- to find a new homeland and place to settle, far from the war, with opportunities to start a new life.

There are reports, or at least strong rumors to the effect, that a German U-Boat arrived at the Chiapas secret base for refueling long after the Japanese stopped using it on a regular basis, only to show up along the Mexican northwest coast off Sonora late in the year of 1944. The stories go on to say the U-Boat, said to be under the auspices of the Gruppe Monsun operating out of Penang, Malaysia, was carrying a rather large shipment of Nazi gold intended as an inducement for certain Mexican authorities to ensure a potential post-war settlement of high ranking Germans and Nazi refugees. However, any gold associated with such a venture disappeared along with the submarine.

By late 1944 things had changed drastically and the Germans were not as welcome in Mexico as they could have been, so the wayward travelers of U-196, continuing their odyssey, turned around and headed south out of the Sea of Cortez. With nothing but seeming desert on the Baja Peninsula side and the specter of the U.S. looming along the open Pacific Coast to the north and with no known safe harbor except possibly surrender and the loss of their freedom (and gold) they continued south.

Bypassing a stop at the La Palma Secret Base because of no need to do so having been fully fueled and supplied during their earlier stop and wanting to keep as low a profile as possible in Mexico, the U-196 made its next appearance off the coast of Chile.

A former Chilean sailor living at La Serena, and a one-time crew member of Chile's main and only battleship the 'Almirante Latorre', allegedly told writer and historian Geoffrey Michael Brooks, a British expatriate living in Argentina and author of several U-Boat and German submarine histories, during an interview,  that a large U-Boat rendezvoused with the battleship in Chilean waters. The ex-sailor told Brooks that the U-Boat came alongside to obtain updated maps and charts. The captain of the U-Boat said he was bound for a German colony in Patagonia, possibly Caleta de los Loros. The U-Boat, from sources other than Brooks, has since been identified as the U-196. As to Caleta de los Loros, a continuing series of strong rumors indicate there are two sunken U-Boats just off the coast of the area, although a number of repeated dive attempts over the years by both private parties and the Argentine government have not yielded anything physically substantial.

People go on-and-on about the "fact" that all of the World War II German U-Boats have been accounted for in some fashion or the other and none are listed off Caleta de los Loros. If there are two subs off the coast there they would have to be two so-called off the record "Black Boats," which the same people decry as highly unlikely because there is no proof that such boats ever existed. Information backed up from other sources might argue otherwise.

On 13 December 1939, two years before the U.S. declared war on Gemany, the battleship-like German heavy cruiser the 'Admiral Graf Spee', a so-called "pocket battleship," was heavily damaged in a heated battle with British warships off the coast of South America. She took refuge in the River Plate estuary, a river outlet that empties into the Atlantic between Buenos Aires, Argentina on the south and Montevideo, Uruguay on the north. Under the captain's orders the ship limped into Montevideo for repairs and evacuate the wounded. The captain was told it would take at least two weeks to make the ship seaworthy. Uruguay, being a neutral country and following the rules of the Hague Convention of 1907, the 'Graf Spee' was not entitled to stay in port longer than 24 hours without risking internment. The captain, not sure he could make the run across the estuary to Buenos Aires because of damage to the ship and an increasingly larger British threat beyond the confines of the estuary, rather than risk the lives of his crew, decided to simply scuttle her. The crew was removed and thus then, interned in the "more friendly to Germany" Argentina for the duration.

On 16 February 1946, with the war well over with, 811 crew members of the 'Admiral Graf Spee' were shipped home aboard the British passenger-reefer, the Motor Ship 'Highland Monarch' (it should be noted that during the two year period between their initial internement and the end of 1941 around 23 officers along with about 200 NCOs had escaped captivity and returned to Germany). Officials of the Argentine military turned over the identity books of the returning sailors all lumped together into one big bag without checking any of them against the actual crew members that boarded the 'Highland Monarch'. An additional 79 'Admiral Graf Spee' sailors were picked up at Montevideo under similar circumstances. During the voyage to Europe the identities of all of the men were matched one-on-one against the identity books. When the match-up was completed it was determined 86 of the men were not from, nor had ever served on the 'Admiral Graf Spee'. They were instead, to a man, U-Boat crew. Not one of the U.S., British, or Argentine governmental authorities connected to the repatriation were able to come up with a satisfactory answer as to how men from U-Boats, especially so many, ended up in Argentina in the first place, let alone be returned to Germany to be repatriated. All three governments involved in the repatriation plus Germany have been mum on the subject with no list of submarines released matching individual sailors with a given U-Boat. Speculation is that the 86 sailors smuggled aboard the 'Highland Monarch' must have arrived in Argentina either on clandestine U-Boats associated with the east coast of South America and the Caribbean or having crossed over the Andes from the Pacific side from similar clandestine boats. As for crossing the Andes, Jürgen Wattenberg and five others had crossed over the Andes in the opposite direction into Chile during their escape back to Germany after the 1939 battle of the 'Admiral Graf Spee'.

Jürgen Wattenberg had an eventful war, serving initially aboard the pocket battleship 'Admiral Graf Spee' during the Battle of the River Plate and up until her scuttling off Montevideo. He was interned in Uruguay but escaped and made his way back to Germany, where he arrived in May 1940, and joined the U-Boat service in October that year and received command of U-162 on 9 September 1941, departing on his first cruise on 7 February 1942. Wattenberg was by this time 41 years old, making him one of the oldest U-Boat commanders to undertake a combat patrol. He was the first and only commander of U-162, and in a successful career spanning just under a year, he sank 14 ships, a total of 82,027 gross register tons (GRT).

U-162 was detected in mid-Atlantic north-east of Trinidad on 3 September 1942 and attacked by three British destroyers, and sunk with depth charges. Two of the crew were killed; Wattenberg and 48 other survivors were rescued and became prisoners of war.

Wattenberg was imprisoned in several camps in the United States, starting at Fort Hunt, where he arrived in September 1942. He was then moved to Crossville on 16 October 1942, and again to Camp Papago Park on 27 January 1944. A large break-out occurred on the night of 23–24 December 1944, with Wattenberg being one of the 25 prisoners to escape. Most were recaptured or surrendered fairly quickly; Wattenberg managed to remain at large until 28 January, the last of the escapees to be recaptured. With the end of the war Wattenberg was transferred first to Camp Shanks in 1946, then to a compound near Münster before being released.

He settled in Germany, where he died in 1995, aged 94.

Despite the continued stories of potential unidentified sunken submarines laying on the seabottom off the coast of Argentina, whether they are there or not, the U-196 isn't one of them. After contact with the Chilean battleship the U-196, instead of continuing south and around the tip of South America, turned her bow directly west and using the assist of the South Equatorial Current, headed across the Pacific toward New Zealand and the island continent of Australia.

Sometime in late 2005 or the very early stages of 2006 rumblings began to surface that there existed the wreckage of a potential sunken submarine of an unknown nature laying on its side in seabed off the west coast of northern New Zealand. Two months later, in March of 2006, the suspected submarine was brought to the attention of readers of one of New Zealand's biggest selling boating magazines, "Trade-A-Boat". The magazine, which covers all aspects of the New Zealand boating scene, basically reported that the submarine, which had actually been found in 1981, had been relocated after 25 years of being "lost". Apparently after her initial discovery storms covered her with a deep layer of sand after having shifted the hull over 440 yards from her original 1981 location.

Two and a half years later, the "Trade-A-Boat" information filtered down into the hands of a reporter for a northern New Zealand newspaper. On 5 November 2008 an article titled 'U-Boat's Kaipara secrets unveiled?' appeared in "The Northern Advocate", Northland, New Zealands only regional daily newspaper. The Kaipara referred to in the title being the Kaipara District on the western side of the North Auckland Peninsula, and it is located in a position 4500 miles in a direct straight line due west from the coast of Chile.

Once the contents of the "Northern Advocate" article appeared, the ultimate fate of the U-196 came to light. Onetime curator of the Dargaville Maritime Museum and local diver, Noel Hilliam, came forward, as reported by the article's author Annette Lambly, saying that in 1981 fishermen, in the process of their fishermen duties snagged one of their nets only to discover in their attempt to remove it that it was caught up on what appeared to be a sunken vessel of some sort, a vessel having all the outward appearances of a submarine. When rumors of a sunken vessel, possibly a submarine, came to the attention of Hilliam he immediately contacted the fishermen in question and put into place a dive attempt. He found the sunken object at a depth of 40 feet located in a turbulent surf zone. Even in the churned up water and low visibility that he described as like being inside a washing machine, he was still able to determine the vessel was in fact a submarine saying she had rolled over on one side, carried a clearly distinguishable deck qun and the remains of a conning tower. He also said the bow had a neutral buoyancy but the stern was buried. How the submarine had managed to stay intact and in one piece all those years was a mystery, although in more recent times, the fact that it had been buried in sand for at least the past 25 years was considered a major contributing factor --- and a possible favorable reoccurring phenomenon over the decades.

When Hilliam's 1981 confirmation of a wrecked submarine off the coast of Kaipara District became known he was approached by three people claiming to be descendants of a surviving crew member. According to the descendants, in early mid 1945, the sub, which for the first time they identified as the U-196, had been unintentionally destroyed from an explosion caused by scuttling charges aft of the conning tower above the engine room. They also said prior to the destruction of the submarine, crew members offloaded a whole hoard of gold bullion bars which in turn, once on the beach, were discretely reloaded onto the floor-beds of two trucks. What happened to that gold is not known but the previously mentioned article that appeared in the March 2006 "Trade-A-Boat" magazine implied that it was later stored in a disused copper mine. What that means is not clear because copper mines are rare on the western side of the North Auckland Peninsula although small copper mines had at one time been operated in Northland near Woodville and Dun Mountain. However, only small amounts of copper had ever been produced in turn most likely rendering the mines into a disused category. There may have been other even smaller mining attempts at one time, but having any of them anywhere close to the disembarkation point would be questionable. Although it must be said, having two trucks, except for access, mines being close by would not necessarily be a major necessity.

"France Soir" on 25  September 1946 reported an encounter at sea off the Falklands between a whaler and a German U-Boat seeking provisions. The U-Boat crew politely paid for these provisions before parting company.

Almost one and a half years after cessation of hostilities in Europe, the Icelandic Whaler 'Juliana' was stopped by a large German U-Boat. The 'Juliana' was in the Antarctic region around Malvinas Islands [the Falklands] when a German submarine surfaced and raised the German official Flag of Mourning - red with a black edge.

The submarine commander sent out a boarding party, which approached the Juliana in a rubber dingy, and having boarded the whaler demanded of Capt. Hekla part of his fresh food stocks. The request was made in the definite tone of an order to which resistance would have been unwise.

The German officer spoke a correct English and paid for his provisions in US dollars, giving the Captain a bonus of $10 for each member of the 'Juliana' crew. Whilst the foodstuffs were being transferred to the submarine, the submarine commander informed Capt. Hekla of the exact location of a large school of whales. Later the 'Juliana' found the school of whales where designated.

To address that 1946 story: To this day there has never been any Icelandic whaler in the South Atlantic, let alone in the Antarctica. No Icelandic ship has ever been named 'Juliana' and Hekla is an active volcano in Iceland, not a last name. 99% of all Icelandic last names for males end in ”-son”.

The fact that in the dying moments of the Second World War, ten U-Boats, based in Oslofjord, Hamburg and Flensburg, were made available to transport several hundred German officers and officials to Argentina to found a new Reich is widely accepted. These officers, mostly involved in "secret" projects, and many of whom were members of the SS and Kriegsmarine, itself, sought to escape the "vengeance" of the Allies, and continue their work, abroad. The U-Boats were filled with their luggage, documents and, more than likely, gold bullion, to finance their efforts. All the U-Boats departed their home ports between 3 and 8 May 1945. They were to proceed to Argentina where they would be welcomed by the friendly regime of Juan Peron and his charismatic wife Eva Peron.

Seven of the ten of the U-Boats, based on the German/Danish border, set off for Argentina through the Kattegat and Skagerrak. None were ever seen again... "officially".

It has been, however, documented that three of the boats did, in fact, arrive in Argentina... These were U-530, U-977 and U-1238. U-530 and U-977 surrendered to the Argentine Navy at Mar del Plata in early July and August, 1945; U-1238 was scuttled, by her crew, in the waters of San Matias Gulf, off Northern Patagonia.

There were 130 listed uncommissioned U-Boats. Whereas some fell by the wayside in the normal course of things, a few cargo boats of Type IXC/40 are of interest. Two of these launched in 1944, U-1237 and U-1238, but never commissioned, disappeared into thin air.   

The Winter 2002 volume 7, number 4 issue of the international technical shipwreck diving magazine "Imersed" contained an article in 'Wispered Word' entitled 'Going for the Gold' in which it mentioned an un-named group allegedly searching off the Argentine coast for a U-Boat wreck they identified as the U-1238, claiming it contained "10 tons of gold" and documents to set up the Fourth Reich in Argentina.

Seven boats are as yet unaccounted for... and... Kriegsmarine archives, recently discovered, indicate that a total of more than forty boats are completely unaccounted for... all of which were late construction, state-of-the-art craft, and could have made either Argentina or Antarctica, completely submerged... and completely unnoticed by existing "allied" technology of the time... for the entire duration of their crossing.

Type XXI U-Boats, also known as "Elektroboote, were the first submarines designed to operate entirely submerged, rather than as surface ships that could submerge as a temporary means to escape detection or launch an attack. They were revolutionary when introduced and, if produced earlier and in sufficient quantity, could have seriously influenced the outcome of the Battle of the Atlantic.

The key improvement in the Type XXI was greatly increased battery capacity, roughly three times that of the Type VIIC. This gave these boats enormous underwater range, and dramatically reduced the time spent near the surface. They could travel submerged at about five knots (9 km/h) for two or three days before recharging the batteries, which took less than five hours using the Schnorchel. The Type XXI was also much quieter than the VIIC, making it more difficult to detect when submerged.

The Type XXI's streamlined and hydrodynamically clean hull design allowed high submerged speed. The ability to outrun many surface ships while submerged, combined with improved dive times, made it much harder to chase and destroy. It also gave the boat a 'sprint ability' when positioning itself for an attack. Older boats had to surface to sprint into position. This often gave a boat away, especially after aircraft became available for convoy escort.

The Type XXIs had better facilities than previous classes, including a freezer for foodstuffs. Conveniences for the crew included a shower and a washbasin – crews on other boats spent weeks without bathing or shaving. The Type XXI featured a hydraulic torpedo reloading system that allowed all six torpedo tubes, located in the bow, to be reloaded faster than a Type VIIC could reload a single tube. The Type XXI could fire 18 torpedoes in under 20 minutes. The total warload was 23 torpedoes, or 17 torpedoes and 12 sea mines. The XXI featured an advanced sonar system which allowed aiming torpedoes without using the periscope, increasing stealth.

Between 1943 and 1945, 118 boats of this type were assembled by Blohm & Voss of Hamburg, AG Weser of Bremen, and F. Schichau of Danzig. The hulls were constructed from 8 prefabricated sections with final assembly taking place at the shipyards. This new method could have pushed construction time below six months per vessel, but in reality all the assembled U-boats were plagued with severe quality problems that required extensive post-production work to fix. One of the reasons is that the sections were made by inland companies (result of Albert Speer's decision), even though these had little experience in shipbuilding. The result was that out of 118 assembled XXIs, only four only four of the submarines were completed during the war, and only two went on combat patrol with no action taken.

The Type XXI design directly influenced 'USS Nautilus', the world's first nuclear submarine, 'USS Albacore', the first submarine with a teardrop hull, the French Narval class submarine, the British Porpoise class submarine, and the Soviet submarine classes known by the NATO reporting names Zulu and Whiskey, although the Whiskey class was smaller and less sophisticated.

 

Wendelle C. Stevens graduated from Lockheed Aircraft Maintenance & Repair School, Aviation Cadet School, and Fighter Pilot Advanced Training all as a very young 2nd lieutenant in the US Army Air corps. Then he attended the Test Pilot School where he learned to fly everything in the Air Corps inventory and a few Navy aircraft as well. Later he was assigned to the Ptarmigan Project, recording and analyzing visual and EMF emissions throughout the Arctic. Looking for influences to aircraft systems caused by UFOs, they recorded all disturbances. This effort was quite productive, and the data was hand carried to Washington, DC nightly. Stevens owns the UFO Photo Archives, the largest of its kind in private hands – over 3000 of them. He is a founding Director of the Annual International UFO Congress.


On 24 March 2000 at the IUFOC Convention Stevens spoke about Nazi flying saucers at the conference:

There were apparently nine secret bases in Germany working on anti-gravity vehicles. One involved BMW. Stevens even recalls seeing a map of the base locations in recovered German documents while in the AF, but it was shredded. After Hitler learned that he could not use these antigravity vehicles in the war, he launched two expeditions to the Antarctic led by Admiral Ritscher, one in 1938 and one in 1942 after the eastern front losses. The work on flying disks continued there.

Prior to World War II German scientists were obsessed with Antarctica. Far from finding a desolate wasteland covered with ice, the Germans discovered ice-free areas, warm water lakes and cavern systems.

The following passage refers to German efforts to claim a region of Antarctica after Norwegian expeditions in the 1920's and 30's:

"After these expeditions the Germans also got interested in Queen Maud land [or 'Neuschwabenland' as referred to by the Germans], and planned an expedition to declare it as theirs... Anyway, it is still lying there as a remote ice-shelf with lots of high mountains over the glacier. Truly a beautiful land.

"Queen Maud land is dominated by the giant shelf of ice, flowing slowly from King Haakon VII - plateau over the South Pole, down to the ocean. This area is called 'Fenriskjeften' after the mouth of the giant Devil-wolf in Norse mythology. According to this mythology Fenris' (the wolf) teeth were very sharp, and they would kill all people on Earth during Ragnarok - the end of the world."

Most of the mountains in Fenriskjeften have names with analogies to teeth, or to other parts of the Norse.

The use of wolf symbology is interesting as it touches upon a theme in Nazi symbology which used the wolf as a totem of the hunter-killer: Hitler's retreat in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria was nicknamed "Wolf's Lair" and the tactic used by German U-Boats to defeat convoys during the War was called "Wolfpack."

Germany also had allies in South America and South Africa. Many Nazis fled to Argentina following the war and South Africa resembled a Nazi state as racial minorities [including Indians as well as blacks] were subjected to Apartheid.

Hitler's dream was of a "Thousand-year Reich." Is this a thinly-veiled counterpart to Jesus' Millennial Kingdom? Allied pilots reported seeing "Foo Fighters" during the latter stages of the World War II. These craft appeared and vanished at incredible speeds and created electrical and magnetic anomalies when close to allied aircraft.


These craft are similar to "flying saucers" that were reported initially in 1947.

Nazi leaders were known for their obsession with the occult, including astrology and ancient relics. Remember the Indiana Jones movies that used Nazi quests for the holiest relics of the Judeo Christian faith? These movies are based on the occultic practices of Nazis. One relic they were fascinated with [and may possess] was the 'Spear of Destiny' that pierced Christ's side on Golgotha.

Hitler's corpse was never found. Recent reports of "opened KGB files" assert that Hitler's bones were kept and then destroyed by Soviet intelligence. But the current incarnation of Russia is a wolf in sheep's clothing and there is little faith in the KGB [or FSB, its "successor"] veracity. UFO abductee Barney Hill [who in the 1960's was one of the first publicized abductees] claimed under hypnosis that one of his abductors "look[ed] like a German Nazi". Other abductees have claimed seeing Nazi-style decorations or hearing German or German-accented voices as part of their abduction experience.

Under 'Operation Paperclip' Nazi scientists and intelligence officers were integrated into the military, NASA, and the intelligence community. Wernher von Braun is the most famous and is remembered for being the genius behind the Saturn rockets. The most infamous was Reinhard Gehlen, a Major General in the Nazi Abwehr or intelligence agency.

Gehlen was sponsored by the Dulles brothers. John Foster Dulles was a founding member of the CFR and served as President Eisenhower’s Secretary of State; Allen was a president of the CFR, and was the Director of Central Intelligence - head of the CIA - when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Not only has the CIA been implicated in the assassination of JFK, Allen Dulles was a member of the Warren Commission - the investigative body JFK researchers argue was the government’s official cover-up of the conspiracy. German wealth [much of it looted from nations conquered during World War II] was spirited out of Germany.

 U.S. Undersecretary of Commerce Stuart Eizenstadt reported the following concerning the Nazi Treasury:

"The evidence presented in this report is incontrovertible.

"....The Swiss National Bank and private Swiss bankers knew, as the War progressed, that the Reichsbank's (the German central bank) own coffers had been depleted, and that the Swiss were handling vast sums of looted gold".

-- Transcript: "Eizenstat Briefing on Looted Nazi Gold Report", United States Department of Commerce. 8 May 1997)

"When World War II ended, and Europe was being overrun by the Allies, each country in charge of their sector of Europe engaged in looting. In our sector, we backed trucks up to the former production facilities and hauled off all the documents.

"Everyone else did the same thing". 

"Some twelve years later the Australians discovered a 16mm film, a technical report, of the German V-7 research project. The V-7 weapons research project involved circular disk-shaped craft. Now, we knew about programs V-1 through V-4, but we had no previous idea about the V-7 program.

"The information in this documentary seemed to indicate that the Germans built their first operational disk sometime in the early 1940's in the first production facility in Prague. Then they proceeded to expand their design, development and research teams until by the time the Germans were being driven back into Germany, they had nine research facilities, all with projects under testing.  

"They successfully evacuated eight of those facilities out of Germany, along with the scientists and the key people. The ninth facility was blown up. Now, this 16mm film showed some pictures of flying vehicles in operation.

"We also knew through intelligence, where I was working at the end of the war, that the Germans built eight very large cargo submarines, especially built, and they were all commissioned, launched and proceeded to disappear without a trace. To this day, we have no idea where they went.

"They are not on the bottom of the ocean or at any port we know of. It is a mystery, but the mystery might have been solved by this Australian documentary film, which shows large German cargo submarines in the Antarctic with ice flows all around them, and crews standing on deck waiting for tie-up at a quay. We have underground information that some of the research facilities in Germany were taken to a place called "New Schwabenland".

"Now, Germany was called 'Schwabenland' before it was called Germany. So, we are talking about 'New Germany', and it is located in an area at the South Pole formerly called Queen Maude Land".

Back around 1937, an international conference was convened under the League of Nations at the time to decide to restrict new claims to land in Antarctica.

At the time, everyone seemed to have a claim except Germany, who had not staked out a claim but only had some research going on down there. The whole thing was designed to keep Germany from making a land claim as the Nazi's were coming to power. The German claims, which were shown on German maps, were refused to be recognized.

A couple of years ago, "National Geographic" showed the German claim on a map for the first time.


In 1939, Hermann Göring financed an expedition to the Antarctic, including a submarine force, and they took construction and digging equipment down there and began excavating a tunnel complex, and this activity might have been going on since that time. If that is the case, it could be a sizable complex today.

That may be where the big cargo submarines are.

"We believe that at least one or more of the disk research facilities were taken to Antarctica.

"We had information that one was taken to the Amazon, and that another was taken to the north coast of Norway, where there is a strong German population. Those were taken into secretly maintained underground facilities.

"Before World War II, the Germans had military advisors all over South America, and when we got into the war we persuaded countries in South America to give up German advisors and accept American ones. Down there, they still prefer the Germans and have never liked us. It is quite possible that some of this material and some of these research facilities were de-centralized to South America as the German empire began to collapse.

"The big companies like I.G. Farben and the German subsidiary of General Electric opened large subsidiary plants in Rio and Sao Paulo in Brazil, and some of these new facilities became larger that they had been in Germany. So, there would have been support capability for disk research facilities. One has to wonder how much truth there really is to all of this".

It appears that some of the craft being seen today are nothing more than further developments of German disk technology. So, we may in fact be visited periodically by Germans.

One has to wonder how much being observed is man-made, and how much is truly extraterrestrial technology. Certainly there is some of both, but no one knows what the percentages are.

Secret Nazi military base discovered by Russian scientists in the Arctic
Scientists reported finding Bunkers, rusted bullets and other relics dating from the Second World War
Independent
21 October 2016

A secret Nazi military base in the Arctic has been discovered by Russian scientists.

Allied forces occupied most suitable sites for polar weather reports, so the Nazis landed a small group of observers on the island of Alexandra Land. The site, located 1,000km from the North Pole 0150 was constructed in 1942 a year after the invasion of Russia.

It was codenamed "Schatzgräber" or 'Treasure Hunter' by the Germans and was primarily used as a tactical weather station.

Supplies for the men at the remote post were dropped by air.

In 1944 all of the men at he base ate raw polar bear meat, which resulted in disease from roundworms living in the infected flesh.

A U-Boat had to evacuate the scientists posted there after infection ravaged their base.

The base was abandoned, It has been rediscovered 72 years later and more than 500 objects have been found, including a batch of well preserved documents, the "Daily Mail" reported.

The ruins of Bunkers, rusted bullets and other relics dating from the Second World War have been discovered at the site, many of which remain in a good condition having been preserved by the cold weather.

The island was vital during the Second World War as the meteorological reports it produced were essential for planning the movement of troops, submarines and ships.

The name given to the base has led some to believe it may have had another secret mission – with some specialists speculating that it might have been used for the pursuit of ancient relics.

Alexandra Land was a disputed territory for a number of years by a number of nations, including Norway, for its access to whaling territory, but is now part of the Russian Federation.

Russia is thought to be looking to build its own permanent military base there today.

 

The Prime Meridian, zero degrees longitude, runs from pole to pole passing through Greenwich, England, Western France, Eastern Spain, Western Africa, and the South Atlantic Ocean, before reaching Antarctica in the region known today as Dronning (Queen) Maud Land.  It was named that in 1930 by the Norwegian Riiser-Larsen in honor of the Queen of Norway.

 

Hitler had authorized several expeditions to the poles shortly before WWII. Their stated objective was to either to rebuild and enlarge Germany’s whaling fleet or test out weaponry in severely hostile conditions. Yet, if true, all of this could have been achieved at the North Pole rather than at both poles and been much closer to home. For some reason, however, the Germans had long held an interest in the South Polar region of Antarctica with the first Germanic research of that area being undertaken in 1873 when Sir Eduard Dallman (1830-1896) discovered new Antarctic routes and the “Kaiser-Wilhelm-Inseln” at the western entrance of the Biskmarkstrasse along the Biscoue Islands with his ship 'Grönland' during his expedition for the German polar Navigation Company of Hamburg. The 'Grönland; also achieved the distinction of being the first steamer to operate in the southern ocean.

A further expedition took place in the early years of the twentieth century in the ship the 'Gauss' (which became embedded in the ice for 12 months), and then a further expedition took place in 1911.

Between the wars, the Germans made a further voyage in 1925 with a specially designed ship for the Polar Regions, the 'Meteor' under the command of Dr. Albert Merz.

Then, in the years directly preceding the Second World War, the Germans laid claim to parts of Antarctica in order to set up a permanent base there. Given that no country actually owned the continent and it could not exactly be conquered as no-one lived there during the winter months at least, it appeared to the Germans that the most effective way to conquer part of the continent was to physically travel there, claim it, let others know of their actions and await any disagreements.

One of the new problems that emerged in the early Twentieth Century, right after World War I, was the transportation of mail between Europe and the Americas. In the 1920s, two companies contested for the newly-opened mail routes across the Atlantic Ocean. These were Pan American Airways and Luft-Hansa, the German airline. Trips by air over the vast ocean created numerous problems with refueling, logistics and maintenance. Both companies decided to use hydroplanes, and the Azores (owned by Portugal) became the logical replenishment point.


German catapult ships that became famous included the 'Bremen', the 'Westfalen' and the 'Schwabenland'. This last one, built in 1925, could launch hydroplanes weighing as much as 14 tons. The 'Schwabenland' was a modern ship, well-equipped and with a modern communications system, plus an excellent on-board meteorological station. The vessel often operated out of Horta and Faial in the Azores.

In late 1938 the Germans undertook an expedition to Antarctica, specially refitting the 'Schwabenland,' returned to Hamburg, for the purpose. Around one million Reichsmark, nearly a third of the entire expedition budget – was spent on this refit alone. It was placed under the command of one of Germany’s most experienced polar navigators, Captain Alfred Ritscher.

The 'Schwabenland' had been used for transatlantic mail deliveries by special flightboats, the famous 10 ton Dornier Super Wals since 1934.
 
These Wals were launched by catapult from the 'Schwabenland' and had to be accelerated to 93mph before they could become airborne. At the end of each flight a crane on the ship lifted the aircraft back on board after they landed in the sea.
 
That the mission was military in nature seems beyond doubt, for the Nazis spared no effort to outfit the expedition as thoroughly as possible.
 
At a cost of some millions of Reichsmarks, the expedition was under the personal direction and mentorship of none other than Luftwaffe chief, Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, which leaves one to wonder what possible purpose Göring would have in sponsoring such an expedition.

In the 1930s, animal fats were still an important industrial resource and Germany suffered from a shortage of fat. Germany was one of the main purchasers of whale oil from Norway at a considerable expense to the German foreign currency reserves. In 1937 Germany launched a whaling fleet of its own, which set sail for the Southern Ocean. When the fleet returned the following summer, three annual exploring expeditions were planned. Hermann Göring took a personal interest in the project and rushed the preparations through the Reich bureaucracy.

The crew was prepared for the mission by the German Society of Polar Research and as these preparations neared completion, the society also made the sensational step to invite Richard E. Byrd, the most famous American Antarctic researcher. On the mid of November 1938 he arrived in Hamburg and showed the crew and a clearly selected publicity of 84 persons his new Antarctic documentation movie in the Urania of Hamburg. Byrd, who had flown across the south pole as the first human in 1929, was already at this time a living legend, a national hero to the Americans and most of the polar researchers. In 1938 he still was civilian. This invitation to the Germans could have been a typical irony of history, for nearly ten years later exactly this Richard E. Byrd – then in the rank as US Navy Admiral – may have got the instruction to destroy the secret German Antarctic base 211.

New canning techniques were invented for the food needed on the voyage from and back to Germany, and new protective clothing was designed. The inspiration for the expedition may have had hidden occult motivations as well, for the occult Thulegesellschaft or Thule Society subscribed to a Nordic Atlantis hidden beneath the polar ice, whence sprang, so the legend goes, the Germanic race.

 

Hitler came into contact with members of the secret Thule Society which was very active in the Munich area. Interestingly enough, the logo or emblem of this society includes a Swastika, a downward-pointing sword and a wreath of oak leaves, all frequently used symbols of the later National Socialist organizations. 

Whether Hitler was ever a member of The Society is not proven, but it is certain that he was a frequent guest and participant at The Society's gatherings after the end of World War I. It is significant that his association with this group preceded by some two years his overt involvement in politics.

 

One of the people who led the expedition was Helmuth Wohlthat, a former German fighter pilot of World War I who had served in Hermann Göring’s Jagdstaffel and remained friends with Göring after the war. Wohlthat was an economist by trade and represented the Third Reich at international financial conferences with British and American bankers, who dealt with the organization of the expedition. A strange choice to play a leading role in an Antarctic expedition, to be sure; but Wohlthat was also said to be a member of the Vril Society and the Thule Society, the mystical forerunners of the Nazi party.


Wohlthat prepared an extensive report of the expedition which he radioed to Göring on 9 May 1939

Also aboard the Schwabenland was a sizable contingent from Himmler’s SS-Ahnenerbe, a kind of "Ministry of the Occult".

It has been often been claimed that the world views of the top Nazi leaders was permeated by occult ideas, but that is probably somewhat exaggerated. It is known that Heinrich Himmler's fooleries were an embarrassment to many of the Nazi bigwigs, and there was probably quite a bit of laughs in the corners.

There is also no evidence that the leader of the Nazis, Adolf Hitler, was particularly interested in the occult movements of the time, although he undoubtedly had known persons from these circles, whose political ideas in many ways were similar to his. Neither in Hitler's book collection or in his papers are traces of this.

Furthermore, there is nothing that indicates that fantasies of a grandiose Germanic ancient kingdom have had any major place in his world view. On the contrary, we have clear evidence that he was not interested in archeaology, and that he viewed it as a waste of time, when romantic souls travelled around the world to track down glimpses of glory of yore.

Hitler even became very annoyed by Himmler's archaeological activities. Albert Speer quotes Hitler for this statement:

"Why are we trying to bring to the attention of the world the fact that we have no past? Isn't it enough that the Romans built massive buildings, while our forefathers still had to live in miserable huts? Himmler has now started digging up the remains of these miserable dwellings, and is enthralled by every pottery shard or any stone axe he finds. The only thing that comes out of that is, that it is now clear to everyone that we were still throwing stone axes and huddling around the fire at a time when the Greeks and the Romans had for a long time reached the highest cultural level. In reality, we should keep quiet about our past, but instead Himmler is creating a quite unnecessary fuss with his activities. The Romans of our days must be highly amused over Himmler's discoveries!"

Hitler's driving force was primarily personal ambitions and a disdain for the existing society and a hatred of those parts of the population which he blamed for the miserable conditions in the 1920's in Germany. Romantic dreams were probably far from Hitler's mind.

All in all, there seems to be only one in the Nazi top leadership who was interested in the occult, namely Heinrich Himmler.

 

In any case, small teams of specially selected biologists and other scientists accompanied the expedition to run laboratory experiments on board the refurbished 'Schwabenland'.

The 'Schwabenland' left the port of Hamburg on 17 December 1938 and followed a precisely planned and determined route towards the southern continent. In little over a month the ship arrived at the ice covered Antarctica, dropping anchor at 4B0 30B” W and 69B0 14B” S on January 20, 1939.


The expedition then spent three weeks off Princess Astrid Coast and Princess Martha Coast off Queen Maud Land. Truly beautiful, Queen Maud Land is dominated by the giant shelf of ice, flowing slowly from King Haakon VII – plateau over the South Pole, down to the ocean. This area is called “Fenriskjeften” after the mouth of the giant Devil-wolf in Norse mythology. According to this mythology Fenris’ (the wolf) teeth were very sharp, and they would kill all people on Earth during Ragnarok – the end of the world. Most of the mountains in Fenriskjeften have names with analogies to teeth, or to other parts of the Norse.

 

The use of wolf symbology is interesting as it touches upon a theme in Nazi symbology which used the wolf as a totem of the hunter-killer: Hitler’s retreat in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria was nicknamed “Wolf’s Lair”
and the tactic used by German U-Boats to defeat convoys during the War was called “Wolfpack".

 

During these weeks, the two 'Schwabenland' aircraft, the 'Passat' and 'Boreas', flew 15 missions across some 600,000 square kilometers of Antarctica, nearly one-fifth of the continent, taking more than 11,000 pictures of the area with their specially designed Zeiss Reihenmess-Bildkameras RMK 38b, and dropping thousands of little Swastika flags on the region with little spikes to embed them in the ice, and claimed it for Germany, renaming the region Neuschwabenland after Swabia as it is known today, which was one of the original duchies of the German Kingdom. Swabia was home to one of the most powerful dynasties of European monarchs, The Hohenstaufen Dynasty, which ruled the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. Frederick Barbarossa was the greatest of the Hohenstaufen kings, and a wielder of the Holy Lance. It has been reported that Hitler believed he was a reincarnation of Barbarossa. He named one of his houses after him and dubbed the invasion of Russia Operation Barbarossa.

The German pilots who had extensively photographed the region, reported mountain ranges in excess of 12,000 feet altitude, rocky crags projecting above the fields of ice. But most amazingly, they allegedly found ice-free ponds, heated geothermally, in which grew various unknown species of algae. They also discovered the southern tip of the fault line that runs from New Zealand, through Neuschwabenland, and up the Atlantic Ocean, the famous Atlantic “trench”. The Germans concluded that such features might indicate the presence of rocky caverns on the continent, heated geothermally, the perfect place for a hidden base in the world’s most isolated, desolate, and inaccessible wilderness.

 

Most intriguingly, the scientists aboard the Schwabenland were not idle in analyzing the potential foodstuffs of the continent. It is known that German dieticians were commissioned to prepare tasty and nutritious meals using only what was available in Antarctica.


Emperor penguins were captured for return to Germany for study. Walruses were shot and their bodies dissected. Their bodies were tested for fat, protein, vitamin and other nutrient content. The biological findings made during this expedition would occupy German university scientists for months to come but the aim of this focus was secret .

Clearly, if these allegations are true, then the Germans were preparing for a relatively large and permanent presence on the continent.

 

Then, via an unusual zigzagging route between Africa and South America – itself one of the intriguing mysteries of the expedition – the 'Schwabenland' returned to Germany, reaching port on 10 April 1939. Göring presented the expedition members with written medals and commemorations. Then, all further mention of the expedition in the German – or any other press – ceased.


So what do we have at this Juncture?

- Allegations from German writers of known or suspected Nazi sympathies of a continued German presence on the Antarctic continent during and after the war;
- Actual suspicious U-Boat activity in the South Atlantic at the end of the war;
- Allegations of German research that could have been for no other purpose than establishment of a permanent German presence on the continent;

- Allegations of discoveries of small thermally heated ponds with unknown types of algae on the continent’s interior;
- Allegations of Grand Admiral Dönitz that the U-Boat fleet was involved in the construction of a secret base or bases far from the Reich, one base of which was surrounded by "eternal ice";
- Allegations of a last sea battle in the Atlantic prior to the German surrender, with things going surprisingly disastrously for the Allies;
- An actual large postwar American military adventure to the continent within two years of the end of the war, with small accompanying international press contingents, an expedition outfitted for eight months that stayed only eight weeks.
 - And finally, an actual newspaper report of Admiral Byrd trying to warn America of a military threat from "enemy aircraft" flying from either pole at tremendous speed.

There is no conceivable reason, at least on the surface, for such an intense interest in the South Polar regions…

The true purpose of this expedition has never been satisfactorily explained; there is merely a series of puzzles, related reports and snippets of information that are no longer open to verification. What is not open to doubt however, is that in the decade preceding the Second World War, the Germans did almost nothing that did not put the entire structure of the country on a war footing.

This activity affected all aspects of German life; military, civilian, economic, social and foreign policies, engineering, industry etc. Given that the seizing of Neu-Schwabenland occurred on the very eve of the war, it can only be concluded that that the polar expedition was of major importance and significance to the goals and development of the German nation.

Nor did activity end with the outbreak of the war…In fact, it intensified… The South Atlantic, including South Polar waters became quite active. 

Due to the war, only the first expedition took place. During the war, German surface raiders and a few submarines were involved in the massive effort, and were active in the far southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans near Antarctica; butt as the tide of war turned against the Germans the bulk of the transport work fell to the U-Boats and their crews.  Some insight into how much activity took place to and from Antarctica might be gleaned from the fact that between October 1942 and September 1944 16 German U-Boats were sunk in the South Atlantic.

 

Several surface ships appear to have been put on "watch dog" duty, resupplying the subs and keeping Allied shipping away.  For example, the raider ship 'Atlantis', under the command of Captain Bernhard Rogge, made an extended voyage in the South Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific Oceans, from 1939 to 1941, visiting the Iles Kerguelen, where the crewmen did maintenance and replenished their water supplies, between December 1940 to January 1941 [burying a seaman  named Bernhard Herrmann, who fell while painting the funnel, in what is sometimes referred to as "the southernmost of all German war graves," at Bassin de la Gazelle].  The ship then adopted a new disguise as 'Tamesis' before being sunk by 'HMS Devonshire' near Ascension Island, on 22 November 1941 [the 'Atlantis' was also known as Hilfskreuzer 16 and was, at various times, disguised as 'Kasii-Maru' or 'Abbekerk'].

 

 


In the early days of the war, the 'Atlantis' had roamed the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans disguised as a ship neutral or friendly to Allied countries. Upon locating and approaching a vessel from one of these countries, 'Atlantis' would unloose its six 150mm camouflaged guns and attack with torpedoes and its two deck attack planes. By such means 'Atlantis' sunk or captured 22 Allied ships. 'Atlantis' modus operandi took daring and cunning, and a knowledge of how to execute deception on the open seas.

The Allies eventually caught on to 'Atlantis' tactics, however, and, its impact neutralized, the ship was forced to forego its actively belligerent role to be relegated to relieving other front boats with supplies and weapons.

'Atlantis' final foray has become legend 

On 18 October 1941 Captain Bernhard Rogge was ordered to rendezvous with the submarine U-68 800 km (500 mi) south of St. Helena and refuel her, then to refuel U-126 at a location north of Ascension Island. Atlantis rendezvoused with U-68 on 13 November, and on 21 or 22 November with U-126. The OKM (German Naval High Command) signal instruction sent to U-126 ordering this rendezvous was intercepted and deciphered by the Allied Enigma code breakers at Bletchley Park and was passed on to the Admiralty, which in turn despatched the heavy cruiser 'HMS Devonshire' to the rendezvous area.

Early on the morning of 22 November, 'Atlantis' was intercepted by 'HMS Devonshire'. Dead still in the open water and intertwined in fuel lines, the two ships' crews suddenly had to race to clear the umbilicals to have a chance at survival. Once free, U-126 dove to safety, leaving her captain behind, as he had gone aboard 'Atlantis'. At 08:40, 'Atlantis' transmitted a raider report posing as the Dutch ship 'Polyphemus'. By 09:34, 'Devonshire' had received confirmation this report was false. From a distance of 14–15 km [8.7–9.3 mi], outside the range of 'Atlantis's 150 mm [5.9 in] guns, 'Devonshire' commenced fire with her 8 in [200 mm] battery. The second and third salvos hit 'Atlantis'. Ammunition exploded, the bow rose into the air, and seven sailors were killed as the crew abandoned ship; Rogge was the last off. To avoid capture of the ship according to standing orders, the ship was scuttled.

After 'Devonshire' left the area, U-126 resurfaced and picked up 300 German sailors and a wounded American prisoner. U-126 carried or towed rafts towards the still-neutral Brazil (1,500 km (930 mi) west).

The recovery of the Atlantis survivors now stands in the annals of naval history as one of the greatest maritime rescues of any military service.

Two days later the German refuelling ship 'Python' arrived and took the survivors aboard. On 1 December, while 'Python' was refueling U-126 and German submarine U-A, another of the British cruisers seeking the raiders, 'HMS Dorsetshire', appeared. The U-Boats dived immediately with 'Python's crew scuttling her; 'Dorsetshire departed, leaving the U-Boats to recover the survivors. Eventually various German and Italian submarines took Rogge's crew back to St. Nazaire.


Another sea raider was the 'Pinguin', under the command of Captain Ernst-Felix Kruder.  She operated chiefly in the Indian Ocean.  In January 1941, she captured a Norwegian whaling fleet (factory ships 'Ole Wegger' and 'Pelagos', supply ship 'Solglimt' and eleven whale catchers) at about 59° S, 02° 30W.  One of these catchers was renamed 'Adjutant'.  It remained in the Indian Ocean as a tender while the rest of the Norwegian ships were sent to occupied France.  On 8 of May 1941 'Pinguin' was sunk off the Persian Gulf by 'HMS Cornwall', after she had captured 136,550 tons of British and allied shipping.  She was also known as Hilfskreuzer 33, and disguised herself at various times as 'Tamerlan', 'Petschura', 'Kassos' and 'Trafalgar'.

 

Another raider was the 'Komet', commanded by Captain Robert Eyssen.  She operated in the Pacific and Indian oceans, including a voyage along the Antarctic coastline from Cape Adare to the Shackleton Ice Shelf in search of whaling vessels during February 1941.  There she met the 'Pinguin' and supply vessels 'Alstertor' and 'Adjutant'.  'Komet' was also known as Hilfskreuzer 45 and was sunk off Cherbourg in 1942.

U-859  on 4 April 1944 at 04.40rs, left on a mission carrying 67 men and 33 tons of mercury sealed in glass bottles in watertight tin crates. The submarine was later sunk on 23 September by the British submarine 'HMS Trenchant' in the Straits of Malacca and although 47 of the crew died, 20 survived. Some 30 years later one of these survivors spoke openly about the cargo and divers later confirmed the story on rediscovering the mercury. The significance being that mercury is usable as a fuel source for certain types of aerospace propulsion. Why would a German submarine be transporting such a cargo so far from home? It is not odd, at all, if one considers the fact that aviation/avionics construction is what the Polar Base Station 211 seems to be all about.

Evidence suggests that the U-Boat traffic to Neuschwabenland continued even after Germany’s surrender in 1945.

The German Antarctic Expedition had discovered several ice-free regions with lakes and signs of vegetation (mostly lichen and moss) in the territory’s interior. The expedition’s geologists said that this phenomenon was due to hot springs or other geothermal sources. This discovery, it is claimed, led Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler to hatch a bold plan to build a permanent base in Antarctica.

Rumors about a base code named "Station 211" have tantalized historians and researchers; could it be that it was actually constructed and staffed as an ongoing project throughout the war? Perhaps Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz announced its completion when, in 1943, he said:

"The German submarine fleet is proud of having built for the Führer, in another part of the world, a  Shangri-La on land, an impregnable fortress".

The brackish water of the warm lakes virtually confirmed that all had an outlet to the sea and would thus have been a haven for U-Boats. The two ice-free mountain ranges in Neu Schwabenland presented no worse an underground tunneling project for Organization Todt than anything they had encountered and overcome in Norway. The Germans were the world’s experts at building and inhabiting an underground metropolis.


At the end of the war the United States gave anything concerning Ohrdruf a top secret classification for 100 years upwards. The fact that there had been substantial underground workings there, and Ohrdruf was the location of the last Redoubt, was concealed absolutely. Fortunately for researchers, in 1962 the DDR had taken sworn depositions from all local residents during an investigation into wartime Ohrdruf, and upon the reunification of the two Germanys in 1989, these documents became available to all and sundry at Arnstadt municipal archive.


From the Arnstadt documents it is clear that the Charite Anlage unit operated in a three-story underground Bunker with floors 70 by 20 meters. When working, a device emitted some kind of energy field which shut down all electrical equipment and non-Diesel engines within a range of about eight miles. For this reason, even though Ohrdruf was crawling with SS, it was never photographed from the air nor bombed. Declassified USAF documents dated early 1945 admit the existence of an unknown energy field over Frankfurt/Main "and other locations" which "fantastic though it may appear" were able to "interfere with our aircraft engines at 30,000 feet".


Ohrdruf rebuilt below Neu Schwabenland during the last two years of the war would not have been difficult, and since Charite Anlage had the highest priority of anything in the Third Reich, it seems likely that it must have been. Such a base would have been impregnable, for the suggestion is that the force-field worked in various ways favorable to the occupants

 

There is evidence that Hitler’s right hand man, the then Deputy Führer and Party chief, Rudolf Hess, was also privy to whatever secret purpose and findings this expedition had, and had been entrusted with co-coordinating the effort to build Station 211.  Some people allege that this was in part a hidden motivation for Hess’s inexplicable flight to Great Britain in 1941 to conduct secret “peace” negotiations with representatives of the British Fascist movement. Historians have often dismissed Hess as a Nazi figurehead, positioned highly because of his total subservience to the Führer, but perhaps this was because his true role was so well concealed.

 

If so, Hess must have enlisted the aid of Himmler.  Himmler had rejected Christianity, as had many of the Nazi inner core and believed in a strange Germanic version of a neo-pagan New Age.  He was a devotee of the German occultist, Dr. Friedrich Wichtl who specialized in Masonic lore and "world conspiracy" theories.  After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, Dr. Wichtl wrote a best-selling book entitled "Weltfreimaurerei, Weltrevolution, Weltrepublik" [World Freemasonry, World Revolution, World Republic].  Himmler was drawn into the occult after reading Dr. Wichtl's book in 1919, while a military cadet convalescing after a serious stomach illness. 

 

Himmler eventually became a believer in the Hindu concept of world-ages or Yugas.  He believed that the current age, or Kali Yuga, would end in a global cataclysm, thereby giving birth to a new world-age called the Satya Yuga.  By sending a Nazi colony to Antarctica, Himmler believed that he was ensuring a remnant of the "pure Aryan race" would survive the coming cataclysm with its society and culture intact.  He believed that these survivors would then take possession of Antarctica after the cataclysm had melted the south polar ice cap.

 

In his book "The Murder of Rudolf Hess", Hugh Thomas casts doubt on the man who was locked up in Berlin’s Spandau Prison for so long and offers fairly persuasive evidence that the figure held prisoner there was not the real Hess, but an imposter. Yet if that were the case – and the evidence is quite startling – why was he not executed at Nuremberg, as so many of his contemporaries were, or simply released as a harmless stooge, before his death there in 1981? Other accused served long prison sentences, such as Albert Speer, a civilian figure who might arguably have had a more heinous war record than Deputy Führer Hess, who, after all absconded to Britain in 1941 before the war had taken a more serious turn for the worse. So why such a long sentence? It has been suggested that Hess was in some way connected to Base 211…did the real Hess abscond in 1941 to Base 211 itself, simultaneously using a loyal double, with instructions to fly to Scotland and thereafter take the brunt of ridicule and long incarceration? If So, Hess would have effectively disappeared to oversee the development of a Fourth Reich in the southern hemisphere.

 

It should be noted that Rudolf Hess had a lasting relationship with Karl Haushofer who was, according to researcher Louis Pauwels, a member of the Vril Society. Haushofer, like others in the secret society, believed in the existence of a subterranean race living within the Earth.

 

In October of 1939, one month after the beginning of World War II, the 'Schwabenland' was turned over to the Luftwaffe. On 17 December 1939, the ship again left Hamburg, headed for Antarctica, packed with scientists and equipment. This time they were going to build a permanent base in Antarctica.

 

Running the Royal Navy’s blockade, the 'Schwabenland' returned to Hamburg on 11 April 1940. The ship and her crew were received in Germany as heroes.

But not all of the Germans had returned. A handful had remained behind at the base now called “Point 211.”

In August 1942, the ship was sent to Tromso in Norway, which was then under German occupation. She travelled to Tromso in a convoy of 24 ships.

During the next year and a half, nobody knew where the Schwabenland was. It was not possible to find any record of its whereabouts. The ship’s registration was transferred to Norway, with the approval of the [Vidkun] Quisling government. At the same time, Hitler ceded to Norway a portion of the Antarctic territory claimed by Germany.

Late in 1942, the 'Schwabenland' came under the direct control of the SS. Himmler had the "home port" name on her stern changed from Oslo to Stockholm, and the ship began traveling under a false flag, that of neutral Sweden.

On 19 May 1943, the Allies began to suspect that something strange was happening in Antarctica, mainly because of the large number of U-Boats passing through the South Atlantic. Himmler was using large supply submarines–the famous Milchkuh U-Boats of Admiral Dönitz–to ferry Organisation Todt construction supplies and equipment to Point 211.

At this time, President Roosevelt sent a coded message to President Getulio Vargas of Brazil, complaining that Portugal’s [fascist] Prime Minister Dr. Antonio Salazar refused to permit the construction of an Allied naval base in the Azores. Roosevelt told Vargas that Allied intelligence had learned of an existing Nazi submarine base in the islands.

Unknown to Dr. Salazar, General Eisenhower had prepared plans for a pre-emptive occupation of the Canary Islands [owned by Spain] and Cabo Verde [owned by Portugal]. From these new bases, Allied "sub-killers" would destroy the U-Boat "migration" to Antarctica.

An OSS [Office of Strategic Services, World War II forerunner of the CIA] document dated 23 May 1944 affirmed that "Salazar continues to play for time" before drafting a formal response for the Allies.

 

Portugal is geographically farther from Germany than are Switzerland and Sweden, but the country and its colonies were still very vulnerable to pressure from the Reich. Moreover, the authoritarian Portuguese dictator, António de Oliveira Salazar, was sympathetic to the Axis powers [especially after siding with Franco in the Spanish Civil War]. These factors resulted in considerable collaboration between Portugal and Nazi Germany. Salazar provided shipments of tungsten to the Third Reich that were important for the German armaments industry, and allowed German espionage agents to operate in his country. Portugal, in fact, like Switzerland, was a hive of spying during the Second World War.


Because Salazar incorporated many facets of fascism into his government — including corporatist social and economic policies, the debasement of democracy and parliament, an extensive secret police, and a ban on strikes — he was viewed favourably by Hitler and Mussolini, as well as by Spain’s General Franco. He used that approval to obtain financial profit. While the exact amount of that profit is difficult to determine, there are clues that convey its value. The 44 tons of German gold which the United States wanted Portugal to surrender at war’s end [going so far, to compel agreement, as to freeze Portuguese assets in the U.S.] is a case in point.


Despite his ties to the Axis nations, Salazar also, at times, cooperated with the Allies. He leased bases in the Azores to the British, and he permitted many refugees who escaped the Nazis to travel through Lisbon, Portugal’s capital.


A
s Antarctic is made up of huge, ice-encased archipelagos if its snowy cover disappears, what might this continent reveal? Easter Island-type statues? Stonehenge-type ruins? This farthest southern land has long been a blank slate inviting speculation.


An ancient hi-tech "city" nicknamed "Rainbow City" was reportedly discovered in Antarctica by a small group of American researchers in the late 1940’.


Reportedly an on-site staff of 2000 was later stationed there to study the ancient mechanical devices, the operation of time-space portals, holographic records, and an ancient underground "rail" system with Rainbow City being the central hub. Antigravity craft are also reportedly being used by the researchers.

 

-- "The Hefferlin Manuscript; Rainbow City and the Inner Earth People", by Timothy Green Beckley


In the late 1830s a travel narrative appeared claiming to recount the "Adventures of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket", a stowaway whose macabre misadventures had landed him on a tropical island in the Open Polar Sea of Antarctica. Chased by cannibals and tormented by the weird cries of strange penguins, Pym made his way to the South Pole, where he was promptly sucked down a giant polar hole into.... everyone’s disappointment, the narrative broke off.

Notwithstanding the question of how a manuscript last seen accompanying its author to the center of the earth ended up in the hands of American publishers, some readers considered Pym’s description of the Antarctic plausible enough to warrant a revision of world maps. Unfortunately, Pym’s narrative was actually a work of fiction, invented by an imaginative author by the name of Edgar Allen Poe.

Although "Pym" is not one of Poe’s most famous works, it proved popular enough to survive and inspire other SF authors. H.P. Lovecraft wrote "At the Mountains of Madness" as a loose sequel to Pym, and his invention of Antarctic "Shoggoths" went a long way towards explaining why poor Arthur Gordon Pym was so terrified of penguins.

Building upon Poe’s earlier work, H.P. Lovecraft told a fantastic tale in "At The Mountains Of Madness". An Antarctic expedition finds a cyclopean lost city dating from before pre-Cambrian times. Unearthed is evidence of a long-gone alien civilization, which had retreated to the polar region. Deep underground, a final discovery drives one of the explorers insane and they both narrowly escape with their lives.

With such accounts, it is uncertain where fact ends and fiction begins. The essential guidebook to various intriguing literature regarding Antarctica is Joscelyn Goodwin’s "Arktos: The Polar Myth" (1993).


Most of the rumors agree that Station 211, if it really existed, was located inside a prominent ice-free mountain in the Mühlig-Hofmann Mountains of Neuschwabenland [Queen Maud Land]. In 1946-47 Admiral Byrd, America’s most recognized polar explorer may have searched for Station 211. In what was called Operation Highjump he had at his disposal the largest armada ever sent to Antarctica. Some 13 ships and 4,700 men, which included an aircraft carrier, a submarine, two destroyers, more than two-dozen aircraft and some 3,500 Marines in full battle gear were sent by the United States to Antarctica on what was officially described as a “training” mission. Yet persistent rumors insist that the actual purpose of Highjump was to find the Nazi fortress. It’s unclear if Byrd ever discovered the location of the Führer’s "Shangri-La" — if it really was there and if he really was looking for it, that is.


Further evidence that Station 211 existed, and continued to be inhabited after the war’s end, can be seen in the several accounts of German naval activity after the fall of Berlin. For example, on 10 July 1945, more than two months after the cessation of known hostilities, the German submarine U-530 surrendered to Argentine authorities at the port of Mar del Plata, one of the closest Argentine harbors to Antarctica. Similarly, U-977 arrived a month later in Mar del Plata on 17 August. These were but two of the boats that are believed to have made up the convoy of the "Führer’s Final Army".

 

Of all the high-ranking German military leaders, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz is the most often overlooked, and yet he may have been the most crucial for the story of Nazi survival and continued secret weapons research.


After all, the secret preparations and voyage of the U-234 to Japan, with its precious cargo of enriched uranium and infrared fuses, could not likely have taken place without his express knowledge, participation, and authorization. Thus, outside Hans Kammler’s "think tank", he was perhaps the one military leader of a conventional service arm to know the full extent of Nazi Germany’s actual advances in atom bomb and other nuclear research.

 

Best known for his orchestration of the Nazi U-Boat campaign against British, Canadian, and American shipping, his alleged role in the various survival myths is little known outside a small circle of UFOlogy and World War Two researchers. And of all the Nazi military leaders, his selection by Adolf Hitler as the second Führer of the Third Reich is, at best, problematical, unless viewed in the light of these late war technology transfers and escaping Nazis.

Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz:
Last President of a United Germany

For a few brief weeks during late April and May of 1945, a leader of Europe came to power, an honorable man, respected even within the military councils of the Allies. That man was Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, commander-in-chief of the German Navy, in overall command of German military forces in the north, and at that tense moment engaged in arranging sea and other transportation for the masses of refugees fleeing from the eastern areas. To his overwhelming astonishment, Dönitz had been designated by Hitler as his successor and head of state. In his last political testament executed at 4:00 a.m. on 29 April 1945, and witnessed by Dr. Josef Göbbels, Reichsleiter Martin Bormann, and Generals Wilhelm Burgdorf and Hans Krebs, Adolf Hitler appointed Grand Admiral Dönitz as "President of the Reich and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces … by virtue of my statement in the Reichstag on 1 September 1939 …"


Why would Hitler have chosen Dönitz, a World War One veteran of the High Seas Fleet of Kaiser Wilhelm, with the Kriegsmarine’s well-known imperialist culture and leanings that he represented, to be his successor?


A conventional answer is afforded by the circumstances. Betrayed on all sides – by Himmler and Göring themselves – a desperate Hitler reached out to what he thought was the most loyal conventional military service arm of the Wehrmacht, the Navy. But the survival mythos contributes a very different perspective from which to view Hitler’s possible motivations.


"Dönitz himself does nothing to allay those suspicions, either during or immediately after the war. According to Henry Stevens, who has almost single-handedly investigated every lead – no matter how implausible the detail – of the Nazi UFO and survival legends, Dönitz on more than one occasion alluded to the Navy’s role in exotic secret weapons research and in the construction of very secret bases far from the Reich homeland. In 1943, the Grand Admiral is reported to have stated that 'the German submarine fleet is proud of having built for the Führer, in another part of the world, a Shangri-La on land, an impregnable fortress".

-- Henry Stevens, "The Last Battalion and German Arctic, Antarctic, and Andean Bases"

 

Strange language for an admiral well-known for cold calculation in military strategy and tactics, and not well-known to be inclined to mystical statements.

Then again, in 1944, the Grand Admiral doled out a little more information: "The German Navy will have to accomplish a great task in the future. The German Navy knows all hiding places in the oceans and therefore it will be very easy to bring the Führer to a safe place should the necessity arise and in which he will have the opportunity to work out his final plans".

Hitler's Escape by Submarine Feared 
Army News [Darwin, NT]
12 September 1944 

The "New York Times", Panama correspondent, referring to Argentina's statement denying refuge for Axis refugees, says that "Americans still remember that German submarines entered Argentine ports. Undoubtedly they could again enter those friendly waters after using the caution expected from fugitives escaping from justice".

The correspondent believes that both German and. Argentine Nazi interests would protect such fugitives.

 

But it was Dönitz’s almost insane remarks at Nuremberg that seemed to point clearly to one of the two polar regions as the "site" for these "plans". At Nuremberg he boasted of "an invulnerable fortress, a paradise-like oasis in the middle of eternal ice".

 

Whatever the trustworthiness of Steven’s sources, these statements, plus the unusual behavior of some U-Boats at the end of the war, and the Germans’ well-publicized pre-war Antarctic scientific expedition, certainly remains a mystery.

 

The Gruppe Monsun or Monsoon Group was a force of German U-Boats that operated in the Pacific and Indian Oceans during World War II. Although similar naming conventions were used for temporary groupings of submarines in the Atlantic, the longer duration of Indian Ocean patrols caused the name to be permanently associated with the relatively small number of U-Boats operating out of Penang, (with its capital, George Town). After 1944, the U-Boats of the Monsun Gruppe were operationally placed under the authority of the Southeast Asia U-Boat Region.

The Indian Ocean was the only place where German and Japanese forces fought in the same theatre. To avoid incidents between Germans and Japanese, attacks on other submarines were strictly forbidden Altogether 41 U-Boats of all types including transports would be sent; a large number of these, however, were lost and only a small fraction returned to Europe.

Indian Ocean trade routes

The Indian Ocean was considered strategically important, containing India, and the shipping routes and strategic raw materials that the British needed for the war effort. In the early years of the war German merchant raiders and pocket battleships had sunk a number of merchant ships in the Indian Ocean; however as the war progressed it became more difficult for them to operate in the area and by 1942 most were either sunk or dispersed.

The 'Thor' was one of the few German auxiliary cruisers that did two operations. It began its first combat cruise on June 6th, 1940, under the command of Captain Otto Kähler. Thor spent 328 days at sea, and sank or captured 12 ships, for a combined tonnage of 96,547, and ending its first operation in Hamburg on 30 April 1941. During this operation, the 'Thor' engaged three British auxiliary cruisers, destroying one of them ['Voltaire'] while the other two ['Carnarvon Castle' and 'Alcantara'] were badly damaged.

Thor next operational area was the Indian Ocean, and set out on its second cruise on 30 November 1941, under the command of Captain Günther Gumprich. It sank or captured 10 ships during her second cruise, for a total of 58,644 tons, during 328 days of operation.

Thor arrived in Yokohama on 9 October 1942, where she commenced refitting in preparation for a third voyage. However on 30 November, a series of explosions on the supply ship 'Uckermark' destroyed her superstructure, sending a large amount of burning debris onto 'Thor', which was moored alongside. Both ships were rapidly set ablaze, along with the 'Nankin/Leuthen' and the Japanese freighter 'Unkai Maru'. All four ships were destroyed in the fire, and 12 of Thor's crew were killed. 'Thor' was wrecked beyond repair, and was abandoned. Her captain, KzS Gumprich, later commanded the raider 'Michel' on her second raiding voyage, from which he did not return.

From 1941, U-Boats were also considered for deployment to this area but due to the successful periods known as the First and Second Happy Times, it was decided that sending U-Boats to the Indian Ocean would be an unnecessary diversion. There were also no foreign bases in which units could operate from and be resupplied, hence they would be operating at the limits of their range. As a result, the Germans concentrated primarily on their U-Boat campaign in the North Atlantic.

Japan’s entry into the war in 1941 led to the capture of European South-east Asian colonies such as British Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. In May and June 1942, Japanese submarines began operating in the Indian Ocean and had engaged British forces in Madagascar. The British had invaded the Vichy-controlled island in order to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands — however, as Japan was never known (from post-war evaluation) to have had plans to place Madagascar within its own sphere of influence, Britain's defense of the island could also have been surmised to have been a plausible defense against any possibility of Madagascar falling under Germany's own ambitions.

Axis strategic raw materials

The German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 had ended the use of overland routes which were for the delivery of strategic materials from southeast Asia, and few axis ships were able to avoid Allied patrols of the North Atlantic. Japan was interested in exchanging military technology with Germany, the Japanese submarine I-30 initiated the submerged transport of strategic materials in the summer of 1942 by delivering 1500 kg of mica and 660 kg of shellac. Japanese submarines designed for the vast distances of the Pacific were more capable transports than the compact German U-Boats which were designed for operations around coastal Europe; but large Italian submarines had proved ineffective for convoy attacks. The Italian Royal Navy [Regia Marina] converted seven Italian submarines operating from Betasom into "transport submarines" in order to exchange rare or irreplaceable trade goods with Japan. They were: The 'Bagnolin', the 'Barbarigo', the 'Cappellini' (renamed 'Aquilla III' in May 1943), the 'Finzi', the 'Giuliani', the 'Tazzoli' and the 'Torelli'.

Joint operations in the Indian Ocean

The idea of stationing U-Boats in Malaya and the East Indies for operations in the Indian Ocean was first proposed by the Japanese in December 1942. As no supplies were available at either location, the idea was turned down, although a number of U-Boats operated around the Cape of Good Hope at the time. A few days after 'Cappellini' reached the East Indies, U-511 became the first U-Boat to complete the voyage. This boat carried the Japanese naval attache Admiral Naokuni Nomura from Berlin to Kure. The boat was given to Japan as RO-500; its German crew returned to Penang to provide replacement personnel for the main submarine base being established at a former British seaplane station on the west coast of the Malayan Peninsula. A second base was established at Kobe; small repair bases were located at Singapore, Jakarta and Surabaya. As part of the dispersal of U-boat operations following heavy losses in the North Atlantic during the spring of 1943, Wilhelm Dommes was ordered to sail his U-178 from his operating area off South Africa to assume command at Penang. 

Early submarine patrols to Penang

- Japanese submarine I-30 sailed 22 August 1942 carrying German torpedoes, Torpedo Data Computer, search radar, Metox, hydrophone array, 50 Enigma machines and 240 Bolde sonar countermeasure charges. She struck a mine and sank off Singapore on 13 October 1942.
- 'Tazzoli' sailed in a cargo configuration on 21 May 1943 and was sunk by aircraft in the Bay of Biscay.
- 'Barbarigo' sailed in a cargo configuration on 17 June 1943 and was sunk by aircraft in the Bay of Biscay.
- 'Cappellini' sailed in a cargo configuration on 11 May 1943 with 160 tons of mercury, aluminum, welding steel, 20mm guns, ammunition, bomb prototypes, bombsights and tank blueprints; she reached Singapore on 13 July 1943.
- U-511 sailed on 10 May 1943 and sank the 7,200-ton American Liberty Ship 'Samuel Heintzelman' before reaching Penang on 17 July 1943.
- 'Giuliani' sailed in a cargo configuration on 16 May 1943 and reached Singapore on 1 August 1943.
- U-178 sailed on 28 March 1943 and sank the 6,600-ton Dutch freighter 'Salabangka', the 2,700-ton Norwegian freighter 'Breiviken', the 6,700-ton British freighter 'City of Canton', the 7,200-ton American  Liberty ship 'Robert Bacon' and the 4,800-ton Greek freighters 'Michael Livanos' and 'Mary Livanos' before reaching Penang on 27 August 1943.
- 'Torelli' sailed in a cargo configuration on 18 June 1943 and reached Penang on 27 August 1943.

First wave of Monsun Gruppe U-Boats

With the base established, twelve submarines were assigned to the "Monsun Gruppe" and directed to proceed to Penang, patrolling along allied trade routes for the duration of their voyage. The group name reflected an intent; that the opening of the Indian Ocean U-Boat campaign should coincide with the Monsoon season. The Italian armistice with the Allies became effective as the operation proceeded. The Italian submarine 'Ammiraglio Cagni' surrendered at Durban, South Africa rather than continuing to Penang. The converted Italian cargo submarines were taken over by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine and renumbered with UIT prefixes.

- U-200 sailed on 11 June 1943 and was sunk off Iceland by a PBY 'Catalina' on 24 June.
-
U-514 sailed on 3 July 1943 and was sunk by a B-24 Liberator of the RAFs 224 Squadron in the Bay of Biscay on 8 July.
- U-506 sailed on 6 July 1943 and was sunk by an American 1st A/S Squadron B-24 Liberator in the Bay of Biscay on 12 July.
- U-509 sailed on 3 July 1943 and was sunk by aircraft from 'USS Santee' on 15 July.[
- U-516 sailed on 8 July 1943 but returned to France on 23 August after transferring its fuel to other boats, enabling them to continue when their tanker was sunk.
- U-847 sailed on 29 July 1943 but was damaged by ice in the Denmark Strait and was diverted to fuel other boats in the North Atlantic before being sunk by aircraft from 'USS Card' on 27 August.
- 'Ammiraglio Cagni' sailed in combat configuration in early July 1943 but surrendered after the Italian armistice became effective on 8 September 1943.
- U-533 sailed on 6 July 1943 and was sunk by a Bristol Blenheim of 244 Squadron RAF, in the Gulf of Aden on 16 October.
- U-183 sailed on 3 July and reached Penang 27 October 1943, and was sunk two years later in the Java Sea by 'USS Besugo' (SS-321).
- U-188 sailed on 30 June 1943 and sank the 7,200-ton American Liberty ship 'Cornelia P. Spencer' before reaching Penang on 31 October.
- U-532 sailed on 3 July 1943 and sank one Norwegian, one Indian and two British freighters before reaching Penang on 31 October.
- U-168 sailed on 3 July 1943 and sank the 2,200-ton British freighter 'Haiching' before reaching Penang on 11 November.

A second wave of Monsun Gruppe U-Boats was dispatched from Europe to make up for losses in transit.

- U-219 sailed on a minelaying mission on 22 October 1943 but returned to France on 1 January 1944 after being diverted to fuel other boats in the North Atlantic.
- U-848 sailed on 18 September 1943 and sank the 4,600-ton British freighter 'Baron Semple' before being sunk by US Navy PB4Y Liberators in the South Atlantic on 5 November.
- U-849 sailed on 2 October 1943 and was sunk by a USN PB4Y Liberator in the South Atlantic on 25 November.[19]
- U-850 sailed on 18 November 1943 and was sunk by aircraft from 'USS Bogue' on 20 December.
- U-510 sailed on 3 November 1943 and sank the 7,400-ton British tanker 'San Alvaro', the 9,200-ton American freighter 'E.G.Seubert', and three more freighters before reaching Penang on 5 May 1944.

Later sailings from Europe

Submarines attempting to reach Penang from Europe suffered heavy attrition, first from bombers in the Bay of Biscay, then from air patrols in the mid-Atlantic narrows and around the Cape of Good Hope, and finally from allied submarines lurking around Penang with the aid of decrypted arrival and departure information.

- Japanese submarine I-8 sailed 5 September 1943 with a cargo of anti-aircraft guns, torpedo and aircraft engines, and ten German technicians; and reached Singapore on 5 December 1943.
- U-177 sailed on 2 January 1944 and was sunk by a USN PB4Y Liberator in the South Atlantic on 6 February 1944.
- 'Bagnolini' sailed in a cargo configuration as UIT-22 on 26 January 1944 and was sunk off the Cape of Good Hope by RAF 262 Squadron Catalinas on 11 March.
- U-801 sailed on 26 February 1944 and was sunk by aircraft from USS Block Island on 16 March.
- U-1059 sailed on 12 February 1944 with a cargo of torpedoes and was sunk by aircraft from USS Block Island on 19 March.
- U-851 sailed on 26 February 1944 with a cargo of mercury and 500 U-Boat batteries, and disappeared in March 1944.
- U-852 sailed 18 January 1944 and sank the 4,700-ton Greek freighter 'Peleus' and the 5,300-ton British freighter 'Dahomian' before being sunk in the Arabian Sea by RAF Vickers Wellingtons on 3 April.
- U-1062 sailed on 3 January 1944 with a cargo of torpedoes and reached Penang on 19 April.
- U-1224 sailed as Japanese RO-501 in April 1944 and was sunk in the Atlantic by 'USS Francis M. Robinson' on 13 May 1944.
- U-843 sailed ón 18 February 1944 and sank the 8,300-ton British freighter 'Nebraska' before reaching Jakarta on 11 June.
- U-490 sailed in an oiler configuration on 6 May 1944 with a cargo of supplies, spare parts and electronics; she was sunk by aircraft from 'USS Croatan' on 12 June 1944.
- U-860 sailed on 11 April 1944 and was sunk in the South Atlantic by aircraft from 'USS Solomons' on 15 June.
- Japanese submarine I-29 sailed on 16 April 1944 with 10 Enigma machines and the latest German radar technology; she was torpedoed 'USS Sawfish' on 26 July 1944.

 In April 1943, I-29 was tasked with a Yanagi mission, enabled under the Axis Powers' Tripartite Pact to provide for an exchange of personnel, strategic materials and manufactured goods between Germany, Italy and Japan. She was commanded by Captain Masao Teraoka, submarine flotilla commander — indicating the importance of the trip. She left Penang with a cargo that included two tons of gold. She met Fregattenkapitän Werner Musenberg's Type IXD-1 U-boat, U-180 on 26 April 1943 off the coast of Mozambique.

During this meeting that lasted over 12 hours due to bad weather, the two Axis submarines swapped several important passengers. U-180 transferred Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, a leader of the Indian Independence Movement who was going from Berlin to Tokyo, and his Adjutant, Abid Hasan. I-29 in turn transferred two Japanese Navy personnel who were to study U-Boat building techniques in Germany: Commander [later posthumously promoted to Rear Admiral] Emi Tetsushiro, and Lieutenant Commander [later posthumously promoted to Captain] Tomonaga Hideo [who was later connected with the German submarine U-234]. Both submarines returned safely to their bases. I-29 landed her important passengers at Sabang on Weh Island, located to the north of Sumatra on 6 May 1943, instead of the Penang, to avoid detection by British spies. Bose and Hasan's transfer is the only known record of a civilian transfer between two submarines of two different navies in World War II. Also there were exchange of two tonnes of gold ingots as payment from Japan for weapons technology.

On 17 December 1943, I-29 was dispatched on a second Yanagi mission, this time to Lorient, France under star Japanese submarine Commander Takakazu Kinashi. At Singapore she was loaded with 80 tons of raw rubber, 80 tons of tungsten, 50 tons of tin, two tons of zinc, and three tons of quinine, opium and coffee.

In spite of Allied Ultra decrypts of her mission, I-29 managed to reach Lorient 11 March 1944. On her way she was refueled twice by German vessels. Also, she had three close brushes with Allied aircraft tracking her signals. Of special note is the attack of six RAF aircraft including two Tse-tse De Havilland Mosquito F Mk. XVIII fighters equipped with 57 mm cannons from the No. 248 RAF Squadron off Cape Peñas, Bay of Biscay, at 43.66°N 5.85°W, and the protection provided to her during the entry into Lorient by the Luftwaffe's only Long Range Maritime Fighter Unit, V Gruppe/Kampfgeschwader 40 using Ju-88s. At least one Ju-88 was shot down by British fighters over Spanish waters. The Kriegsmarine also provide an escort of two destroyers and two torpedo boats.

She left Lorient 16 April 1944 for the long voyage home with a cargo of 18 passengers, torpedo boat engines, Enigma coding machines, radar components, a Walter HWK 509A rocket engine, and Messerschmitt Me 163 & Messerschmitt Me 262 blueprints for the development of the rocket plane Mitsubishi J8M. After an uneventful trip she arrived at Singapore on 14 July 1944, disembarking her passengers, though not the cargo.

On her way back to Kure, Japan, she was attacked at Balintang Channel, Luzon Strait near the Philippines by Commander W. D. Wilkins' "Wildcats" submarine task force consisting of 'Tilefish', 'Rock' and 'Sawfish', using Ultra signal intelligence. During the evening of 26 July 1944, she was spotted by 'Sawfish' which fired four torpedoes at her. Three hit I-29, which sank immediately at 20.10°N 121.55°E. Only one of her crewmen survived.

Among the dead was I-29's Commanding Officer, Commander Takakazu Kinashi, Japan's highest-scoring submarine "ace". Earlier in the war, as skipper of I-19, Kinashi torpedoed and sank the U.S. aircraft carrier 'Wasp' and damaged both the battleship 'North Carolina' and the destroyer 'O'Brien' during the same attack. 'O'Brien' later sank as a result of the torpedo damage and 'North Carolina' was under repair at Pearl Harbor until 16 November 1942, a notable achievement that is still considered to this day to be the most effective torpedo salvo ever fired in naval history. Kinashi was honored by a rare two-rank posthumous promotion to Rear Admiral.

- U-537 sailed on 25 March 1944 and reached Jakarta on 2 August.
- U-181 sailed 16 March 1944 and sank the 7,100-ton British freighter 'Tanda', the 7,100-ton Dutch freighter 'Garoet' and the 5,300-ton British freighters 'Janeta' and 'King Frederick' before reaching Penang on 8 August.
- U-196 sailed on 16 March 1944 and sank the 5,500-ton British freighter 'Shahzada' before reaching Penang on 10 August.
- U-198 sailed 20 April 1944 and sank the 3,300-ton South African freighter 'Columbine', the 5,100-ton British freighter 'Director', the 7,300-ton British freighter 'Empire City' and the 7,200-ton British freighter 'Empire Day' before being sunk in the Indian Ocean on 12 August 1944 by a Royal Navy hunter-killer group built around 'Shah' and 'Begum'. - U-180 sailed in an oiler configuration on 20 August 1944 and was sunk by mines leaving port.
- U-862 sailed on 3 June 1944 and sank five ships before reaching Penang on 9 September.
- U-861 sailed on 20 April 1944 and sank the 1,700-ton Brazilian troopship 'Vital de Oliveira', the 7,200-ton American Liberty ship 'William Gaston', the 7,500-ton British freighter 'Berwickshire' and the 5,700-ton Greek freighter 'Toannis Fafalios' before reaching Penang on 22 September.
- U-859 sailed on 4 April 1944 with a cargo of mercury and sank the 6,300-ton Panamanian freighter 'Colin', the 7,200-ton American Liberty ship 'John Berry' and the 7,400-ton British freighter 'Troilus' before being torpedoed off Penang by 'HMS Trenchant' on 23 September.
- U-871 sailed on 31 August 1944 and was sunk by a RAF B-17 on 26 September 1944.
- U-863 sailed on 26 July 1944 and was sunk by USN PB4Ys on 29 September.
- U-219 sailed in a cargo configuration on 23 August 1944 and reached Jakarta on 11 December.
- U-195 sailed in an oiler configuration on 20 August 1944 and reached Jakarta on 28 December.
- U-864
sailed with a cargo of mercury and plans and parts for Messerschmitt Me 163 and Me 262 fighters on 5 December 1944 and was torpedoed by 'HMS Venturer' on 9 February 1945.

According to decrypted intercepts of German naval communications with Japan, U-864's mission was to transport military equipment to Japan destined for the Japanese military industry, a mission code-named Operation Cäsar. The cargo included approximately 61 tons of metallic mercury in 1,857 32-kilogram steel flasks stored in her keel. That the mercury was contained in steel canisters was confirmed when one of the canisters containing mercury was located and brought to the surface during surveys of her wreck in 2005. Approximately 1,400 tons of mercury was purchased by the Japanese from Italy between 1942 and Italy's surrender in September 1943. This had the highest priority for submarine shipment to Japan and was used in the manufacture of explosives, especially primers.

There was some speculation as to whether U-864 was carrying uranium oxide, as was U-234, which surrendered to the US Navy in the Atlantic on 15 May 1945, but Det Norske Veritas [DNV] concluded that there was no evidence that uranium oxide was on board U-864 when she departed Bergen. During the Norwegian Coastal Administration's investigation of the wreck of U-864 in 2005, radiation measurements were made but no traces of uranium oxide were found.

According to her cargo list, U-864 also carried parts and engineering drawings for German jet fighter aircraft and other military supplies for Japan, while among her passengers were Messerschmitt engineers Rolf von Chlingensperg and Riclef Schomerus, Japanese torpedo expert Tadao Yamoto, and Japanese fuel expert Toshio Nakai.

U-864, commanded by Korvettenkapitän Ralf-Reimar Wolfram, left Kiel on 5 December 1944, arriving at Horten, Norway four days later. Before leaving Germany, U-864 had been refitted with a Schnorchel mast. Several messages found in the ULTRA archives show that there were problems with the Schnorchel, which needed repairs before the U-864 put to sea for her voyage to Japan. All Schnorchel trials and training were conducted at Horten near Oslo. U-864 would have needed to be certified ready to sail at Horten before proceeding to Bergen.

While en route to Bergen, U-864 ran aground and had to stop in Farsund for repairs, not arriving in Bergen until 5 January 1945. While docked in the Bruno U-Boat pens, U-864 received minor damage on 12 January when the pens and shipping in the harbour were attacked by 32 Royal Air Force Lancaster bombers and one Mosquito bomber of Numbers 9 and 617 Squadrons. At least one Tallboy bomb penetrated the roof of the Bunker causing severe damage inside, and left one of the seven pens unusable for the remainder of the war.

Meanwhile, repairs and adjustments to her Schnorchel had been completed, and U-864 had commenced submerged trials. British submarine 'HMS Venturer', commanded by Lieutenant James "Jimmy" S. Launders, was sent on her eleventh patrol from the British submarine base at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands to Fedje, north of Bergen. After German radio transmissions regarding U-864 were decrypted, she was rerouted to intercept the U-Boat. On 6 February U-864 passed the Fedje area without being detected, but one of her engines began to misfire and she was ordered to return to Bergen. A signal stated that a new escort would be provided her at Hellisøy on 10 February. She made for there, but on 9 February 'Venturer' heard U-864's engine noise (Launders had decided not to use ASDIC since it would betray his position) and spotted the U-boat's periscope.

In an unusually long engagement for a submarine and in a situation for which neither crew had been trained, Launders waited 45 minutes after first contact before going to action stations, waiting in vain for U-864 to surface and thus present an easier target. Upon realizing they were being followed by the British submarine and that their escort had still not arrived, U-864 zig-zagged in attempted evasive manoeuvres and each submarine risked raising her periscope. 'Venturer' had only eight torpedoes (four tubes and four reloads) as opposed to U-864's total of 22, and so after three hours Launders decided to make a prediction of his opponent's zig-zag, and release a spread of his torpedoes into its predicted course. The first torpedo was released at 12:12 and then at 17 second intervals after that (taking four minutes to reach their target), and Launders then dived suddenly to evade any retaliation from his opponent. U-864 heard the torpedoes coming and also dived deeper and turned away to avoid them, managing to avoid the first three but unknowingly steering into the path of the fourth. Imploding, she split in two, sinking with all hands and coming to rest more than 150 meters below the surface on the sea floor, 3.7 km west of the island of Fedje, Norway.

This the only instance in the history of naval warfare where one submarine intentionally sank another while both were submerged.  

- U-234 sailed in a cargo configuration with 74 tons of lead, 26 tons of mercury, 12 tons of steel, seven tons of optical glass, 43 tons of aircraft plans and parts, 550 kg of uranium oxide and a disassembled Me 262 on 25 March 1945 and surrendered at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard when the war ended.

Unterseeboot U-234 was intended to be one of a total of eight Type XB ocean-going mine-layers. It  This was the largest type of German U-Boat ever constructed at 1763 tons displacement, 2710 tons submerged and fully loaded, and 89.9 meters in overall length. Under the command of Kapitänleutnant  Johann-Heinrich Fehler, U-234 was originally designed to carry 66 SMA mines. It had only two stern torpedo tubes and carried a maximum of fifteen torpedoes.

On 5 September 1944, the U-234 was refitted as a transport at the Germaniawerft yard at Kiel, and assigned to the perilous Germany-to-Japan run. 

Apart from minor work, she had a Schnorchel added and 12 of her 30 mineshafts were fitted with special cargo containers the same diameter as the shafts and held in place by the mine release mechanisms. In addition, her keel was loaded with cargo, thought to be optical-grade glass and mercury, and her four upper-deck torpedo storage compartments (two on each side) were also occupied by cargo containers.

The cargo to be carried was determined by a special commission, the Marine Sonderdienst Ausland, established towards the end of 1944, at which time the submarine's officers were informed that they were to make a special voyage to Japan. When loading was completed, the submarine's officers estimated that they were carrying 240 tons of cargo plus sufficient Diesel fuel and provisions for a six- to nine-month voyage.

The cargo included technical drawings, examples of the newest electric torpedoes, one crated Me 262 jet aircraft, a Henschel Hs 293 glide bomb,  550 kg of enriched uranium and infra-red proximity fuses.

U-234's cargo manifest also reveals that, besides its uranium, among its cargo was 10 "bales" of drums and 50 "bales" of barrels.  The barrels are noted in the manifest to have contained benzyl cellulose, a very stable substance that may have been used as a biological shield from radiation or as a coolant or moderator in a liquid reactor. The manifest lists the drums as containing "confidential material". 

The leaders of the German project to breed plutonium had decided to use heavy water, or deuterium oxide, as the moderator for a plutonium-breeding liquid reactor.  The procedure of creating heavy water results in regular water molecules picking up an additional hydrogen atom.  The percentage of water molecules with the extra hydrogen represents the level of concentration of the heavy water.  And using heavy water as a major element of their plutonium breeding reactor project, it is easy to see why the Germans labeled the drums "confidential material."  The evidence indicates that U-234  very probable -given all considerations - carried components for making not only a uranium bomb, but a plutonium bomb, also.

"The most important and secret item of cargo, the uranium oxide, which I believe was radioactive, was loaded into one of the vertical steel tubes [of German U-boat U-234]....  Two Japanese officers... [were]... painting a description in black characters on the brown paper wrapping....  Once the inscription U235 [the scientific designation for enriched uranium, the type required to make a bomb] had been painted on the wrapping of a package, it would then be carried over...and stowed in one of the six vertical mine shafts".

-- Wolfgang Hirschfeld, Oberfunkmeister [Chief Radio Operator] of U-234

It is nearly certain the reason "U235" was written on these containers was that they were originally supposed to go to Japan aboard a second U-boat, operating under the name 'U-235'. This unidentified "Black Boat", not to be confused with the Type VIIC U-235 which had been sunk, was operating temporarily under the name U-235. It is speculated this boat was a Type XXI, but it is uncertain.

U-235 was originally supposed to go to Japan with U-234, but was instead sent to Argentina, as is recorded in an Argentinian document declassified in 1952, which states:

"Movements by foreigners. I bring to your attention that our agents (names deleted) have detected at Ascochinga, in the mountainous region of Cordoba province, a farm located on the Cerro Negro which has been acquired by a former officer who disembarked from U-235 at the Mar del Plata submarine base".

Because the boat operating under the name 'U-235' was sent to Argentina instead, its load of Uranium Oxide was sent aboard U-234. It is a strange coincidence that Uranium Oxide was supposed to go aboard boats called U-234 and U-235, both of which are also isotopes of Uranium

In Kiel, the loading of the boat had been completed and her massive hull sealed up for the journey. The crew of 63 [a very large crew for a U-Boat - even of this size] was joined by eight passengers, not iincluding the two Japanese officers, Lieutenant Commanders, Genzo Shoji, an aircraft specialist and former naval attaché, and Hideo Tomonaga, a naval architect and submarine designer, who had come to Germany in 1943 on the Japanese submarine I-29. 

Among the civilian scientists was Dr. Heinz Schlicke, a radar, infrared, and countermeasures specialist who was the director of the Naval Test Fields in Kiel. His task was to aid the Japanese in developing and manufacturing electronic devices and instruments; and August Bringewalde, Willi Messerschmitt's "right-hand man" who was in charge of ME 262 production, Franz Ruf, an industrial machinery specialist who designed machines and appliances to manufacture aircraft components, were also among the notable passengers, and an engineer Klug.

There were four naval officers, each with different responsibilities. Fregattenkapitän Gerhard Falcke, a naval architect and construction engineer who spoke fluent Japanese, was to use German naval blueprints to initiate new shipbuilding. Kptlt. Richard Bulla, who had the unique distinction of serving as an officer in both the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine simultaneously, was an expert on armaments, new weapons, and carrier-based aviation. Oberleutnant Heinrich Hellendorn, a shipboard FLAK artillery officer, served as a German observer, while Kay Niescheling, an ardent National Socialist who was a naval judicial and investigative officer, who was being sent to rid the German diplomatic corps in Japan of remnants of the Richard Sorge spy ring.

As U-234 raced out of Kiel Fjord into the Baltic, she turned West into the open bay leading to the mouth of Eckern Fjord.There she waited until dark to begin the first leg of her run for freedom. 

Shortly after midnight, in the early morning hours of 26 March, U-234 and her two-U-Boat escort joined with three smaller Type XXIII U-Boats and turned its course toward Norway.  Her orders were to remain in the company of the three smaller boats until they reached the Norwegian coastal town of Kristiansand. 

The tiny armada  arrived in Horten Naval Base two days later, where the U-234 spent the next eight days carrying out trials on her Schorchel.

She then proceeded to Kristiansand, arriving on about 5 April, where she underwent repairs and topped up her provisions and fuel

In the meantime, the last of the passengers arrived in Kristiansand; Luftwaffe General [General der Flieger] Ulrich Kessler,  who was being sent to assist the Japanese in combat tactics using squadrons of ME 262 and ME 163 aircraft against Allied bombers;  Oberleutnant Erich Menzel, a Luftwaffe navigator and bombardier who was an aeronautical communications and radar expert, and also had combat experience against the British, Americans, and Russians; Oberstleutnant Fritz von Sandrart, a FLAK antiaircraft defense strategist, assigned to enhance Japanese defense systems. .

U-234 departed Kristiansand for Japan on 15 April 1945, running submerged at Schorchel depth for the first 16 days, and surfacing after that only because her commander, considered he was safe from attack on the surface in the prevailing severe storm. From then on, she spent two hours running on the surface by night, and the remainder of the time submerged. The voyage proceeded without incident; the first sign that world affairs were overtaking the voyage was when the Kriegsmarine's Goliath transmitter stopped transmitting, followed shortly after by the Nauen station. Fehler did not know it, but Germany's naval HQ had fallen into Allied hands.

Then, on 4 May, U-234 received a fragment of a broadcast from British and American radio stations announcing that Admiral Karl Dönitz had become Germany's head of state following the death of Adolf Hitler. U-234 surfaced on 10 May in the interests of better radio reception and received Dönitz's last order to the submarine force, ordering all U-boats to surface, hoist black flags and surrender to Allied forces. Fehler suspected a trick and managed to contact another U-Boat [U-873], whose captain convinced him that the message was authentic.

At this point, Fehler was practically equidistant from British, Canadian and American ports. He decided not to continue his journey, and instead headed for the east coast of the United States. Fehler thought it likely that if they surrendered to Canadian or British forces, they would be imprisoned and it could be years before they were returned to Germany; he believed that the US, on the other hand, would probably just send them home.

Fehler consequently decided that he would surrender to US forces, but radioed on 12 May that he intended to sail to Halifax, Nova Scotia to surrender to ensure Canadian units would not reach him first. U-234 then set course for Newport News, Virginia; during the passage Fehler took care to dispose of his Tunis radar detector, the new Kurier radio communication system, and all Enigma related documents and other classified papers. On learning that the U-Boat was to surrender, the two Japanese passengers committed suicide by taking an overdose of Luminal [a barbiturate sedative and antiepileptic drug]. They were buried at sea.

The difference between Fehler's reported course to Halifax and his true course was soon realized by US authorities who dispatched two destroyers to intercept U-234. On 14 May 1945 she was encountered south of the Grand Banks, Newfoundland by USS Sutton. Members of Sutton's crew took command of the U-Boat and sailed her to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, where U-805, U-873, and U-1228 had already surrendered. News of U-234's surrender with her high-ranking German passengers made it a major news event. Reporters swarmed over the Navy Yard and went to sea in a small boat for a look at the submarine.

The fact that the ship carried .55 tons of uranium oxide remained classified for the duration of the Cold War, a classified US intelligence summary of 19 May merely listed U-234's cargo as including "a/c [aircraft], drawings, arms, medical supplies, instruments, lead, mercury, caffeine, steels, optical glass and brass".

Author and historian Joseph M. Scalia claimed to have found a formerly secret cable at Portsmouth Navy Yard which stated that the uranium oxide had been stored in gold-lined cylinders rather than cubes as reported by Hirschfeld, the alleged document is discussed in Scalia's book "Hitler's Terror Weapons".

Uranium that has had its proportion of the isotope U235 increased compared to the more common isotope of uranium, U238, is known as enriched uranium. When that enrichment becomes 70 percent or above, it is bomb-grade uranium. 

The process of enriching uranium during the war was highly technical and very expensive - it still is.

Clarence Larsen, former director of the leading uranium enrichment process at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where the Manhattan Project's uranium enrichment facilities were housed, later state, at the Oak Ridge program used gold trays when working with enriched uranium.  He explained that, because uranium enrichment was a very costly process, enriched uranium needed to be protected jealously, but because it is very corrosive, it is easily invaded by any but the most stable materials, and would then become contaminated.  To prevent the loss to contamination of the invaluable enriched uranium, gold was used.  Gold is one of the most stable substances on earth.  While expensive, Mr. Larsen explained, the cost of gold was a drop in the bucket compared to the value of enriched uranium.

Raw uranium, rather than enriched uranium, would not be stored in gold containers. The value of raw uranium is, and was at the time, inconsequential compared to the cost of gold
.

The uranium subsequently disappeared, most likely finding its way to the Manhattan Project's Oak Ridge diffusion plant.

The Oak Ridge records of its chief uranium enrichment effort - the magnetic isotope separators known as calutrons - show that the enriched uranium output at Oak Ridge nearly doubled - after six months of steady output.  Edward Hammel, a metallurgist who worked with Eric Jette at the Chicago Met Lab, where the enriched uranium was fabricated into the bomb slugs, corroborated reports of late-arriving enriched uranium.  Mr. Hammel stated   that very little enriched uranium was received at the laboratory until just two or three weeks -certainly less than a month- before the bomb was dropped. The Manhattan Project had been in desperate need of enriched uranium to fuel its lingering uranium bomb program.

The secret Nazi role in building the Atomic Bomb
Without the German uranium and fuses, no atomic bombs would have been completed before 1946 at the earliest
By Ian Greenhalgh
9 July 2015

One of the most widely known and well-established facts of the 20th century is that the Manhattan Project was the first successful development of a nuclear weapon.

However, as more time passes and more research is done into the subject, it is becoming clear that the established narrative is nothing more than a fairy tale and the truth is stranger than anyone would accept as fiction.

As incredible as it sounds, the true story involves secret deals with Nazi Germany, smuggling of vital resources via U-Boat and German scientists providing the key final components needed to make the bomb work.

The heart of the story is the race to produce enough fissile material to build the bombs and the established narrative of heroic efforts by the US is very far from the truth.

The US uranium enrichment efforts were based at Oak Ridge, TN where three plants using differing methods worked night and day to produce fissile material for the Manhattan Project. The S-50 plant used liquid thermal diffusion; the K-25 plant used the gaseous diffusion process and the Y-12 plant used electromagnetic separation.

The engineering challenges were immense, as were the material requirements – a copper shortage lead to the US treasury loaning 14,700 tons of silver bullion in order to complete the electromagnetic coils of Y-12. Y-12 became fully operational in March 1944 and the first shipments of enriched uranium were sent to Los Alamos in June 1944. Production of fissile material was very slow, so that by 28th December 1944, Eric Jette, the chief metallurgist at Los Alamos made the following gloomy report :

“A study of the shipment of (bomb grade uranium) for the past three months shows the following….: At present rate we will have 10 kilos about February 7 and 15 kilos about May 1".

With such a paltry stockpile of enriched uranium, far below that needed for a uranium-based atom bomb and with this stockpile being depleted by the decision to develop more plutonium for an alternative bomb, the entire enterprise of the Manhattan Project appeared destined for defeat.

If the stocks of weapons grade uranium in early 1945 after almost three years of research and production were about half of what they needed to produce just one atomic bomb, how then did the Manhattan Project acquire the large remaining amount of enriched weapons grade uranium 235 needed to feed the Hanford reactors that produced the plutonium for the the Gadget test device and also complete the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945? Furthermore, how did they solve the pressing problem of the fuses for a plutonium bomb?

Somehow, they solved their materials shortage and on the 16th July 1945, the Gadget test device was exploded in the New Mexico desert at the Almagordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, part of the White Sands Proving Ground. ‘Gadget’ was a Y-1561 device very similar to the Fat Man bomb dropped on Nagasaki and used 6.2 kilograms of plutonium to produce a blast equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT. The nuclear age was born.

While almost all research at Los Alamos since June 1944 had been focused on the implosion-type plutonium weapon that resulted in "Gadget" and "Fat Man"; a smaller team worked on a far simpler uranium-based design. In contrast to the plutonium implosion-type nuclear weapon, the uranium gun-type weapon was straightforward if not trivial to design. The concept was pursued so that in case of a failure to develop a plutonium bomb, it would still be possible to use the gun principle.

The design used the gun method to explosively force a hollow sub-critical mass of uranium-235 and a solid target cylinder together into a super-critical mass, initiating a nuclear chain reaction. This was accomplished by shooting one piece of the uranium onto the other by means of four cylindrical silk bags of nitrocellulose powder. The bomb contained 64 kg [141 lb] of enriched uranium.

The design specifications for "Little Boy" were completed in February 1945. Three different contractors were used to produce the components so that no one would have a copy of the complete design. The bomb, except for the uranium payload, was ready at the beginning of May 1945. The uranium 235 projectile was completed on 15th of June and the target on 24 July.

While testing of the components was conducted, no full test of a gun-type nuclear weapon occurred before the "Little Boy" was dropped over Hiroshima. The weapon design was simple enough that it was only deemed necessary to do laboratory tests with the gun-type assembly. Unlike the plutonium implosion design, which required sophisticated coordination of shaped explosive charges, the gun-type design was considered almost certain to work.

The partly assembled bombs without the fissile components left Hunters Point Naval Shipyard, California, on 16 July aboard the cruiser 'USS Indianapolis', arriving at Tinian Island on 26 July. The fissile components followed by air on 30 July. On 9th August, B-29 Superfortress 'Enola Gay' dropped "Little Boy" over Hiroshima, resulting in a 15 kiloton blast that destroyed the heart of the city.

The age of nuclear weapons had been ushered in, but the mystery remained – where did the enriched uranium needed come from? By 1 May 1945, only 15kg of enriched Uranium-235 had been produced and much of it had been directed into production of plutonium.

However, just three short months later, all the required fissile material for two plutonium bombs and one uranium bomb had been produced. The uranium bomb alone required 64kg of enriched fissile material and at the rate Oak Ridge was producing this material, it should not have been possible to complete a uranium bomb before the end of 1946.

Clearly, a new supply of enriched Uranium-235 had been found sometime after the beginning of May 1945. To find the answer, we have to examine the events of May 1945.

On 14 May 1945 the German long range Type XB U-Boat U-234 surrendered to 'USS Sutton' just south of the Grand Banks and was escorted to Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. US intelligence summary NSA/USN SRMN-037, RG 457 written on 19 May listed U-234‍ ’s cargo as including drawings, arms, medical supplies, instruments, lead, mercury, caffeine, steels, optical glass and brass. The fact that the ship also carried a number of gold-lined containers stencilled U-235 and containing 540kg of uranium remained classified until after the end of the Cold War decades later.

The 1,200 pounds [540 kg)]of uranium disappeared; researchers concluded it was most likely transferred to the Manhattan Project’s Oak Ridge diffusion plant. However, 560kg of uranium oxide would only have yielded approximately 7.7 pounds [3.5 kg) of]enriched weapons grade U-235 after processing; this was around 5% of what was required to build the "Little Boy" uranium fission weapon.

Furthermore, Uranium oxide is not radioactive enough to require shipping in gold-lined containers, only enriched uranium would require such shielding. Therefore we can safely conclude that the Uranium taken from U-234 was enriched, weapons grade material ready to be worked into the fissile components of the "Little Boy" bomb.

Secret deals with Nazi Germany

The story of the German atomic bomb programmes and their extensive Uranium enrichment programme would take a whole book to tell in any detail, however, the basic facts are that in 1940 the Germans had seized the Belgian stockpile of high purity uranium ore mined in the Congo; German scientists had developed a chemical enrichment process many times more efficient than the process used by the Manhattan Project with the result that by the end of the war the Germans possessed a large stockpile of weapons grade material.

Realising the war was lost, Martin Bormann, almost certainly with the support of Adolf Hitler, had begun secret negotiations with the British and Americans to buy safe passage to South America for the leading Nazis including Hitler and Eva Braun. Bormann traded Germany’s finest military, engineering and scientific secrets for the escape to freedom of many top Nazis, himself and Hitler included.

As well as providing the Uranium to complete Little Boy, U-234 also brought what was needed to make the "Fat Man" plutonium bomb work in the form of Dr Heinz Schlicke, an electrical engineer and Kriegsmarine officer who had invented a new type of opto-electronic fuse. He is taken to a secret POW camp at Fort Hunt, Virginia.

By this time it had become apparent that there were significant and seemingly insurmountable problems in designing a plutonium bomb, for the fuses available to the Allies were simply far too slow to achieve the uniform compression of a plutonium core within the very short span of time needed to initiate uncontrolled nuclear fission.

However, with Dr. Schlicke and a number of his fuses in their possession, the US was now able to complete their plutnium bomb.

Therefore, we can state with certainty, based on the simple historical facts, that without the German uranium and fuses, no atomic bombs would have been completed before 1946 at the earliest.

Submarine patrols from Penang

Although operations from Penang had originally been envisioned as patrols along the trade routes while transporting strategic materials to Europe, many were turned back after allied patrols sank South Atlantic refueling assets.

- Japanese submarine I-30 sailed on 22 April 1942 and reached France on 2 August.

In mid-June 1942 I-30 was sent on a Yanagi mission to Europe, rounding the Cape of Good Hope and entering the Atlantic en route to France. On 2 August she arrived in the Bay of Biscay and was escorted into Lorient by a powerful force of German M-class minesweepers and Luftwaffe Junkers Ju 88 bombers. I-30 was the first Japanese submarine to arrive in Europe during World War II.

The officers and crew of I-30 were greeted by Grossadmiral Erich Räder, Admiral Karl Dönitz, and Captain Yokoi Tadao, the Japanese Naval Attaché to Germany. The officers and crew of I-30 were feted by their German allies, travelling to Berlin where Commander Endo was presented to Adolf Hitler, and returning to Lorient via a sightseeing trip to Paris. In the meantime the I-30's cargo of 1,500 kg [3,300 lb] of mica and 650 kg [1,430 lb] of shellac was unloaded. They also supplied the Germans with blueprints of the Type 91 aerial torpedo. In return I-30 was repainted U-Boat grey and fitted with a Metox radar detector and a Flakvierling 38 quad 20 mm AA gun, replacing her Type 96 25 mm AA guns.

I-30 departed Lorient on 22 August carrying a Japanese engineer as a passenger. Her cargo included blueprints and a full set of the Würzburg air defense ground radar, five German G7a and three G7e torpedoes, five Torpedovorhalterechner (torpedo data computers), 240 Bolde sonar countermeasure rounds, rocket and glider bombs, anti-tank guns, a Zeiss anti-aircraft artillery director (fire control system), two hundred 20 mm AA guns, industrial diamonds valued at one million yen, and fifty Enigma T coding machines.

On 8 October 1942 I-30 arrived at Penang to refuel and replenish, then sailed for Singapore, arriving early on the 13 October. Just after 4 p.m. the same day she departed for Japan, but three miles east of Keppel Harbour hit a British mine and quickly sank, with the loss of 13 men. Divers from No. 101 Navy Repair Unit recovered some of her cargo, including most of the 20 mm guns, torpedo data computers, and the radar blueprints, though they were found to be unusable after their immersion in salt water. The radar equipment was completely destroyed.

- Japanese submarine I-8 sailed on 27 June 1943 carrying tungsten and an extra crew for U-1224, and reached France in late August 1943.

The Japanese submarine I-8 was a World War II Junsen Type J-3 Imperial Japanese Navy submarine, famous for completing a technology exchange mission to German-occupied France and back to Japan in 1943, the only wartime submarine to make a successful round trip voyage. The series [I-7 and I-8], based on the KD [Kaidai] type, were the largest Japanese submarines to be completed before World War II

Commanded by Shinji Uchino, I-8 departed Kure harbor on 1 June 1943, together with I-10 and the submarine tender 'Hie Maru'. Their cargo included two of the famed Type 95 oxygen-propelled torpedoes, torpedo tubes, drawings of an automatic trim system, and a new naval reconnaissance plane, the Yokosuka E14Y. A supplementary crew of 48 men, commanded by Sadatoshi Norita, was also packed into the submarine, with the objective of manning a German U-Boat submarine [U-1224, a Type IXC/40 U-Boat] and bringing it back to Japan for reverse engineering. On arriving in Singapore nine days later, I-8 also took onboard quinine, tin, and raw rubber before heading for the Japanese base at Penang.

On 21 July, I-8 entered the Atlantic, where she encountered fierce storms, but was able to continue to German-occupied France. Getting closer to Europe, on 20 August, I-8 rendezvoused with German submarine U-161, commanded by Captain Albrecht Achille. Two German radio technicians were transferred onboard, as well as a FuMB 1 "Metox" 600A radar detector which was installed on the bridge of I-8. As I-8 entered the Bay of Biscay on 29 August, the Germans sent Ju-88s to provide air cover all the way to Brest, France, where she arrived two days later.

T
he Japanese submarine was welcomed warmly by the Germans. German news agencies announced that "now even Japanese submarines are operating in the Atlantic". Over a period of about a month, parties and visits to Paris and Berlin were organized for the crew.

I-8 left Brest on 5 October, with a cargo of German equipment: machine guns, bomb sights, a Daimler-Benz torpedo boat engine, marine chronometers, radars, sonar equipment, anti-aircraft gunsights, electric torpedoes, and penicillin. The submarine also transported Rear Admiral Yokoi, naval attaché to Berlin since 1940; Captain Hosoya, naval attaché to France since December 1939; three German officers; and four radar and hydrophone technicians.

In the South Atlantic, I-8 radioed its position to the Germans, but the message was intercepted by the Allies, prompting an attack by anti-submarine aircraft, which failed. I-8 arrived in Singapore on 5 December, and finally returned to Kure, Japan on 21 December, after a voyage of 30,000 nautical miles [56,000 km]. In late 1944, I-8 was converted to carry Kaiten suicide torpedoes. She was lost off Okinawa on 31 March 1945, in an encounter with the American destroyers 'USS Morrison' and 'USS Stockton'.
 
  

- Japanese submarine I-34 sailed 12 November 1943 and was torpedoed by 'HMS Taurus' the following day.
- U-178 sailed 27 November 1943 with a cargo of 121 tons of tin, 30 tons of rubber and two tons of tungsten. She sank the 7,200-ton American Liberty ship 'Jose Navarro' before reaching France on 25 May
- Japanese submarine I-29 sailed 16 December 1943 with a cargo of rubber, tungsten, and two tons of gold; she reached France on 11 March 1944.
- U-532 sailed 4 January 1944 with a cargo of tin, rubber, tungsten, quinine and opium; and sank the 7,200-ton American Liberty ship 'Walter Camp' two ships before returning to Penang after the refueling oiler 'Brake' was sunk.
- U-188 sailed 9 January 1944 with a cargo of tin, rubber, tungsten, quinine and opium; and sank seven British freighters before reaching France on 19 June.
- U-168 sailed 28 January 1944 with 100 tons of tin, tungsten, quinine and opium; and sank a 4,400-ton Greek freighter and the 1,400-ton British repair ship 'Salviking' before returning to Jakarta after 'Brake' was sunk.
- 'Cappellini' sailed for France in a cargo configuration as UIT-24 with about 130 tons of rubber, 60 tons of zinc, five tons of tungsten, 2 tons of quinine, and 2 tons of opium on 9 February 1944; but returned to Penang after 'Brake' was sunk.
- U-183 sailed 10 February 1944 with a cargo of tin, rubber, tungsten, quinine and opium; and sank the 5,400-ton British freighter 'Palma', the 7,000-ton British tanker 'British Loyalty' and the 5,300-ton British freighter 'Helen Moller' before returning to Penang after 'Brake' was sunk.
- 'Giuliani' sailed for France in a cargo configuration as UIT-23 on 15 February 1944 and was torpedoed three days later by 'HMS Tally-Ho'.
Japanese submarine I-52 sailed for France in a cargo configuration on 23 April 1944 with a cargo including two tons of gold and was sunk by Grumman TBF Avengers from 'USS Bogue' on 23 June 1944.
- U-183 sailed on 17 May 1944 and sank one ship before returning to Penang on 7 July.
- U-1062 sailed for France in a cargo configuration on 6 July 1944 and was sunk in the Atlantic on 5 October.
- U-168 sailed 4 October 1944 and was torpedoed two days later by 'HMNLS Zwaardvisch'.
- U-181 sailed 19 October 1944 and sank one ship before returning to Jakarta on 5 January 1945.
- U-537 sailed 8 November 1944 and was torpedoed the following day by 'USS Flounder'.
- U-196 sailed 11 November 1944 and disappeared while traversing an allied minefield.
- U-862 sailed 18 November 1944 and sank two ships in the only German U-Boat Pacific patrol of the war before returning to Jakarta on 15 February 1945. The ships sunk were the 'Robert J Walker' on 25 December 1944 and the 'Peter Sylvester' on 5 February 1945 near Fremantle.
- U-843 sailed for Norway on 10 December 1944 and was sunk in the Kattegat by RAF Mosquitoes on 2 April 1945.
- U-510 sailed for Norway with 150 tons of tungsten, tin, rubber, molybdenum and caffeine on 6 January 1945; and sank the 7,100-ton Canadian freighter 'SS Point Pleasant Park' before surrendering in France.
- U-532 sailed for Norway on 13 January 1945 with a cargo of 110 tons of tin, eight tons of tungsten, eight tons of rubber, four tons of molybdenum and smaller quantities of selenium, quinine, and crystals. The type IXC40 boat sank the 3,400-ton British freighter 'Baron Jedburgh' and the 9,300-ton American tanker 'Oklahoma'; and surrendered at Liverpool when the war was over.
- U-861 sailed 14 January 1945 with 144 tons of tungsten, iodine, tin, and rubber; and arrived in Norway on 18 April.
- U-195 sailed for Norway in an oiler configuration on 17 January 1945 but returned to Jakarta on 3 March after experiencing engine trouble.
- U-183 sailed on 24 April 1945 and was torpedoed two days later by 'USS Besugo'.

Hitler Escape Story
The Sun [Sydney, NSW]
18 September 1944

LONDON — A. specially built U-Boat is waiting in a heavily guarded pen at the former Polish port of Gdynia for the use of Hitler and other high Nazis if Germany collapses. This was disclosed by a Staff officer in East Prussia to a member of the Finnish Military Mission. The submarine would be capable of voyaging non-stop to Japan. Commander is Lieut. Lüth, one of the greatest heroes of the German navy.
  

Special Submarine Ready for Hitler's Escape
Army News [Darwin, NT] 
21 September 1944 

The Stockholm correspondent of the "New York Times" says that after the Nazi defeat, Hitler will make a getaway in a passenger submarine specially built for the purpose and able to cover 20,000 miles without refuelling. According to an official report containing the observations of three people who have been in Germany in official capacities on behalf of Finland, a nation which has since broken with the Reich, and who had access to information not available even to diplomats and military attaches, a 1200 ton submarine has been built at a Gdynia shipyard and placed under the command of Germany's submarine hero, Lieutenant Lüth.

Every worker engaged on building the sumptuously fitted out U-Boat has been sworn to secrecy and kept from contact with the outside world, being made to live in the yard, where they are still interned.  The range of the submarine suggests that Japan is the immediate goal, with perhaps intermediate stops at the Argentine and out of the way ports. Hitler is expected to take vast quantities of gold to pay expenses.

Kapitän zur See [Captain] Wolfgang August Eugen Lüth, was the second most successful German U-Boat ace of World War II. His career record of 46 merchant ships plus the French submarine 'Doris' sunk during 15 war patrols, with a total displacement of 225,204 gross register tons [GRT], was second only to that of Korvettenkapitän [Lieutenant Commander] Otto Kretschmer, whose 47 sinkings totaled 273.043 GRT.

Lüth joined the Reichsmarine in 1933. After a period of training on surface vessels, he transferred to the U-Boat service in 1936. In December 1939 he received command of U-9, which he took on six war-patrols. In June 1940 he took command of U-138 for two patrols. In October 1940 he transferred again, this time to the ocean-going submarine U-43 for five war-patrols. After two patrols on U-181, the second being his longest of the war, he was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds, on 13 November 1942. He was the first of two U-Boat commanders to be so honored during World War II, the other recipient being Albrecht Brandi.

After five years of operational U-Boat service, including 15 war-patrols and over 600 days at sea, Lüth took command of 22nd U-Boat Flotilla stationed at Gotenhafen in January 1944. This was a training unit for U-Boat commanders. In July 1944 he took command of the 1st Department of the Naval Academy Mürwik in Flensburg. He was promoted to Fregattenkapitän [commander] on 1 August 1944 and became the commander of the entire academy in September. He was promoted to Kapitän zur See [captain] on 1 September 1944.

The British forces occupied Flensburg on 5 May 1945; initially, nothing changed in the daily routine at the Mürwik Naval Academy. Returning drunk in the night of 13/14 May 1945, Lüth failed to respond to the sentry's challenge and was shot in the head by 18-year-old seaman Mathias Gottlob, a German guard. The officer in charge immediately reported the incident, contacting Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz. Dönitz's adjutant, who had accepted the call, initially thought that it was a bad joke. He then called Lüth's brother, Joachim, as the two siblings had been staying together. It was he who informed Lüth's wife and their four children that Lüth had died.

Dönitz contacted the British commander of the city of Flensburg, asking him for permission to conduct a formal state funeral, which was approved. That funeral, the last such of the Third Reich, was held on 16 May 1945 with Dönitz, Adolf Hitler's successor as Head of State, delivering the eulogy. In advance, Dönitz had ordered a board of inquiry and court martial to clarify the circumstances of the shooting. During the court martial, Gottlob stated that, in accordance with his orders, he had asked for the password three times without receiving a response from the person, whom he could not visually identify in the darkness. Without aiming he had fired his rifle from the hip. The chain of events was confirmed by the watch leader. The court ruled that Gottlob was not guilty and cleared him of any fault. 

 

Nazi Secret Weapons: The Rocket U-Boat?
David Meyer
4 April 2013

Throughout World War II, the Nazis sought to build long-range, secret weapons [such as the Amerika-Bomber and the Sun Gun].

The Nazi Sun Gun: Death from Above?
David Meyer
3 April 2013

Nazi Germany created many unusual, horrific weapons during World War II. One incredible weapon, however, failed to materialize. What was the Nazi Sun Gun?

In 1929, a German physicist named Hermann Oberth wrote "Wege zur Raumschiffahrt" [Ways to Spaceflight]. The book described Oberth’s vision of a manned orbital space station created from prefabricated parts. He also described a way to create electricity using a 100-meter wide concave mirror. The idea was to concentrate sunlight onto a single area and use steam turbines to convert the heat energy.

While Oberth’s mirror was designed to create useful energy, Nazi scientists saw another use for it. Namely, an orbital weapon called 'Sonnengewehr'…or Sun Gun.

Plans for the Sun Gun were worked out by Nazi scientists at Hillersleben. They proposed creating a giant three-kilometer square mirror out of metallic sodium. Then they wanted to break it apart and launch the individual pieces into an orbit of 8,200 kilometers. In order to do this, the Nazi scientists hoped to use the Aggregate A-11.

The A-11 was a multistage rocket intended to deliver people and/or small payloads into low Earth orbit. At the time, it was being designed by Wernher von Braun [who later became chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle via Operation Paperclip, which helped land Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on the moon].

Oberth’s original plan was to send an unmanned rocket into space, containing six long cables. These cables would then unreel themselves, eventually covering a vast area. Nazi astronauts would then fly into space and attach pieces of the giant movable mirror to the cables.

According to "Life", Nazi astronauts would live inside the rocket, using large greenhouses to maintain fresh oxygen. They would remain in space, waiting for orders from radio or wireless telegraph. Upon receiving orders to attack, they would use rocket thrusters to move the mirror into position. The mirror would focus the sunlight, causing incredible devastation in the process.

Fortunately, the Sun Gun never went past the theoretical stage. In fact, newspaper articles from 1945 say it would have taken 50 to 100 years to harness the sun’s energy in this fashion. However, Oberth disagreed, claiming it would take just 10 to 15 years. Oberth admitted the original mirror’s design might not have worked. However, he came to believe that a larger mirror would’ve done the trick.

“If the mirror were double the size mentioned, however, the irradiation would be four times as strong, and so on. The temperature on the surface irradiated by the double-sized mirror would be 200° C (392° F)".

-– Hermann Oberth, "Man into Space" [1957]

In 1941, this desire led Nazi scientists to research the Rocket U-Boat. They hoped such a U-boat could travel across the globe, targeting cities on distant continents. In 1942, scientists developed and tested the first Rocket U-Boat. It was relatively simple, just a few rocket launchers mounted on the U-511’s deck. The test was a mixed bag. On one hand, the missiles fired just fine at depths of up to 12 meters. However, the lack of a guidance system rendered the missiles useless.

In 1943, Nazi scientists developed another secret weapon known as the V-1 flying bomb, an early predecessor to the cruise missile. It had a range of 160 miles. Paired with a U-Boat, it would be capable of long-distance strikes on any city in the world. However, the Nazi Luftwaffe showed little interest in helping to create the Rocket U-Boat, probably due to inter-service rivalry.

That same year, Nazi scientists developed another secret weapon known as the V-2 rocket. The V-2 was the world’s first long-range combat ballistic missile as well as the first rocket to achieve sub-orbital spaceflight. It had a range of 200 miles. Again, this seemed like the perfect fit for a Rocket U-Boat. And in late 1944, resources were finally allocated to it under Project Prüfstand XII. The target of the Rocket U-Boat?

New York.

The V-2 was much larger than the V-1 flying bomb. In fact, it was too large for any existing Nazi U-Boat. Undeterred, Nazi scientists developed a 500-ton specially-constructed container for the V-2. The plan was to have a U-Boat tow it across the Atlantic Ocean. Then sailors would flood the ballast tanks, causing the rocket to shift into a vertical position. Afterward, the sailors would fuel the rocket, prepare the guidance system, and aim it at New York.

The Nazis ordered three of these containers. At least one was actually built. It is unknown if this container was ever tested in any fashion.

The Americans were well-aware of Nazi attempts to build a Rocket U-Boat secret weapon and prepared a contingency plan known as 'Operation Teardrop'. In March 1945, six Nazi U-Boats approached America. The U.S. launched Operation Teardrop and ended up destroying the four of the boats. It was later determined that none of these were Rocket U-Boats.

But that doesn’t mean the Rocket U-Boat was never launched. In February 1945, the U-1053 was carrying out diving trials off the coast of Norway. With all sides closing in on Nazi Germany, this seems like an odd time to worry about diving trials. Some historians think the U-1053 may have had an ulterior purpose, perhaps to test out a Rocket U-Boat system.

The U-1053, a Typ VIIC U-Boat, left Bergen, Norway on 15 February 1945 and arrived the same day in the North Sea in the Byfjord, North-West of Bergen. She was there on a diving trial, after an overhaul in the naval yard at Bergen, the submarine was forced to carry out her diving trials in the Byfjord. There were 38 crew members on board including the commander and 7 Norwegian engineers and foremen from the naval yard.

The U-1053 dived normally, but after this first dive there must have been an accident aboard. When the submarine surfaced, her bow suddenly stuck up into the air at a steep angle and the submarine sank quickly in the sea stern first. Other boats came to the scene and even heard knocking from the inside of the submarine from the trapped crew. The submarine sank to a depth of 340 metres [1,120 ft] taken all 45 crew, engineers and foremen with her. The accident was probably a result of an operational error at the Schnorchel facility, but sabotage was also suspected.

The wreck of U-1053 was located on 18 March 2010 and her discovery was announced by the Norwegian Navy. The wreck is broken up into several pieces which indicates that the submarine hit the sea floor at a high speed.

 

Japanese Navy Orders Subs for Last Supper
 
In April of 1945, the Second World War was winding down in both the European and Pacific theaters, but there was plenty of bloodshed left in both areas. 

Way out west, the Battle of Okinawa, commenced in the quiet Easter morning of 1 April, was now turning into the true fight-to-the-death for which Japanese encounters had become known. 

Back in the battered, blasted, and bombed-out remnants of Germany, the Russian armies were extracting four years of pent-up revenge against their enemy in the streets of Berlin.  For Germany, it was only a matter of time.  For Japan, it was much the same.

These two "partners in war" never really partnered at all during the war. The Indian Ocean was the only place where German and Japanese forces fought in the same theatre.


A major Japanese submarine base during WWII, Penang
- in what is now Malaysia - was one of those few places in the world that saw German, Italian and Japanese boats moored together on a fairly regular basis.

In this little imaginary scene,  a crew member from a recently arrived Type IX U-Boat is invited aboard a Japanese "B"- type boat to sample the Japanese tipple of choice. In the background, a "C3" class I-Boat sits, dwarfing its German ally.

Part of the reasoning is obvious. Japan’s interests were in the Pacific, Germany’s lay in Eastern and Western Europe. In between were thousands of miles keeping things separate.  But even over the distances, the two could have attempted to co-ordinate attacks, worked to stretch their enemies more thinly, or something....anything.... 

Germany was most concerned that the United States would enter the war on behalf of England before Germany could finish building her own planned blue- water navy. One way to handle this possibility was to find an ally who already had a navy strong enough to cope with the United States. The obvious candidate was Japan.

The Germans had initiated their naval preparations for war against Great Britain in 1935, even before signing the Anglo-German Naval Agreement in the summer of that year. In 1937, once the weapons systems they believed were needed for war against France and England were being produced, Hitler had ordered the initiation of an armaments program for the war against the United States that was expected to follow the rapid and easy defeat of the USSR. A central part of the preparations for war against the United States was the construction of a blue-water navy. In German eyes, the United States was a weak power incapable of serious military effort, but it had a large navy and was far away. The issue of distance was to be solved by the development and production of intercontinental bombers, which were ordered in 1937.

There were several ways for the Germans to cope with the problem presented by the American navy. One was for the Germans to build their own. Construction on the first super-battleships that could destroy American warships before coming within range of their guns –a concept independently chosen by the Japanese and by Stalin– was initiated in early 1939. The unleashing of hostilities in September of 1939 put a hold on these projects.

In the summers of both 1940 and 1941, Berlin’s first reaction to its belief that the current set of hostilities had been successfully concluded was the resumption of construction of the ships designed for war with the United States. However, the actual subsequent course of events obliged the Germans to halt construction of battleships, aircraft carriers, and other big warships and instead to concentrate armament production on the immediate needs of combat. Another possible solution was that of destroying the American navy in its bases and ports by a co-ordinated peacetime assault by German submarines. In March 1941 the German navy’s investigation of such a project concluded that it was impossible.

This made closer naval relations with Japan necessary. The Japanese hoped to take advantage of the German defeat of The Netherlands and France and the threatened situation of Britain to seize the colonial possessions of those countries in the South Pacific, as well as in South and Southeast Asia. The Germans, who had earlier in the war unsuccessfully attempted to purchase submarines from Japan, urged the Japanese forward to expand their war with China. When informed by the Japanese that such a move, especially before the Americans left the Philippines in 1946 as then planned by Washington, meant war with the United States as well, the Germans enthusiastically promised that they would immediately join Japan in such hostilities. Here was the obvious way out of their dilemma, and the German Navy joined Hitler’s efforts to convince the Japanese of the wisdom of such a move while simultaneously observing anxiously any and all signs of Japanese hesitation and negotiations with Washington.

Tokyo did not inform the Germans of its plans but was reassured by Germany and Italy just before attacking Pearl Harbor that they would support the attack. Earlier, when Japan was still neutral, the Japanese had provided a little support for German ships involved in commerce raiding in the Pacific, but now the opportunity for serious wartime cooperation theoretically existed. There was even a Tripartite Commission established to meet in Berlin. Just as the Japanese decision to attack the Western Powers was a product of their faith in German victory, so too the Germans believed that the Japanese would tie down the United States in the Pacific and keep it from providing substantial assistance of any kind to Britain and the Soviet Union. However, in the face of these obvious incentives and opportunities for close coordination of their naval efforts, why did nothing of the sort ever evolve?

Several factors played a role in the refusal, not inability, of Germany and Japan to coordinate their naval efforts. In the first place, the initial victories of the Japanese blinded them to the derivative character of their spectacular advances. Because these advances were in fact carried out by their own armed forces, it appears never to have occurred to anyone in Tokyo that their conquest of Malaya, to cite an outstanding example, was actually the product of two factors related to Germany’s military efforts rather than their own. The British had sent to the Middle East, to halt the Axis advance there, the reinforcements that might have halted the Japanese in Malaya, and they had sent to the USSR much of the equipment that the British forces defending that colony lacked.

The absolute priority that Japan should have assigned to meeting the Germans in the Middle East by a thrust across the Indian Ocean, therefore, did not begin to receive their serious consideration until it was too late. By that time, in early 1943, their prior concentration first on the disastrous effort to strike toward Australia and Hawaii, and then on countering the American offensive into the central Solomon Islands at Guadalcanal, had forced them to miss their chance.

The Red Army had held the Germans in the Caucasus and had crushed them at Stalingrad; the British Eighth Army had stopped the Axis powers at Alamein and pushed them back into Libya; and the combined American–British landings in French Northwest Africa had pushed the German and Italian forces in Tunisia into a hopeless position. There would follow endless discussions of a meeting between the Axis powers, but whatever opportunity there had ever existed was already gone.

Second, in spite of Japan’s participation in the Allied anti-submarine campaign in World War I, the Japanese never grasped the significance of submarine warfare against merchant shipping. They failed to understand that their conquest of the oil wells, tin mines, and rubber plantations in Southeast Asia would not move the wells, mines, or plantations to the Japanese home islands, but instead only meant that the products would have to be shipped home in their own vessels, which were vulnerable to American, British, and Dutch submarines.

Similarly, in their emphasis on the role of their own submarines as parts of operations against Allied naval units, the Japanese never truly grasped the significance of the German submarine campaign against Allied shipping. The constant attempts of the Germans to get the Tokyo authorities to understand this issue were fruitless in the years before Japan’s submarines were increasingly shifted from the supposedly more heroic direct naval war to the even less heroic role of carrying ammunition, medical supplies, and other goods to Japanese garrisons isolated by the American strategy of by-passing those islands seized in the initial Japanese offensives. The German effort to provide a substitute for a concerted campaign against Allied shipping by the dispatch of German submarines to bases provided by the Japanese on the Indian Ocean coast of Malaya did lead to some sinking of Allied ships, but was basically a misallocation of scarce Axis resources.

Ironically, after the Germans had given the Japanese a couple of their own submarines, the Japanese asked the Germans to send their remaining submarines to Japan in early 1945 rather than surrender them to the Allies. There was, however, no fuel for such trips or the subsequent employment of any submarines that might have made it had the German leadership been willing to consider such a project. The Japanese did take over a few Italian submarines for their own use, but such last minute activities could not have had any substantial effect on the outcome of the war.

From the German side, there was an astonishing degree of ignorance and inattention. Hitler was willing to agree to the Japanese request that Asia be divided between the two at the 70th degree of longitude against his military advisers’ advice, who wanted more of Siberia for Germany, but neither he nor his staff ever paid much attention to the fighting in the Pacific and Indian Ocean areas. Of course, had the Germans been more interested, the Japanese would not have made things easy for them; in fact, they provided their ally with misleading information. A striking example is that the Germans learned that the Japanese had lost, not won, the battle of Midway only when the Japanese in vain asked to purchase the unfinished German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin to tow to the Pacific.

Certainly an additional fact that made concerted coalition strategy unlikely was that in both Germany and Japan the respective army and navy command structures were never able to agree on strategic priorities in the years 1941–42 when the two powers still held the initiative. In Germany, the army invariably concentrated on the fighting on the Eastern Front and looked with doubt and even horror at the navy leadership’s interest in meeting with the Japanese. In Japan, the army and navy went their own way, and there was no prospect of their combining forces to invade India in 1942 when the conquest of Burma first offered that possibility and at a time when there was serious unrest in that largest portion of the British Empire.

The steady refusal of the Germans to agree to Japanese urgings, beginning in the fall of 1941, that Germany make peace with the USSR and concentrate on fighting the Western Allies, particularly in the Mediterranean, made for friction at the highest levels. Similarly, the unwillingness of the Japanese to interfere with the flow of American supplies to the USSR’s Far Eastern ports, lest the Soviets provide the United States with air bases for attacking the home islands, provided the basis for additional troubles between Tokyo and Berlin.

Although the Japanese did provide the Germans with support for their submarines at bases in Malaya, whether this project, which necessitated very lengthy journeys from Europe and substantial losses along the way, was really a cost-effective employment of limited German naval resources is difficult to say. In spite of even greater losses, the efforts to break the Allied blockade by sending first surface ships and subsequently submarines with cargoes from Europe to East Asia and the other way almost certainly proved a more useful form of naval cooperation, especially for Germany. Because Germany’s synthetic rubber program required a tiny percentage of natural rubber, the small quantities that actually arrived at German-controlled French ports were of real significance. This was also true of some of the other materials transported in this fashion. On the other hand, the technical information and equipment, such as samples of new German weapons, which were provided to the Japanese, arrived too late for the latter to take advantage of the knowledge and examples provided.

As the war continued, Germany attacked its main ally the USSR, and its naval relations with both Spain and Italy deteriorated. Throughout the years 1943 and 1944, coalition discussions between German and Japanese diplomats and military representatives continued with no discernible improvement. The Germans could no longer contemplate even a theoretical advance into the Middle East, and Hitler was under no circumstances willing to listen to Japanese – or for that matter Italian – advice to make peace with the USSR.

As the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic definitively turned against the Germans in 1943, their hopes of recruiting the Japanese into a role in the campaign against Allied shipping were no more effective than earlier. In view of Japan’s hopes of continued Soviet neutrality in the Pacific War, slowly turning to the further hope of Soviet intervention on their own side against the Western Powers, the Japanese were not about to do anything to interfere with the stream of American aid, of which fully half was being sent to the Soviet Far East.

Karl Dönitz, the new commander of the German navy who had replaced Räder early in 1943, looked in the last weeks of the war into a future in which Germany would once again build a large surface fleet. He wanted to send to Japan a group of naval engineering officers who were to study major Japanese warships on the assumption that these were of a superior quality. No one had informed him that most of the ships he wanted studied and copied were already at the bottom of the ocean. The project was never implemented, but its almost lunatic character surely provides a fitting conclusion to the absolute failure of German–Japanese naval cooperation.

Of course, by the time both Germany and Japan were fully engaged, both Russia and the United States were fully engaged as well, and there was no way Germany and Japan could match the war-making capabilities of either foe.  Each of the Axis powers couldn’t handle its own main enemy, much less give thought to really assisting in another theater.

It is against this backdrop in Berlin on 15 April 1945, amid the fire and bombs and slaughter, that Japanese Vice-Admiral Katsuo Abe was granted a meeting with German Admiral Karl Dönitz - finally granted, since he and other emissaries had been trying to interview members of the German High Command for a while.  And when Abe entered Dönitz’s presence, he finally asked about co-ordinating some attacks.

Vice Admiral Abe begged his German counterpart to send the surviving German fleet to Japan so it could be used in the Pacific against America.  At first glance, it’s not so unreasonable a request.  Germany’s days of fleet actions were finished.  She did not even have enough ammunition for all the guns defending Berlin, and ships and U-Boats couldn’t defend the Chancellary.  But from the German point of view, Abe was basically saying, “You guys are toast, give us your goodies so we can delay our own defeat a bit longer".  The response from Dönitz was predictable and emphatic.  Abe tried his luck with Ribbentrop and Keitel a couple of days later, but was again flatly refused.  The Japanese Admiral persisted and tried to meet with Hitler, but the dictator was too busy playing with pretend armies on his maps deep in his Bunker and refused to even grant Abe an audience.

So two countries that now had no chance of victory gave up their last chance to work together.  And based on how they had carried out the war to that point, it was fitting.



Hitler Refused Jap Request for U-Boats

Queensland Times [Ipswich]
18 May 1945

LONDON: The Japanese tried to get the German U-Boat fleet just before the end came in Berlin, but Hitler turned down the appeal.

This was stated by Hitler's confldential typist, Gerhardt Herrgesell, in a further interview with the British "United Press" representatlve at Obersalzburg.

Herrgesell said he took notes of the conference at which Admiral Dönitz submitted the Japanese proposal to Hitler during the first part of April that the U-Boats sail for Japan and Japanese-controlled ports when it became impossible for them to operate from German or German-controlled ports.

"Dönitz," he added, "told Oshima that Germany intended to continue fighting, and would be using the U-Boats. to Toklo".

Apparently after reporting this Oshima asked for an interview with Hitler, but events in Berlin moved so fast that he and his Embassy staff had left Berlin before the interview could be arranged. Dönitz therefore presented a renewed appeal to Hitler on Oshlma's behalf.

Hitler replied:

"It is out of the question. We shall continue to fight on land and sea and in the air".

Japan To Avenge Hitler
The North Western Courier [Narrabri, NSW]
10 May 1945

Tokio radio states that the Japan ese Premier [Baron Suzuki], in a broadcast, expressed profound sympathy for Hitler's death. He said it greatly increased Japan's responsibility to win the war for the Axis.

"Such a severe reversal in Europe cannot change our course, nor shake the faith of our people who are continuing a new order of prosperity, not only in the East, but throughout the entire wide world".

He concluded:

"We are fully prepared to avenge the fallen heroes Hitler and Mussolini".

 

WW2 Nazi U-Boat Washes Up Off Coast of Argentina After 70 Years
by Bob Flanagan
7 November 2015

LAS GRUTAS: What is believed by experts to be the wreck of a World War 2 Nazi submarine has been found washed up off the coast of Argentina this week by a group of Norwegian tourists. The group of unsuspecting tourists were astounded to discover the remains of the 70-year old submarine on a deserted beach during a two-week bike trek tour of Argentina’s East coast shoreline.

Experts believe the wreck to be the remnants of a German U-Boat [Unterseeboot, literally “undersea boat”] which was likely washed ashore after violent undersea currents washed up the WW2 submarine during the magnitude 8.3 earthquake that shook Chile last September.

The discovery of a German U-Boat in Argentinian waters, the farthest of any known WW2 German submarine wreck ever found, is already exciting the imagination of WW2 historians who believe many Nazi high ranking officials might have used this kind of transport to flee Germany after the defeat of the Axis powers in 1945.

WW2 Historian Fernando Martin Gomez and professor at University of Buenos Aires believes the 70-year old submarine might have been washed up by heavy underwater currents during the magnitude 8.3 earthquake that took Chile by storm last September

A historical discovery

“This is very unexpected” admits Gomez. “Not only is it exceptional to find such a wreck in such good a state after 70-years but I believe we also have to deal here with a very peculiar kind of German submarine, the Seehund [literally “seal”], a particular class of midget German submarine which might have been used for the sole purpose of bringing Nazi officials to South America at the end of the war” he told the "Buenos Aires Times".

“What we have here is proof of German troops landing on Argentinian soil during WW2″  he explained.

“We estimate that at least 5,000 Nazis fled to Argentina after the war. But this kind of military vessel must have been used only for a distinct few, possibly for top ranking officials of the Nazi organization".

Nazis in South America

It is estimated that over 9,000 Nazi war criminals fled to South America in the aftermath of the Second World War, finding refuge in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, countries that had stayed neutral during the conflict.

Professor of History at University of Oxford, Winston H. Hollinger, entertains the possibility that Hitler and high ranking Nazi officials might have used such a vessel to escape to South America

"The data clearly shows a large number of German high officials fled to South America after the end of the war. The idea that Hitler fled to South America is only now being more and more accepted by academic scholars," explains professor of History at University of Oxford, Winston H. Hollinger. "Declassified FBI files and the arrest of Herman Freudenstadt in 1987 clearly lead towards this possibility,"” acknowledges the expert.

Herman Freudenstadt, a former German Hauptsturmführer [Captain] in the SS police force and childhood friend of Hitler, was arrested in Argentina in 1987 and convicted for war crimes in Italy.

His court statements still, to this day, cause much consternation amongst scholars after he claimed at the time to have fled with Hitler to South America in a submarine composed of a small crew of which a number of unnamed high ranking Nazi officials were allegedly part of, a story that created a media frenzy at the time but was dismissed by specialists.

"The discovery of this U-Boat could lead some credence to the court statements of Herman Freudenstadt," admits professor Hollinger.

 

The rumours were fuelled by a declassified report written by an FBI informer in mid-1945.

The writer made mention of a submarine discharging passengers at Caleta de los Lobos, and being met by a team of Germans with many pack-horses. After spending a noisy night at San Antonio Oeste, they rode off westwards into the sunrise and nothing further was heard of any of them. The dates were all screwed up and the whole thing was hearsay and complete nonsense.

Nevertheless it gave rise to all manner of assertions, and in 1997/1999 the Argentine Navy even went so far as to fund a diving operation to look for a Type XXI believed to lie close inshore and which had been seen from the air by a private flier. Nothing was found, although Patrick Burnside produced the photograph of a mooring peg which was alleged to be similar to that fitted to a Type XXI. Unfortunately this particular Type XXI must have been constructed from very poor steel, for the wreck to which this peg was attached had virtually disintegrated and could not be photographed.

In 2003 the Argentine navy, a team from Trondheim University and the BBC was involved in the search for a Type IXC/40 believed to lie north of the Valdez Peninsula but nothing was found.

Wilfred von Oven (1915-2008), the Press adjutant to Göbbels 1943-1945 who spent the remainder of his life in Buenos Aires, once stated to an interviewer here that "only three U-boats besides U-530 and U-977 came to Argentina to unload postwar".

Professor Frederik Soreide of the Norwegian Institute of Technology and Science, Trondheim, is an experienced investigator in the hunt for Patagonian U-Boats. In the late 1990s he came into possession of a message sent in July 1945 from Argentina to a Kriegsmarine officer in Trondheim. 

This message led him to believe that three U-Boats had come down to Argentina in the month of July 1945 to unload.

The first of the three was a Type IXC-40 "Black Boat" which had been depth-charged on 18 July 1945 in the roadstead at San Antonio Oeste, Golfo San Matías. Seriously damaged, the U-Boat made for Punto Quiroga at the entrance to Golfo San Jorge located on the south end of Golfo San Matías, but sank in 80 metres. All the crew escaped.

The message suggested that the other two boats were Type XXI submarines which had unloaded successfully near Necochea, Buenos Aires province, on the night of 28 July 1945.

The first reference to the disembarkation location appeared in a UP report in London on  28 July which reported several men coming ashore in a rubber dinghy at Punta Negra near Necochea. 

The Argentina Navy knows far more than it is prepared to admit about these latter two U-Boats: from a declassified document one infers they were certainly aware of the identities of those who crewed them.

Hunting for Nazi submarines in Argentina
By Nina E. Tveter

Last year, the president of Argentina, Carlos Menem, set up a committee to look into this matter. The Argentinian newspaper which received the letters, "Ambito Financiero", has also been heavily involved in the search for the wrecked submarines. The country lacks the expertise involved in submarine exploration, and thus last year the Argentinian newspaper contacted researchers at NTNU, partly because they have a wide experience in locating wrecks and interpreting sonar diagrams, and partly because NTNU is already collaborating with the University of Rosario on other projects.

In November 1998, Fredrik Søreide, a post-doc researcher, and Morten Kvamme, senior engineer from the Department of Marine Systems Design carried out the first underwater search for the submarines together with Associate Professor Marek E. Jasinski from the Department of Archaeology.

Sonar revealed submarine structures - 20 metres below the water surface. Argentinian divers went down, but unfortunately the structures turned out to be only black sandstone. But sandstone samples were taken in case they should contain traces of rust.

The researchers from NTNU also hoped to locate other historic shipwrecks in the area, and even though no submarines could be found, the search led to the discovery of a frigate which probably dates from the 18th century.

Even though they did not confirm the myth about the submarines on this occasion, the NTNU scientists hope to conduct more underwater searches off the coast of Argentina in the near future. In the meantime, reporters from the newspaper which is hiring the NTNU researchers, are trying to locate the German submarine commanders. They will also examine more closely reports concerning the observation of submarines.

Since the turn of the century, Germany had designs on Patagonia. In the 1930s, it was a standing joke in Argentine political circles that Hitler knew more about Patagonia than Buenos Aires did.

In the early months of 1945, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay all signed a document engineered by the Allies, probably by financial inducement, that they would mobilize and cooperate and provide all means necessary to the common global objective of destroying National Socialism. The total contribution of all three in the naval arena was the eight depth charges dropped on U-977 on 18 July 1945. Meanwhile arrangements were being made with Germany their supposed enemy to accept any war criminal, the wealth of the Third Reich, land purchase money-laundering arrangements and to allow certain advanced technologies to be pursued inland, and there is no doubt whatever that this occurred. The wealth and the technological transfer could only have been achieved by sea.

Ladislas Farago has written books alleging a secret Black fleet of U-Boats operated to Argentina by the SS. Postwar Argentine naval archives support this claim as does the book called "The Nazi Menace in Argentina, 1931-1947", by Ronald Newton. Farago refers to U-Boats prior to Normandy using a bay near Cadiz and claimed that cargoes were shipped by road through Spain. In essence that this was a money laundering operation to flood the Bank of England with fake pound notes through Argentine banks. Frederico Schwend who operated this Nazi counterfeit ring settled in Peru after the war with assistance from Banchero Rossi of the Caritas aid agency.

Argentine Navy intelligence service special investigator Niceforo Alarcon submitted a report 18 April 1945 about U-Boat landings. It was entitled "German disembarkation at San Clemente del Tuyu and submitted to the Ministry of the Navy. A copy exists at Coordinacion Federal numbered CF-OP-2315.

The report pinpointed Argentine Navy Lt Rudolf Freude and Eva Duarte [Eva Peron] as principal activists in the U-Boat landings. It related to landings at a secluded spot in Samborombon Bay off Punta Norte near the village of San Clemente del Tuyu. It referred to the latest shipment being number 1744. Shipments began August 1942 and occurred at intervals of 6-8 weeks during 1943-44. Administrative support for these missions seems to have been through the 28th U-boat training flotilla at Bornholm in the Baltic after Normandy landings whilst control in Spain was through Gen Kurt Gross of Sicherheitsdienst Amt VI-D-4.

Bormann through Ernst Kaltenbrunner controlled Operation Bernhard to forge British and US currency. Laundering of the currency and gold landed by U-boat was performed by Heinrich Dörge Central Bank of Argentina and Bormann's comptroller Ricardo von Leute at Banco Aleman Transatlantico. Accounts were opened in the name of Eva Duarte. 

U-Boats were loaded at a secret base near Cadiz. Unloading was supervised apparently by former 'Graf Spee' officers Fkapt Paul Ascher and Lt Heinrich Kummer.

On 22 May 1944 General Faupel acting in Argentina for Bormann wrote to him referring to two reports. One from von Leute and the other from Argentine General Pistarini about growing difficulties. Bormann responded with advice to commandeer two long range aircraft from Adolf Galland Luftwaffe. Bormann referred to FW200 Condors, but it is quite feasible I/KG200 provided Junkers Ju-290 aircraft. Shortly afterwards the Normandy landings prevented overland road shipments of gold bullion to Cadiz.

At Cordoba, Maj Gen Hans Steudmann under the alias Pedro Gassman built an airfield to accept direct Ju-290 flights from Spain in 1945.  

In 1945, Villa Gesell, now a populous holiday resort, was no more than a plot of land with a few houses under construction amongst the sand dunes. The entrepreneur was a person of German origin, Carlos Gesell. The first residents of Villa Gesell were Germans. Numbered amongst them were three former 'Admiral Graf Spee' internees, Stock, Negus and Schwalbe.  

In August 1945 an FBI radiogram from Buenos Aires stated: "Local Press reports indicate provincial police department raided German colony located Villa Gesell looking for individuals who possibly entered Argentina clandestinely by U-boat and during search a short-wave transmitter/receiver was discovered. Other premises near beach were searched by authorities but no arrests made".

There is a declassified Argentine archive document mentioning the shuttle service run by a single U-Boat on a two monthly basis between Rota in Spain and San Clemente del Tuyu, the village nearest Cape Antonio lighthouse on the headland marking the chart boundary between the River Plate on its southern extremity and the South Atlantic. Local historians at Villa Gesell have identified the remains of a shed with a railway leading to the sea which is believed to have been used by a large motor sailing yacht used to rendezvous with U-Boats and bring ashore passengers and goods.

In the late 1960s a beach development near the Calle Buenos Aires at Villa Gesell uncovered a railway track leading from the sea through a 50-metre long shed alongside the house of Carlos Gesell. According to architect Jorge Castro, the track ended at the back garden of a German mechanic who specialized in Diesels. Castro was of the opinion that the purpose of the railway was as a kind of "dry dock" for U-boats.

In his autobiographical text published in the journal "Yacht Club Argentino" (No 87, June 1998) Argentine naval captain Atilio Porretti stated:

"On 2 June 1910 the freighter 'Victoria' transporting a cargo of rails sank in the mouth of the Tres Arroyos river near the abandoned village of Cristiano Muerto. During the Second World War a German company acquired the rights to the cargo and laid the rails along a low mole they had built. A large radio mast was erected and they began to buy in huge quantities of provisions. It became common gossip what they were up to. The centre of the activities was a large farm owned by Germans. It was patrolled by an armed guard day and night. Occasionally lights would be seen from the sea and small boats would make trips to and from the mole. Near the San Antonio lighthouse are the remains of four wireless masts similar to that at Cristiano Muerto".

Journalist Martin Malharro reported the discovery of a fuel dump under sand dunes at Villa Gesell:

"At the end of the 1960s during the removal of sand dunes for development work a kind of "Bunker" was found containing 200-litre barrels of fuel and submarine parts". 

"Six kms south of the Quarandi lighthouse, 100 metres inshore amongst the dunes, are the remains of a 4-metre square concrete box with a tin roof. The only access to it is up from the beach. Until a few years ago evidence existed indicating that this had been some kind of clandestine signals station for signaling to vessels at sea".  

Six kms further south of this Bunker and 80 metres inshore amongst the dunes are two platforms made from a smooth stone not local to the region. Their purpose is unknown but they might have been used as unloading platforms for boats.  

In 1945, various persons of German ancestry were arrested at San Clemente del Tuyu and Necochea and under interrogation admitted exchanging signals with U-Boats. For various reasons no charges were laid.

The CEANA enquiry of 1952 took depositions from two former 'Admiral Graf Spee' internees who had absconded from internment in 1941 and had worked secretly for the German secret service subsequently. These men were Rudolf Dettelmann and Alfred Schultz. They stated that on or about 28 July 1945 two U-Boats unloaded. On the orders of FKpt Kay, First Officer of 'Admiral Graf Spee', they had been taken previously to a ranch owned by the Lahusen company. They were present at the unloading of many boxes taken into the same ranch and shipped out in eight lorries. Later 80 persons came ashore in rubber dinghies. A third CEANA witness, former 'Admiral Graf Spee'" man Will Brennecke stated that the ranch was near Necochea, one of the Lahusen chain which was not monitored by the Commission of Vigilance over Enemy Property. 

Three U-boats came down to Argentina and unloaded cargo: U-977, U-235 and one other.

Here is the story of U-235, a "Black Boat".

1. U-235, a VIIC boat,  had been a training boat in the Baltic until 2 April 1945 when she was transferred to 31.U-Flotilla as a Front boat.

2. U-977 was also attached to 31.U-Flotilla.

3. U-977 sailed from Kiel on 13 April 1945 and put into Frederikshavn to load 45 tonnes of "total protection" and cargo for Argentina on 14 April 1945.

4. By a stupendous coincidence, on that very same day, the 14 April 1945, U-235, commanded by Friedrich Huisgen,  was reportedly depth-charged and sunk in precise coordinates not far offshore below the northern tip of Denmark. She was allegedly sunk by the German torpedo-boat T-17 in a depth charge attack, mistaken for an intruding Russian submarine.
The only source we have for the sinking of U-235 is therefore the German Navy, and the German Navy was responsible for sending U-Boats to Argentina.

5. Of all the U-Boats "sunk" in the Kattegat, U-235 is in the easiest position to find. Over recent years no less than five U-Boats have been located in the Kattegat and raised. None of these found U-Boats has been U-235. Search as they might, no salvor can find the tomb of U-235. Maybe they cannot find the boat because it was only sunk in the War Diary of a German torpedo-boat, and not in real life.

6. Schäffer wrote a "special" version of his book edited for the Argentine Navy, a book published in Spanish in 1955 which differs vastly from the novel he turned out in 1950. In this amended book he says that once he had been joined by a U-Boat of conventional Type whose number he prefers not to reveal, the trio (U-977, a Type XXI and the conventional Type) set off for Horten and arrived there unscathed on 21 April 1945.

German submarine U-234 was a Type XB U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine during World War II. Her first and only mission into enemy or contested territory consisted of the attempted delivery of uranium oxide and German advanced weapons technology to the Empire of Japan.

In his 1983 book ""Feindfahrten", Oberfunkmeister Wolfgang Hirschfeld reported that he saw about 50 lead cubes with 23 centimetres [9.1 in] sides, and "U-235" painted on each, loaded into the boat's cylindrical mine shafts.

Hirschfeld asked the Japanese officers what this meant and was told that it had been intended to load this cargo aboard U 235 but "that boat is no longer going to Japan".

There is confirmation from the Japanese side, by a scientist of the Japanese nuclear project, brother of the Japanese ambassador to Germany, Oshima, that two one-tonne loads of uranium were to be sent to Japan, one tonne each in two U-Boats. The second boat [which would have been U 235] was withdrawn in February 1945, and so the two loads were both loaded on U 234.

It is nearly certain the reason "U235" was written on these containers was that they were originally supposed to go to Japan aboard a second U-Boat, operating under the name "U-235". This unidentified "black boat", not to be confused with the Type VIIC U-235 which had been sunk, was operating temporarily under the name U-235. It is speculated this boat was a Type XXI, but it is uncertain. U-235 was originally supposed to go to Japan with U-234, but was instead sent to Argentina, as is recorded in an Argentinian declassified document from 1952. 

Because the boat operating under the name "U-235" was sent to Argentina instead, its load of Uranium Oxide was sent aboard U-234. It is a strange coincidence that Uranium Oxide was supposed to go aboard boats called U-234 and U-235, both of which are also isotopes of Uranium.

It was the [wrongly] suspected that the Type VII Boat U-235 used for training in the Baltic might not have been sunk in error by a German torpedo boat because the wreck could not be found.  Because of the Argentine Intelligence document, U-235 might have been falsely reported sunk by the Germans for use as a black boat to transport passengers and materials to Argentina, or so it was thought.

A "Black Boat" was a submarine of unknown provenance for which no document trail exists as to its origins or crew, used by the German Navy at the end of the Second World War and subsequently for clandestine missions, generally to transport passengers and materials to "friendly flag" nations, the main one of these being Argentina. It was the custom of the Germans to duplicate the running number of a commissioned U-boat in service or previously sunk.

The suspicion about "U-235 Black Boat", which was intended to carry materials to Japan partnering the Type XB boat U 234, and which was referred to by Captain Tomonaga in the Hirschfeld book, was that it might have been a Type XXI being transferred to Japan for modernizing their Navy. That was actually the reason why U-234 passenger Captain Tomonaga had come to Europe, to obtain for Japan the most up-to-date naval armaments.

In February 1945 when the situation for Japan began to look grave, "U-235 Type XXI Black Boat" was withdrawn from the Japan venture, and since the Argentine Intelligence service issued a document stating that "U 235" had dropped off a passenger at Mar del Plata just after the war, and the first U-235, the Type VIIC, actually had been sunk before the war ended, it seems a fair inference that the U-235 Black Boat, a Type XXI, was the submarine originally intended to make the run to Japan, and had been sent down to Argentina instead.

7. The next we hear of U-235 is in a new book by Jorge Camarasa ["Puerto Seguro", Norma Editorial, Buenos Aires, 2006]. The author quotes from a declassified Argentine Government Memorandum originating from the Direccion de Coordinacion Federal, document DAE 568 dated 14 October 1952 in which the Head of Cordoba Delegation writes to the Head of the Division of Foreign Affairs in a memorandum classified "strictly confidential and secret".

The document refers to transfers of gold to Argentina by Bormann and then continues:

"Movements by foreigners. I bring to your attention that our agents [names deleted] have detected at Ascochinga, in the mountainous region of Cordoba province, a farm located on the Cerro Negro which has been acquired by a former officer who disembarked from U-235 at the Mar del Plata submarine base. 

"This boat, together with other German submarines, came to Patagonia from Germany after the conclusion of hostilities. For some time in the same place, regular meetings have been held between high ranking Nazis such as financiers Ricardo Leute and Heinrich Dörge in an apparent attempt to organize, or perhaps re-organize, under the Swastika".  

According to Argentine Navy sources the submarine from which the officer came ashore at Mar del Plata had the number "235" painted in large white characters on the conning tower.

Witnesses who saw a larger submarine inshore near San Antonio del Tuyú on 17 July 1945 stated that this one had "124" painted on the conning tower. The witnesses in this case identified the submarine as being of the same Type as U- 530 which surrendered the previous week.

German U-Boats had numbers painted on them pre-war but not during the war.
Disinformation, perhaps?

U-124, an IXB boat, was sunk on 2 April 1943.

"Black Boats" was written by Klaus Willmann in cooperation with Anton Staller and published by Rosenheimer in Germany in 2008.

Anton Staller served in the Kriegsmarine for three patrols aboard U-188, and was officially shore bound from August 1944. However, in his book he describes how on 8 April 1945 he was assigned to a black boat in Bremen Vegesack yard. His orders were to identify the boat by a number painted on the conning tower and report aboard.

In an interview with various inhabitants of Ascochinga in July 2003, author Camarasa established that the house in question is situated on the highest ridge of Cerro Negro. The "former officer" called himself "Otto Rehklau" or "Otto Freider", was allegedly a specialist in heavy electrical machinery, and appeared to have no family or personal history. He arrived at Cerro Negro in 1950 and died there of a heart attack in 1984. Nobody could remember where he was buried and nobody came to enquire about him subsequently.

Camarasa provides further evidence that one and possibly two German U-Boats unloaded along the coast near Mar del Plata in late July 1945 and that the Argentine Government probably collaborated in the endeavor.

German submarines seem to have just "called in" at Mar del Plata by night to drop off important technical people before continuing to where they unloaded "secretly". This unloading process was not difficult, because from 21 July 1945 the Argentine Navy had called off all coastal patrols along its 4,000 kilometres of coastline.

Refloat of Nazi sub off Argentina coast considered
31 March 1998

BUENOS AIRES [Reuters] - Two residents of southern Argentina have asked permission to refloat a German World War II submarine sunk off the Patagonian coast, a German Embassy official said on Tuesday.

German ambassador to Argentina Adolf Ritter von Wagner "received the letter and it is in transit," an embassy spokesperson said. "We don't know what the decision will be".

Antonio Rivera and Mirta Vicente pinpointed the location of the sunken German warship, which they claim to have seen in 1959, 1962 and 1966, newspaper "La Manana del Sur" reported.

Area residents believe Germans disembarked from warships on the coast in 1945 near the end of World War II.

Two other Nazi subs, a U-530 and a U-977, arrived in the port of Mar del Plata in July and August of that year.

Argentina was a haven for Nazi war criminals such as Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann, who was captured in Buenos Aires after the war, and Hitler's confidant Martin Bormann.

Schäffer had written secretly for the Argentine Navy an amended version of his 1952 book.. In "El Secreto del U-977" [published privately in Buenos Aires in 1955] he makes clear that he was a member of the German secret service, probably SS, and had a "clear and precise mission" to Argentina. The fact that he loaded 35 tonnes of fuel short "to trim the boat", and landed 16 crew members in Norway to make some space, and even so it was still "intolerably claustrophic" suggests that all the fantastic number of boxes and crates and cases he mentions were stacked through the pressure hull. This would indicate that his mission was cargo.

Why would a small Type VII U-Boats even be considered as a long distance supply boat, when the Germans had earlier relied on Milchkuh U-Boats for resupply on trans-Atlantic operations? Besides, other larger, longer-range types were available, at this time.

1) U-977 loaded a cargo of provisions at Frederikshavn, Denmark in the third week of April 1945. In his recently published memoir "El secreto del U-977", Schäffer stated that this cargo was "barrels of butter, ham, eggs, ultimately everything imaginable". There was protest the cargo was so excessive that it would be very difficult, and perhaps impossible, for him to maintain trim. Yet, an hour later "another lorry arrived, and I ordered its contents loaded aboard".

(2) 1 May 1945. "Admiral Dönitz had given me a mission precise and clear".

(3) 10 May 1945. "We put ashore 16 men of the crew on the coast of Norway. We now had only 32 men aboard...but even so the boat was impossibly cramped. It was almost intolerable....apart from the officers, everybody slept at his post except for the twelve men bottled up in the junior NCO's mess which measured 3.6 x 2.2 x 2 metres".

Off Portugal the senior watch-keeper pleaded for the torpedoes to  be fired off to get the boat back to "a humanly tolerable level".

Schäffer’s replied: "On the face of it that made sense, but I realized how important it might be to be able to prove that we had not fired any torpedoes after the capitulation by showing that we still had them all aboard". [This also gives the lie to any suggestion that U977 fired on the 'Bahia']

(4) "We crossed the Equator at 30°W at 0900 on 4 July 1945"......U-977 was off Rio del Janeiro on 10 July 1945." [Arg. Navy interrogation, 1945]

There is no indication of the position of U-977 between 10 July and 17 August 1945. That is thirty-eight days. On the day when Schäffer put into Mar del Plata, the boat was empty. Where had the provisions gone?

In an Argentine TV interview in 2003, Schäffer's widow stated that the mission of U-977 was to "provision the Patagonian U-boats". This interview was never broadcast, but there is a recording of what she said.

In 2002 the Argentine naval archive released the 1945 interrogations of Schäffer and Wermuth, the commanders only, not the crews. What the crews said in the interrogations remains classified all these years later.

1) The US national archive has now declassified the USN intelligence reports on the interrogations at Mar del Plata of Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth, commander of U 530, and eight officers and senior NCOs. The report runs to eleven pages.

(2) The Report was forwarded from the US naval attaché at Buenos Aires on 24 July 1945. The United States operates automatic declassification rules by which this report should have been made public in 1975. It was exempted "in the interests of national defense or foreign policy". It is not immediately evident what the need for secrecy was in this case:

(3) "The Argentine Navy interrogation of nine officers and petty officers terminates with little information of importance revealed. The documents of the submarine examined indicate that these have been thoroughly censored."

(4) Details of U 530 Voyage during wartime - Otto Wermuth.

(i) Wermuth would not confirm if he was attached to any particular flotilla and said he operated directly under orders from Berlin.
(ii) U 530 sailed from Kiel for Cristiansand-South on 19 February 1945.
(iii) On 3 March 1945 he sailed the boat to Horten for an unspecified purpose and sailed from there for the Atlantic on 6 April 1945. He refused to discuss his orders or the voyage except to say that his last contact with his commanding officer in Berlin had been on 26 April 1945.

(5) Details of U 530 Voyage, wartime - Other Interrogatees

(i) After rounding the Newfoundland Bank, U 530 was ordered by radio to operate off New York.
(ii) On or about 28 April 1945, the boat crossed the 200-metre line and spent a fortnight south of Long Island, once entering US territorial waters. Eight torpedoes were fired without result in three attacks between 4 and 7 May.

(6) Details of U 530 Voyage, postwar - Otto Wermuth

(i) Wermuth said that once he got to Argentina, it was his initial intention to go to Miramar to surrender, but later he decided to go to the Argentine submarine base at Mar del Plata.
(ii) He first sighted the Mogotes light at 0300 on 10 July 1945 from 18 miles out. At 0630 he entered port. Wermuth stated that "no persons or treasure" had been landed in Argentina or elsewhere prior to surrendering.

(7) As regards Wermuth only, the US Navy Report should coincide perfectly with the Argentine Navy Report of 13-15 July 1945 declassified in June 2002 to Argentine authors De Nápoli and Salinas, authors of "Ultramar Sur" (Grupo Norma, Buenos Aires, 2002). The two authors that were obliged contractually to report on the declassified material with absolute honesty, and they said they had done so.

(8) There is one major discrepancy between the Argentine Navy reports cited in "Ultramar Sur" and the US Navy Report.

(i) In "Ultramar", the authors record: "Wermuth said he saw the Punta Mogotes light at 0300 on 9 July 1945 and that he went down the coast from Mar del Plata because it had been his original intention to sight land ("recalar") at Miramar, where he arrived at 0600. Wermuth denied vehemently that he had disembarked anybody there. His intention was simply to wait until nightfall before going back to Mar del Plata (50 miles away). "When it got dark on 9 July I surfaced and ran back up the coast three miles out to Mar del Plata". He had a rubber dinghy missing which he could not account for.
(ii) The US Navy version at 6 (ii) gives the incorrect day of the month (10th instead of 9th) for when the Mogotes light was first seen. 6 (i) is literally true but misleading because it is made to appear by omission that U 530 never went to Miramar.

(9) The reason why all this is significant is as follows. Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth was a dark-haired man 1.78 metres in stature, thus of medium height. He posed for the Argentine Federal Police mugshot at Mar del Plata as Otto Wermuth on 12 July 1945. He was the officer who attended the Argentine Navy interrogations as commander of U 530 as from 13 July 1945. But when he was on the boat and was not on the boat, and if he had ever been in command of the boat, and where he was between 10 and 12 July 1945, were matters upon which the Argentines could not satisfy themselves absolutely.

(10) This mysterious affair of the boat with two commanders both called Otto Wermuth probably explains why the US Navy Report was kept secret for 64 years though it actually revealed "little information of importance". What was important would only be detected by somebody who had knowledge of what went on in Buenos Aires around the time when U-530 came in to surrender. And what was important to be kept secret by Washington was that Otto Wermuth had important business ashore to attend to in Argentina.

(11) The true Otto Wermuth is described at (9) above. The U-530 crew gave Press interviews. The base commander introduced "Otto Wermuth" to the Press, who took his photo, and described him in the evening editions that day as "tall and blond". Otto Wermuth-2 was a tall blond officer of Nordic facial structure. His face is not a match for Otto Wermuth-1. He also wore the U-Boat Frontspange on his uniform, a decoration to which Otto-Wermuth-1 was not entitled.

(12) Coronel Rómulo Bustos of the Argentine coastal artillery described "Otto Wermuth", with whom he had a long conversation at Mar del Plata on 12 July 1945 before being shown over U 530, as having "...a blond beard and a fine elongated blond moustache".

The following article appeared in the Argentine newspaper "La Nación" on 23 March 2008:

"I was a Witness"

On 10 July 1945 the town of Mar del Plata came alive following the surrender there of the German submarine U 530. The then Coronel Rómulo H Bustos commanded an AA battery on the coast. In this report, the retired officer related to reporter LNR certain curious episodes prior to the submarine's arrival, and details of the boat and crew.

Coronel (retired) Rómulo Horacio Bustos is in every respect a very interesting subject. A small man sporting a carefully trimmed white beard, he is always an impassioned speaker. After a long period of service in military intelligence, he has just finished his as yet unpublished memoirs under the title "Un Perón poco conocido" [The Unknown Perón]. As an artillery officer he was stationed at Mar del Plata during the southern winter of 1945, when the German submarines U 530 and U 977 arrived there mysteriously to suurender two months after the European War had finished.

"That winter in Mar del Plata", Bustos began, "I experienced a couple of episodes rather more than suggestive. At the time I was the commander of an AA battery in the Camet Park area (along the coast north of the town). One afternoon in the first half of June 1945 all battery commanders were summoned to see the Commanding Officer, Coronel-Tte Pedro Lagrenade. He had just received a coded signal from Army C-in-C ordering him to cover a large section of coast between the port of Mar del Plata and Mar Chiquita lagoon. We were to take live ammunition, our purpose being to resist possible landings from German U-boats.

"My battery had to defend the outer flank of the lagoon. We had nine light Oerlikons on a cliff, all loaded and ready to fire. One particular night was very dark, rainy and windy. Just after midnight I noticed light signals being flashed at short intervals from the sea to the adjacent sector of coast. When they were repeated, I informed my Commanding Officer immediately. When Coronel-Tte Legrenade arrived at my position I pointed to where the signals had originated, but by then they had stopped"."

Bustos went on to say that when his Commanding Officer was about to drive away from the position, the signaling resumed.

"Lagrenade ordered the force in the adjacent sector to close up with us and if there were landings we were to take the greatest possible number of prisoners. After 0100 however the light signals were repeated less often and then ceased, probably because the adverse climatic conditions (rough sea and strong crosswinds) would have made landings in rubber dinghies hazardous, or because the crew of the mysterious vessel had been warned from shore that a military force was waiting for them on the coast".

Bustos stated that the signaling did not resume on subsequent nights and the batteries were gradually reduced in number. He confirmed that a report on the incident was classified top secret and sent to the Army C-in-C.

A Cave with Surprises

Bustos recalled a second strange episode he witnessed which occurred at the end of June 1945, probably about ten days after the previous incident.

"This time it happened on a warm, sunny morning. I had taken my unit to the beach for shooting practice with blanks. The beach [only ten metres wide in that sector] was backed by a 25-metre high rocky cliff. We had to dismantle our weapons and lower the parts by rope. Then we put them together again and had our practice. At the end of the exercise the company ate and then rested. At this point one of the men discovered a cave about 3 metres deep into the cliff face. Inside it we saw that about 10 to 20 cms above the high water mark somebody had set up three wooden planks around the edges. Piled on these planks were dozens of tins about the size of modern beer cans, lacking any identification marks except for a single impressed letter.

"The first can we opened contained black bread which appeared recently baked and another had bars of chocolate. I assumed the others would have drinks and other foodstuffs. Obviously I connected this find with the strange nocturnal light signals a few days before (which had occurred in this same sector). I had no doubt that this place was a support point, either to reprovision German submarines passing through the zone or to provide refreshment to clandestine passengers being disembarked here.

"When we informed the Commanding Officer of this unexpected find, he had photos taken from different angles inside and in front of the cave, removed all the cans and planks and drew up a detailed report based on the information supplied by myself and my officers. Everything was then gathered up and sent by Coronel-Tte Legrenade the same day to Army C-in-C. I do not know what happened to it all subsequently but I consider it conclusive proof that there were clandestine disembarkations along our Atlantic sea coast. A number of my men drew my attention to the fact that none of the foregoing was ever reported in the local Press"."

Bustos' suspicions grew when U 530 and U 977 arrived at Mar del Plata to surrender in July and August 1945 respectively.

"The day prior to the arrival of U 530, a public holiday, my battery took part in the military parade along the Avenida Colón. It was cold but sunny. Next day the town was agog over the arrival and surrender of U 530. This was news of national and international importance, and unlike the earlier facts to which I was a witness could not be suppressed.

"U 530 was commanded by Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth. The naval authorities mentioned their surprise that the deck gun and two large calibre machine guns had been unshipped at sea.

The deck gun,  according to many crew members interviewed by the Argentine Press on 10 July 1945, was a 105mm weapon weighing five tonnes which they had dismantled and manhandled overboard with great efforts on the high seas. No mention of the deck gun appears in the USN or Arg Navy reports.

"Once I was able to visit the boat three days after its arrival two things struck me: first, the nauseating stench in its interior (despite having been aired ever since its arrival), the result of overcrowding and prolonged navigation submerged. Secondly, the presence in its interior of cans identical to those we found in the cave on the beach.

"The crew of the boat were surprisingly young [between 18 and 20 years of age] and all looked exhausted and malnourished. Their beards were long and their hair unkempt. Immediately after coming ashore at the naval base they were given oranges and all kinds of citrus fruits to combat scurvy. The interior of the submarine was very narrow and we had to walk through it stooped, which was unpleasant. The captain's compartment was tiny and austere. We saw no Nazi symbols or bulkhead decorations inside the submarine. The crew slept in hammocks.

"I was able to talk with the submarine's commander, Oberleutnant Otto Wermuth, who spoke good French and English. He told me he had received Admiral Dönitz' last order to surrender to the Allies when he was close to the north-east tip of Brazil. He added that he had not wanted to surrender to the Uruguayans since "they would have burnt us in the market square". Wermuth was lodged with his officers in the coastguard vessel 'General Belgrano', and the rest of his crew in tents on a football field where on medical instructions they were served at regular times with boiled potatoes and lemons.

"I recall that the German commander seemed very young and pleasant. He was only 26 and had a long and dangerous Atlantic crossing behind him. His sufferings had not erased the boyish look from his features. He had started growing a blond beard on his chin and had a fine elongated blond moustache which reminded me of Jesus [Even today the popular Argentine image of Jesus always shows him as a tall, blue-eyed man with a blond beard and moustache]. Wermuth had an evident affection for us, besides his gratitude for the good treatment which the Argentine military had given him and his crew. He did not appear to me to be especially fanatical or Nazi. He just said how much he missed his family".

 (13) When U-530 surrendered, it was found that all the boat's documents, logs, war diary, charts, code books and much else was missing. The crew, including "Otto Wermuth", lacked identification documents. The US Report makes it clear that Otto Wermuth-1 turned up out of the blue. The Argentines obviously accepted that the tall, blond officer who had brought U 530 into Mar del Plata on 10 July 1945, and claimed to be Otto Wermuth was actually Otto Wermuth, commander of U 530. And now suddenly this small dark-haired officer had turned up and was also claiming to be Otto Wermuth, and one assumes that the blond version of Otto Wermuth now vanished into the Argentine interior before the matter could be investigated properly.

(14) The US Report states: "He (Otto Wermuth) had no identification of any kind to support his statement that he was actually in command of the submarine. Upon being questioned as to whether or not he could substantiate this, after much reflection he recalled that one of his seamen had married a girl in Kiel by proxy and radio during the voyage and that he, as commanding officer of the submarine, had signed the marriage document". He might have commanded the boat in April, but obviously he had not been the commander of U-530 when the boat was brought into Mar del Plata in July, or even the Argentines would have remembered, since it was only three days before.

Undoubtedly the US Navy and the Argentine Navy knew about the substitution, and the reason for it, but preferred not to have it in the report. The reason for this is clear. If U-530 switched commanders by dropping one off and taking aboard a substitute, this throws open the door to all kinds of allegations that other persons were also disembarked in a clandestine manner at the same time. This explains the "error" in the 24 hours between first light on 9 July and 10 July in the respective reports. It also indicates that the Argentine Government was never in "hot pursuit", or any other kind of pursuit, of the various German intelligence networks in Argentine.

The question never confronted about the U-530 episode is this: Why were all the crew IDs (the Soldbücher with all personal information, photograph and pay details) ditched overboard so that the only proof of one's identity was what one's shipmate said? Otto Wermuth had no ID and no available photograph to identify him as the commander of U-530. What on earth could have convinced him to become "indocumentado"? The most likely explanation is that there was a substitution or substitutions at the late stage in the voyage. 

If we think of the U-530 crew in the light of the German system of military discipline, the pressure not to speak out comes from the German system of military post-discharge discipline - and never has a single crewman written an article, never has Otto Wermuth written a book, about the last U-530 voyage.

The US Report is the report of what was said at the Argentine Navy interrogation. US and British intelligence officers did not attend the Argentine interrogations because it was felt that their presence might intimidate those under interrogation. This fact is stated on the first page of the US Report.

The Argentine Report is the original, and the Americans merely took copies. Whenever the US Report and the Argentine Report differ, the US Report must be the one in error.

The US Report is a classic example of how history is manufactured by authors suppressing material facts. In this case it is not merely the US which is reponsible, for it was originally an Argentine Report.

Here is the principal reason for this statement. The switch of commanders was merely the end result of events occurring during the final part of the patrol. Wermuth-1 needed to inform his superiors of these events. Following the capitulation, his superiors had relocated to Argentina. Probably he took the war diary and nautical logs with him to show them and did not ditch these books as he alleged.

It should not be overlooked that U-530 appeared to have survived some terrible calamity when it docked at Mar del Plata. Most of the equipment and armament had been jettisoned together with virtually all the documentation and crew ID's. The conning tower was splitting as the result of some powerful corrosive. The casing appeared to have been the seat of a great conflagration.

What is even more impressive is what we now understand about the crew.

(1) According to the US Report, U-530 sailed from Horten, Norway, on or about 6 March 1945 and arrived at Mar del Plata on 10 July 1945. That is a period of four months four days at sea. Before leaving Germany, U-530 loaded one week's supply of fresh fruit and vegetables, and sixteen weeks' supply of special submarine foodstuffs. That should have been enough to get the crew to Mar del Plata. Nothing further appears in the report about the provisions.

(2) Following the arrival of U-530 at Mar del Plata, the base commander Mallea and his adjutant Azcueta made statements at a Press conference. Although the German submarine had hardly any fuel left, it still had a large store of provisions aboard, and the quantity could not be accounted for. For this reason it has always been assumed that U 530 must have reprovisioned from another boat at sea.

On 19 February 1945, U-530 provisioned at Kiel. Wermuth took aboard a week's supply of fresh provisions including meat, vegetables, bread and 17 weeks supply of special U-Boat foodstuffs. At no time did he reprovision, he said. The voyage lasted 15 weeks but at Mar del Plata there was so much foodstuff still aboard that the Argentines accused Wermuth that he must have reprovisioned at sea or elsewhere.

When Wermuth was interviewed by the Argentine Navy on 13 July 1945 he was told: "Your provisions lockers are almost full. Where did you reprovision?" to which he refused to answer.

(3) From Coronel Bustos' article we find that the crew was not only haggard and malnourished, but incredibly was actually suffering the early stages of scurvy. How can it be reconciled that a German U-Boat of the Second World War, its food lockers half full of good quality provisions, had a scurvy crew only four months out of port? Now we must assume that U-530 was not reprovisioned, but for some reason the crew was not eating, or something was either affecting them physically so that their bodies were not able to convert Vitamin C, or was causing vitamin deficiency. In this regard Colonel Bustos' statement that a "nauseating stench" still pervaded the boat after it had been aired for three days is very interesting. Perhaps there was a connection between these factors.

When the calamitous state of the boat and crew are taken into account, together with the commander's urgent need to go ashore to report on what had transpired during the latter stages of the voyage, and we remember that U 530 had a special mission in the waters near New York, for which Wermuth received his orders directly from Kriegsmarine HQ in Berlin, one has to suspect that a great deal more was edited out of the Argentine/US Report than has been suspected hitherto.

Confronted with the reluctance of the various participants to come forward and relate it we shall almost certainly never know much more.

Although there were many sightings from the shore by civilian witnesses of U-Boats landing in Argentina during July 1945, there are only declassified reports made by the Argentine Navy and police, or admitted into evidence by the congressional committee CIAA in the 1952 enquiries.   

An argument frequently employed by those who accept only U-530 and U-977 is that no scuttled U-Boat has ever been found nor has any sailor aboard such a third or fourth U-Boat come forward with his story. Over the last ten years there have been eight or so diving expeditions supported by the Argentine Government in search of scuttled U-Boats. They are usually in sight of the coast, not too far down and never find anything, thus confirming the idea that no U-Boats were ever scuttled in Argentine waters. The purpose of the SS in Argentina was obviously to conceal material incoming from seawards. Ten miles out from the alleged landing point at Necochea the 600-foot contour runs, beyond which the sea bed shelves sharply to about 3000 feet. Would not U-Boats be  scuttled secretly in 3,000 feet rather than within half mile of the shore in 300 feet. Just in case a fisherman tangled his nets in the conning tower.

No U-Boat man has ever written a book or published his experiences in a magazine article. Immediately after the war 30,000 SS managed to enter Argentina secretly. Although only 1% of these were wanted for war crimes, not a single SS man, some of whom must have an interesting story to tell, has ever written a book nor published a magazine article. Undoubtedly they were and remain under the strictest instructions to remain silent. The U-Boats which made it to Argentina delivered SS materials and wealth to the SS in Argentina. Likewise, the crews were undoubtedly under the strictest instructions to remain silent.  

No proper investigation of U-530 and U-977, considering all the declassified material, has been made to this point. The entire history of the final voyages of these two submarines is based on the US Navy interrogation reports of the crews once they arrived as captives in the United States. The British interrogations in Hertfordshire in 1945 and 1946 remain classified until 2020, and one wonders what was said by Schäffer to merit it being given such a high level of secrecy.

 

In 1938, Nazi Germany sent an expedition to Antarctica with a mission to investigate sites for a possible base and to make formal claims in the name of the Third Reich. To prepare them for their mission, they invited the great polar explorer Richard E. Byrd to lecture them on what to expect. The following year, a month after hostilities had commenced in Europe, the Germans returned to Neuschwabenland to finish what had been started, with many suggesting that a base was being constructed.

Nine years later, Richard E. Byrd, who by now had become an Admiral in the United States Navy, was sent to Antarctica with the largest task force ever assembled for a polar mission. In Admiral Byrd's own words, the mission (code-named 'Highjump') was "primarily of a military nature" [Press release, 12 November 1946]. Many claim that the task force was sent to eradicate a secret Nazi base in Queen Maud Land, which the Nazis had renamed Neuschwabenland and which had never been explored as profoundly as the rest of the Antarctic. But, and the big but is, the fact that Admiral Byrd spoke of "flying objects that could fly from pole to pole at incredible speeds" and with well-documented German activity before, during and in the immediate aftermath of World War II, one can't help but wonder whether there is some truth in the Nazi Antarctica myth.

Britain has suppressed many wartime events in the name of national security that now, even 60 years on, many people are still none the wiser about the secrets of the war—from Rudolf Hess to the Peace Parties, to the even more sinister happenings including Britain's knowledge of the Nazi extermination camps, the Irish Republican Army's flirtation with Nazis, and the lesser known secrets such as:

Britain’s knowledge of the Nazi extermination camps

The Irish Republican Army’s flirtation with Nazis

SS concentration camps on British soil on Alderney in the Channel Islands

The four camps on Alderney Island, that commenced operating in January 1942, were prison camps built and operated by Nazi Germany during its World War II occupation of the Channel Islands, which was the only part of the British Isles to be occupied. They had a total inmate population that fluctuated but is estimated at about 6,000. The Nazi Organisation Todt (OT) operated each subcamp and used forced labour to build fortifications in Alderney including Bunkers, gun emplacements, air-raid shelters, tunnels and concrete fortifications.

Each Alderney camp was named after one of the Frisian Islands:

Lager Borkum, situated near the Impot, Lager Helgoland at Platte Saline, Lager Norderney located at Saye, and Lager Sylt near the old telegraph tower at La Foulère and  Two of these camps were the only Nazi concentration camps on British soil.

The Borkum and Helgoland camps were "Volunteer" (Hilfswillige) labour camps] and the labourers in those camps were treated harshly but better than the inmates at the Norderney and Sylt camps and were paid for work done. Lager Borkum was used for German technicians and volunteers from different countries of Europe. Lager Helgoland was filled with Russian Organisation Todt workers. 

The prisoners in Lager Sylt and Lager Norderney were slave labourers forced to build the many military fortifications and installations throughout Alderney. Sylt camp held Jewish enforced labourers. Norderney camp housed European (mainly Eastern but including Spanish) and Russian enforced labourers.

The Lager Sylt commandant, Karl Tietz had a black French colonial as an under officer. A German naval officer, shocked to see a black man beating up white men from the camp, threatened to shoot the colonial officer if he saw him doing it again. Tietz was brought before a court-martial in April 1943 and sentenced to 18 months penal servitude for the crime of selling on the black market after he sold cigarettes, watches, and valuables he had bought from Dutch OT workers.

In March 1943, Lager Norderney, containing Russian and Polish POWs, and Lager Sylt, holding Jews, were placed under the control of the SS.

SS-Hauptsturmführer Maximilian List moved from the Neuengamme concentration camp to become the commandant of Lager Sylt. He commanded SS-Baubrigade I, arriving on the island on 23 February 1943. List had a chalet built in the style of Adolf Hitler’s Berghof outside the camp perimeter, with an underground passage linking it with the camp. This building was later moved to another part of the island. List was Lager Kommandant, and his authority extended to administration of Sylt and Nordoney, which he also took over three months after his arrival, only. The other camps remained under the authority of the Organisation Todt until they were closed in 1944.

List left the island in March 1944, replaced by SS-Obersturmführer Georg Braun.

There are 397 known graves in Alderney. Apart from malnutrition, accidents and ill treatment, there were losses on ships bringing OT workers to or taking them from Alderney. In January 1943 there was a big storm and two ships, the 'Xaver Dorsch' and the 'Franks', anchored in Alderney harbour were blown ashore onto the beach, they contained about 1,000 Russian OT workers. Kept locked in the holds for two weeks whilst the ships were salvaged resulted in a number of deaths.

On 4 July 1944 the 'Minotaure' an ocean going tug sailing from Alderney to St Malo with about 500 OT workers was hit three times by torpedoes but somehow managed to stay afloat, some 250 died with the ship being towed into St Malo. Two of the escort vessels, V-208 ['Walther Darré'] and V-210 ['Hinrich Hey'] were sunk.

Alderney has been nicknamed "the island of silence", because little is known about what occurred there during the occupation. The German officer left in charge of the facilities, Commandant Oberstleutnant Schwalm, Feldkommandant [responsible for the military] and Kommandant [responsible for civil administration],  on 8 May under orders from Admiral Huffmeier [then Officer Commanding Channel Islands) to the effect that all records should be destroyed before arrival of the British, expected in Guernsey on 9 May 1945. burned the camps to the ground and destroyed all records connected with their use before the island was actually liberated by British forces on 16 May 1945. 

The German garrison on Alderney surrendered a week after the other Channel Islands, and was one of the last garrisons to surrender in Europe. The population were not allowed to start returning until December 1945.

Documents from the ITS Archives in Germany show prisoners of numerous nationalities were incarcerated in Alderney, with many dying on the island. The causes of death included suicide, pneumonia, being shot, heart failure and explosions. Detailed death certificates were filled out and the deaths were reported to OT in St Malo.

After World War II, a court-martial case was prepared against former SS Hauptsturmführer List, citing atrocities on Alderney. However, he did not stand trial, and is believed to have lived near Hamburg until his death in the 1980s 

"My U-Boat men, six years of U-boat warfare lie behind us. You have fought like lions. A crushing superiority has compressed us into a narrow area. The continuation of the struggle is impossible from the bases that remain. U-Boat men, unbroken in your war-like courage, you are laying down your arms after a heroic fight which knows no equal. In reverent memory we think of our comrades who have sealed their loyalty to the Führer and Fatherland with their death. Comrades, maintain in the future your U-Boat spirit with which you have fought at sea, bravely and unflinchingly, during the long welfare of our Fatherland. Long live Germany!"

-- Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz , 4 May 1945, ordering his U-Boats to start their return journey.

U-2511 and U-3008 were the only Type XXIs to go on war patrols, and neither sank any ships. U-2511 had a British cruiser in her sights on 4 May when news of the German cease-fire was received. She made a practice attack before leaving the scene undetected.

With 16 German U-Boats sunk in the South Atlantic area between October 1942 and September 1944, and with most of those sunk engaged in covert activities, Britain had long since been aware of Neuschwabenland being a possible base, but it was not until after the war in Europe had ended that the world awoke to the possibility.

On 18 July 1945, newspapers around the world focused their headlines on Antarctica. The "New York Times" stated "Antarctic Haven Reported", whilst others claimed that "Hitler had been at the South Pole" ["Le Monde", 18 July 1945].  These headlines which shook the world were based, in part, on fact. The news reports and events happening in South America made the world sit up and take notice, not least the military forces of the United States and Great Britain.

On 10 June 1945, an unmarked German U-Boat surrendered to the Argentine Navy; no further details were released. The whereabouts of at least a hundred other U-boats were still a mystery, as renowned historian Basil Liddell Hart, in "History of the Second World War", noted: "During the early months of 1945 the size of the U-Boat fleet was still increasing... In March, the U-Boat fleet reached its peak strength of 463".

The mystery deepened when, on 10 July 1945, the German U-530 surrendered at Mar del Plata, Argentina, and it only took eight days for the world to know. However, the U-Boat mystery did not end with U-530; just over a month later, on 17 August 1945, U-977 also surrendered at Mar del Plata. Even more curious was the fact that the same month,
U-465 was scuttled off Patagonia.

U-465 was sunk on 2 May 1943 in the Bay of Biscay, north-west of Cape Ortegal, Spain, by depth charges from an Australian Sunderland flying boat of No. 10 Squadron RAAF.

Only three months after the Kriegsmarine's U-boat's strength had peaked, the first of the unaccounted-for U-Boats appeared. Unfavourably though, historians tend to gloss over the enigma of the missing U-Boats and Hart also offers no explanation other than to explain the 362 known U-Boats' fate:

"After Germany surrendered in May, 159 U-Boats surrendered but a further 203 were scuttled by their crews. That was characteristic of the U-Boat crews' stubborn pride and unshakeable morale".

With so many U-Boats missing—a minimum of 40 were estimated missing at the end of the War—and with Britain still possessing one of the world's largest navies and strategically based territories in the Falklands and Antarctica, Britain was the most ideally placed of all the Allies to deal with a Nazi haven. It would have been the best informed about the missing U-Boats due to its southern hemisphere territories and an empire that, though crumbling, was still the largest the world had ever seen. Intelligence soon substantiated the suspicions with the interrogations of the captains of both the U-977 and U-530.

Otto Wehrmut, the commander of the U-530, claimed that under Operation Valkyrie-2 his U-Boat set off to the Antarctic on 13 April 1945. Under interrogation he divulged just what the mission had involved. Supposedly, 16 crew members had landed on the Antarctic shore and deposited numerous boxes that were apparently documents and relics from the Third Reich. Heinz Schäffer, the Captain of the U-977, also claimed that his U-Boat had spirited relics away from the Reich. However, less plausible is the theory that the U-Boat delivered the remains of Hitler and Eva Braun to the South Pole, and other theories that the Holy Grail and the Spear of Destiny were also taken to the Antarctic only cloud the truth.

What does help substantiate their story is the little-known fact, that, in 1983, Special Services seized a confidential letter that Captain Schäffer wrote to Captain Otto Wehrmut, and in the letter Schäffer pleads to Wehrmut not to publish his memoirs in too profound a detail and, in fact, states his intent for the world not to know the truth:

"We all made an oath to keep the secret; we did nothing wrong: we just obeyed orders and fought for our loved Germany and its survival. Please think again; isn't it better to picture everything as a fable? What results do you plan to achieve with your revelations? Think about it, please".

--  "Pravda", 16 January 2003, citing a confidential letter from Schäffer to Wehrmut. The letter, dated 1 June 1983, was seized by Special Services, whom a German source claims were from the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) and sent at the USSR's behest.

Another mystery that has never been solved is that of the cargo of mercury contained inside U-859 which was sunk on 23 September 1944 by the British Royal Navy submarine "HMS Trenchant" in the Strait of Malacca in the Java Sea, so far from home with such an anomalous cargo—a cargo that could be utilised as a fuel source for certain types of aerospace propulsion. Why would a German submarine be transporting such a cargo so far from home? The survivors divulged to their British captors what they had been carrying, and that information would have definitely raised eyebrows when their find was relayed to British Intelligence.

German submarine U-859 was a Type IXD2 U-Boat, was one of a select number to join Monsun Gruppe or Monsoon Group, which operated in the Far East alongside the Imperial Japanese Navy.

U-859 only had a single war patrol from which she never returned, but her six month career was highly eventful and carried her halfway across the world and into an entirely different theatre of conflict.

Commanded by Kapitänleutnant Johann Jebsen, U-859 sailed from Kiel for Penang on 4 April 1944, carrying 31 tons of mercury in metal flasks destined for use in the Japanese munitions industry, and (according to some sources) uranium oxide also destined for Japan. She avoided shipping lanes and during her time in the North Atlantic, remained submerged for 23 hours every day, running on her schnorkel, surfacing for just one hour per day at 23:00, later reduced to 15 minutes.

Three weeks into her voyage, Jebsen saw a target he could not refuse. The 'MV Colin', formerly an Italian freighter taken over by American authorities and registered in Panama, was slowly steaming unescorted in the North Atlantic following engine failure. Three torpedoes sank her before U-859 went on her way southwards.

The boat's voyage continued smoothly for the next two months, and she rounded the Cape of Good Hope and entered the Indian Ocean without further trouble. On 5 July she was spotted by a Lockheed Ventura aircraft, which swooped down on the boat only to be brought down by the anti-aircraft guns. There were no survivors from the aircraft's crew. One rating of U-859 was killed and one officer seriously injured. (Other sources say the attacking plane was a Catalina anti-submarine-plane).

Her third victim was her most famous, and became one of the most famous treasure shipwrecks of the Twentieth Century. The unescorted Liberty ship 'SS John Barry' was transporting a cargo of 3 million silver one-riyal coins from Aden to Ras Tanura in the Persian Gulf as part of an American government agreement with the Saudi royal family; the silver coins had been minted in America for Saudi monarch King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud and were stacked in huge boxes in the hold, and went down with the ship when she was torpedoed south of the entrance to the Arabian Sea. A massive salvage operation in 1994 succeeded in retrieving many of the lost coins.

Three days later another unescorted merchantman, the British 'SS Troilus' was also sunk, with six hands drowned.

On 23 September 1944 U-859 was running on the surface, within 23 nmi (43 km; 26 mi) of Penang and the end of her voyage, when she was intercepted in the Malacca Straits by the British submarine 'HMS Trenchant', which had been forewarned of her arrival date and route by decrypted German signals. In difficult conditions with a heavy swell running and a second U-Boat thought to be lurking, Trenchant's commander Arthur Hezlet carried out a snap attack using his stern torpedo tubes, hitting U-859 amidships. The U-Boat sank immediately in 50 m (160 ft) of water with several compartments flooded, and 47 men drowned, including her commander.

Twenty of the crew did manage to escape however, opening the hatch in the relatively shallow sea and struggling to the calm surface. Eleven of the survivors were picked up by 'HMS Trenchant' immediately following the sinking, and the remaining nine were picked up by the Japanese after being adrift for 24 hours and were taken ashore to await repatriation.

In 1972 a total of 12 tons of mercury were recovered from U-859 and brought into Singapore. The West German Embassy claimed ownership of the mercury. The Receiver of Wreck took possession of the mercury, and the High Court of Singapore ruled that "the German state has never ceased to exist despite Germany's unconditional surrender in 1945 and whatever was the property of the German State, unless it was captured and taken away by one of the Allied Powers, still remains the property of the German State..."

The case of U-859 was not an isolated one. Many German U-Boats were active throughout the world; many supplied the Japanese throughout the war and, strangely, even after the German capitulation. In July 1945, an unmarked German U-Boat, supposedly part of a secret convoy, delivered a new invention to Japanese research and development units. The Japanese constructed and activated the device. The device soared into the sky where, however inauspiciously, it burst into flames. It was never dared to be built again.

The British Navy, having already retrieved many of the U-Boats that had surrendered in Norway, was well aware that many more had fled, especially if the tale reported in the Latin American press about a German U-Boat convoy totally annihilating the British destroyers that engaged the convoy is to be believed. On 2 May 1945, "El Mercurio" and "Der Weg" claimed that the final naval battle of World War II between the Kriegsmarine and the Royal Navy had been won by the Kriegsmarine, and that the story had been suppressed in the Western press for fear of stimulating German resistance. Only one destroyer was reputedly spared and the Captain was reported as declaring, "May God help me, may I never again encounter such a force". Though the story has been suppressed and the British Government would never admit to the event, rumours of the naval battle are whispered amongst ex-servicemen—but alas, very little of the rumour is substantiated.

The Captain cited by "El Mercurio" and "Der Weg" has never been named, nor has the story been given any credence by the British Navy.

The missing U-Boats were part of the Antarctic jigsaw puzzle that Britain had been putting together since the Nazis first sent Admiral Ritscher on his Thule-sponsored polar mission. And with Britain's Intelligence network—the SOE [Special Operations Executive] and the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service)—providing virtually all the information to the Allied Forces via the Enigma machine and its immense European spy network during the War, the picture was appearing slowly.

The Intelligence network performed wonders for the Allies, especially after the capture of an Enigma machine with decoding documents on 9 May 1941; the German U-110 was captured by 'HMS Bulldog' and 'HMS Aubretia' of the 3rd Escort Group. The Germans never discovered the fact that Britain had broken their "unbreakable" codes.

One prime example of Britain's Intelligence excelling was in how much Britain knew about the Nazi's secret atomic weapons programmes which, in turn, helped the RAF bomb the Nazi's secret research station at Peenemünde in the Baltic Sea. The Germans were at a loss to how the British had even heard about it, let alone been able to bomb it.

With British forces controlling northern Germany and the ports that went with their sector at the end of World War II, there was a strong likelihood of their capturing most of the Nazi hierarchy. They were also ideally placed because Russia was more interested in Berlin, and the vast US forces were stationed mainly in southern Germany where they had been sent to investigate the supposed "Redoubt". Even so, four years before the end of the war, Britain had managed to apprehend the Deputy Führer of the Third Reich, Rudolf Hess, and he was arguably the most knowledgeable of all the Nazis at that juncture.

Rudolf Hess landed in Scotland on 10 May 1941 and asked to meet the Duke of Hamilton. His plans for peace talks were quickly rebutted, and so began his 46-year incarceration. Hess's imprisonment is one of the most widely discussed mysteries of the war. Some claim he was imprisoned because of the damage any revelations he possessed would inflict on the British monarchy. Others claim that Britain's refusal of his peace proposal led to the nation's huge losses territorially, materially, financially and emotionally; because of his silencing, the British people never heard the peace terms or learned how beneficial they may have proved. And some believe that "Hess was entrusted with the all-important Antarctic file"; but whether this was a paper file or a mental note, one thing is for certain: Hess, Deputy Führer, would have known everything about the Nazis' Antarctic intentions.

Though Hess was dismissed by both Hitler and the British Government as "insane", surely Hess's insanity would have restricted his ability in his numerous roles in the Nazi Party and Government.

Hess's insanity is just one aspect of the Hess mystery, and the numerous references to his insanity are too numerous to catalogue. However, it did not prevent him from standing for trial at Nuremberg.

Yet Hess was chief of the Auslandsorganisation, Commissar for Foreign Policy, Commissar for All University Matters and University Policy, Commissar for All Technological Matters and Organization, and also head of the Office for Racial Policy. 

-- Picknett, L., Prior, S. and Prince, C., "Double Standards", Little Brown, 2001

Hess, in layman's terms, had his "finger in every pie".

Rudolf Hess was also an active member of the Thule Society, and his interest in Antarctica would have been on both personal and professional levels. Hess, a keen aviator, used his position in both the Nazi Party and the Thule Society to meet Richard Byrd when he lectured the personnel who were heading for the Antarctic with the Deutsche Antarktische Expedition (German Antarctic Expedition) in 1938, and through his channels Hess would have known everything that had been discovered in Neuschwabenland. Byrd, a living legend throughout the world for being the first man to fly over both the north and south poles, was possibly the most well-informed polar explorer ever, and he divulged his vast knowledge and details of his exploits to the Nazis.

Byrd's advice in his lecture and ultimately the Nazis' successful expedition to claim Neuschwabenland may have given the Nazis conviction enough to establish a viable Antarctic base. Hess' flight and eventual capture a few years after the Deutsche Antarktische Expedition meant that plans would have been underway. His enviable position as Deputy Führer and his close affiliation with the Thule Society which sponsored the expedition meant, as Canadian journalist Pierre van Paasen Van Paasen, in the "Chicago Times", claimed shortly after Hess's flight, that "[t]here was no major military plan and secret of the Third Reich of which he was unaware".

The secrets he gave away in those four years, though dismissed officially as "lunacy" by the British Government and at the Nuremberg Trials, were taken seriously in some quarters—particularly after Britain had caught more of Germany's most powerful Nazis at the end of the war. Unfortunately, with Hess being imprisoned until his suspicious "suicide" in 1987 at the age of ninety-seven, 13 all records about him are locked firmly away under the UK Official Secrets Act and will be for the foreseeable future.

Britain, France, the USSR and USA took turns to guard war criminals including Hess in Spandau Prison. Hess's suspicious death occurred, so we are led to believe, because the Russians were going to release him when their turn next came around. See Picknett et al., "Double Standards", for more detail.  

Only circumstantial evidence can be used to gauge how much or how little Hess knew about the Antarctic haven.

Heinrich Himmler, Reichsführer of the SS, was captured on 23 May 1945 by the British Though he managed to kill himself with a cyanide capsule and thus evade interrogation, his entourage did not have that luxury. Himmler was denounced as a traitor by Hitler for trying to make peace with the US and Britain. But as Himmler had nothing to bargain with and his heinous past meant certain execution, could he still have offered the British information that they desired in the hope of escape or, at worst, a chance to evade the hangman?

Unfortunately for him, with no chance of a reprieve and with Dönitz being apprehended the same day, Himmler became an irrelevance; and with his "disgust" at being treated as just a lowly soldier, he announced who he was before inducing his death. Britain nevertheless more than likely gained all the knowledge that Himmler possessed by interrogating his entourage exhaustively. Whatever knowledge Himmler had wished to share, was shared—and without the British having to keep one of the vilest men in Europe in their custody.

Himmler, labelled a "half crank, half schoolmaster" by Albert Speer, at the Nuremberg Trials, had managed to rise from being a lowly poultry farmer to becoming the most feared, reviled man in Europe because of his system of terror, which made mass murder an industry, and because of his faithful paramilitary SS who ensured "loyalty" and "obedience" to the Nazi State.

The SS Ahnenerbe missions which Himmler authorised in pursuit of the "ancestral Aryan legacy" to such remote places as Tibet, Egypt and Iraq, and even as close by as the Channel Islands, brought in an inestimable amount of research. And though the 1938 Deutsche Antarktische Expedition was firmly under Hermann Göring's control, Himmler was indeed more than interested in the findings of the expedition and the possibility of discovering an entrance to the fabled Hollow Earth—so much so that he surely would have demanded to have been informed for the sake of furthering the Aryan legacy myth.

Even so, how much Himmler knew that was not already known by British Intelligence at the end of the war is debatable, though invaluable to the Allies and Britain in particular were the results of the numerous SS Ahnenerbe missions. Even though Dr Ernst Schäfer, who led the Tibet Expedition, claimed that "Himmler had some very strange ideas" and also that "[t]hey all dabbled in the occult",  this made no difference to the validity or invalidity of any research or evidence collected.

Himmler evaded the hangman's noose by a cyanide capsule, and Göring also used a cyanide capsule on the eve of his execution. Could the pills have been supplied by Britain's SOE in return for information? Hess, Himmler and Göring were all able to commit "suicide" whilst in custody—two of them being firmly in British custody at the time. All three "suicides" have an aura of mystery surrounding them, especially since the three men would have had some knowledge to share about Antarctica.

Hermann Göring, though captured by US forces, still had a fair deal of knowledge about the German Antarctic expeditions of 1938–39 and 1939–40, for it was he who commemorated the first expedition with a medal and bragged to the world about the "German success," as reported in the German press on 10 April 1939. 

Göring was the Nazi Party's number two for so long, but he managed to cheat death and justice in the most mysterious of circumstances. Born into affluence as a son of a colonial officer, Göring became one of Germany's World War I air aces and ended up highly decorated. He joined the Nazi Party in 1923 and took part in the Putsch, where he established himself in Hitler's favour but also received a groin injury. As a result of this injury, Göring became addicted to morphine—an addiction that would have profound consequences.

Göring's marriage to a wealthy and influential woman helped him consolidate his position amongst the elite. His connections to the upper classes assisted the Nazi Party far more beneficially than any parades. In 1932, Göring was elected Speaker of the Reichstag but, despite his popularity, he was making enemies because of his self-obsession, ambition and greed. He became one of Germany's richest men, virtually all his wealth plundered from victims of the Nazis. In 1936, he reached the pinnacle of his career in the Nazi Party when he became Hitler's heir apparent. Yet his popularity had not yet peaked: he would have to wait until the early German success in deploying the Blitzkrieg against Poland for that short-lived honour. But, his addiction was starting to plague his judgement and standing amongst the elite.

The early German victories saw Göring rise in Hitler's estimation, but Hitler's fickle temperament was due to change. When Göring's Luftwaffe failed to win the Battle of Britain despite having superior numbers, Göring fell out of favour. He then found solace only in his morphine and his vast, plundered wealth.

By 1943, Göring was no longer part of the top Nazi leadership; he was heavily addicted, a virtual recluse and drastically out of favour. Any knowledge about Nazi survival plans that he would have been privy to would have been disputable, but it is highly likely that he would have been able to divulge to US Intelligence enough about Antarctica, learned from his time amongst the elite, to have compelled the United States to consider the possibility of a Nazi base on Antarctica and to take action.

The first Antarctic summer after the completion of the Nuremberg Trials saw 'Operation Highjump' launched; but it is quite possible that the Americans missed the boat because the then most well informed Nazi, Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, had already been interrogated extensively by the British. Could a secret deal have been struck between Dönitz and Britain? When we look at the facts, it is more than conceivable that a deal was indeed struck.

"I believe I fought for a just cause and I refused to run away from my responsibilities when the Nazis, shortly after their final collapse, offered to convoy me aboard a submarine to safe refuge".

-- Major Vidkun Quisling, Nuremberg, 1945

Grand Admiral Dönitz had taken over the leadership of Nazi Germany, and every U-Boat, ship, boat and port still held by the Germans after Hitler's death was under his command. He would have been the perfect successor to orchestrate a tactical escape—an escape that would ensure that the German deaths and the research undertaken were not in vain and, in short, that would enable the seeds of a Fourth Reich to disperse.

Many Nazis chose to stay and meet certain death, in spite of the Kriegsmarine having the largest submarine fleet in the Atlantic and the navy's willingness to continue the fight from Norway; it was not that they had nowhere to flee, but many yearned for martyrdom and knew that a greater scheme was being implemented: the emergence of a Fourth Reich.

Quisling wanted to die as a Nazi and showed no remorse, just as those who were hung at Nuremberg had. Their assuredness came from a warped view that they would be deemed martyrs. Hitler, Himmler, Göbbels and numerous other high-ranking Nazis committed suicide—and taking one's own life has been the norm throughout history when the battle is lost and only public humiliation and execution are certain.

Those who committed suicide in Germany's final collapse and those who stood at Nuremberg did so knowing that if they had fled they would have compromised any secret bases or havens as well as the ex-patriot communities that flourished in South America and throughout the world. The chances of a Fourth Reich manifesting with so many high-profile Nazis in hiding were minimal, and the Germans, meticulous and diligent as ever, knew that fact. Sacrifices had to be made.

Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz, Second Führer of Nazi Germany, and his government had been legitimized by various countries around the world when Hitler's death and Dönitz' promotion were known. However, his promotion also meant that he was ideally placed to assist the Nazis in their plans to escape Europe.

Tried as a war criminal alongside the rest of the Nazi hierarchy, Dönitz was given a reprieve from the death sentence and instead was sentenced to serve 10 years in Spandau Prison in Berlin. Throughout his trial, Dönitz claimed that he had only fought in a legal war and that he was ignorant of any Nazi "atrocities" committed. He also claimed to have no knowledge of the "Final Solution". Albert Speer loathed Nazism and was comprehensively remorseful of his part in the Third Reich, yet he received 20 years! Dönitz, on the other hand, wanted his navy to be totally behind the Nazi movement, so much so that he issued an Officer Naval Directive on 14 February 1944, ordering his naval officers not just to accept but to embrace Nazism:

"The whole officer corps must be so indoctrinated that it feels itself co-responsible for the Nationalist Socialist State in its entirety. The officer is the exponent of the State. The idle chatter that the officer is non-political is sheer nonsense". 

Dönitz's light prison sentence is strange in view of his unbridled passion for Nazism, but his directive also contravened virtually every rule amongst the German armed forces. The army's leadership and, to an extent, the Luftwaffe steered clear of politics and focused primarily on the war, but Dönitz asserted that to be "non-political" is "sheer nonsense". His plea for loyalty could explain the unaccounted-for U-Boats and why so many were seen in the months and years after the war had ended—especially in light of what Albert Speer noted on 10 December 1947 in Spandau Prison:

"For all his personal integrity and dependability on the human plane, Dönitz has in no way revised his view of Hitler. To this day, Hitler is still his commander-in-chief". 

-- Speer, Albert, "Spandau: The Secret Diaries", MacMillan, New York, 1976

In Hitler's final Political Testament on 29 April 1945, he called for all Nazis "not to give up the struggle in any circumstances, but to carry it on wherever they may be against the enemies of the Fatherland". Hitler then named his successor after denouncing Göring and Himmler as traitors:

"I appoint Grand Admiral Dönitz as President of the Reich and Supreme Commander of the Wehrmacht".

Hitler had chosen his most loyal military officer and the one person whom he believed could restore the Reich's fortunes. As noted by eminent historian Chester Wilmot, in "The Struggle For Europe", Wordsworth Editions Ltd, Hertfordshire, 1997:

"The importance Hitler attached to the holding of these U-Boats Bases reflected the rising power of Dönitz, who was fast becoming the most influential of his counsellors".

A submarine pen {U-Bootbunker] is a type of submarine base that acts as a Bunker to protect submarines from air attack. The term is generally applied to submarine bases constructed during World War II, particularly in Germany and its occupied countries, which were also known as U-Boat pens

Among the first forms of protection for submarines were some open-sided shelters with partial wooden foundations that were constructed during the first World War. These structures were built at the time when bombs were light enough to be dropped by hand from the cockpit. By the 1940s, the quality of aerial weapons and the means to deliver them had improved markedly.

The mid-1930s saw the Naval Construction Office in Berlin give the problem serious thought. Various factions in the navy were convinced protection for the expanding U-Boat arm was required. An RAF raid on the capital in 1940 plus the occupation of France and Great Britain's refusal to surrender was enough to trigger a massive building programme of submarine pens and air raid shelters.

It was soon realised that such a massive project was beyond the Kriegsmarine, the Todt Organisation [OT] was brought in to oversee the administration of labour. The local supply of such items as sand, aggregate, cement and timber was often a cause for concern. The steel required was mostly imported from Germany.

The attitudes of the people in France and Norway were significantly different. In France there was generally no problem with the recruitment of men and the procurement of machinery and raw materials. It was a different story in Norway. There, the local population were far more reluctant to help the Germans. Indeed, most labour had to be brought in. The ground selected for Bunker construction was no help either: usually being at the head of a fjord, the foundations and footings had to be hewn out of granite. Several metres of silt also had to be overcome. Many of the workers needed were forced labour, most especially the concentration camp inmates supplied by the SS from camps near the pens.

The incessant air raids caused serious disruption to the project, hampering the supply of material, destroying machinery and harassing the workers. Machinery such as excavators, piledrivers, cranes, floodlighting and concrete pumps [which were still a relatively new technology in the 1940s] was temperamental, and in the case of steam-driven equipment, very noisy.

Bunkers had to be able to accommodate more than just U-Boats; space had to be found for offices, medical facilities, communications, lavatories, generators, ventilators, anti-aircraft guns, accommodation for key personnel such as crew-men, workshops, water purification plants, electrical equipment and radio testing facilities. Storage space for spares, explosives, ammunition and oil was also required.

Shelter for operational boats and repair Bunkers, were the most numerous type. There were two types that were built either on dry land or over the water. The former meant that U-Boats had to be moved on ramps; the latter enabled the boats to come and go at will. Pumping the water out enabled dry dock repairs to be carried out. Some Bunkers were large enough to allow the removal of periscopes and aerials.

There is no truth in the rumour of an underground Bunker on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. This "story" was gleaned from a similar situation in Le Havre in France when captured U-Boat men were interrogated by the British.

U-Boat facilities first became a bombing priority in March 1941 and again during the Combined Bomber Offensive. The Bunkers did not suffer as much as their surroundings until August 1944 when a new type of bomb was used against them, the "Tallboy".

U-Boat yards and pens were the primary objectives for the US Eighth Air Force from late 1942 to early 1943. In the course of the war, the Allies used Operation Aphrodite radio-controlled aircraft, "Bat" guided bombs, "Disney" rocket-assisted bombs, Tallboy and Grand Slam deep penetration bombs to attack the U-Boat pens.

U-Boat Sanctuary – The Indestructible U-Boat Bases
By Jerome O'Connor
1 January 2008 
 
Curiously, library shelves of histories about World War Two say little about the purpose, construction, operation and effect the five monolithic Bunker bases had on the Battle of the Atlantic. Volume after volume barely mention the bases.  Even less scholarship is addressed to Admiral Karl Dönitz’ Chateau headquarters and 10,000 sq. ft. attached Bunker. 

In the one-time international command center, and in two adjacent chateaux, Admiral Dönitz implemented and constantly improved the Rudel Taktik or wolf-pack strategy.  It came near to winning the war for Germany at least one year before America’s entry.

Operating from the unassailable Bunker bases brought the U-Boats the closest they ever would get to winning the war. In overlooking the existence of the bases, however, historians also neglected a fundamental component to understanding World War Two.  Millions of Marks were lavished on building and operating the five bases for an uncomplicated reason:  Nazi Germany intended to win the war not only with its vaunted Wehrmacht and skilled Luftwaffe, but, especially with U-Boats.

And the wolf-packs nearly succeeded.  By September 1941 – the U-Boat Bunker bases now fully operational – 25% of all the British merchant fleet had been sunk. Behind the scenes the two great wartime leaders, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, conducted numerous secret strategies, knowing that the war would be won or lost on the high seas.  In his memoirs, Dönitz, wrote about "a sea-war of attrition". 

"Defeat the convoys and Britain would fall", he said.

Projecting German naval power deep into the Atlantic from the strategic French bases therefore became essential to realizing German war aims.  Although ignored and thus discredited by history, each of the five monolithic bases in Brest, Lorient, St. Nazaire, La Pallice and Bordeaux survived intact.  Decades later they represent the most visible illustration in Europe of the Nazi intention to build a regime that would last for a thousand years.  The expensive enterprise represented a fully achievable plan, and it was virtually complete well before the war turned in the Allies favor -a strategy of engineering vision and daring.

Three reasons suggest why the strategic importance – even the bases very existence – remains unknown.  1) The widely but erroneously held belief that the bases were destroyed.  2) The isolated areas in Brittany where the bases were situated, placed them outside the normal tourist areas. 3) After the war the French navy took over three of the five bases for their own nuclear navy. They weren’t about to broadcast their locations.

Begun literally within days of France’s surrender in June 1940, Germany’s U-Boat Bunkers on the Bay of Biscay remain standing to this day as stark monuments to Nazi engineering skill, and Adolf Hitler’s determination to protect his wolf packs and bring the Allies to their knees.

At 15:15 on 21 June, 1940, a jubilant Adolf Hitler stepped from his Mercedes touring car into the forest clearing of Compiegne near Paris. After a mere six weeks of mostly uninspired fighting, France –his most feared enemy– had been defeated. Seated in the same chair and in the same railway car where a victorious Marshall Ferdinand Foch had dictated humiliating surrender terms to Germany on 11 November 1918, the 22-year wait for revenge was over. Germany would occupy more than half of the country, including the strategic Atlantic naval bases of Brest, Lorient, St. Nazaire, La Pallice and Bordeaux.  In signing away national sovereignty, France was forced to allow the Kriegsmarine to base its feared U-Bboat flotillas on the Bay of Biscay.

Soon, a daring, intricate, and amazingly successful construction project transformed the five Biscay ports into indestructible U-Boat Bunker bases.  Decades later, the enormous, monolithic structures still hulk over the town centers from which they were gouged – horrifying, but amazing  in their accomplishment – and among the greatest construction feats in history.

Drained from occupied Europe, concrete and steel measured in the millions of tons sheltered the new pens. Under a punishing 24-hour a day regimen imposed by the German general contractor, Organization Todt, hundreds of German, French, Belgian and Dutch contractors designed and manufactured electrical equipment, high-speed pumps, mechanical systems, submersible caissons, overhead cranes, transformers, generators, and complete power stations. Steel mills, smelters and smithies fabricated underground fuel lines, counter-weighted double doors, steel trusses, lock gates, corrugated steel coverings, dry dock gantries, and railway tracks. Assembled on site were never-before imagined or attempted marine tilting turntables.

Gigantic positioning traversers would move 1,763-ton Type IXB U-Boats from pier side to open pen in one hour. After exhausting land-based resources, even the seabed was mined to suction sand for concrete.

Implausibly, while the shelters’ deep foundations were exposed and vulnerable behind fragile cofferdams, construction continued at a fever pitch under the almost daily observation of British forces and went mostly unchallenged. As for beleaguered Britain, it was truly alone, outgunned, and outflanked in its own backyard. From Norway’s North Cape to the Spanish frontier, the Greater Reich had become master of the continent and its seas.

Less than 48 hours after the French armistice, a long train left U-Boat headquarters in Wilhelmshaven and continued through Paris without pause. Its destination: Lorient, on the remote and rocky Brittany coast. In addition to torpedoes, radios, navigation and optical instruments, spare parts, food and drink, the train accommodated the small personal staff of 49-year-old Commander-in-Chief U-Boats –newly promoted Vice-admiral Karl Dönitz. The admiral’s mission – transform the Biscay ports into impregnable bastions, and expand the sea war of attrition deep into the Atlantic from bases now 450 miles nearer the Western Approaches dense shipping lanes.

In that mournful late June 1940, as France lay stricken under the Nazi jackboot, Dönitz headquartered his command in a requisitioned château at Kerneval on the Scorff River roadstead, within view of the developing Bunker base. The first boat, the U30 [commanded by Fritz-Josef Lemp, who had sunk the British liner 'Athenia on the war’s first day], tied up at the Lorient piers only two days later. Some flotillas remained in Germany and Norway, but from Lemp’s Lorient arrival until the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, almost every Atlantic U-Bboat had a Biscay homeport.

Voyaging treacherous sea highways to deliverance or disaster, by mid-1940 the North Atlantic convoys already were in grave danger. Outbound from the United Kingdom, merchant shipping could rely on naval escorts only to 100 miles west of Ireland, while convoys eastbound from the United States and Canada were on their own a mere 400 miles from North America. With the French ports under German control, a vast uncontested mid-Atlantic gap –the "black hole"– became accessible to Biscay based U-Boats. The effect was immediate. In the first full year of war, an average of only 6 U-Boats at sea at any one time sank over 1,000 merchant ships loaded to the gunwales with more than four million tons of armaments, tanks, trucks, planes, provisions, raw materials, aviation fuel, and oil. By mid 1940 the Royal Navy had only a two-month oil reserve. Little more than a year later, in September 1941, a quarter of the entire British merchant fleet lay on the ocean floor. An agonized Sir Dudley Pound, the BritishFirst Sea Lord, put it starkly: "If we lose the war at sea we lose the war". As beleaguered Britain confronted defeat, Germany tasted victory and Atlantic wall preparations were shunted to secondary status. Completion of the U-Boat pens became the top priority.

With esteem bordering on worship, the submarine force regarded Admiral Dönitz as much more than commander-in-chief. Admired throughout the navy, the men had elevated the unemotional leader they called "the Lion" to a higher rank of father figure, teacher, and master of their young lives. Like a good father, the admiral indulged his boys –affectionately calling them his “Gray Wolves"– with special chartered trains home and minimum one month leaves, or generous liberty in “U-Boat sailors’ pastures" – requisitioned French seaside resorts. The U-Boat pay schedule was almost double that of the other service branches, and with the often-compliant women in the Biscay ports, there was pleasure after the peril. “We are living like gods in France,” went the saying.  Until the war’s  last days, U-boat crews were given the best rations, the highest quality bread, meats, fruits and vegetables, and ample quantities of good German wine and Lager beer. Why not?  Most of them would pay soon enough with their lives.

As each U-boat returned after battle with white victory pennants fluttering like washing in the wind, shipyard workers and other crews cheered the gaunt, grimy sailors mustered on deck wearing salt-encrusted gray leather jackets, faces unshaven and reeking of Diesel fuel. As a military brass band thumped, a bearded white-capped young captain, only a few years older than his crew, inspected the steel-helmeted honor guard. Nurses in white tunics and girlfriends from town scattered fresh flowers. There was a swelling of pride and more than a little arrogance. Had the crews not earned it? After all, Lorient was then “the base of the aces". In 1942, the heyday of the U-Boat’s offensive in the Atlantic, a dozen Biscay based U-Boats each accounted for more than 100,000 tons sunk. No navy ever had nor ever again would achieve that.

From the chateau at Kerneval, Admiral Dönitz introduced the soon-to-be dreaded Rudeltaktik, or  wolf pack strategy, a brilliant exploitation of flaws in the Allied convoy escorting system. From the secure Biscay pens, a mere handful of U-Boats –averaging only eight at any one time, and now with added range– changed the battle’s focus by extending the war to the East Coast of the United States.

The offensive against U.S. shipping began with a captains’ briefing.  As Admiral Dönitz waved the U-Boats out to sea from the grassy terrace over Bunker, "Paukenschlag" [Operation Drumbeat] began. Later, when the war turned against them, the crewmen would warmly reminisce about the "American turkey shoot".

Beginning on 4 January 1942, only 27 days after Pearl Harbor, twelve 1,120 ton, 253-foot Type IX boats launched a coordinated, two-phased attack. By the end of June, the order "Torpedoes los" had sent nearly 400 merchant ships to the bottom, most flying the U.S. flag.

The Americans were careless and conspicuous in their own waters, foolishly found again and again in periscope crosshairs. The tally was highest for coastal-running vessels steaming one behind the other like swaying elephants on parade, their lights undimmed, crews untrained, no radio silence, and their silhouettes displayed perfectly against the blazing lights of cities that had yet to be blacked out. From Hampton Roads to Miami Beach, local chambers of commerce seemed to be advertising directly  to U-Boats. Even worse, most of the ships lost were tankers, and only six U-Boats were sunk. Though a combination of aircraft, escorts, and new technologies eventually turned the tide in the Allies favor, the basing of U-Boats on the French coast changed the strategic nature of the war and brought the Germans the closest they ever came to winning the war at sea.

Of all the cruel arts and sciences in the Nazi arsenal, only the Biscay Bunker bases were built to last for at the least the regime’s promised thousand-year reign.

Compare the construction requirements of only the Lorient Bunker base with the accomplishment of another modern day wonder, Hoover Dam. From 1931 to 1936, 5,000 men controlled the Colorado River and built a dam equivalent to a 65-story skyscraper. Still one of history’s greatest engineering feats, the dam contained 4.4 million cubic feet of concrete poured over a 1,244 foot length and 726 foot height. That singular accomplishment almost was exceeded by just one of the five bases. In Lorient, beginning 2 February 1941,15,000 mostly slave laborers and German overseers began three separate pen enclosures 2,000 feet in total length, 425 feet wide, and 63 feet high, topped further by a seven section, 25-foot thick reinforced concrete roof – itself a daring work of extraordinary engineering skill. Finished in only 23 months, concrete mixers in the hundreds and trucks by the thousands poured concrete exceeding 3.4 million cubic feet. For comparison, Chicago’s Sears Tower, for years the world’s tallest building, would fail to reach the Lorient pens total length by 6oo feet. The Titanic twice over – with 44 feet to spare – could occupy the combined Lorient pens.

Construction raced ahead as the five Biscay bases swallowed 14 million cubic feet of concrete and one million tons of steel. By mid -1942, the Allied Bomber Command had fully awakened to the threat the bases posed.  It was too late; although construction was interrupted, it never stopped. The Germans recorded at least 300 air raids on Lorient alone by the U.S. Eighth Air Force and British Bomber Command. Not one mission succeeded in putting the pens out of commission.

Much more than fortified U-Boat enclosures, the pens were more like complete naval bases under concrete. Feeding the unquenchable needs of repair and overhaul facilities, underground pipes delivered oil, gasoline, lubricants, fresh water and seawater. All the necessities and many of the conveniences equivalent to a medium sized town lay behind solid 11 foot-thick reinforced concrete external walls and three-foot deep armored double blast doors. Extending hundreds of feet within the immense interiors were complete steam and electric generating stations, air-raid shelters, 1,000 man-capacity crew dormitories, cold storage and food lockers, mess facilities, and scores of drafting and engineering offices.  Other spaces contained fire-fighting, repair, and first aid stations, supply and storage rooms, kitchens, bakeries, and hospital and dental facilities. Separate Bunkers housed electrical transformers, fuel tanks, and stand-by power generators. Dangerous or delicate stores such as torpedoes, ammunition and optical equipment went to fortified Bunkers in town.

A five step system ingeniously moved a U-Boat from pier to enclosed dry-dock pen in only one hour. In the final stage, with the U-Boat secure in a cradle set on a trolley, a giant 32 wheel traverser –an electrically driven mobile platform– moved laterally over eight rails to stop opposite an empty pen for final placement inside. Each base had multiple dry docks, but the largest –Lorient– had 19 dry docks in three separate pen enclosures, called Keroman I, II, and III. Sideways-moving traversers linked two of the three enclosures. Of 1,149 major wartime overhauls at the five bases [each lasting approximately one month], almost half were completed in Lorient. During the Battle of the Atlantic’s most crucial periods –even during merciless air raids– Lorient berthed up to 28 U-Boats simultaneously.  After the war, in grudging admiration, the U.S. Strategic Bombing survey called Lorient, "the world’s greatest submarine base".

After hundreds of air raids only dimpled the pens, a new Allied weapon –the "Tallboy"- entered the scene. Sporting offset fins for bullet-like twisting, the 12,000-pound ballistic bomb was so heavy it could be dropped only from relatively low levels, thus negating much of its penetrating ability. In bases with incomplete defenses, some hits actually penetrated to the pen berths. But after hundreds of attempts, not one Tallboy pierced roofs with the complete seven-layer Fangrost system. At war’s end the five bases remained fully functional, but the five once-peaceful seaports and their surroundings were destroyed completely.

After the German surrender, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey counted 3,000 artillery pieces along the entire Atlantic Wall.  Sited on land, Flak ships and Flak towers, 300 heavy-caliber guns defended Lorient.  Numerous Luftwaffe bases and 40,000 Wehrmacht troops encircled the Bunkers. Surrounding the pens, bristling from firing ports, casemates, Flak-towers and armored turrets, scores of 20mm, 75mm, 88mm, 105mm, and 128mm guns awaited the Allied enemy.  No combat zone was protected more fiercely.  But Festung Lorient withered on the vine, as the U.S. 66th Infantry, and 4th Armored Divisions wisely skirted Lorient on the march to Germany.

When it was over, only two forsaken U-Boats remained within the intact Lorient Bunker base.  One was scuttled, while the other –  the still seaworthy U-123 – was re-flagged as the French S-10 'Blaison' and sailed unremarkably from Lorient until 1959.

In 2,160 days of fearless and increasingly desperate combat, 28,000 of the once-proud German Untersee force [a 70% loss rate] would never again see the Fatherland. Almost all went to the bottom with their boats. Their average age was 22.

In hundreds of heroic missions, many over the Biscay pens, the 8th Air Force lost 30,000 men, a 10% death rate, ten times higher than for U.S. ground forces. Four thousand rest under Portland stone tablets in the American cemetery in Cambridge, England.   Their average age also was 22.

The unchanged, intact, and forgotten Lorient and St. Nazaire Bunker bases opened to worldwide tourism in 2000.

 


Lair of the Seawolves
Artist: John Meeks
 
This painting depicts a typical scene inside one of the infamous U-Boat "pens" constructed in occupied Europe by Nazi Germany. In it we see the Captain and First Officer of an unidentified type IX boat overseeing welding work being carried out on the casing of their vessel, while in the background, Erich Topp's Type VIIC "Red Devil" boat is almost ready to put out to sea.

With concrete roofs some ten metres thick, these colossal structures were almost indestructible - until the Royal Air Force came up with their 10 Ton "earthquake bombs in 1944/45, weapons that could literally drill their way
into the reinforced concrete before exploding.

Notwithstanding many successful Allied raids, many if not all of "the Pens" survive to this day - and are still in use. In addition to having been used for their original purpose, this time by the French Navy, many offer safe haven
for pleasure craft - a far cry from this wartime scene.

Hitler favoured Dönitz and was so fascinated about the new U-Boats' capabilities and the possibility of turning the tide in the Atlantic that "from the start of 1945 they were almost in daily consultation". 


Hitler meets with Großadmiral Dönitz in the Führerbunker in April 1945

With the new U-Boats being able to stay submerged the entire trip from Europe to South America or Antarctica, the chances of a percentage of the Nazi war machine escaping were vastly improved, as was the ability to deal with the British and American navies.

At the Führer Naval Conference on 3 January 1945, Dönitz bragged about how the new U-Boat fitted with the Schnorchel could "achieve success in waters where Germany was forced to cease operations more than three years ago". Dönitz's 1945 claim was nothing new: back at another Führer Naval Conference on 8 July 1943, he had already claimed that the new U-Boats would create "entirely new possibilities," and his boasts meant that Hitler ordered the construction of Dönitz's U-Boats as a top priority.

The faith that the Nazi hierarchy had in the new U-Boats never diminished, even as Russian soldiers were streaming into Germany. On 6 March 1945, in a report sent to Dönitz, Göbbels spoke up about the sentiment shared amongst the Nazi elite:

"There is considerable hope for us here. Our U-Boats must get to work hard; above all, it may be anticipated that as the new type gets into action, far greater results should be achieved than with our old U-Boats".

Göbbels again noted in his war diary how pleased the Nazi hierarchy was:

"Clearly, the revival of our U-Boat war has made a great impression on the war".

Göbbels's perceived "revival" was recorded on 28 March 1945, only a month before his death in supposed desperation!

Dönitz, as Hitler's most trusted envoy after Göbbels, was aware of Nazi plans for the East as well as the concentration camps.

Dönitz told Leon Goldensohn, an American psychiatrist at Nuremberg, "I never had any idea of the goings-on as far as Jews were concerned. Hitler said each man should take care of his business, and mine was U-boats and the Navy". Dönitz also told Dr. Goldensohn of his support for Admiral Bernhard Rogge, who had one Jewish grandparent, when the Nazi Party began to persecute him.

On 11 November 1940, German–Japanese relations, as well as Japan's plans to expand southwards into South-East Asia, were decisively bolstered when the crew of the German auxiliary cruiser Atlantis boarded the British cargo ship 'SS Automedon'. Fifteen bags of Top Secret mail for the British Far East Command were found, including naval intelligence reports containing the latest assessment of the Japanese Empire's military strength in the Far East, along with details of Royal Air Force units, naval strength, and notes on Singapore's defences. It painted a gloomy picture of British land and naval capabilities in the Far East, and declared that Britain was too weak to risk war with Japan. The mail reached the German embassy in Tokyo on 5 December, and was then hand-carried to Berlin via the Trans-Siberian railway. A copy was given to the Japanese; it provided valuable intelligence prior to their commencing hostilities against the Western Powers. The captain of the 'Atlantis', Bernhard Rogge, was rewarded for this with an ornate katana Samurai sword; the only other Germans so honored were Hermann Göring and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

Rogge was awarded the Knight's Cross on 7 December 1940 and the Oak leaves 31 December 1941.

He also was one of the few German officers of flag rank who was not arrested by the Allies after the war. This was due to the way he had exercised his command of 'Atlantis'.

J. Armstrong White, captain of the British 'City of Baghdad', which 'Atlantis' sank in July 1941, stated, "His treatment of prisoners left respect, instead of hatred". White later wrote the foreword to "Atlantis, the Story of a German Surface Raider", written by U. Mohr & A. V. Sellwood.

And though some historians suggest he should never have been tried as a war criminal, in the face of the raft of evidence to the contrary, the only aspect that should raise eyebrows about Dönitz's sentence at Nuremberg is its length. His light sentence was due to his assistance in supplying the Allies with information that was invaluable, especially when he had virtually all knowledge of the mysterious U-Boats that were being spotted around the world after the war.

Britain, being the nation to apprehend Dönitz, was the main beneficiary of Dönitz' intelligence and, as his arrest on 23 May 1945 was the second time he had been incarcerated by Britain, the British interrogators would have known just which buttons to switch to get the answers they wanted.

In 1918, in the closing days of World War I, Dönitz had been taken prisoner by the British Navy. He was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp and then transferred to the Manchester Royal Lunatic Asylum. After extensive psychological tests, he was certified "insane" and was left to be "treated" for a year.

In spite of Göbbels's comment that Dönitz was "a very cool and realistic calculator", the time Dönitz spent in the lunatic asylum would have left mental scars that would have surfaced if he'd again been threatened with incarceration. That fear and his loyalty to the Third Reich meant he had no choice but to stall on the notion of surrender when, on 1 May 1945, he first heard about his succession after Hitler's death. In a Directive to the Wehrmacht on 1 May 1945, reported in "The Times", London, 2 May 1945, Dönitz announced:

"Against the British and Americans I shall continue the struggle so far and so long as they hinder me in carrying out the fight against Bolshevism".

With Dönitz still in command of a large navy and enough Wehrmacht to cause further problems for the Allies, his announcement was a threat that the Western Allies in particular took very seriously; it made them realise that peace was still far from certain and "Unconditional Surrender" might need reassessing.

"The London Times", the day after Dönitz's announcement, advised caution:

"Dönitz may gather a force sufficiently large to cause trouble. The fighting spirit of the navy is probably still high. There is a formidable number of U-Boats based in Norway, where the enemy also has 200,000 land forces and some hundreds of aeroplanes. It is thus likely that Dönitz contemplates making his stand there rather than in the overrun Reich or in the southern redoubt now threatened from the north and south. He may delay somewhat, but cannot alter, the decision".

In light of Dönitz's pledge to continue the fight and the vast force still under his command, and considering Allied fears, could "peace" have been struck—a peace that had guarantees for all sides? Dönitz could have asked for Germany to be rebuilt and not humiliated like at Versailles, for the Western Allies to fight the spread of Bolshevism, and for leniency if not clemency from the victors, including a whitewash of his personal wartime history, in exchange for a total surrender and for passing on extremely sensitive intelligence.

Only a week after Dönitz had declared that the war would continue whilst Bolshevism persisted, he ordered the surrender of all German forces.

All the facts indicate that Dönitz's history has been suppressed, and against all reason Dönitz is still not perceived by mainstream historians as having been a major player in Nazi Germany. Clemency was shown with such a short prison sentence, the communist threat had been realised by the Western Allies, and West Germany rose out of the ashes of May 1945 to become the powerhouse of Europe, with many of the major companies that bankrolled the Nazi Party forming huge conglomerates.

Other than formally calling for a German surrender and bringing the war in Europe to an end, Dönitz carried on as President of Germany for a further three weeks and was only arrested on 23 May 1945 by British forces.

Dönitz, twice imprisoned by the British and a reluctant admirer of the British naval tradition (which did nothing to dampen his hatred for Britain), was the one person who knew the exact state of play concerning the Nazi U-Boats, including the new and formidable Type XXI U-boats. Dönitz was also the one person who would have known where the Neuschwabenland base was and what had been transported there and elsewhere. And with information so vital not just to national security but world security, Dönitz could have chosen to divulge as little or as much as he wished; no matter how minimal or sketchy his intelligence, its value was priceless.

Dönitz was an impressive character and in the early stages of the war had impressed Hitler with his loyalty and vision. Dönitz duly received his reward on 31 January 1943 when he was promoted to the position of Supreme Commander of the Navy. In one of his inaugural speeches to a select officer elite, Dönitz claimed that "the German submarine fleet is proud of having built for the Führer, in another part of the world, a Shangri-La land, an impregnable fortress".

--  "The National Police Gazette", January 1977.

This was an impressive statement and one that inspired allegiance in his officers and pride in Hitler and the Kriegsmarine. Dönitz's statement spread around the Kriegsmarine with gusto, for all who heard it believed in the possibility. 

Dönitz served only 10 years and lived in a free West Germany, and mainstream historians dare not even write about a Nazi Antarctic haven or Dönitz's passion for National Socialism.

When Dönitz spoke of a "Shangri-La land" in 1943, was he telling the truth? With the Kerguelen Archipelago being used as a German U-boat base and Neuschwabenland still in German plans, Dönitz knew that his statement would impress Hitler.

Unfortunately though, with most of the documents—including speech notes, memoirs and diaries—relating to Nazi plans for Neuschwabenland destroyed, disappeared or archived firmly away, any suggestion of Antarctica being a Nazi haven was laughed off by nervous governments. It meant that to raise the subject was to open oneself up to ridicule.

However, Dönitz's speeches leave enough clues to cause one to suspect that a whole chapter from World War II has been purposely suppressed. In 1944 at an Officer Naval Directive, Dönitz announced:

"The German Navy will have to accomplish a great task in the future. The German Navy knows all hiding places in the oceans and therefore it will be very easy to bring the Führer to a safe place, should the necessity arise, and in which he will have the opportunity to work out his final plans".

The Kriegsmarine was much travelled, loyal to its cause and daring in its exploits. German U-Boats were frequent visitors to the East Coast of America and they travelled under the Arctic ice and even up the River Mersey into the Mersey Estuary in England. But their most interesting exploit was discovering an underwater trench that went straight through Antarctica by way of a connection of subterranean lakes, caves, crevasses and ancient ice tunnels.

The Allies took Dönitz's statement seriously, especially after Hitler's mysterious suicide; they were aware that Antarctica could have been the "safe place" that Dönitz had spoken of. The British were already onto it, but the Americans were only compelled into action after Dönitz made a statement in 1946, supposedly during his trial at Nuremberg, boasting of an "invulnerable fortress, a paradise-like oasis in the middle of eternal ice".

Britain, having already investigated the "invulnerable fortress", assisted the United States by covertly supplying maps of Antarctica, whilst overtly, along with Chile, Argentina and other claimant countries, expressing grievances about the intended Operation Highjump. Britain's assistance in supplying these maps—similar to the Norwegian maps utilised by the 1938 Deutsche Antarktische Expedition—did not paint the full picture.

Dönitz's information supplied to the British and the likely destruction undertaken by British forces of the Neuschwabenland base meant that Queen Maud Land [Neuschwabenland] was not reconnoitred meticulously by the Americans. There is no answer to explain this omission, though many have speculated. More than likely it was because the area had been explored so profoundly earlier in the century, but one can't help but wonder whether it was because Britain had been there first, leaving nothing for the Americans to find. However, Operation Highjump still supposedly recovered evidence of other bases—though, similarly to British expeditions on Antarctica, Highjump's true findings have also been suppressed?

Dönitz had a unique knowledge of Antarctica, but it was his knowledge of German U-Boat ports in Norway and U-Boats stationed there, as well as the nexus between Norway and Antarctica, that shed further light on the forgotten Antarctic front. But, whilst the importance of Norway to Dönitz, Hitler and the Kriegsmarine was well known, some of the real reasons for the initial invasion of Norway are less so and add even more of a mystery to the history of World War II and the Antarctic front.

"We are standing here in Norway, undefeated, strong as before. No enemy has dared attack us. And yet we, too, shall have to bow to the dictate of our enemy for the benefit of the whole German cause. We trust we shall from now on deal with men who respect a soldier's honour".

-- General Franz Böhme, German Commander-in-Chief in Norway, 7 May 1945

The primary reasons for Norway's importance to Germany were that its coastlines made exceptional U-Boat bases, the Germans needed to secure shipments of Swedish iron ore, and the Vermok hydro-electric plant, which produced deuterium oxide (heavy water), was essential to their atomic research, in which they were leading the world at that juncture. However, there were other reasons—reasons that caused Hitler to review and reverse his stance on preserving Norwegian neutrality.

On 14 January 1939, Norway formalised its claim to Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, its course of action forced on it by the imminent German discoveries. Adversely, for Norway, its attempt at pre-empting any German claims failed, and so began a political crisis that led to invasion. The Deutsche Antarktische Expedition, using Norwegian maps, soon realised that the wily Norwegians had omitted the vast, dry areas that it rediscovered on 20 January 1939. The Norwegians, and also the British, had long been aware of ice-free areas but had purposely omitted them on their maps so as to avoid additional claimant countries appearing and the conceivable diplomatic crises that would ensue.

When the Germans reported the ice-free areas, they were told to claim the whole area in the name of Nazi Germany. They were ordered to drop stakes with Swastikas on them to state their intent for sovereignty: this, the Nazis hoped, would be enough to formalise their claim. Nazi Germany and Hitler cared little about what the world thought: they had already gained Austria and Czechoslovakia, and Antarctica was to be a further extension of the Third Reich. Norway valiantly protested about the German claim and the renaming of Queen Maud Land to Neuschwabenland but, with European nations gearing up for war and the world's attention turning to Poland, Antarctica was forgotten.

When war finally broke out in September 1939, most of Germany's eventual conquests declared neutrality. Norway was no exception. Hitler wanted Norway to remain neutral but his War Cabinet, whose opinions he trusted until the tide turned against Germany, persuaded him otherwise.

On 20 February 1940, Hitler ordered General von Falkenhorst to lead an expedition force to Norway. Hitler claimed:

"I am informed that the English intend to land there [Norway] and I want to be there before them".

-- Hart, Basil Liddell, "History of the Second World War", Cassell, London, 1970

The British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, in a  Parliamentary Speech on 2 April 1940, famously boasted when he announced that British forces had also landed in Norway that Hitler had "missed the bus" 33. His folly caused his government to collapse, his resignation to be forced and his reputation to be destroyed. Furthermore, by committing troops to Norway, Chamberlain had played into the hands of Hitler and all those inside the German War Cabinet. But had the British mission been a total failure?

Operation Weserübung was launched by Germany on 9 April 1940 and Norway was invaded [Denmark was also invaded that same day]. And though the British and Allied forces had to be evacuated in June, they had slowed the unstoppable Wehrmacht enough to help the monarchy, the government and the national treasure be evacuated on board the British cruiser, 'HMS Devonshire'. King Haakon VII represented Norway in exile, and the vast treasures and documents saved were beneficial not just to the preservation of Norway but to British Intelligence.

Hitler was furious with Vidkun Quisling, whom he had hoped would aid the Nazis more comprehensively. Quisling ultimately would have no power, and his inability to stop the evacuation of the monarchy, the government and not least the vast treasures and documentation caused Hitler to lose faith in him and declare him a Norwegian traitor. Those who failed Hitler lost their standing—Hitler made sure of that. Even so, Quisling claimed publicly that he had been offered "safe refuge". Whether the statement was that of a madman or was an honest admission, it echoed the claims of others.

Though Hitler had only wished to beat the British to Norway, his War Cabinet knew that Norway was vital to virtually all the branches of Germany's armed forces and was more beneficial to its war effort than any other conquest. Nazi Germany's occupation of Norway brought immense benefits to the Reich. There were thousands of miles of protected fjords for the German U-Boats, and there was the possibility of the Nazis exerting pressure on neutral Sweden. [A total of 2,140,00 German soldiers and more then 100,000 German military railway carriages crossed Sweden until the traverse was officially suspended on 20 August 1943]. 

The Third Reich now had a border closer to the Arctic, 

The Nazis were fascinated by Polar Myths, and with the USSR and the USA more accessible via the frozen Arctic Ocean and Murmansk the only port available in Europe for the Soviet Union, the Arctic convoys were constantly harassed, whilst scientific studies increased in the Arctic.

and there was also the chance to train its soldiers in polar conditions, especially after the acquisition of Spitzbergen,

Spitzbergen has numerous mysteries surrounding it, from anomalous plant and animal fossils to ancient ruins. Many believed it to be ancient Thule. Also, Spitzbergen cannot be mentioned without the rumour concerning a UFO crash there in the 1950s; British scientists were supposedly involved in the retrieval.

much to the pleasure of Himmler and his Ahnenerbe. Best of all, Norway was within striking distance of all Nazi Germany's enemies. Norway and its ports also made marshalling the Arctic Sea and the North Atlantic far more profitable. These benefits, allied with the primary reasons, made Norway a highly prized conquest.

However, Germany's occupation was not without problems. Britain heavily financed the Norwegian Resistance and it was due to their cooperation that the Vermok hydro-electric plant was targeted and sabotaged so successfully.

Information was passed on a two-way basis and the SOE and SIS were privy to any revelation uncovered. British Intelligence also had access to all the Norwegian Government's files, no matter how "sensitive" the information. Britain at that point stood alone: any information, no matter how trivial, was indispensable. Many Poles had gone to the UK after the start of the German occupation with intelligence on the Germans as well as with one of the first prototypes of the Enigma code-making device. Similarly, with the invasion and occupation of Norway, many fleeing Norwegians brought secrets of the Reich to England.

After Britain frustrated Germany in the Battle of Britain and, as a result, instilled hope in the numerous governments in exile, in 1940–41 it could only fight the Germans in Africa or bomb their cities. But news was soon filtering through about a new front, and one that both the British and Norwegian governments had hoped would never be opened—a front for which there was little in the way of contingency plans.

On 13 January 1941, German commandos under the leadership of Captain Ernst-Felix Kruder from the commerce raider, the 'Pinguin', stormed and violently captured two Norwegian whaling ships. If that had happened around European coastlines, there would have been no mystery because the Germans allowed none of its conquered peoples to sail too far from land; but because the captures took place in the Southern Ocean off Neuschwabenland, the news when it filtered through could only have sent shock waves through both the British and Norwegian governments. However, the mystery deepened further because the subsequent night the German commandos resurfaced and captured three more whaling ships and also 11 catchers.

The German Antarctic Fleet was active and prospering—mines they had laid around Australian ports sank the first US vessel lost to enemy action—but it was the Antarctic coast and islands where they mainly loitered. The 'Atlantis', the 'Pinguin',  the 'Stier' and the 'Komet' were just four of the documented ships that had anomalous reasons for being so far south. All four were eventually sunk by the British Navy, far from Antarctica in various parts of the world from France to the Ascension Islands.

Now that the Antarctic Front had been truly opened, Britain increased its Antarctic bases and personnel numbers. However, possibly the most important area that demanded a base was in Neuschwabenland, officially known as Queen Maud Land. Through Norway's assistance with information and maps, Britain envisaged Maudheim as the most viable place for a base because it was close enough to be able to spy on German activities and also was within striking distance for a highly trained and disciplined military unit.

From 1941 until the start of the British–Swedish–Norwegian Expedition of 1949–52, Britain sent at least 12 official missions to Antarctica—half of them between the end of the war and the beginning of Operation Highjump, led by Admiral Byrd, starting in December 1946. Even more intriguingly, Britain sent no missions from the commencement of Highjump until 1948, during which time the US had Antarctica all to itself. Britain nonetheless was more active in Antarctica during the 1940s than any other nation, yet the only Antarctic mission mentioned in depth by historians is Admiral Byrd's. His mission still overshadows every other mission and is the main focus of attention for many conspiracy theorists. Britain's exertions were and still are totally overlooked; and with Admiral Byrd spreading misinformation, the true conspiracy concerning Antarctica as a Nazi haven was forgotten.

After the German surrender, Norway still needed to be mopped up, the possible Nazi exodus needed to be ascertained and the secrets that Norway held still needed more investigation. The discoveries further confirmed that the war had ended just in time, but suspicions were still aroused about the estimated 250,000 missing German personnel—including Martin Bormann and thousands of other wanted Nazi war criminals. The enigma of the submarines that were presumed to have been utilised in their escape also required consideration. However, even though a percentage of Germany's U-Boats may have fled Norway, what was uncovered was still intriguing and certainly proved that the Germans had made great technological strides.

On 29 June 1945, the "Washington Post" published an article stating that the RAF had found, near Oslo, 40 giant Heinkel bombers—aircraft with a 7,000-mile range. The article stated that the captured German ground crews had claimed that "the planes were held in readiness for a mission to New York".

The British also requisitioned some of the U-Boats held in Norway at the end of the war, including the new Type XXI. Captain Mervyn Wingfield was placed in charge of taking these 25 salvaged U-Boats to Scapa Flow and, interestingly, chose the new Type XXI to sail in. Upon returning, he stated that "the Allies had won the submarine war just in time" ["The Times", London, June 1945 - exact date not available]—a statement reiterated by all the Allies when speaking about the Nazis' new weapons.

In the UK, British Intelligence unearthed more of Norway's secrets but suppressed them; Antarctica was no exception. When the Norwegian Government returned to a liberated Norway, Antarctica soon returned to their consciousness, though the Norwegians would have to wait several years to go back there, lest the rumours of a Nazi base were true.

On the other hand, Britain decided it had collated enough knowledge about Antarctica to initiate an intense investigation—one that had to dispel all fears and hide all evidence—for it could not tolerate any more technology or personnel being acquired by the wrong hands, namely, the USSR and the USA.

Britain had helped liberate Norway and, as 1945 was drawing to a close, was in the process of "liberating" Queen Maud Land (the new atlas of the post-war world no longer recognised Neuschwabenland). However, the mysterious wartime expeditions conducted by all the combatant countries, especially Germany, were not entered into the World War II history books. A travesty of history had occurred.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, suspicions surfaced and rumours spread, and the new enemy—one that Hitler had hoped to annihilate—was communism. Allies became enemies, whilst former enemies became allies in the battle against communism. And whilst the USA was offering huge financial subsidies to Western governments to keep them communism-free, Britain was left alone to clean up the last remaining Nazi outposts.

When German forces surrendered in May 1945, peace should have broken out but, alas, the world was thrown into a turmoil that was every bit as volatile as it had been before the most violent war in humanity's history began. The year 1945 was not just the year that World War II ended but also the year that the Cold War started in earnest; and whilst the USSR and the USA had fears about each other's intentions, they also had differing ideas for how Germany was to be administered. The problems started at the Yalta Conference of 4–11 February 1945, but were heightened by the end of the war in Europe when the misinformation and secrecy about the Allies' discoveries made the partnership that had destroyed Nazism no longer tenable.

The atmosphere that surrounded Germany in May 1945 following the Nazi surrender was one of exhaustion; but whilst the Western Allies were so fatigued by the war effort, Stalin was not going to give up his territorial gains and was prepared for war and, indeed, fully expected it.

The Soviets did nothing to allay the fears that a Nazi haven had been built or that Hitler might not have committed suicide but, instead, had escaped.

An official Soviet statement released in September 1945 claimed that "mysterious persons were on board the submarine, among them a woman..." With Stalin going on record with his view that Hitler was alive, and contradictions coming from his own generals, the USSR only added to the mystery.

Just before Berlin fell to the Soviets, it was reported that Martin Bormann had discussed Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, with Grand Admiral Dönitz. This conversation that emanated from Hitler's Berlin Bunker was one of the last to be intercepted in the war in Europe. Argentina had long been perceived as a haven for many escaping Nazis, but this possibility was long denied by the sympathetic Perons. Yet, with the Soviet General Zhukov and Stalin disagreeing as to whether Hitler was dead or had fled, the Nazi survival myth gained momentum.

Britain, in the unique position of holding the strategically important Falkland Islands, was the only country in the immediate months after the war that was in a position to investigate the leading Nazis' claims about an Antarctic haven and the rise of a Fourth Reich in South America.

The USA, distracted by the war against Japan and the brewing Cold War, had been caught short by Britain's Antarctic exertions and humbled by its aggressive stance. So the Americans soon adopted a policy, dreamt up during the war, that would destroy Britain's imperial aspirations, hinder every attempt by Britain to exert any influence around the world and make the country an "ally" in name only. However, as early as 1942, Britain and British identity were suffering as a result of the United States' globalization agenda. It must be remembered that Britain was denied its own atomic bomb, despite the fact that the bomb could have not been created without British expertise. Furthermore, the British people faced worse rationing than any other Western nation, lasting direfully until the 1950s, and Britain was also pressured into giving full independence or self-government to most of the territories in its Empire.

So, whilst Britain went into World War II a superpower, by the end of the war and by the actions of American foreign policy, especially Operation Highjump, it had been put firmly in its place. The United States became the only country that could successfully influence Britain—as the 1956 Suez crisis proved. Even now, 60 years after the end of World War II, British blood is still being shed on behalf of US foreign policy.

The Nazi "Shangri-La" did exist. Of unknown size, it was set up during the 1938–39 Deutsche Antarktische Expedition. The existence of a Nazi Antarctic base hidden in vast caverns was considered feasible enough for the British to set up bases in many parts of Antarctica during the war in response to the threat. And whilst the officially recorded British expeditions mainly concentrated around the Antarctic Peninsula, those not recorded were those that concentrated on investigating Queen Maud Land—so named by Norwegian whalers prior to 1939 in honour of Queen Maud of Norway (1869–1938), consort of King Haakon VII and formerly Princess Maud of the United Kingdom, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

The Norwegians began exploring Queen Maud Land intensively in 1930, and using planes for the first time they photographed and sketched the area. In subsequent flights in 1931 and 1936, they uncovered areas unknown and identified anomalies that would attract worldwide interest. On 4 February 1936, Lars Christensen dropped the Norwegian flag from his plane, thus claiming the land informally. The maps produced from the photographs omitted the dry areas and lakes that had been identified, but the discoveries led to private discussions between the Norwegian Government and the Monarchy as to whether Norway should annex the area.

After much deliberation, on 14 January 1939—six days before the first Deutsche Antarktische Expedition flight over Queen Maud Land—the Norwegian Government passed a royal decree annexing the region between Enderby Land and Coates Land as Queen Maud Land.

The Deutsche Antarktische Expedition discoveries were well publicized. Captain Ritscher and his two Dornier Wal flying boats ('Boreas' and 'Passat') flew extensively and produced in excess of 1,500 photographs that covered an area of over 250,000 square kilometres. However, as with the strange case of the suppressed Norwegian maps, most of the films, records and research materials were destroyed in the war, though some have since resurfaced.

During the war and up till the end of the Antarctic summer of 1945–46, Britain's RAF was also flying over Antarctica to map the area and search for suitable places to establish bases. It discovered more dry areas and possibly even the intelligence that provoked Britain's Neuschwabenland campaign.

Britain's arrogance in committing troops to Antarctica, independent of the United States, and in celebrating the feat with the release in February 1946 of a provocative stamp set, would inevitably lead to Britain's claims on Antarctica being contested, even though the stamps commemorated Britain's final fight with Nazism rather than being a statement of its Antarctic claims. And even though Britain expressed outrage publicly when Highjump was launched, it was just a pretence: privately, Britain knew that the USA's newfound superpower status meant that it would not permit Antarctica to be utilised by other nations for financial gain.

Britain halted its Antarctic flights and operations for two years, giving the United States a free hand in Antarctica with the commencement of Operation Highjump.

In the two years they had to discover as much about Antarctica as possible, the Americans found dry areas and warm-water lakes that provoked immense media interest, but Operation Highjump, which they'd planned to last for six months, ended after just eight weeks. They received a hostile reaction from other nations, but it was only after the mission's return that the rumours and theories began to abound and the enigma surrounding Highjump really began. The US conducted another expedition, Operation Windmill, in the Antarctic summer of 1947–48 and mapped additional areas of special interest.

The RAF returned in 1948–49 and flew extensively in search of a viable base in Queen Maud Land for the joint Norwegian–British–Swedish Expedition (NBSE) that was going to last from 1949 to 1952 and whose objective was to investigate and verify the 1938 German discoveries.

Britain and Norway knew that the area of Queen Maud Land which the Nazis had utilised would be vastly different from that which was mapped in the 1930s and early 1940s.

When NBSE team members inspected the area, they found the largest land animal (bar penguins) on the continent: tiny mites. That discovery was an irregularity in itself. The expedition also discovered unusual lichens and mosses in certain areas. However, the lakes that had been so prevalent in reports from previous expeditions were largely not noted; nor were the vast, dry areas. Could the lakes have frozen and the majority of the dry areas have disappeared under a blanket of snow?

Meantime, more and more countries wanted their own bases in Antarctica, and soon skirmishes started. In November 1948, Britain's Hope Base on the Antarctic Peninsula was suspiciously destroyed by fire; in 1952, Argentinian forces shot at the British returning from the joint expedition. Details of other skirmishes unfortunately have been suppressed for diplomatic reasons.

However, in 1982, Britain went to war against Argentina over the Falkland Islands (the Malvinas). Its defeat of the Argentinian forces led to the collapse of the fascist military junta that had dominated Argentina for several years. Argentina also had more than a passing interest in Antarctica but, with the deaths of over 2,000 personnel in the Malvinas campaign and facing the possibility of Buenos Aires being bombed, Argentina had no choice but to admit defeat. Yet, whilst admitting the battle was lost, Argentina insisted the war was not over. The Malvinas are Argentinian possessions according to South American atlases, and who is to say that war will not erupt again one day? If that were to happen, Britain would again send an armada to fight because, quite patently, the Falkland Islands are still one of Britain's most prized dependencies and the reason is quite simple: their close proximity to Antarctica and all its treasures and mysteries that one day will be allowed to be utilized and accessed. A 50-year extension on the mining ban was agreed in 1998; it runs until the year 2048.

Before the Antarctic Treaty was ratified on the 23 June 1961, the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1958 brought immense international attention and cooperation to the frozen continent. The Americans returned in numbers, as did the British, but the Soviets also began their own experiments.

The aim of the IGY was to enable nations to put aside their claims whilst sharing resources and scientific information. The success of the IGY allowed the Antarctic Treaty to be enacted—but with the USSR stating that it had no intention of leaving Antarctica and that it would keep all its bases when the IGY ended. However, all claimants deemed that "Antarctica is to be used for peaceful purposes only", although military personnel and equipment may be utilised but not for military reasons.

In the years prior to the June 1961 ratification, the USA, UK and USSR had all used Antarctica for military purposes and all three nations were rumoured to have tested nuclear bombs on the continent. On 27 and 30 August and 6 September 1958, at least three such bombs were detonated in Antarctica, allegedly by the Americans. Rumour has it that they were set off in the area of Queen Maud Land and were triggered 300 metres above the target, with the initial aim being to "recover" frozen areas. The locations of other bomb detonation sites have been firmly suppressed, but it is believed that the areas reconnoitred by the Germans in 1939 and 1940 were targeted.

-- Stevens, Henry, "The Last Battalion and German Arctic, Antarctic, and Andean Bases", The German Research Project, Gorman, California, 1997

With the Germans and Americans officially claiming to have found warm-water lakes on their expeditions, it was only a matter of time before more were discovered. One such lake, discovered by the Russians, is Lake Vostok, which is 4,000 metres below the surface and curiously is located under the Russian base camp of Vostok. News of the discovery was not released to the world until 1989, so had the Soviets found the subterranean lake years earlier and was this their main reason for refusing to leave its base? The lake has still not been investigated, mainly out of fear of what could be unleashed and to avoid contamination of the lake, although a huge magnetic anomaly has been identified.

With so many lakes being discovered and with satellites proving that the Antarctic is made up of huge, ice-encased archipelagos, is it unimaginable to believe that a subterranean trench, wide enough for U-Boats to pass through, actually runs through Antarctica, as claimed on the Piri Reis map?

 

Another mystery may be central to Queen Maud Land. In 1984 the British Antarctic Survey, based at Halley Station, noticed a hole in the ozone layer for the first time; it was located over Queen Maud Land.

Halley, Britain's premier Antarctic station, is named after the British astronomer Sir Edmund Halley, who extraordinarily was the first person to state that the Earth is hollow, consisting of four concentric spheres. Another Antarctic enigma?

Scientists, after much speculation, claimed that the hole was due to CFCs and in time would increase global warming. Could the hole have been caused by a huge explosion of nuclear proportions? With three known atomic tests associated with the likely destruction of the Nazi base, it appears that the hole was caused by more than just CFCs.

Subterranean lakes with signs of life, geothermally warmed lakes in dry valleys in a supposed frozen wasteland, mysterious holes in the atmosphere allied with suppressed military ventures may seem the work of fiction, and yet they are all fact! Antarctica is a truly mysterious place, and that is why it is inconceivable that the Nazis would claim an area and leave it unoccupied and undefended, especially when the Channel Islands, for instance, a strategically unimportant Nazi gain, utilized for its defenses more than 10 per cent of all the concrete and iron that was used in the construction of the Atlantic Wall—a wall that stretched from the Pyrenées to the North Cape of Norway!

Tales of ancient tunnels, even tunnels leading through the Mühlig-Hoffmann Mountains, appear at first far-fetched, but would a cavern network, glacially eroded enough, appear unnatural and thus be explained as a tunnel?  The Nazi base could have been similar to the U-Boat base that appeared in the film "Raiders of the Lost Ark", but that's highly unlikely—but what isn't is the possibility that a base had been constructed and was being manned by German forces.

It also must be remembered that some Japanese soldiers fought on, not accepting defeat, for over 20 years, 50 so why not pockets of Germans? In fact, Nazi Werewolves were active after the May surrender, and isolated attacks occurred for a few years after the war was deemed over and Nazism was thwarted.

If the Nazis had built a hidden base in Neuschwabenland and that base had been destroyed, then any evidence of a Nazi incursion on Antarctica would have been destroyed. Nevertheless, rumours persist that the Nazis were not totally destroyed in Antarctica but fled to secret bases in South America. 

The question that needs asking is - Just how much of Antarctica's past, present and, indeed, its future has been, is being and will be suppressed?

-- Excerpts from by "Britain's Secret War in Antarctica" by James Robert 2005 from Nexus Magazine Website

Subsequent to the March/April 1945 SS Technical Branch evacuation to Base 211 located in Neu Schwabenland, Antartica rumors began to spread of Nazi bases being constructed in South America as well; especially in Argentina, high up in the Andes mountains.

As hard as it is to believe, the truth of Argentine co-operation with the Third Reich throughout World War II is extensive, involving transfers of supplies to Base 211 via Tierra del Fuego and upon Germany’s collapse, both technological and monetary assets of the Reich. This included the German disc technology and elements of the SS Technical Branch not assigned to Base 211.
Argentina already had a sizeable illegal German community smuggled covertly into the nation by German ships, U-Boats, long-range secret air flights, and disc flights. Although the rest of South America and especially Brazil had joined the Allies in the fight against Nazism, Argentina covertly supported the Nazis and was only coerced by Britain and the US to join the war in March 1945 by direct threat of crippling Argentine industry which was reliant on the Western Allies. During the war Argentina benefited greatly through the sale of beef and agricultural products, but not war material.
 
In March 1945, the US already had the intention of raping Germany of every technological secret it held, but the disc aircraft and a wide range of “unconventional” metaphysical science remained serious threats that had to be tracked down and either destroyed or captured.

Germany had used crude beam weapons and electrostatic weapons in the air war from late 1944 until collapse in the form of “Foo Fighters” and the energy field defenses of the Jonastal S III complex while it was under construction with 18,000 slave laborers under SS guidance.

  

  

Forced to abandon the world’s largest underground war plant and future Führer HQ, the SS Technical Branch sought refuge outside the Reich in two areas thought remote enough to secure bases for continued disc development - Base 211 in Antarctica and in Argentina, South America. But U-Boats U-530 and U-977 ran into a rude awakening when they surrendered several months after Germany officially “surrendered”.

Of course, the second Führer, Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz, of the Kriegsmarine knew of the existence of Base 211 and of Argentine co-operation. He was responsible for supplying Base 211 during the war via U-Boat and the covert dealings at Tierra del Fuego. Dönitz had devoted 50 or more U-Boats to the South Atlantic from 1943 forward - the same year Base 211 was completed. The U-Boat commanders of the two renegade subs therefore thought that Argentina would be a safe haven for them after their missions were accomplished unloading secret weapons and Nazi personnel at Base 211.

It came as a shock then when the Argentine authorities detained them until the Americans could inspect the boats in every detail and interrogate the crews separately for months. The officers falsified their statements concerning the true nature of their journeys and everyone stuck to their story of each sub's time at sea post May 1945.

Ronald Richter was invited to participate in the "Huemel Experiment" (Proyecto Huemel) in which Argentina attempted to develop a fusion nuclear weapon. Although thought a hoax in 1951, apparently the Richter design of a "convergent shock wave detonation induced-fusion" nuclear weapon proposed during World War II was just as much a failure in Argentina since the nation had neither the industrial capacity nor materials to make such a weapon work - even with German assistance.

It would seem then that Argentina failed to become a benefactor of German technology.

But "sightings" began in the skies over Argentina and in Argentine waters right after World War II, sightings of strange aerial discs and mystery subs that looked a lot like the new XXI, and the last German U-Boat, Typ XXVI, that was being laid down before the war ended. These sightings were pre-Kenneth Arnold and pre-Roswell.

 

The Typ XXVI Walter U-Boat was intended to become the most important weapon in the German naval arsenal, with performance figures that would not be found in other navies until the nuclear age. Whether it would actually have lived up to these theoretical qualities is open to conjecture. There were four Typ XXVI boats under construction when World War II ended. None were actually completed, so the true performance figures remain a matter for speculation among engineers.

The actual boats would have been numbered U-4501 through U-4504, had they been completed. The degree to which German industry had declined might be illustrated by the fact that these four boats were all that were begun out of an order for 100 units.

The projected performance figures included a submerged speed in the area of 25 knots, and a surfaced speed of at least 18 knots. A diving depth of about 1,000 feet was built into the design, though whether it could have been safely reached is open to debate. Other German designs intended to operate at such depths proved incapable of actually reaching it without serious leaking problems.

Armament would have consisted of ten 533 mm [21-inch] torpedo tubes. Four would have been located in the usual place in the bow, with six more located approximately amidships, firing aft. Access for both sets of tubes would have been from the forward torpedo room.

The Typ XXVI would have been the first German combat submarine to have its attack center located in the control room. Previous designs put the captain in the conning tower. In the Typ XXVI, the conning tower contained only an escape trunk. The usual two periscopes would have been provided, a night periscope with a large objective lens, and an attack periscope with a very narrow head to minimize the chances of it being spotted during the day.

While the Walter turbine would have allowed a very high submerged speed for chasing down a target, or escaping an attacker, the need to carry huge supplies of the highly-corrosive hydrogen peroxide fuel limited the use of turbines. For normal propulsion, one of these boats would have used its Diesel engine or electric motor. A Schnorchel was fitted, and the head would have been covered in the usual anti-radar coating and contained the most advanced radar detector available.

Plans also called for inclusion of the most sophisticated sound gear available. German designs were sophisticated, indeed. Late war German designs included phased array hydrophones, which could be electronically "steered," and became the basis for post-war American systems development. Other refinements, which were being tested at the time and might have been fielded given only a little more time, included the first wire-guided torpedoes. 

The Walter boats did not have any real effect on the war but they were a very interesting development and according to Admiral Karl  Dönitz with a little courage and vision they could have been in service 2 years earlier and then they certainly would have had enormous impact on the war.

Several prominent Nazi aeronautical specialists were invited to the nation to pursue continued aircraft development including such famous German designers as Raimar Horten and Kurt Tank of Focke-Wulf. There, Horten worked on a flying wing and several Delta aircraft while Tank worked on the Pulqui II jet fighter that resembled to some degree the Fw Ta 183 Huckebein while designing several other aircraft.

Although Base 211 is thought to have operated until the late 1950s, military threats posed by Britain and the US involving troops ['Operation Highjump' in 1947] and detonation of atomic bombs in the atmosphere above Base 211 to create EMP [mid 1950s] had forced the SS to move over to Argentina.

Adolf Hitler first man on the Moon? Nazi Germany's "Secret Space Missions' revealed
Fifty years ago the first rocket successfully landed on the Moon
By Jeremy Culley
Daily Star 
13 February 2016

In February 1966 the unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft made the first rocket assisted landing on the Moon.

But was Nazi leader Adolf Hitler the first man to make it up there and did the Nazis beat them to it by 21 years?

Hitler’s fate at the end of the Second World War has been subject to dozens of claims, ranging from a new life in South America, to one in an underground town on Antarctica or a retirement in outer space.

Does the final answer to Hitler's death lie on the dark side of the Moon?

Space exploration is a fertile breeding ground for conspiracy theories.

And one is that the Nazis used an Antarctic base to propel themselves to outer space.

Only last week, NASA felt compelled to publish thousands of extra pictures of the Moon Landings to quieten doubters.

The Hitler theory has some basis – speculation of Nazi Germany’s space exploration programme is rife.

Rumours circulated after the war that Hitler’s astronauts had embarked on secret missions to establish facilities up there.

Connections were drawn between flying saucer sightings – including one incident near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 – with the Nazis’ alleged UFO development.

The theories formed the basis of science fiction novel "Rocket Ship Galileo", published by Robert Heinlein in 1947.

Sir Roy Fedden, an aeronautical engineer, said the only craft that could approach the capabilities attributed to the flying saucers seen around the world during the late 1940s were those designed by the Germans.

The theory that Hitler ended up in Antarctica may lie hand in hand with the Moon ones.

Nazi Moon enthusiasts argue so-called UFO cases in the 1950s and 1960s were warnings by the Nazi SS, who had built a mammoth city and factory complex beneath the Antarctic ice.

The theories were derided for decades but surviving documents and eyewitness testimony have seen them surface again.

The 3 February Soviet landing came at the 12th attempt and beamed the first ground-view pictures of the Moon’s surface back to Earth.

It also proved for the first time that spacecraft would not sink into Lunar dust on landing.

But had the Nazi regime discovered this years earlier?

Nick Cook is an aeronautical expert and wrote "The Hunt for Zero Point", which referenced the Nazi disc program.

In it, he said:

"It would be a mistake to disregard the research in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s just because it was done in the Third Reich.

"This kind of suppression of facts would be unscientific and would be just as bad as the suppression of facts that happened during that era".

While Mr Fedden added:

"I have seen enough of their designs and production plans to realize that if they had managed to prolong the war some months longer, we would have been confronted with a set of entirely new and deadly developments in air warfare."

As well as Hitler himself, significant Nazi riches were reportedly unaccounted for.

Navy submarines disappeared and were not sunk or captured. Theorists say they were last seen heading to the South Pole.

A supposed gold pile, now worth billions of pounds, also remained undiscovered.

Could this have been smuggled to the Antarctic and been used to propel the Nazis to the Moon?

Conspiracy theorists argue Hitler eyed a lunar base well before his regime crumbled.

This was so the Nazis could "exploit military high ground", containing global superpowers, and mine the abundant minerals on the Moon, with some insisting that pictures prove lunar excavation was ongoing.

They even go as far as suggesting this was why NASA abandoned the Apollo program.

Did the Germans launch a crewed rocket into space in 1933?
Ron Miller
5 August 2012  

On 29 October 1933, the London Sunday Referee published a report from Rügen, an island in the Baltic Sea, just off the coast of Germany. Someone named Otto Fischer had flown inside a 24-foot steel rocket, to an altitude of six miles. Were the Germans really testing out a rocket that could carry people, nearly three decades before Yuri Gagarin?

Reports said that Otto was the brother of the rocket's designer, Bruno Fischer. The flight had been made in total secrecy because of a fatal attempt at a launch the previous year, combined with the fact that the flight had been made under the auspices of the Reichswehr, the German War Ministry. The rocket, the Referee reported, had been constructed in the town of Barmbeck, near Hamburg, and transported to Rügen.

"On Sunday morning, at 6 o'clock," the paper reported, "Otto Fischer shook hands with his brother and the small group of Reichswehr officials present to witness the experiment, and crawled into the rocket through the small steel door.

"Bruno Fischer and the three officials then retired to a small hollow in the ground about two hundred yards away and Fischer closed the switch that sent the rocket on its journey. There was a blinding flash and a deafening explosion, and the slim torpedo-shaped body was gone from the steel framework in which it had rested.

"A few minutes later it came into sight again, floating nose upwards from a large parachute that had automatically been released when it had begun to descend. As it drifted nearer, the steel fins on the outside of the body could be seen moving as its pilot manipulated the rocket so that it would land on the island. A few seconds later it came to rest on the sands a few yards away, and Fischer crawled through the door of the rocket white and shaken, but smiling triumphantly. The journey through space had lasted 10 minutes and 26 seconds".

"It was a tremendous sensation," Fischer reported. "When the rocket left the ground I was conscious of a deafening roar and an unbearable weight seemed to be crushing me against the floor of the rocket. Then I lost consciousness for a moment, due to the tremendous acceleration which drained the blood from my head. When I came to my senses and looked at the altimeter before my face it flickered at 32,000 feet and then began to drop rapidly. I had completed my climb and was descending. . ."

This all sounds pretty plausible, especially given all the matter-of-fact details combined with the fact that the Germans were in fact hotly pursuing rocket propulsion at the time. Added to this was the fact that Bruno Fischer really existed and was busily at work designing rockets. And in fact, the report caused a considerable fuss at the time it appeared. The American Rocket Society, the Cleveland Rocket Society, the Austrian Rocket Society, the British Interplanetary Society, GIRD in the Soviet Union were all besieged for information about the amazing rocket flight.

But there was one expert who knew what was what about German rocketry and that was Willy Ley. According to Ley, the story had gotten twisted beyond recognition. In fact, there was indeed a grain of truth behind the story... although, as is often the case, the truth was even stranger.

Rudolf Nebel, pioneer rocket researcher and chief engineer of the Verein fur Raumschiffahrt [the German Rocket Society] had received a loan of DM15,000 [$4,000] from the Bank of Magdeburg to build a man-carrying rocket. The "Magdeburg Project" had originally been offered to the VfR — who gladly turned the project over in its entirety to Nebel. The VfR already had a hard enough time maintaining its credibility — and when it learned what the bank's motives were, it wanted no part in such a crazy scheme.

The purpose of the rocket flight, they'd discovered, was to prove: that we are not living on the outside surface of the earth, but rather on the inside surface of a hollow sphere. This was the Hohlweltlehre, or Hollow Earth Doctrine, of Peter Bender that flourished in the anticultural Nazi movement [just as did the equally insane Welteislehre, or World Ice Theory, of Hanns Hörbiger, that had such a profound influence upon rocket car inventor Max Valier and German sci fi author Otto Willi Gail].

Franz Mengering, an engineer working for the city of Magdeburg, had hit upon the idea that the hollow earth theory could be proved, if a rocket launched vertically were to land in the Antipodes. That is, traveling in a line straight up it would eventually land in the Pacific Ocean, somewhere southeast of New Zealand, which, according to the theory, was directly above Germany.

To their credit, the city officials didn't accept the hollow Earth argument, but instead suggested making the rocket a man-carrying one, figuring it would be a terrific publicity stunt for the town. Nebel agreed that he could build such a rocket and have it ready to launch by 11 June 1933.

The rocket was to be 25 feet tall and powered by a motor producing 1,300 pounds of thrust. The passenger cabin and fuel tanks were a single, squat unit shaped something like an artillery shell, with the motor and parachute occupying a smaller shell above it. The motor unit was separated from the pilot's compartment by a pair of booms that also held the fuel lines. The motor unit also had a set of small vanes attached for stabilization. The rocket was designed to reach an altitude of about 0.6 mile. At this point, the passenger would bail out, using his own parachute, while the rocket descended on a larger parachute.

A small test rocket, 15 feet tall with a motor of 440 pounds thrust, was to be built and launched first. A test stand was constructed and motors are tested. Under pressure from the impatient city to launch something, a 30-foot launching rack was erected in a cow pasture and a test rocket was fired. Out of a series of attempts the greatest distance the rocket travels is the end of the rack before sliding back down again. Eventually a more or less successful launch was made, the rocket landing 1,000 feet away after a more or less horizontal flight.

After this the city threw up its hands and abandoned the project.

A clue as to what started the entire manned rocket story might be found in the name Nebel had given his test rocket. It was called the "Magdeburg Pilot Rocket". An over-enthusiastic reporter had misunderstood the use of the word "pilot" and had run with it.

The story was later resurrected in 1935 in a London magazine called "Pall Mall". After that, it appeared to vanish from history.

Conventional thought is that Hitler shot himself during a Soviet assault before his body was taken outside, doused in petrol and set alight.

The Soviets claimed to identify his body through the lower half of his jaw.

But doubters have remained vociferous, particularly as the Sovets did not reveal their "proof" of Hitler's death until 1970.

Hitler's gold haul mystery: Where is missing Nazi Germany stash worth billions?
Adolf Hitler’s Nazis looted their way across Europe – but a gold haul worth billions has never been found.
By Jeremy Culley
Daily Star
26 February 2016

Conspiracy theorists have agonised over where Adolf Hitler's missing gold is, with theories surrounding its whereabouts ranging from it being buried on an uninhabited island to unsubstantiated claims it was confiscated by the Vatican.

Legend has it that the Germans hid their treasures as insurance policies to help Nazi chiefs fleeing to set up new lives at the end of the war.

"Daily Star Online" reported last week on wild theories Hitler escaped death and fled to Antarctica, where gold bullion was used to fund a space base used by the Nazis to achieve moon landings.

Some of Hitler's gold is known to have been transferred by the Nazi regime to Swiss and other overseas banks during World War Two.

Experts have said the missing Nazi treasure could be worth up to £20bn today.

But where is it now?

Munich and Germany

A recent discovery of a £12,000 gold bar in a lake near Hitler’s mountain hideaway in Berchtesgaden, high in the Bavarian mountains, has fascinated conspiracy theorists.

Did Hitler intend to return to his favourite holiday home eventually after the war, and would he be reunited with the treasure?

A £1bn hoard of Nazi stolen art was found in a flat in Munich, kept by a mysterious Munich recluse, Rolf Nikolaus Cornelius Gurlitt.

Did Hitler leave some of the Nazi’s loot in Munich, scene of the famous Beer Hall Putsch in 1923?

Other locations across Germany could hold the key to the answer.

Only last year, a keen treasure hunter found £45,000 worth of Nazi gold coins under old burial mounds just south of Hamburg.

The Vatican

The Bigelow Report from a US treasury agent in 1946 alleged that the Vatican confiscated 350 million Swiss francs in Nazi gold for “safekeeping”.

It said the gold had been held in one of the Vatican’s Swiss bank accounts.

Subsequent intelligence reports backed up this one, suggesting more than 200 million Swiss francs, largely in gold coins, were eventually transferred to the Vatican Bank, with the assistance of clergy.

The claims are strenuously denied by the Vatican Bank, with a spokesman speaking to "Time Magazine" saying the report had "no basis in reality".
 
Portugal

Brits could have been holidaying close to where some of Hitler’s gold is for decades.

Portugal, neutral in the war, was a centre of tungsten production, used for bullets and shells, and sold it to both sides.

The Portuguese were initially paid in currency but it was established in 1941 that most of it was counterfeit, so they demanded payments in gold bullion.

More than 70 years on, how much of the gold did the Portuguese keep and where is it all now?

Auckland Islands

 
The remote and uninhabited Auckland Islands, a few hundred miles off New Zealand, 
are another rumoured location for a cache of Nazi gold.

The story goes that a German U-Boat visited the islands in 1945 and either dumped its precious cargo of gold into the sea just off the southern shore or that the crew of the submarine buried the gold somewhere
on the islands. In some versions the cargo is not gold, but religious artefacts or even
the mortal remains of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun.

Despite an almost total lack of evidence to back up any version of the story,
people continue to search for in seemingly vein attempts, for the treasure.

There are also rumours that the Spear of Destiny is buried somewhere on the islands.

Although currently uninhabited, look-outs were stationed on the islands during World War 2
when the treasure was supposedly dumped or deposited in the area. None of the look-outs reported
anything to support the various stories that circulate about the islands.

Lake Töplitz, Austria

Vast quantities of Nazi gold are said to be stashed in Lake Töplitz, high in the Austrian Alps.

Ex-SS members reportedly employed divers after the war to search for the gold, as well as sealed tubes containing details of secret Nazi bank accounts in Switzerland.

The rumours of Hitler’s riches stashed near Salzburg have become so persistent it is now illegal for divers to try to search for the treasure.

Seven people have reportedly died at Lake Töplitz trying to unearth Nazi treasure.

Poland

According to legend, an armoured train laden with Nazi gold, jewels and weapons disappeared into the hills near the Polish town Walbrzych in 1945.

It is believed the gold was stashed in a secret tunnel in a complex of underground chambers built – known as "Project Riese".

Last year treasure hunters Piotr Koper and Andreas Richter, who claim one of the Germans who hid the train divulged the location on his death bed, said they had found it.

Radar images appeared to show a tunnel with tracks and a large object the gold diggers claimed was a train.

Nobody will know for sure until Polish authorities excavate it – which could never happen such is the disruption it would cause for local people.

Mystery Behind Nazi Underground City: Hitler's Hiding or a Treasure Trove?
Last August, the media was abuzz with reports of a Nazi gold train, loaded with precious metals and antiquities and hidden in the region of Lower Silesia, in Poland
Sputnik News
21 May 2016

The mystery behind the train still remains unresolved. While amateur researchers were 95% sure that they had found "something big" underground, which they believed was the mysterious Nazi gold train, scientists from the University of Krakow came to a different conclusion. They stated there was no train in the area and assumed that gold hunters might have been misled by underground cables extending near the railway. However, despite the opinion of experts, adventurers continue their search. Although the story with the train has already been called a cheap PR-move aimed at attracting tourists to a relatively poor region of the country, many believe that the treasure really exists and is still hidden somewhere in the area.

"Perhaps, it is too early to deny the fact that a gold train or some other Nazi treasure might be really hidden in Lower Silesia" the Swedish newspaper "Expressen" wrote.

In his article, Marcus Wallen described how the largest Silesian castle of Książ and its territories were confiscated by the Nazis in 1944 and became a place for large-scale underground construction works. "Everyone knew that they built some kind of a house for Hitler there," says Dorota Stempowska who lived in the castle as a child.

According to the newspaper, it remains unknown whether the Germans managed to finish the construction project, and how far they had come forward in their plans. However, a huge network of tunnels, railways and air conditioning vents shows that the Nazi project was a huge underground city that later gave way to a large number of myths. The project was code-named "Riese," which can be translated from German as "Giant". Its true purpose still remains controversial. The few available documents say that the complex was supposed to be a huge hiding-place for the elite of the Third Reich. Some of them have also suggested that it was designed as a hangar to build aircraft, while the tunnels were supposed to hide the factory for the production of weapons.

"We know little about the ‘Giant' project. There are almost no documents or drawings, that could give new information," the newspaper wrote. "However, it is clear that the building process was a top priority, as evidenced by the data concerning the safety and secrecy of the project. The area was guarded by four thousand SS officers who received the order to kill anyone who came too close to the site."

The complex consists of at least seven separate parts, with total area reaching over 190,000 square meters. The exact figure is unknown as gold hunters and old miners are constantly discovering new tunnels.

"Who knows, maybe the gold train or the treasure […] is stored in one of the tunnels, which still remain hidden from human eyes. One of the theories says that even having realized that the costly project would not be implemented, the Nazis nevertheless sought to benefit from it, turning it into a huge depository," Wallen wrote.

Riese [German for "giant"] is the code name for a construction project of Nazi Germany in 1943–45, consisting of seven underground structures located in the Owl Mountains and Książ Castle in Lower Silesia, previously Germany, now a territory of Poland.

None of them were finished; all are in different states of completion with only a small percentage of tunnels reinforced by concrete.

The purpose of the project remains uncertain because of lack of documentation. Some sources suggest that all the structures were part of the Führer Headquarters; according to others, it was a combination of headquarters (HQ) and arms industry, but comparison to similar facilities can indicate that only the castle was adapted as an HQ or other official residence and the tunnels in the Owl Mountains were planned as a network of underground factories.

The construction work was done by forced labourers, prisoners of war [POWs], and prisoners of concentration camps, and many lost their lives mostly as a result of disease and malnutrition.

In the presence of the increasing Allied air raids Nazi Germany relocated a large part of its strategic armaments production into safer regions including the District of Sudetenland. Plans to protect critical infrastructure also involved transfer of the arms factories to underground Bunkers and construction of the air-raid shelters for government officials.

In September 1943, Minister of Armaments and War Production Albert Speer and the senior management of Organisation Todt started talks on Project Riese. As a result, the Schlesische Industriegemeinschaft AG (Silesian Industrial Company) was created to conduct construction work. In November collective camps (Gemeinschaftslager) were established for forced labourers, mainly from the Soviet Union and Poland, POWs from Italy, the Soviet Union, and later Poland as an aftermath of the Warsaw Uprising.

A network of roads, bridges, and narrow gauge railways was created to connect excavation sites with the nearby railway stations. Prisoners were reloading building materials, cutting trees, digging reservoirs and drainage ditches. Small dams were built across streams to create water supplies and sewage systems. Later the rocks of the mountains were drilled and blasted with explosives and the resulting caverns were reinforced by concrete and steel. For this purpose mining specialists were employed, mostly Germans, Italians, Ukrainians, and Czechs but the most dangerous and exhausting work was done by prisoners.

The progress of digging tunnels was slow because the structure of the Owl Mountains consists of hard Gneiss. Most of the similar facilities were bored in soft sandstone but harder, more stable rocks gave the advantage of total protection from Allied air raids and possibility of building 12 m high underground halls with volume of 6,000 m3.

In December 1943, a typhus epidemic occurred amongst the prisoners. As a result, construction slowed down significantly. There were at least five collective camps, and unknown number of forced labourers and POWs worked for the project, some until the end of the war. It is also undetermined how many prisoners lost their lives.

In April 1944, dissatisfied with the progress of the project, Adolf Hitler decided to hand over the supervision of construction to the Organisation Todt and assign prisoners of concentration camps to work. They were deployed in thirteen labour camps [Arbeitslager, AL], some in the vicinity of the tunnels. The network of these camps has been named Arbeitslager Riese and was part of the Gross-Rosen concentration camp. The administration of AL Riese and the camp commander, SS-Hauptsturmführer Albert Lütkemeyer, were located in AL Wüstegiersdorf. From December 1944 to January 1945 the prisoners were guarded by 853 SS troops.

At the end of 1944, another typhus epidemic occurred amongst the prisoners. Because the front line of the war was approaching, evacuation of the camps began in February 1945, however in a few places work might have been conducted even at the end of April. Some prisoners were left behind, mostly badly ill, until the Red Army arrived in the area in May 1945. Project Riese was abandoned at the initial stage of construction and only 9 km [25,000 m2, 100,000 m3] of tunnels were dug out.

Writing their memoirs after the war, several top Nazi officials  -including Armaments Minister Albert Speer and general staff officer Walter Warlimont- claimed that the purpose of the tunnels were as a secret headquarters for Adolf Hitler.

According to Albert Speer's memoirs:

"In 1944 Hitler ordered the construction of two underground headquarters, and hundreds of necessary mining construction specialists were hired, together with thousands of laborers, in Silesia and Thuringia. At a briefing on 20 June 1944, I informed the Führer that about 28,000 laborers were working at the time on expanding his Headquarters. The construction of the Bunkers in Kętrzyn [Wolf's Lair] cost 36 million marks, the Bunkers in Pullach, which ensured Hitler's safety when he was in Munich-13 million marks, and the Riese Bunker complex near Bad Charlottenbrunn [Książ Castle]-150 million marks. These construction projects required 257,000 cubic meters of steel-reinforced concrete, 213,000 cubic meters of tunnels, 58 km of roads with six bridges, and 100 km of pipelines. For the Riese project alone, more concrete was used than was earmarked in 1944 for the whole population for the construction of air-raid shelters".

Researchers have cast doubt on these claims, however, suggesting the design of the tunnels rules them out as a base for Hitler.

This has led to countless conspiracy theories over the real purpose of Project Riese since the tunnels' discovery, ranging from it being an atomic bomb research centre, to a design lab for prototype time machines or anti-gravity devices.

 

The Type XXVII U-Boats, were a successful series of German midget submarines created during World War II.

The final variant of the Type XXVII was the Type XXVIIB5, better known as the Seehund ["Seal"] or Type 127. Seehund had a small raised platform midships with the air intake mast, magnetic compass, periscope, and a clear dome which could survive depths of 45 m [148 ft]. The submarine's fixed 3 m (9.8 ft) periscope incorporated lenses which let the commander check the sky above for aircraft before surfacing.

Seehunds operated mainly around the German coast and in the English Channel, and could attack on the surface in turbulent weather, but had to be almost stationary for submerged attacks. From January to April 1945 Seehunds performed 142 sorties, and accounted for about 93,000 gross tons of shipping [British sources estimate 120,000 tons].

From the Allied point of view the Seehund's small size made it almost impossible for Asdic to get a return from her hull, while her very quiet slow speed running made her almost immune to detection by hydrophone. As Admiral Sir Charles Little, Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth put it, "Fortunately for us these damn things arrived too late in the war to do any damage".

The last Seehund sorties took place on 28 April and 2 May 1945, when two special missions were performed to resupply the besieged German garrison at Dunkirk with rations. The boats carried special food containers [nicknamed "butter torpedoes"] instead of torpedoes, and on the return voyage used the containers to carry mail from the Dunkirk garrison.

German captain Rüdiger Conrad admitted that several Nazi submarines - one of them led by himself - arrived in Argentina under an evacuation plan devised by Hitler in case Germany lost the war.

The information was provided by Conrad in 1982, when the war for the Malvinas Islands faced Argentine and English, and the newspaper "Ámbito Financiero" published an article on that conflict, which generated his response to the press, 
criticisms to a note published by the paper. 

At the end of his typewritten missive, in which he made considerations about the conflagration, Conrad justified his war experience by assuring that he had been captain of a U-Boot. But his story did not end there since, he in addition, the German one asserted to have participated in a plan of escape by the Third Reich.

In the letter he explained that he had manned one of the submarines that were part of a convoy - he said that it was ten submersibles - that  had left at regular intervals from a port of Europe. He said that the operation took place almost at the end of the war and that those "Gray Wolves" left for Patagonia. The following is the core part of the reference text:

"... In August of 1944, in the shipyard of Cuxhaven, Germany, the keels were placed for 25 submarines denominated Type XXV.

"These submarines unlike the hitherto known were double hull, 110 meters in length, equipped with Schnorchel, Radar and echo sounder; Armed with 14 tubes for acoustic torpedoes, Sulzer engines, electric Diesel, that gave a submerged speed of 18 knots [the most modern of that time in the USA, was only 10].

The Type XXV U-Boats were intended to be electric propulsion-only boats for coastal use. The design was 160 tons with a crew of about 58 men and would have had two torpedo tubes fitted at the bow.

The Project was abandoned. 

Were actually Type XXVI meant?

The Typ XXVI Walter U-Boat was intended to become the most important weapon in the German naval arsenal, with performance figures that would not be found in other navies until the nuclear age. Whether it would actually have lived up to these theoretical qualities is, of course, open to conjecture. There were four Typ XXVI boats under construction when World War II ended. None were actually completed, so the true performance figures remain a matter for speculation among engineers. 

The degree to which German industry had declined might be illustrated by the fact that these four boats were all that were begun out of an order for 100 units.

The projected performance figures included a submerged speed in the area of 25 knots, and a surfaced speed of at least 18 knots. A diving depth of about 1,000 feet was built into the design, though whether it could have been safely reached is open to debate. Other German designs intended to operate at such depths proved incapable of actually reaching it without serious leaking problems.

Armament would have consisted of ten 533 mm [21-inch] torpedo tubes. Four would have been located in the usual place in the bow, with six more located approximately amidships, firing aft. Access for both sets of tubes would have been from the forward torpedo room.

The Typ XXVI would have been the first German combat submarine to have its attack center located in the control room. Previous designs put the captain in the conning tower. In the Typ XXVI, the conning tower contained only an escape trunk. The usual two periscopes would have been provided, a night periscope with a large objective lens, and an attack periscope with a very narrow head to minimize the chances of it being spotted during the day.

While the Walter turbine would have allowed a very high submerged speed for chasing down a target, or escaping an attacker, the need to carry huge supplies of the highly-corrosive hydrogen peroxide fuel limited the use of turbines. For normal propulsion, one of these boats would have used its diesel engine or electric motor. A Schnorchel was fitted, and the head would have been covered in the usual anti-radar coating and contained the most advanced radar detector available.

Plans also called for inclusion of the most sophisticated sound gear available. German designs were sophisticated, indeed. Late war German designs included phased array hydrophones, which could be electronically "steered," and became the basis for post-war American systems development. Other refinements, which were being tested at the time and might have been fielded given only a little more time, included the first wire-guided torpedoes.

"This gave a remarkable superiority in the sea and was one of those Secret Weapons of Hitler, with which he thought to change the course of the war;  the other two being the atomic bomb and the  New York rocket. The latter two were in advanced construction, but the bombings were so intense that despite the three meters of concrete on the shipyard, the vibrations prevented the delicate adjustments that had to be made.

"In January 1945, exactly on the 5th, at three in the afternoon GMT I interviewed Hitler in the Bunker of the Chancellery. There I received the order to list 10 submarines, which would be cleared of all the armament to transfer 500 people to the coasts of Patagonia. The plastering of the Bunker, 30 meters deep, fell gently on my cap.

"We departed on 12 March 1945 with half an hour intervals, carrying a total of 611 people, with plenty of luggage.
The journey lasted 23 days, and we would emerge only at night, if there was no moon.
 
"
All this and more is perfectly verifiable by the records of the US Navy, since the records of the constructions, as well as the plans, were not destroyed by the existing agreement to deliver information in exchange for immunity, as an example, notorious and famous, is the case of Wernher von Braun and all his team, some of those who still live and have participated in the space epic, which surely in the next 20 years will take us to the stars ... "

Signed: Rüdiger Conrad
D.K.U. [Commanding Submarine Crew Instructor]
Serial No .: D.31167540-U
Argentinian naturalized

-- -- "The Secrets of Hitler", Abel Basti


 

Albrecht Alvaro Böhme from unknown Lieutenant to High Rank in Odessa?

During World War II, Böhme was a simple Lieutenant of the Luftwaffe, but he seems to have belonged to the mysterious  I/KG-200 or Kampfgeschwader 200. That training carried out top secret missions for German aviation on different fronts during the war. In the past, some investigators have identified this pilot as commander of a Condor Fw 200, but, apparently, this is a mistake since neither of the two Gruppe operatives of the KG 200 flew this type of aircraft. If Böhme belonged to Gruppe I, as it was manifested, he surely flew one of the four Heinkel He-111 bombers. That group's as main mission to fly behind the enemy lines to transport spies [a total of 260]. The Gruppe II had larger airplanes, such as Ju-290 and Ju-390, and performed long-range reconnaissance missions, as well as spy transport.

One of the most risky operations of the KG 200 was the "Operation Zeppelin", made in September 1944. It consisted of the flight of an Ar-232, which was moving a team destined to take land near Smolensko. After landing, they had to unload a motorcycle group that would take the secret agents to Moscow. The reckless mission was to assassinate Stalin, but this intrepid plan was thwarted when the plane crashed, after attempting to land on too short runway.

The Arado Ar 232 "Tausendfüßler" [Millipede] sometimes also called Tatzelwurm, was one of the first truly modern cargo aircraft, designed and built in small numbers by the German firm Arado Flugzeugwerke during World War II. The design introduced, or brought together, almost all of the features now considered to be "standard" in modern cargo transport aircraft designs.

Wilhelm van Nes led the design of the Ar 232. He began at the cargo area, with a bay directly behind the "stepless cockpit". Typical designs of the era would use a side-mounted door for access, but the Ar 232 used hydraulically powered clamshell-doors on the rear of the bay with a ramp to allow cargo to be rolled into the hold. The tail control surfaces were mounted on the end of a long boom to keep the area behind the doors clear so trucks could drive right up to the ramp. The high-set tail on its "pod-and-boom" configuration fuselage allowed the Ar 232 to be loaded and unloaded faster than other designs.

A significant advantage of this aircraft was its rough-field landing gear. With the landing gear in the compressed position, the eleven pairs of wheels mounted on independently-sprung legs beneath the fuselage, together with the wide-track main landing gear and the levered-suspension nose wheel, endowed the aircraft with outstanding rough field capabilities.

Böhme was born in Mexico and was the son of emigrant Germans. At the outbreak of the revolution and the subsequent overthrow of President Huerta, he and his family had to flee, abandoning everything. The only ship to evacuate the German settlers, embarking at Tampico, was the 'Dresden'; the same ship in which the enigmatic Wilhem Canaris was crew.

There is no indication that Albrecht Böhme was a war criminal, but he was a sympathizer of the Nazi cause, even after the total defeat suffered in 1945.

He legally entered Argentina in the early 1950s. He lived in Córdoba and in the Chubut town of Lago Puelo, near El Bolsón. He settled definitively in Cervantes, 15 kilometers from the city of General Roca. It is known that he dedicated himself to fruit production, was founder of the Chamber of Producers of Cervantes and president of Corpofrut, a co-operative of fruit producers.

According to an investigation by the "Rio Negro" newspaper, Böhme never gave the image of extreme sympathy with Nazi ideology. According to the paper, "He was a man of order, in meager but gentle ways, he was always moved by a significant predisposition to work for the betterment of the region".

But underneath that facade was a double life.

Shortly after arriving in the country, Böhme wove an extensive network of relations with Argentine military power, especially with high-ranking officers of the Army. One of Böhme's main interlocutors was the commander of the Fifth Army Corps, with jurisdiction in Patagonia, General Enrique Guglialmini. Böhme would have even participated, at the invitation of the Army, in exercises of the VI Mountain Infantry Brigade based seat in the province of Neuquén.

Although Bohme was a relatively insignificant figure during the war, it is striking the notoriety of the Nazis with whom he was in contact in the postwar years; whether these were fugitives or only ex-military. For example, it is known, and has been published by several investigators, that  the Cervantes Chara hosted Josef Mengele, one of the most wanted and never captured Nazi criminals. According to the newspaper "Río Negro", Mengele lived for six months on the farm. Reports that made it to the newspaper, claim to have seen Mengele in General Roca in the company of Böhme.

"He was a quiet man, always in impeccable attire, whom Böhme presented as 'a friend'. He spoke Castilian with some difficulty and he came in and out of business always in the company of Böhme," said a neighbor in General Roca, saying that "one day I asked him who his friend was and the response was kind but firm: Mengele".

Another neighbor in General Roca related that he remembered to have recognized Mengele on the Böhme farm in Cervantes. "It was many years ago," said the witness, "concretely in the year 1960. At that time I was engaged in the scrap business and went into the Böhme's cellar to look for iron and there I met Mengele, whom I saw from time to time in photos because they were looking for him".

There are also records of contacts with Reinhardt Kops, apparently in charge of raising funds for fugitive Nazis and with the famous Stuka pilot Hans Ulrich Rudel who lived in Argentina and was a confessed Nazi even after the war.

Many questions have arisen around this unknown pilot of the Luftwaffe who seems to have attracted notice in the Nazi refugee community in Argentina - notoriety he did not have during the war. The reason for his sudden importance to the former exalted members of the Third Reich is unknown, perhaps over time information will continue to be revealed to help close its history.

--  Julio B. Mutti, "U-Boat Argentina"  

Well before the end of the World War II, some senior Nazi leaders had already been meeting to determine escape routes, in the likely event that the Nazis would lose the war. One such meeting was held in secret at the Maison Rouge in Strasbourg. One of the most important planners of these escape routes was Martin Bormann, in what would eventually be known as “Project Odessa”. Bormann was a member of the Nazi Party and was uniquely-positioned as the financial manager of all funds, gold, jewelry and works of art for the Adolfh Hitler Foundation, in charge of managing the money stolen from all the Central Banks of Europe and managing the loot stolen by Nazis from national museums and from the homes of thousands of Jews.

Bormann filled a power vacuum around Hitler that occurred toward the end of the war, left behind by Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler, Wilhelm Canaris and other important Nazi leaders. At the very end, there were only Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann, besides Admiral Karl Dönitz, who at the last minute was appointed to succeed Hitler.

In the second phase of "Project Odessa", these massive financial assets were put into use, along with a precious collection of strategic scientific projects, to be used as bargaining chips, to negotiate with the Allies and with Argentine President, Juan Perón, in exchange for escape routes and safe haven for Nazis – including for the Führer, himself.

Many German scientists and Nazi projects were thus taken over by the British, the Americans and the Russians.

There are some who suspect that this "bargaining-chip" German technology led to the quick completion of the atom bomb by the Manhattan Project, as well as to the development of jet planes, among other technologies.

Even the Argentines were given access to these technological assets. One example was the Pulqui jet plane, created by Kurt Tank, the celebrated Nazi aeronautical engineer who lived in Córdoba and whose designs were publicly presented by Perón at the Aeroparque in Buenos Aires in 1951. The hope was that, with all of these resources it would be possible to found a 4th Reich somewhere.

Although the existence of Project Odessa has never been irrefutably proven, it is been alleged to have been the secret organization created to expedite the escape of Nazis, with the help of the Vatican, through the German Bishop Hudal, who was very close to Pope Pius XII.

Several historical researchers have found plenty of evidence that Perón opened the doors of Argentina for Nazis on the run, distributing approximately 14,000 fake identity documents, providing assistance, jobs and everything necessary for the exiles to be safe and well protected.

In compensation, Perón is said to have received $250 million, deposited in Switzerland by his famous wife, Evita in 1947. He would later attempt to recover this money from Swiss bankers, without success.

Perón’s "excuse" for this shameless harboring of Nazis was that there was already a huge colony of Germans in Argentina. The truth, however was that the dictator had been deeply sympathetic to the Nazi cause, as well as to the Fascist faith, since long before the war, starting when he was military attaché for Argentina in Italy under Mussolini. The longstanding proximity of Perón with Nazis has been extensively proven: his personal Private Secretary and Head of Security was Rudy Freude, a Nazi Argentine who was always present in photos with the dictator and Evita.

Rudy was the son of billionaire Ludwig Freude, a personal friend of Perón and Argentina’s largest contractor and banker of Nazi funds [Banco Alemán Transatlántico], and considered the true unofficial ambassador of Germany. He was investigated repeatedly for spying by the Americans and was also blacklisted by the US. It was Ludwig Freude who bankrolled the presidential campaign of Perón in 1946.

The names of numerous war criminals, sought under the Nuremberg Principles and hiding comfortably in South America are well known, some of whom, years later were located by Simon Wiesenthal and convicted. Many others were arrested and died in prison, while awaiting their death sentences. Others, however went on to live peacefully in Argentina, many providing consulting services to the military dictatorship of that countryMany wanted Nazi war criminals were arrested and died in prison, while awaiting their death sentences. Others, however went on to live peacefully in Argentina, many providing consulting services to the military dictatorship of that country.

In order to efficiently and discreetly deploy the escape plan, it was essential that there be an agent on Argentine soil, a highly competent “manager”; someone who was audacious but with a low profile, yet well-connected. We are confident that this person was Albrecht Alvaro Böhme, a Mexican-born German, fluent in Spanish and a former pilot in the Luftwaffe in a special tactical airborne unit, the KG 200 and the nephew of the Major General Franz Böhme.

Alvaro Böhme was not cited at the Nuremberg Trials for having committed any war crimes, so it was he who became the agent above any suspicion, the “Unsuspected Nazi” who facilitated the safe passage to Argentina and the provision of some 14,000 Argentine IDs to SS Officers and other top Nazi personnel.

Researcher Alberto Aragon who now lives in Catamarca, a remote region of Argentina, where there are many abandoned mines has been investigating the Nazi presence in Argentina for over 35 years.

Prior to Catamarca, Aragon lived for a long time in Rio Negro [in the same province as San Carlos de Bariloche, 300 km away] and as an agricultural inspector and tax collector for the Argentine government, Aragon was familiar with a certain 200-acre property that had been producing apples and grapes.

Böhme was respected and well-connected, as the Founder and President of the Lower Rio Negro Association of Fruit Producers, in the town of Cervantes. Gradually, Aragon became a close friend of Böhme, who over the years, told him many stories about the Nazis in Argentina and showed him a profusion of documents, correspondence and authentic objects.

When he died in 1986, Böhme left everything to Aragon, including an old suitcase that had belonged to Josef Mengele and which was ultimately used for the latter’s criminal identification.

The absolute confirmation that Böhme was the secret Nazi operator in Argentina, came from the notebooks inside Mengele’s suitcase which was left to Aragon and which contained the names of many of the most important Nazis [many of them presumed dead, such as the powerful Martin Bormann].

Mengele death by drowning was apparently accidental and unexpected, so his perfectly intact suitcase contained an amazing cache of documents, which proved the entire history of how over 30,000 Fascists escaped to Patagonia in southern Argentina via submarine, in what was called "Project Odessa", with the help of the Catholic Church, The Red Cross and KLM Airlines. In addition, at least 14,000 Nazi Party members were issued fake IDs by the Argentinean government’s Fascist dictator, Juan Perón, as the project continued through the 1950s.

The notebooks contained the addresses and locations of escaped Nazis in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil and Germany. There was also an abundant cache of correspondence. One of these letters, which stood out was authenticated to 1950, written by General Seydliz to Böhme in German, giving updates from Europe and also expressing happiness that Hitler would be living under Böhme's refuge in beautiful Patagonia. At the end of the letter, Seydlitz sends greetings to the beloved Führer for his birthday. Böhme went to Bariloche very often, where evidence suggests that Hitler was hiding in a vast, hidden  property, guarded by 90 security agents called "Inalco", and then later, at the La Clara resort until his death, in 1962.

Inalco, the probable refuge of Hitler, is an imposing property that remains intact and was for sale [as of 2011]. Included in the property is a ramp and a hangar for seaplanes, as it is located on the shore of Lake Nahuel Haupi.

Böhme was married to Elfriede Larch, a confirmed Gestapo agent but who was given a new identity. The two circulated freely in Argentina being that they had no convictions; often returning to Germany throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, from where they returned always accompanied by groups of ex-Nazis, carrying their "special" documents, issued by the Perón government or by the Red Cross in Europe.

Böhme was considered a very wealthy man, possibly due to a well-organized cocaine trafficking operation. He allegedly would receive cocaine shipments sent by Klaus Barbie from Bolivia, using caravans of unsuspicious mules, which were then transferred and hidden in boxes of apples and exported in large quantities. In those times, virtually all of Bariloche and Rio Negro Province was predominantly a German community and it included many hidden Nazis.

In the years between 1945-1950, all of Patagonia became the scene of landings of cargo and people in boats and submarines, which were anchored and hidden in large German-owned property known as the giant Flugell resort, as alleged by many serious scholars of this topic.

The Consul of Patagonia, a Nazi, himself was charged with recording both the lists of crates and their cargo of prized possessions and the names of people landing by submarine, in the dim light of the southern dawn.

These Consular documents went missing for a long time but Aragon finally located them in the possession of the Nazi Consul’s niece, who now lives under an assumed name in southern Chile and who is currently [as of 2011] negotiating their sale.

These documents prove many facts, which are generally still considered to be legends, including the use of U-Boats, crates containing gold and jewels, stolen from all over Europe and brought to the shores of Patagonia to be loaded onto trucks and hidden in the remote, abandoned mines of Catamarca.

Aragon is convinced of the existence of these treasures there and is actively exploring these various mines, which are now closed. With the help of a metal detector, he found surprising evidence of two containing ancient gold jewelry of and another full of cut diamonds, some of which were found on gravel near the gated entrance of one of the old mines, lending credence to the stories that jewelry was unloaded there. Finding the exact locations of all the treasure has become his obsession.

As a consequence of his stubborn research, he met a lady named Chiquita, a local journalist and the mistress of a Catholic Father Confessor to many old Nazis in a nearby parish. One of them, spent part of his life guarding mines and handed him a map drawn in pencil with geographic coordinates. Thanks to his unlimited patience, Aragon got these maps from Chiquita. Aragon has plans to set out on a new round of explorations, using more precise equipment when he’s able to gather the necessary resources and time for this.

Aragon said then that in one of the parties held by the Nazi community in Bariloche, many saw Mengele dancing with a beautiful woman who claimed to be a journalist and who wanted to interview him. He agreed to the interview on the afternoon of the next day in a park in Bariloche. Before leaving her however, he saw that she bore a numerical tattoo, characteristic of the victims of the German concentration camps inside the palm of her hand. He noticed it but said nothing. The interview was conducted and two days later, the woman was found murdered at the base of the cliffs beside Lake Nahuel Huapi.

She was, in fact Mossad agent, 47 years of age, named Nora Eldoc, who had gone to visit her mother, a Jewish escapee of the death camps, who also lived in Bariloche. It was a shocking event at the time.

The police examined the scene of the crime and suspicions fell on Mengele but he had long since disappeared. Mengele hid for a time at Böhme’s farm, 300 km away. Three months later he left, leaving behind the incriminating suitcase, which would certainly do him no good on his person, should he be apprehended while on the run. This is the suitcase that Aragon inherited from Böhme.

-- Olivier Perroy [Translated from Portuguese by Alexandra Bruce]


Germany is perhaps the only great nation, which has never had a colony either in North or South America, or otherwise displayed there any political activity, unless mention is made of the emigration of many millions of Germans and of their work, which, however, has only been to the benefit of the American Continent and of the U.S.A.

--
from "Declaration of War on the US" by Adolf Hitler, 11 December 1941

Their Men in Brazil
Hitler's Secret War in South America German Military Espionage and Allied Counterespionage in Brazil
By Stanley E. Hilton

The fascination with espionage, counterespionage and secret intelligence operations of every kind during the Second World War is endless. Year after year, we learn something new about the triumphs and defeats, the imagination, sophistication, dedication and courage - as well as the stupidity, greed and sloth - of the rival intelligence services who were then engaged in lethal combat around the globe. Since wartime intelligence literature keeps growing, we are now familiar with most of the activities of Britain's super secret Security Coordination apparatus and Special Operations Executive and of the United States' Office of Strategic Services, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Naval Intelligence. We know how the theft of the German ''Enigma'' enciphering machine and sheer mathematical genius enabled the British to penetrate Nazi military communications, and how the United States Navy broke the Japanese codes. Captured Axis documents tell us the Nazi, Italian and Japanese sides of the story. We can now make a powerful case for the notion that superior intelligence operations were at the root of the ultimate Allied victory.  

Fresh material continues to turn up, throwing light on often important intelligence operations that have been generally ignored or overlooked. The latest case in point is Stanley E. Hilton's superbly researched and extremely readable "Hitler's Secret War in South America 1939-1945", which for the first time outlines the German effort to establish espionage networks in Brazil to monitor Allied shipping in the South Atlantic and beyond. The Germans wanted to track movements both of troopships destined for the Middle East and the Pacific and of merchantmen convoys bearing vital foodstuffs and strategic materials for Britain so that they could better direct their U-Boats for the kill. A parallel mission was to spy on the American military build-up in strategic north-eastern Brazil and to transmit to Germany reports from Nazi agents in the United States.  

In the public mind, as is true even today, Brazil was at best a secondary security concern for the Allies. In reality, it was so important that both Washington and London went to extraordinary lengths to eradicate the German espionage networks there - not a simple proposition given the fact that for a long time key Brazilian officials [including the Federal police chief] were frankly pro-Axis. In March 1942, German agents in Rio de Janeiro and in the north-eastern city of Recife informed their headquarters through clandestine radio transmissions that the British liner Queen Mary, carrying 9,000 American troops, was sailing along the Brazilian coast. As it happened, United States Signal Intelligence Service radio monitors intercepted the messages and provided the British with a timely warning; otherwise, Nazi submarine packs prowling the South Atlantic might well have sunk the ship.

In 1940, after the German conquest of Western Europe, reports reached the White House that Hitler planned to dispatch military forces to Brazil to support local German communities in setting up a Nazi regime; President Roosevelt became so worried that he ordered preparations to airlift 10,000 troops there and to ship another 100,000 troops by sea if the rumors proved true. [Actually, Hitler had never contemplated such an action]. And throughout the war, the State Department and the American Embassy in Rio de Janeiro were under unrelenting pressure from the United States military to destroy Nazi intelligence operations in Brazil.

 

This whole story is now told, in immense detail, by Mr. Hilton, a professor of history at Louisiana State University. He first published his findings in Brazil in his 1977 book "Suastica sobre o Brasil" [Swastika over Brazil]. Because Mr. Hilton named a number of members of the pro-Nazi Integralista Party, dissolved in 1938 after an abortive coup d'etat, as active German espionage agents, his book triggered something of a storm in Brazil. Former Integralistas accused him of being a Central Intelligence Agency operative, and attempts were made to close Brazilian archives to American researchers. The American edition, Mr. Hilton writes, differs from the original Portuguese version because it incorporates new material from declassified O.S.S., F.B.I. and Federal Communications Commission files, as well as confidential reports from the Brazilian police detective who played a key role in smashing the Nazi networks.

 

Perhaps the most interesting portion of Mr. Hilton's narrative is the story of the incredible amateurishness of the Abwehr [the Foreign Department of Germany's Armed Forces High Command], run by the legendary Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, in setting up and operating its espionage networks in Brazil, and of the admirable effectiveness of British and American intelligence in destroying them through patient and sophisticated counterespionage. Most of the Abwehr agents were German businessmen, though some were Brazilian-born, sent from Germany or recruited locally; only a few were intelligence professionals or military attaches. The amateurs, usually short on money, tended to be careless. Organized in two independent main networks and eight cells and sub cells [there was even a Hungarian cell], the Abwehr agents fought among themselves over funds and the use of clandestine radio transmitters. Some of the key operatives were ardent womanizers, who violated elementary intelligence work rules by keeping mistresses.

 

It took the Allies - and those Brazilian police officials who were willing to help them - about two years to finish off the Abwehr in Brazil. [Among other things, Mr. Hilton demolishes the long-held belief that Argentina, not Brazil, served as the principal center of wartime Nazi activities in South America. ''Following the collapse of the Abwehr apparatus in Brazil,'' he writes, ''neighboring Argentina became the center of German espionage in Latin America" [But this was in 1943, when it no longer really mattered]. The F.B.I. organized radio monitoring services both in Brazil and the United States to intercept the messages of the agents in Brazil. The British turned at least one of the important Abwehr agents into a double agent. They recruited mail-openers [much of the Nazi reporting was done through the mail, using invisible inks and microdots], and made the bizarre discovery that the most dexterous ones were women with ''slender, attractive legs".' British intelligence also circulated anonymous pamphlets which alleged that a senior German diplomat in Rio was sexually impotent - enough to ruin a man's reputation among Brazilians.

 

In perspective, much of the Allied counterespionage effort may sound like intelligence fun and games. But as Mr. Hilton points out, the operations were in dead earnest. He writes, in explaining why the Abwehr became so engaged in Brazil, that the German Admiral Karl Dönitz ''resisted pressure from his advisers to dispatch units to the South Atlantic in 1940 largely because tracking the [British] convoys there was so difficult'' and that ''the ultimate success or failure in the sea contest, therefore, might depend on the quality and quantity of information that could be obtained about ships servicing the enemy". By describing the Abwehr's attempt and eventual failure to set up an effective intelligence network, Mr. Hilton has made a highly valuable contribution to our understanding of the intelligence battles of World War II.

Trial of Accused Nazi War Criminals
Sitting at Nuremberg, Germany
12 March to 22 March 1946
Eighty-Fourth Day: Monday, 18 March 1946

HERMANN WILHELM GÖRING: DIRECT EXAMINATION
DR. HORN [counsel for the defendant von Ribbentrop]:

Q. American war propaganda consistently spoke of Germany's aggressive intentions toward the Western Hemisphere. What do you know about this?
A. The Western Hemisphere? Do you mean America?
Q. Yes
A. Even if Germany had completely dominated the nations of Europe, between Germany and the American continent there are, as far as I still recall from my geographic knowledge, about 6,000 kilometres of water, I believe. In view of the smallness of the German fleet and the regrettable lack of bombers to cover this distance, which I already mentioned, there was never any question of a threat against the American continent; on the contrary, we were always afraid of that danger in reverse, and we would have been very glad if it had not been necessary to consider this at all. As far as South America is concerned, I know that we were always accused, by propaganda at least, of economic penetration and attempted domination there. If one considers the financial and commercial possibilities which Germany had before and during the war, and if one compares them with those of Great Britain or America, one can see the untenability of such a statement. With the very little foreign exchange and the tremendous export difficulties which we had, we could never constitute a real danger or be in competition. If that had been the case, the attitude of the South American countries would presumably have been a different one. Not the Mark, but only the Dollar ruled there.
DR. HORN: Thank you.

CONTINUED