Today, I almost fell out of my chair when a friend sent me an e-mail telling a story about a Nazi Submarine found in the Great Lakes. I had never heard this before even though I have kept up on WWII history. A story such as this one which strikes so close to home would have certainly made headlines in the locals. Evidently, the story was kept secret to prevent us from panicking.
I am particularly interested because submarines are still in existence, and they are more numerous today than they were in 1943. They are also stealthy and have many more weapons on them. When ever I hear a rumor that China, Iran or any of the Mid-Eastern countries are seeking to own a submarine I get nervous.
In 1943, the Nazis were limited to where they could go in the Great Lakes. Today, with the Saint Lawrence Seaway open it is theoretically possible for a sub to make it into Lake Michigan. What a field day they could have by destroying the Mackinac Bridge or by launching some missiles into the Chicago Loop. Even if a missile did not make it into the city, if one blows up above, or near, the magnetic pulse created would take down the power grids, and communications of the entire Mid West.
Here is the story: February 18th, 2016 | by Barbara Johnson
USA: Mysterious Nazi submarine from WWII discovered in Great Lakes
Niagara Falls: Divers from the U.S coast guard took part this morning, in a delicate wreck recovery operation to bring to the surface a Nazi submarine discovered two weeks ago at the bottom of Lake Ontario.
The U-boat was spotted for the first time by amateur scuba divers in late January and they had contacted the authorities. Archaeologists associated with the University of Niagara , and master divers from the U.S Coast Guard were mobilized on site to determine what it was, and they soon realized that they were dealing with a German submarine that sank during World War II.
A wreck recovery vessel of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society was mandated to refloat the ship and bring it back to Niagara Falls, where it must be restored before becoming a museum ship. The delicate recovery operation took nearly 30 hours to complete, but the submarine was finally brought down on the bank with relative ease.
The divers of the U.S. Coast guard braved the frigid water temperature to go attach cables to the wreck for the recovery operation.
The submarine was identified as the UX-791, a unique experimental German submarine, based on the U-1200 model, and known to have participated in the “Battle of the St. Lawrence”. It was reported missing in 1943 and was believed to have been sunk near the Canadian coast.
Professor Mark Carpenter, who leads the team of archaeologists, believes that the U-boat could have traveled up the St-Lawrence River, all the way to the Great Lakes, where it intended to disturb the American economy.
A report dated from February 1943 suggests, that the ship could have attacked and destroyed three cargo ships and two fishing vessels, even damaging the USS Sable (IX-81), an aircraft carrier of the U.S. navy that was used for training in the Great Lakes, before finally being sunk by anti-sub grenades launched by a Canadian frigate.
“We have known for a long time that the Nazis had sent some of their U-boats in the St-Lawrence River, but this is the first proof that they actually reached the Great Lakes,” Professor Carpenter told reporters. “This could explain the mysterious ship disappearances that took place in the region in 1943, and the reported “Battle of Niagara Falls” which had always been dismissed as a collective hallucination caused by fear.”
The restoration of the submarine could take more than two years, but once completed, the museum ship is expected to become one of the major tourist attractions of the region.