Sunken Nazi Sub Slumbers Off Louisiana Coast
And a camera captures incredible images of the German U-boat
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2014 6:51 AM CDT
Updated Jul 20, 2014 9:58 AM CDT
Screen capture of deck gun of submarine U-166 (photo not from new expedition).   (NOAA's Maritime Heritage Program; Collection of LCDR Jeremy Weirich, NOAA Corps )

(Newser) – Many never knew how close German U-boats came to US soil during World War II, but new high-def footage reveals several wrecks on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Robert Ballard, known for discovering the Titanic, is now mapping some of these wrecks, including the SS Robert E. Lee that was torpedoed by the German U-166 in 1942 and sank 45 miles off the coast of Louisiana. While most of the Lee's 286 passengers survived, the U-166 was hit by the Lee's Navy escort and sank less than a mile away with all 52 still aboard; it now slumbers as a protected war grave. Though U-boats sank more than 50 US ships in the Gulf, the U-166 is the only U-boat of the 22 that were directed to the Gulf that Americans managed to down, reports WFAA. Though the sub's location has long been known, a rep for the expedition tells the Sun Herald that the new "surveys of the area ... will help our archaeologists better understand what happened and how she sunk."

The 120-day deep-sea exploration, launched last month, is being carried out by Ballard and what will eventually total 200 explorers; they're searching the area using the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, in an effort funded in part by BP oil spill reparations. The explorers first investigated the area's corals and rare sea life, including the deep sea vampire squid, and are now turning their lenses on the region's military history. "Many souls were lost on these wrecks and others, but now they are teeming with corals and undersea creatures," Ballard tells the Houston Chronicle. "It's the amazing tapestry of life." Follow the explorers' live stream here or view photos here. (Another German sub, the U-550, was found off Nantucket.)

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Liberalismiscancer
Jul 17, 2014 6:20 PM CDT
This is news? James Lee Burke wrote about it years ago.............
Ezekiel 25:17
Jul 17, 2014 12:11 AM CDT
Germany did not defeat the USA but Germany's closest ally may just do that. The viral influx of foreign invaders from Mexico is estimated to cause a enough of a significant hit to the US economy and ability to exist, that it will equal a complete loss such as losing to Germany. In other words, had Germany won WWII, they would have let Mexico take over the USA. That is essentially in the half stage point. There will be an important juncture ahead where the US will need to take measures that mimic a war with Mexico. But probably more important is that the only thing that will stop the viral invasion of the USA is for an event to happen to the USA that makes 9/11 look like a house fire. Another important element of this story are the thousands of submarines that are currently being used to get heroin, meth, crack, ice, etc into the USA with little to no detection. Its to the point now where the US would be good to hire a private navy to use sophisticated sonar equipment to find the subs and then send down depth charges to dispatch the tons of drugs usually loaded inside.
FarmerMichael
Jul 16, 2014 8:18 PM CDT
The Japanese had a sub that shelled Fort Stevens in Oregon. They also sent many balloon incendiary bombs to start fores fires, but only managed to kill some church folks on a picnic. There is a lot of US WWII history not in the text books.