Discovery of Nazi Sub Dispels a Hitler Myth

The U-boat was sunk and did not reach Argentina, as conspiracy theorists have argued
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2018 10:39 AM CDT
Discovery of Nazi Sub Dispels a Hitler Myth
This image shows German U-boat U-3523 in the North Sea.   (Sea War Museum Jutland)

When one of Germany's most advanced U-boats vanished the day after Nazi forces surrendered in parts of Europe, some speculated that it had carried leaders, maybe even Adolf Hitler, to safety in Argentina, reports CBS News. The conspiracy theory, repeated after World War II, is now officially debunked, according to officials at Denmark's Sea War Museum Jutland. They say German U-boat U-3523 was found earlier this month in the Skagerrak Strait between Denmark and Norway, nine miles west of where it was reported to have been sunk by a British bomber on May 6, 1945, reports the Copenhagen Post. It rests roughly 400 feet below the surface at a 45-degree angle, with its nose stuck in the seafloor, according to the museum, which has helped find 450 vessels in the region.

"After the war, there were many rumors about top Nazis who fled in U-boats and brought Nazi gold to safety, and the U-3523 fed the rumors," the museum says, noting the Type XXI "could sail submerged for a prolonged time" and "had a range that would have allowed it to sail non-stop all the way to South America." But though the museum says the sub was probably fleeing when it sank five days after Hitler's death was announced, it's not clear if we'll ever know what was onboard apart from 58 crew members: There are no plans to raise the sub because of its depth, the Post reports. Despite U-3523's discovery, the Independent suggests theories about Hitler's escape will continue as other German submarines reached Argentina after the war. (A well-preserved U-boat sunk in World War I was just found.)

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