Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Hitler's Lost Sub

After reading "Shadow Divers" I decided to get the Nova documentary "Hitler's Lost Sub." An incredible flick. It includes film of the discovery of a lost sub, real war clips, and pristine subs that were captured.

These were soup cans welded together wrapped around bombs. The odds against survival were greater than any other branch of Hitler's military war machine.

But here are some figures:

11,071 total German U-Boats constructed
45,000 German men maned the U-Boats
28,000 men died in them (70%)
68 subs are lost

The average life expectancy of a U-Boat crew member was 60 days.

The U-Boats sank 2000 ships which sounds like a lot but is just 1% of all ships used during the war.

The show is about a special U-Boat that divers discovered 60 miles off the New Jersey coast and attempt to identify. The risks are great and several die attempting it.

There is footage of the dive. One shot shows a lone rubber shoe to hush the steps of crewmen while being stalked by battle ships above. There, at 230 feet, a graveyard of 49 bodies, 49 lives snuffed out, 49 families adversely affected.

A human skull is shown laying on it's side. The divers were careful not to disturb the remains of any of the crewmen in an attempt to identify the sub.

The commander of the sub would not allow the Heil Hitler salute said one man interviewed. He got phenomena the day before the sail and was visited by his captain and crewmen. He is said to be the lone surviver.

All men joining the German military had to sever membership with the Nazi Political Party. Several surviving U-Boat crewmen from other subs were interviewed.

Diving at 230 feet is 100 feet greater than recommended by the military. It's probably just as dangerous to enter the sub at those depths as it was to crew it 50 years ago. The divers eventually used Try-Mix which kept their head clear during the dives. Something that wasn't possible with the standard scuba mix. I won't tell you more to prevent my giving the ending away. It's a very good documentary.

You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake. -Jeannette Rankin first woman Member of Congress

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) American Musician, Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter