A Nazi warship that had been sunk by the British was found 80 years later, after a power company came across it while inspecting their underwater lines.
The Karlsruhe was returning from the Nazi invasion of Norway in 1940 when it was torpedoed by HMS Truant, forcing the Germans to sink the sinking ship.
But while the story of the Karlsruhe has been established as fact, its location has remained a mystery until now.
Norwegian energy company Statnett found the ship after identifying a wreck near the underwater lines in the Skagerrak strait.
The Nazi warship, the Karlsruhe (pictured), was returning from the invasion of Norway in 1940 when it was hit by a torpedo from the British submarine HMS Truant
For 80 years, the location of the wreck remained a mystery – until now. It was found off the coast of Norway by a Norwegian energy company, Statnett. Pictured: a scan of the wreck
“You can trace the fate of Karlsruhe in history books, but no one knows exactly where the ship sank,” said Frode Kvalø of the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
In addition, it was the only major German warship lost in the attack on Norway with an unknown position.
“After all these years, we finally know where the graveyard of this important warship is.”
The existence of a wreck 13 nautical miles from Kristiansand in Southern Norway was first revealed by sonar during a Statnett inspection in 2017.
But it wasn’t until June of this year that Statnett engineer, Ole Petter Hobberstad, was given the opportunity to inspect the ship using a remote-controlled submarine.
The existence of a wreck 13 nautical miles off Kristiansand, a town in southern Norway, was first revealed by sonar in 2017, but an inspection of the ship was carried out in June this year to reveal that it was the lost Nazi. warship.
Images of the Karlsruhe, found 490 meters below sea level, show the ship upright with cannons aimed into the sea (photo)
“When the ROV results showed us a ship that had been torpedoed, we realized it was from the war,” said Mr. Hobberstad.
When the guns became visible on the screen, we understood that it was a huge warship. We were very excited and surprised that the wreck was so big. ‘
Images of the location of the wreck show how it is decorated with a swastika, crowned by a Nazi eagle or Parteiadler, with an anchor shape underneath.
The cannons and barnacle-covered superstructure are also visible.
The first images also show that, unusually for a ship with a high center of gravity, the Karlsruhe remained upright after the sinking.
“Karlsruhe stands firmly 490 meters below sea level with cannons pointing menacingly into the sea,” said Kvalø.
“With the main battery of nine guns in three triple turrets, this was the largest and most terrifying ship in the attack group against Kristiansand.”
‘Finding such a special war wreck is rare and extra fun for us who work with underwater surveys,’ added Mr. Hobberstad.
An inspection of the wreckage by a remote-controlled submarine found the cannons and barnacle-covered superstructure clearly visible
Statnett engineer, Ole Petter Hobberstad, who inspected the ship, said: “We understood it was a huge warship. We were very excited and surprised that the wreck was so big. ‘
It is rare to find such a special war wreck. The warship has nine cannons in three triple turrets and was the largest and most terrifying ship in the attack group against Kristiansand.
Despite its great firepower, the Karlsruhe was only used as a troop transport for the attack on Kristiansand.
But when she was under fire from Norwegian coastal cannons at Odderøya Fortress, she soon joined the fight.
It was later that same day, after successfully landing troops in Norway, that she was hit by two British torpedoes.
As her power was soon turned off by the influx of water, the ship’s pumps stalled and Commander Friedrich Rieve decided to abandon ship.
One of her escorts, the torpedo boat, Greif, then rescued the crew and torpedoed the Karlsruhe two more times to make sure she sank.
However, Rieve was severely censored for his actions as he did not attempt to have the warship towed back to Kristiansand for repair.
HMS Truant would outlive its rival for six years, sinking en route to a shipbreaker in December 1946, after being sold for scrap the year before.