Friday, December 22, 2006

Divers find U-boats wrecked by secret wartime minefield

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Times Online
December 22, 2006

NEWQUAY Divers have uncovered the wrecks of three Second World War German submarines off the British coast, shedding light on a British operation that has remained secret for more than 60 years.

Historians were amazed at the discovery of the severely damaged U-boats, which are lying close to each other seven miles off Newquay, Cornwall, because none had ever been recorded as being lost there. After extensive research it was found that they had been sunk in a secret minefield laid after the British intercepted a radio message from a U-boat commander.

His boat had sunk a British destroyer after discovering a gap in the Irish Sea minefield that allowed supply ships in to Cardiff and Bristol. He radioed the news to Germany but his message was deciphered by British Intelligence. The British then laid deep mines to allow ships through but trap U-boats.

Historians were unaware of the minefield until recently, when the relevant documents were declassified.


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