A submarine pen [U-Bootbunker] is a type of submarine base that acts as a Bunker to protect submarines from air attack. The term is generally applied to submarine bases constructed during World War II, particularly in Germany and its occupied countries, which were also known as U-Boat pens

Among the first forms of protection for submarines were some open-sided shelters with partial wooden foundations that were constructed during the first World War. These structures were built at the time when bombs were light enough to be dropped by hand from the cockpit. By the 1940s, the quality of aerial weapons and the means to deliver them had improved markedly.

The mid-1930s saw the Naval Construction Office in Berlin give the problem serious thought. Various factions in the navy were convinced protection for the expanding U-Boat arm was required. An RAF raid on the capital in 1940 plus the occupation of France and Great Britain's refusal to surrender was enough to trigger a massive building programme of submarine pens and air raid shelters.

It was soon realised that such a massive project was beyond the Kriegsmarine, the Todt Organisation [OT] was brought in to oversee the administration of labour. The local supply of such items as sand, aggregate, cement and timber was often a cause for concern. The steel required was mostly imported from Germany.

The attitudes of the people in France and Norway were significantly different. In France there was generally no problem with the recruitment of men and the procurement of machinery and raw materials. It was a different story in Norway. There, the local population were far more reluctant to help the Germans. Indeed, most labour had to be brought in. The ground selected for Bunker construction was no help either: usually being at the head of a fjord, the foundations and footings had to be hewn out of granite. Several metres of silt also had to be overcome. Many of the workers needed were forced labour, most especially the concentration camp inmates supplied by the SS from camps near the pens.

The incessant air raids caused serious disruption to the project, hampering the supply of material, destroying machinery and harassing the workers. Machinery such as excavators, piledrivers, cranes, floodlighting and concrete pumps [which were still a relatively new technology in the 1940s] was temperamental, and in the case of steam-driven equipment, very noisy.

Bunkers had to be able to accommodate more than just U-Boats; space had to be found for offices, medical facilities, communications, lavatories, generators, ventilators, anti-aircraft guns, accommodation for key personnel such as crew-men, workshops, water purification plants, electrical equipment and radio testing facilities. Storage space for spares, explosives, ammunition and oil was also required.

Shelter for operational boats and repair Bunkers, were the most numerous type. There were two types that were built either on dry land or over the water. The former meant that U-Boats had to be moved on ramps; the latter enabled the boats to come and go at will. Pumping the water out enabled dry dock repairs to be carried out. Some Bunkers were large enough to allow the removal of periscopes and aerials.

There is no truth in the rumour of an underground Bunker on Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands. This "story" was gleaned from a similar situation in Le Havre in France when captured U-Boat men were interrogated by the British.

U-Boat facilities first became a bombing priority in March 1941 and again during the Combined Bomber Offensive. The Bunkers did not suffer as much as their surroundings until August 1944 when a new type of bomb was used against them, the "Tallboy".

U-Boat yards and pens were the primary objectives for the US Eighth Air Force from late 1942 to early 1943. In the course of the war, the Allies used Operation Aphrodite radio-controlled aircraft, "Bat" guided bombs, "Disney" rocket-assisted bombs, Tallboy and Grand Slam deep penetration bombs to attack the U-Boat pens.

U-Boat Sanctuary – The Indestructible U-Boat Bases
By Jerome O'Connor
1 January 2008 
Curiously, library shelves of histories about World War Two say little about the purpose, construction, operation and effect the five monolithic Bunker bases had on the Battle of the Atlantic. Volume after volume barely mention the bases.  Even less scholarship is addressed to Admiral Karl Dönitz’ Chateau headquarters and 10,000 sq. ft. attached Bunker. 

In the one-time international command center, and in two adjacent chateaux, Admiral Dönitz implemented and constantly improved the Rudel Taktik or wolf-pack strategy.  It came near to winning the war for Germany at least one year before America’s entry.

Operating from the unassailable Bunker bases brought the U-Boats the closest they ever would get to winning the war. In overlooking the existence of the bases, however, historians also neglected a fundamental component to understanding World War Two.  Millions of Marks were lavished on building and operating the five bases for an uncomplicated reason:  Nazi Germany intended to win the war not only with its vaunted Wehrmacht and skilled Luftwaffe, but, especially with U-Boats.

And the wolf-packs nearly succeeded.  By September 1941 – the U-Boat Bunker bases now fully operational – 25% of all the British merchant fleet had been sunk. Behind the scenes the two great wartime leaders, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt, conducted numerous secret strategies, knowing that the war would be won or lost on the high seas.  In his memoirs, Dönitz, wrote about "a sea-war of attrition": 

"Defeat the convoys and Britain would fall".

Projecting German naval power deep into the Atlantic from the strategic French bases therefore became essential to realizing German war aims.  Although ignored and thus discredited by history, each of the five monolithic bases in Brest, Lorient, St. Nazaire, La Pallice and Bordeaux survived intact.  Decades later they represent the most visible illustration in Europe of the Nazi intention to build a regime that would last for a thousand years.  The expensive enterprise represented a fully achievable plan, and it was virtually complete well before the war turned in the Allies favor -a strategy of engineering vision and daring.

Three reasons suggest why the strategic importance – even the bases very existence – remains unknown.  1) The widely but erroneously held belief that the bases were destroyed.  2) The isolated areas in Brittany where the bases were situated, placed them outside the normal tourist areas. 3) After the war the French navy took over three of the five bases for their own nuclear navy. They weren’t about to broadcast their locations.

Begun literally within days of France’s surrender in June 1940, Germany’s U-Boat Bunkers on the Bay of Biscay remain standing to this day as stark monuments to Nazi engineering skill, and Adolf Hitler’s determination to protect his wolf packs and bring the Allies to their knees.

At 15:15 on 21 June, 1940, a jubilant Adolf Hitler stepped from his Mercedes touring car into the forest clearing of Compiegne near Paris. After a mere six weeks of mostly uninspired fighting, France –his most feared enemy– had been defeated. Seated in the same chair and in the same railway car where a victorious Marshall Ferdinand Foch had dictated humiliating surrender terms to Germany on 11 November 1918, the 22-year wait for revenge was over. Germany would occupy more than half of the country, including the strategic Atlantic naval bases of Brest, Lorient, St. Nazaire, La Pallice and Bordeaux.  In signing away national sovereignty, France was forced to allow the Kriegsmarine to base its feared U-Bboat flotillas on the Bay of Biscay.

Soon, a daring, intricate, and amazingly successful construction project transformed the five Biscay ports into indestructible U-Boat Bunker bases.  Decades later, the enormous, monolithic structures still hulk over the town centers from which they were gouged – horrifying, but amazing  in their accomplishment – and among the greatest construction feats in history.

Drained from occupied Europe, concrete and steel measured in the millions of tons sheltered the new pens. Under a punishing 24-hour a day regimen imposed by the German general contractor, Organization Todt, hundreds of German, French, Belgian and Dutch contractors designed and manufactured electrical equipment, high-speed pumps, mechanical systems, submersible caissons, overhead cranes, transformers, generators, and complete power stations. Steel mills, smelters and smithies fabricated underground fuel lines, counter-weighted double doors, steel trusses, lock gates, corrugated steel coverings, dry dock gantries, and railway tracks. Assembled on site were never-before imagined or attempted marine tilting turntables.

Gigantic positioning traversers would move 1,763-ton Type IXB U-Boats from pier side to open pen in one hour.

After exhausting land-based resources, even the seabed was mined to suction sand for concrete.

Implausibly, while the shelters’ deep foundations were exposed and vulnerable behind fragile cofferdams, construction continued at a fever pitch under the almost daily observation of British forces and went mostly unchallenged. As for beleaguered Britain, it was truly alone, outgunned, and outflanked in its own backyard. From Norway’s North Cape to the Spanish frontier, the Greater Reich had become master of the continent and its seas.

Less than 48 hours after the French armistice, a long train left U-Boat headquarters in Wilhelmshaven and continued through Paris without pause. Its destination: Lorient, on the remote and rocky Brittany coast. In addition to torpedoes, radios, navigation and optical instruments, spare parts, food and drink, the train accommodated the small personal staff of 49-year-old Commander-in-Chief U-Boats – newly promoted Vice-Admiral Karl Dönitz. The admiral’s mission – transform the Biscay ports into impregnable bastions, and expand the sea war of attrition deep into the Atlantic from bases now 450 miles nearer the Western Approaches dense shipping lanes.

In that mournful late June 1940, as France lay stricken under the Nazi jackboot, Dönitz headquartered his command in a requisitioned château at Kerneval on the Scorff River roadstead, within view of the developing Bunker base. The first boat, the U30 [commanded by Fritz-Josef Lemp, who had sunk the British liner 'Athenia on the war’s first day], tied up at the Lorient piers only two days later. Some flotillas remained in Germany and Norway, but from Lemp’s Lorient arrival until the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, almost every Atlantic U-Bboat had a Biscay homeport.

Voyaging treacherous sea highways to deliverance or disaster, by mid-1940 the North Atlantic convoys already were in grave danger. Outbound from the United Kingdom, merchant shipping could rely on naval escorts only to 100 miles west of Ireland, while convoys eastbound from the United States and Canada were on their own a mere 400 miles from North America. With the French ports under German control, a vast uncontested mid-Atlantic gap –the "black hole"– became accessible to Biscay based U-Boats. The effect was immediate. In the first full year of war, an average of only 6 U-Boats at sea at any one time sank over 1,000 merchant ships loaded to the gunwales with more than four million tons of armaments, tanks, trucks, planes, provisions, raw materials, aviation fuel, and oil. By mid 1940 the Royal Navy had only a two-month oil reserve. Little more than a year later, in September 1941, a quarter of the entire British merchant fleet lay on the ocean floor. An agonized Sir Dudley Pound, the BritishFirst Sea Lord, put it starkly: "If we lose the war at sea we lose the war". As beleaguered Britain confronted defeat, Germany tasted victory and Atlantic wall preparations were shunted to secondary status. Completion of the U-Boat pens became the top priority.

With esteem bordering on worship, the submarine force regarded Admiral Dönitz as much more than commander-in-chief. Admired throughout the Navy, the men had elevated the unemotional leader they called "the Lion" to a higher rank of father figure, teacher, and master of their young lives. Like a good father, the Admiral indulged his boys –affectionately calling them his “Gray Wolves"– with special chartered trains home and minimum one month leaves, or generous liberty in “U-Boat sailors’ pastures" – requisitioned French seaside resorts. The U-Boat pay schedule was almost double that of the other service branches, and with the often-compliant women in the Biscay ports, there was pleasure after the peril. “We are living like gods in France,” went the saying.  Until the war’s  last days, U-Boat crews were given the best rations, the highest quality bread, meats, fruits and vegetables, and ample quantities of good German wine and Lager beer. Why not?  Most of them would pay soon enough with their lives.

As each U-Boat returned after battle with white victory pennants fluttering like washing in the wind, shipyard workers and other crews cheered the gaunt, grimy sailors mustered on deck wearing salt-encrusted gray leather jackets, faces unshaven and reeking of Diesel fuel. As a military brass band thumped, a bearded white-capped young captain, only a few years older than his crew, inspected the steel-helmeted honor guard. Nurses in white tunics and girlfriends from town scattered fresh flowers. There was a swelling of pride and more than a little arrogance. Had the crews not earned it? After all, Lorient was then “the base of the aces".

In 1942, the heyday of the U-Boat’s offensive in the Atlantic, a dozen Biscay based U-Boats each accounted for more than 100,000 tons sunk. No navy ever had nor ever again would achieve that.

From the chateau at Kerneval, Admiral Dönitz introduced the soon-to-be dreaded Rudeltaktik, or  wolf pack strategy, a brilliant exploitation of flaws in the Allied convoy escorting system. From the secure Biscay pens, a mere handful of U-Boats –averaging only eight at any one time, and now with added range– changed the battle’s focus by extending the war to the East Coast of the United States.

The offensive against U.S. shipping began with a captains’ briefing.  As Admiral Dönitz waved the U-Boats out to sea from the grassy terrace over Bunker, "Paukenschlag" [Operation Drumbeat] began. Later, when the war turned against them, the crewmen would warmly reminisce about the "American turkey shoot".

Beginning on 4 January 1942, only 27 days after Pearl Harbor, twelve 1,120 ton, 253-foot Type IX boats launched a coordinated, two-phased attack. By the end of June, the order "Torpedoes los" had sent nearly 400 merchant ships to the bottom, most flying the U.S. flag.

The Americans were careless and conspicuous in their own waters, foolishly found again and again in periscope crosshairs. The tally was highest for coastal-running vessels steaming one behind the other like swaying elephants on parade, their lights undimmed, crews untrained, no radio silence, and their silhouettes displayed perfectly against the blazing lights of cities that had yet to be blacked out. From Hampton Roads to Miami Beach, local chambers of commerce seemed to be advertising directly  to U-Boats. Even worse, most of the ships lost were tankers, and only six U-Boats were sunk.

Though a combination of aircraft, escorts, and new technologies eventually turned the tide in the Allies favor, the basing of U-Boats on the French coast changed the strategic nature of the war and brought the Germans the closest they ever came to winning the war at sea. Of all the cruel arts and sciences in the Nazi arsenal, only the Biscay Bunker bases were built to last for at the least the regime’s promised Thousand-year reign.

Compare the construction requirements of only the Lorient Bunker base with the accomplishment of another modern day wonder, Hoover Dam. From 1931 to 1936, 5,000 men controlled the Colorado River and built a dam equivalent to a 65-story skyscraper. Still one of history’s greatest engineering feats, the dam contained 4.4 million cubic feet of concrete poured over a 1,244 foot length and 726 foot height. That singular accomplishment almost was exceeded by just one of the five bases. In Lorient, beginning 2 February 1941,15,000 mostly slave laborers and German overseers began three separate pen enclosures 2,000 feet in total length, 425 feet wide, and 63 feet high, topped further by a seven section, 25-foot thick reinforced concrete roof – itself a daring work of extraordinary engineering skill. Finished in only 23 months, concrete mixers in the hundreds and trucks by the thousands poured concrete exceeding 3.4 million cubic feet. For comparison, Chicago’s Sears Tower, for years the world’s tallest building, would fail to reach the Lorient pens total length by 6oo feet. The Titanic twice over – with 44 feet to spare – could occupy the combined Lorient pens.

Construction raced ahead as the five Biscay bases swallowed 14 million cubic feet of concrete and one million tons of steel. By mid -1942, the Allied Bomber Command had fully awakened to the threat the bases posed.  It was too late; although construction was interrupted, it never stopped. The Germans recorded at least 300 air raids on Lorient alone by the U.S. Eighth Air Force and British Bomber Command. Not one mission succeeded in putting the pens out of commission.

Much more than fortified U-Boat enclosures, the pens were more like complete naval bases under concrete. Feeding the unquenchable needs of repair and overhaul facilities, underground pipes delivered oil, gasoline, lubricants, fresh water and seawater. All the necessities and many of the conveniences equivalent to a medium sized town lay behind solid 11 foot-thick reinforced concrete external walls and three-foot deep armored double blast doors. Extending hundreds of feet within the immense interiors were complete steam and electric generating stations, air-raid shelters, 1,000 man-capacity crew dormitories, cold storage and food lockers, mess facilities, and scores of drafting and engineering offices.  Other spaces contained fire-fighting, repair, and first aid stations, supply and storage rooms, kitchens, bakeries, and hospital and dental facilities. Separate Bunkers housed electrical transformers, fuel tanks, and stand-by power generators. Dangerous or delicate stores such as torpedoes, ammunition and optical equipment went to fortified Bunkers in town.

A five step system ingeniously moved a U-Boat from pier to enclosed dry-dock pen in only one hour. In the final stage, with the U-Boat secure in a cradle set on a trolley, a giant 32 wheel traverser –an electrically driven mobile platform– moved laterally over eight rails to stop opposite an empty pen for final placement inside. Each base had multiple dry docks, but the largest –Lorient– had 19 dry docks in three separate pen enclosures, called Keroman I, II, and III. Sideways-moving traversers linked two of the three enclosures. Of 1,149 major wartime overhauls at the five bases [each lasting approximately one month], almost half were completed in Lorient. During the Battle of the Atlantic’s most crucial periods –even during merciless air raids– Lorient berthed up to 28 U-Boats simultaneously.  After the war, in grudging admiration, the U.S. Strategic Bombing survey called Lorient, "the world’s greatest submarine base".

After hundreds of air raids only dimpled the pens, a new Allied weapon –the "Tallboy"- entered the scene. Sporting offset fins for bullet-like twisting, the 12,000-pound ballistic bomb was so heavy it could be dropped only from relatively low levels, thus negating much of its penetrating ability. In bases with incomplete defenses, some hits actually penetrated to the pen berths. But after hundreds of attempts, not one Tallboy pierced roofs with the complete seven-layer Fangrost system. At war’s end the five bases remained fully functional, but the five once-peaceful seaports and their surroundings were destroyed completely.

After the German surrender, the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey counted 3,000 artillery pieces along the entire Atlantic Wall.  Sited on land, Flak ships and Flak towers, 300 heavy-caliber guns defended Lorient.  Numerous Luftwaffe bases and 40,000 Wehrmacht troops encircled the Bunkers. Surrounding the pens, bristling from firing ports, casemates, Flak-towers and armored turrets, scores of 20mm, 75mm, 88mm, 105mm, and 128mm guns awaited the Allied enemy.  No combat zone was protected more fiercely.  But Festung Lorient withered on the vine, as the U.S. 66th Infantry, and 4th Armored Divisions wisely skirted Lorient on the march to Germany.

When it was over, only two forsaken U-Boats remained within the intact Lorient Bunker base.  One was scuttled, while the other –  the still seaworthy U-123 – was re-flagged as the French S-10 'Blaison' and sailed unremarkably from Lorient until 1959.

In 2,160 days of fearless and increasingly desperate combat, 28,000 of the once-proud German Untersee force [a 70% loss rate] would never again see the Fatherland. Almost all went to the bottom with their boats. Their average age was 22.

In hundreds of heroic missions, many over the Biscay pens, the 8th Air Force lost 30,000 men, a 10% death rate, ten times higher than for U.S. ground forces. Four thousand rest under Portland stone tablets in the American cemetery in Cambridge, England.   Their average age also was 22.

The unchanged, intact, and forgotten Lorient and St. Nazaire Bunker bases opened to worldwide tourism in 2000.

Lair of the Seawolves
Artist: John Meeks
This painting depicts a typical scene inside one of the infamous U-Boat "pens" constructed in occupied Europe by Nazi Germany. In it we see the Captain and First Officer of an unidentified type IX Boat overseeing welding work being carried out on the casing of their vessel, while in the background, Erich Topp's Type VIIC
"Red Devil" boat is almost ready to put out to sea.

With concrete roofs some ten metres thick, these colossal structures were almost indestructible - until the Royal Air Force came up with their 10 Ton "earthquake bombs in 1944/45, weapons that could literally drill their way
into the reinforced concrete before exploding.

Notwithstanding many successful Allied raids, many if not all of "the Pens" survive
to this day - and are still in use. In addition to having been used for their original purpose, this time by the French Navy, many offer safe haven
for pleasure craft - a far cry from this wartime scene.

Hitler meets with Großadmiral Dönitz in the Führerbunker in April 1945

Hitler favoured Dönitz and was so fascinated about the new U-Boats' capabilities and the possibility of turning the tide in the Atlantic that "from the start of 1945 they were almost in daily consultation". 

With the new U-Boats being able to stay submerged the entire trip from Europe to South America or Antarctica, the chances of a percentage of the Nazi war machine escaping were vastly improved, as was the ability to deal with the British and American navies.

At the Führer Naval Conference on 3 January 1945, Dönitz bragged about how the new U-Boat fitted with the Schnorchel could "achieve success in waters where Germany was forced to cease operations more than three years ago". Dönitz's 1945 claim was nothing new: back at another Führer Naval Conference on 8 July 1943, he had already claimed that the new U-Boats would create "entirely new possibilities," and his boasts meant that Hitler ordered the construction of Dönitz's U-Boats as a top priority.

The faith that the Nazi hierarchy had in the new U-Boats never diminished, even as Russian soldiers were streaming into Germany. On 6 March 1945, in a report sent to Dönitz, Göbbels spoke up about the sentiment shared amongst the Nazi elite:

"There is considerable hope for us here. Our U-Boats must get to work hard; above all, it may be anticipated that as the new type gets into action, far greater results should be achieved than with our old U-Boats".

Göbbels again noted in his war diary how pleased the Nazi hierarchy was:

"Clearly, the revival of our U-Boat war has made a great impression on the war".

Göbbels's perceived "revival" was recorded on 28 March 1945, only a month before his death in supposed desperation!

Dönitz told Leon Goldensohn, an American psychiatrist at Nuremberg, "I never had any idea of the goings-on as far as Jews were concerned. Hitler said each man should take care of his business, and mine was U-boats and the Navy".

Dönitz also told Dr. Goldensohn of his support for Admiral Bernhard Rogge, who had one Jewish grandparent, when the Nazi Party began to persecute him.

On 11 November 1940, German–Japanese relations, as well as Japan's plans to expand southwards into South-East Asia, were decisively bolstered when the crew of the German auxiliary cruiser 'Atlantis' boarded the British cargo ship 'SS Automedon'. Fifteen bags of Top Secret mail for the British Far East Command were found, including Naval Intelligence reports containing the latest assessment of the Japanese Empire's military strength in the Far East, along with details of Royal Air Force units, naval strength, and notes on Singapore's defences. It painted a gloomy picture of British land and naval capabilities in the Far East, and declared that Britain was too weak to risk war with Japan. The mail reached the German embassy in Tokyo on 5 December, and was then hand-carried to Berlin via the Trans-Siberian railway. A copy was given to the Japanese; it provided valuable Intelligence prior to their commencing hostilities against the Western Powers. The captain of the 'Atlantis', Bernhard Rogge, was rewarded for this with an ornate Katana Samurai sword; the only other Germans so honored were Hermann Göring and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

Rogge was awarded the Knight's Cross on 7 December 1940 and the Oak Leaves 31 December 1941.

He also was one of the few German officers of flag rank who was not arrested by the Allies after the war. This was due to the way he had exercised his command of 'Atlantis'.

J. Armstrong White, captain of the British 'City of Baghdad', which 'Atlantis' sank in July 1941, stated: 

"His treatment of prisoners left respect, instead of hatred".

White later wrote the foreword to "Atlantis, the Story of a German Surface Raider", written by U. Mohr & A. V. Sellwood.

Though some historians suggest he should never have been tried as a war criminal, in the face of the raft of evidence to the contrary, the only aspect that should raise eyebrows about Dönitz's sentence at Nuremberg is its length. His light sentence was due to his assistance in supplying the Allies with information that was invaluable, especially when he had virtually all knowledge of the mysterious U-Boats that were being spotted around the world after the war.

Britain, being the nation to apprehend Dönitz, was the main beneficiary of Dönitz' Intelligence and, as his arrest on 23 May 1945 was the second time he had been incarcerated by Britain, the British interrogators would have known just which buttons to switch to get the answers they wanted.

In 1918, in the closing days of World War I, Dönitz had been taken prisoner by the British Navy. He was sent to a prisoner-of-war camp and then transferred to the Manchester Royal Lunatic Asylum. After extensive psychological tests, he was certified "insane" and was left to be "treated" for a year.

In spite of Göbbels's comment that Dönitz was "a very cool and realistic calculator", the time Dönitz spent in the lunatic asylum would have left mental scars that would have surfaced if he'd again been threatened with incarceration. That fear and his loyalty to the Third Reich meant he had no choice but to stall on the notion of surrender when, on 1 May 1945, he first heard about his succession after Hitler's death. In a Directive to the Wehrmacht on 1 May 1945, reported in "The Times", London, 2 May 1945, Dönitz announced:

"Against the British and Americans I shall continue the struggle so far and so long as they hinder me in carrying out the fight against Bolshevism".

With Dönitz still in command of a large navy and enough Wehrmacht to cause further problems for the Allies, his announcement was a threat that the Western Allies in particular took very seriously; it made them realise that peace was still far from certain and "Unconditional Surrender" might need reassessing.

"The London Times", the day after Dönitz's announcement, advised caution:

"Dönitz may gather a force sufficiently large to cause trouble. The fighting spirit of the navy is probably still high. There is a formidable number of U-Boats based in Norway, where the enemy also has 200,000 land forces and some hundreds of aeroplanes. It is thus likely that Dönitz contemplates making his stand there rather than in the overrun Reich or in the southern redoubt now threatened from the north and south. He may delay somewhat, but cannot alter, the decision".

In light of Dönitz's pledge to continue the fight and the vast force still under his command, and considering Allied fears, could "peace" have been struck—a peace that had guarantees for all sides? Dönitz could have asked for Germany to be rebuilt and not humiliated like at Versailles, for the Western Allies to fight the spread of Bolshevism, and for leniency if not clemency from the victors, including a whitewash of his personal wartime history, in exchange for a total surrender and for passing on extremely sensitive Intelligence.

Only a week after Dönitz had declared that the war would continue whilst Bolshevism persisted, he ordered the surrender of all German forces.

All the facts indicate that Dönitz's history has been suppressed, and against all reason Dönitz is still not perceived by mainstream historians as having been a major player in Nazi Germany. Clemency was shown with such a short prison sentence, the communist threat had been realised by the Western Allies, and West Germany rose out of the ashes of May 1945 to become the powerhouse of Europe, with many of the major companies that bankrolled the Nazi Party forming huge conglomerates.

Other than formally calling for a German surrender and bringing the war in Europe to an end, Dönitz carried on as President of Germany for a further three weeks and was only arrested on 23 May 1945 by British forces.

Dönitz, twice imprisoned by the British and a reluctant admirer of the British naval tradition [which did nothing to dampen his hatred for Britain], was the one person who knew the exact state of play concerning the Nazi U-Boats, including the new and formidable Type XXI U-Boats. Dönitz was also the one person who would have known where the Neuschwabenland base was and what had been transported there and elsewhere. And with information so vital not just to national security but world security, Dönitz could have chosen to divulge as little or as much as he wished; no matter how minimal or sketchy his Intelligence, its value was priceless.

Dönitz was an impressive character and in the early stages of the war had impressed Hitler with his loyalty and vision. Dönitz duly received his reward on 31 January 1943 when he was promoted to the position of Supreme Commander of the Navy. In one of his inaugural speeches to a select officer elite, Dönitz claimed that "the German submarine fleet is proud of having built for the Führer, in another part of the world, a Shangri-La land, an impregnable fortress".

--  "The National Police Gazette", January 1977.

This was an impressive statement and one that inspired allegiance in his officers and pride in Hitler and the Kriegsmarine. Dönitz's statement spread around the Kriegsmarine with gusto, for all who heard it believed in the possibility. 

Dönitz served only 10 years and lived in a free West Germany, and mainstream historians dare not even write about a Nazi Antarctic Haven or Dönitz's passion for National Socialism.

When Dönitz spoke of a "Shangri-La land" in 1943, was he telling the truth? With the Kerguelen Archipelago being used as .a German U-Boat base and Neuschwabenland still in German plans, Dönitz knew that his statement would impress Hitler.


Unfortunately though, with most of the documents—including speech notes, memoirs and diaries—relating to Nazi plans for Neuschwabenland destroyed, disappeared or archived firmly away, any suggestion of Antarctica being a Nazi haven was laughed off by nervous governments. It meant that to raise the subject was to open oneself up to ridicule.

However, Dönitz's speeches leave enough clues to cause one to suspect that a whole chapter from World War II has been purposely suppressed. In 1944 at an Officer Naval Directive, Dönitz announced:

"The German Navy will have to accomplish a great task in the future. The German Navy knows all hiding places in the oceans and therefore it will be very easy to bring the Führer to a safe place, should the necessity arise, and in which he will have the opportunity to work out his final plans".

The Kriegsmarine was much travelled, loyal to its cause and daring in its exploits. German U-Boats were frequent visitors to the East Coast of America and they travelled under the Arctic ice and even up the River Mersey into the Mersey Estuary in England. But their most interesting exploit was discovering an underwater trench that went straight through Antarctica by way of a connection of subterranean lakes, caves, crevasses and ancient ice tunnels.

The Allies took Dönitz's statement seriously, especially after Hitler's mysterious suicide; they were aware that Antarctica could have been the "safe place" that Dönitz had spoken of. The British were already onto it, but the Americans were only compelled into action after Dönitz made a statement in 1946, supposedly during his trial at Nuremberg, boasting of an "invulnerable fortress, a paradise-like oasis in the middle of eternal ice".

Britain, having already investigated the "invulnerable fortress", assisted the United States by covertly supplying maps of Antarctica, whilst overtly, along with Chile, Argentina and other claimant countries, expressing grievances about the intended Operation Highjump. Britain's assistance in supplying these maps—similar to the Norwegian maps utilised by the 1938 Deutsche Antarktische Expedition—did not paint the full picture.

Dönitz's information supplied to the British and the likely destruction undertaken by British forces of the Neuschwabenland base meant that Queen Maud Land [Neuschwabenland] was not reconnoitred meticulously by the Americans. There is no answer to explain this omission, though many have speculated. More than likely it was because the area had been explored so profoundly earlier in the century, but one can't help but wonder whether it was because Britain had been there first, leaving nothing for the Americans to find. However, Operation Highjump still supposedly recovered evidence of other bases—though, similarly to British expeditions on Antarctica, Highjump's true findings have also been suppressed?

Dönitz had a unique knowledge of Antarctica, but it was his knowledge of German U-Boat ports in Norway and U-Boats stationed there, as well as the nexus between Norway and Antarctica, that shed further light on the forgotten Antarctic front. But, whilst the importance of Norway to Dönitz, Hitler and the Kriegsmarine was well known, some of the real reasons for the initial invasion of Norway are less so and add even more of a mystery to the history of World War II and the Antarctic front.

"We are standing here in Norway, undefeated, strong as before. No enemy has dared attack us. And yet we, too, shall have to bow to the dictate of our enemy for the benefit of the whole German cause. We trust we shall from now on deal with men who respect a soldier's honour".

-- General Franz Böhme, German Commander-in-Chief in Norway, 7 May 1945

The primary reasons for Norway's importance to Germany were that its coastlines made exceptional U-Boat bases, the Germans needed to secure shipments of Swedish iron ore, and the Vermok hydro-electric plant, which produced deuterium oxide (heavy water), was essential to their atomic research, in which they were leading the world at that juncture. However, there were other reasons—reasons that caused Hitler to review and reverse his stance on preserving Norwegian neutrality.

On 14 January 1939, Norway formalised its claim to Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, its course of action forced on it by the imminent German discoveries. Adversely, for Norway, its attempt at pre-empting any German claims failed, and so began a political crisis that led to invasion. The Deutsche Antarktische Expedition, using Norwegian maps, soon realised that the wily Norwegians had omitted the vast, dry areas that it rediscovered on 20 January 1939. The Norwegians, and also the British, had long been aware of ice-free areas but had purposely omitted them on their maps so as to avoid additional claimant countries appearing and the conceivable diplomatic crises that would ensue.

When the Germans reported the ice-free areas, they were told to claim the whole area in the name of Nazi Germany. They were ordered to drop stakes with Swastikas on them to state their intent for sovereignty: this, the Nazis hoped, would be enough to formalise their claim. Nazi Germany and Hitler cared little about what the world thought: they had already gained Austria and Czechoslovakia, and Antarctica was to be a further extension of the Third Reich. Norway valiantly protested about the German claim and the renaming of Queen Maud Land to Neuschwabenland but, with European nations gearing up for war and the world's attention turning to Poland, Antarctica was forgotten.

When war finally broke out in September 1939, most of Germany's eventual conquests declared neutrality. Norway was no exception. Hitler wanted Norway to remain neutral but his War Cabinet, whose opinions he trusted until the tide turned against Germany, persuaded him otherwise.

On 20 February 1940, Hitler ordered General von Falkenhorst to lead an expedition force to Norway. Hitler claimed:

"I am informed that the English intend to land there [Norway] and I want to be there before them".

-- Hart, Basil Liddell, "History of the Second World War", Cassell, London, 1970

The British prime minister, Neville Chamberlain, in a  Parliamentary Speech on 2 April 1940, famously boasted when he announced that British forces had also landed in Norway that Hitler had "missed the bus" 33. His folly caused his government to collapse, his resignation to be forced and his reputation to be destroyed. Furthermore, by committing troops to Norway, Chamberlain had played into the hands of Hitler and all those inside the German War Cabinet. But had the British mission been a total failure?

Operation Weserübung was launched by Germany on 9 April 1940 and Norway was invaded [Denmark was also invaded that same day]. And though the British and Allied forces had to be evacuated in June, they had slowed the unstoppable Wehrmacht enough to help the monarchy, the government and the national treasure be evacuated on board the British cruiser, 'HMS Devonshire'. King Haakon VII represented Norway in exile, and the vast treasures and documents saved were beneficial not just to the preservation of Norway but to British Intelligence.

Hitler was furious with Vidkun Quisling, whom he had hoped would aid the Nazis more comprehensively. Quisling ultimately would have no power, and his inability to stop the evacuation of the monarchy, the government and not least the vast treasures and documentation caused Hitler to lose faith in him and declare him a Norwegian traitor. Those who failed Hitler lost their standing—Hitler made sure of that. Even so, Quisling claimed publicly that he had been offered "safe refuge". Whether the statement was that of a madman or was an honest admission, it echoed the claims of others.

Though Hitler had only wished to beat the British to Norway, his War Cabinet knew that Norway was vital to virtually all the branches of Germany's armed forces and was more beneficial to its war effort than any other conquest. Nazi Germany's occupation of Norway brought immense benefits to the Reich. There were thousands of miles of protected fjords for the German U-Boats, and there was the possibility of the Nazis exerting pressure on neutral Sweden. [A total of 2,140,00 German soldiers and more then 100,000 German military railway carriages crossed Sweden until the traverse was officially suspended on 20 August 1943]. 

The Third Reich now had a border closer to the Arctic, 

The Nazis were fascinated by Polar Myths, and with the USSR and the USA more accessible via the frozen Arctic Ocean and Murmansk the only port available in Europe for the Soviet Union, the Arctic convoys were constantly harassed, whilst scientific studies increased in the Arctic.

and there was also the chance to train its soldiers in polar conditions, especially after the acquisition of Spitzbergen,

Spitzbergen has numerous mysteries surrounding it, from anomalous plant and animal fossils to ancient ruins. Many believed it to be ancient Thule. Also, Spitzbergen cannot be mentioned without the rumour concerning a UFO crash there in the 1950s; British scientists were supposedly involved in the retrieval.

much to the pleasure of Himmler and his Ahnenerbe. Best of all, Norway was within striking distance of all Nazi Germany's enemies. Norway and its ports also made marshalling the Arctic Sea and the North Atlantic far more profitable. These benefits, allied with the primary reasons, made Norway a highly prized conquest.

However, Germany's occupation was not without problems. Britain heavily financed the Norwegian Resistance and it was due to their cooperation that the Vermok hydro-electric plant was targeted and sabotaged so successfully.

Information was passed on a two-way basis and the SOE and SIS were privy to any revelation uncovered. British Intelligence also had access to all the Norwegian Government's files, no matter how "sensitive" the information. Britain at that point stood alone: any information, no matter how trivial, was indispensable. Many Poles had gone to the UK after the start of the German occupation with intelligence on the Germans as well as with one of the first prototypes of the Enigma code-making device. Similarly, with the invasion and occupation of Norway, many fleeing Norwegians brought secrets of the Reich to England.

After Britain frustrated Germany in the Battle of Britain and, as a result, instilled hope in the numerous governments in exile, in 1940–41 it could only fight the Germans in Africa or bomb their cities. But news was soon filtering through about a new front, and one that both the British and Norwegian governments had hoped would never be opened—a front for which there was little in the way of contingency plans.

On 13 January 1941, German commandos under the leadership of Captain Ernst-Felix Kruder from the commerce raider, the 'Pinguin', stormed and violently captured two Norwegian whaling ships. If that had happened around European coastlines, there would have been no mystery because the Germans allowed none of its conquered peoples to sail too far from land; but because the captures took place in the Southern Ocean off Neuschwabenland, the news when it filtered through could only have sent shock waves through both the British and Norwegian governments. However, the mystery deepened further because the subsequent night the German commandos resurfaced and captured three more whaling ships and also 11 catchers.

The German Antarctic Fleet was active and prospering—mines they had laid around Australian ports sank the first US vessel lost to enemy action—but it was the Antarctic coast and islands where they mainly loitered. The 'Atlantis', the 'Pinguin',  the 'Stier' and the 'Komet' were just four of the documented ships that had anomalous reasons for being so far south. All four were eventually sunk by the British Navy, far from Antarctica in various parts of the world from France to the Ascension Islands.

Now that the Antarctic Front had been truly opened, Britain increased its Antarctic bases and personnel numbers. However, possibly the most important area that demanded a base was in Neuschwabenland, officially known as Queen Maud Land. Through Norway's assistance with information and maps, Britain envisaged Maudheim as the most viable place for a base because it was close enough to be able to spy on German activities and also was within striking distance for a highly trained and disciplined military unit.

From 1941 until the start of the British–Swedish–Norwegian Expedition of 1949–52, Britain sent at least 12 official missions to Antarctica—half of them between the end of the war and the beginning of Operation Highjump, led by Admiral Byrd, starting in December 1946. Even more intriguingly, Britain sent no missions from the commencement of Highjump until 1948, during which time the US had Antarctica all to itself. Britain nonetheless was more active in Antarctica during the 1940s than any other nation, yet the only Antarctic mission mentioned in depth by historians is Admiral Byrd's. His mission still overshadows every other mission and is the main focus of attention for many conspiracy theorists. Britain's exertions were and still are totally overlooked; and with Admiral Byrd spreading misinformation, the true conspiracy concerning Antarctica as a Nazi haven was forgotten.

After the German surrender, Norway still needed to be mopped up, the possible Nazi exodus needed to be ascertained and the secrets that Norway held still needed more investigation. The discoveries further confirmed that the war had ended just in time, but suspicions were still aroused about the estimated 250,000 missing German personnel—including Martin Bormann and thousands of other wanted Nazi war criminals. The enigma of the submarines that were presumed to have been utilised in their escape also required consideration. However, even though a percentage of Germany's U-Boats may have fled Norway, what was uncovered was still intriguing and certainly proved that the Germans had made great technological strides.

On 29 June 1945, the "Washington Post" published an article stating that the RAF had found, near Oslo, 40 giant Heinkel bombers—aircraft with a 7,000-mile range. The article stated that the captured German ground crews had claimed that "the planes were held in readiness for a mission to New York".

The British also requisitioned some of the U-Boats held in Norway at the end of the war, including the new Type XXI. Captain Mervyn Wingfield was placed in charge of taking these 25 salvaged U-Boats to Scapa Flow and, interestingly, chose the new Type XXI to sail in. Upon returning, he stated that "the Allies had won the submarine war just in time" ["The Times", London, June 1945 - exact date not available]—a statement reiterated by all the Allies when speaking about the Nazis' new weapons.

In the UK, British Intelligence unearthed more of Norway's secrets but suppressed them; Antarctica was no exception. When the Norwegian Government returned to a liberated Norway, Antarctica soon returned to their consciousness, though the Norwegians would have to wait several years to go back there, lest the rumours of a Nazi base were true.

On the other hand, Britain decided it had collated enough knowledge about Antarctica to initiate an intense investigation—one that had to dispel all fears and hide all evidence—for it could not tolerate any more technology or personnel being acquired by the wrong hands, namely, the USSR and the USA.

Britain had helped liberate Norway and, as 1945 was drawing to a close, was in the process of "liberating" Queen Maud Land [the new atlas of the post-war world no longer recognised Neuschwabenland]. However, the mysterious wartime expeditions conducted by all the combatant countries, especially Germany, were not entered into the World War II history books. A travesty of history had occurred.


In the immediate aftermath of World War II, suspicions surfaced and rumours spread, and the new enemy—one that Hitler had hoped to annihilate—was Communism. Allies became enemies, whilst former enemies became Allies in the battle against Communism. And whilst the USA was offering huge financial subsidies to Western governments to keep them Communism-free, Britain was left alone to clean up the last remaining Nazi outposts.

When German forces surrendered in May 1945, peace should have broken out but, alas, the world was thrown into a turmoil that was every bit as volatile as it had been before the most violent war in humanity's history began. The year 1945 was not just the year that World War II ended but also the year that the Cold War started in earnest; and whilst the USSR and the USA had fears about each other's intentions, they also had differing ideas for how Germany was to be administered. The problems started at the Yalta Conference of 4–11 February 1945, but were heightened by the end of the war in Europe when the misinformation and secrecy about the Allies' discoveries made the partnership that had destroyed Nazism no longer tenable.

The atmosphere that surrounded Germany in May 1945 following the Nazi surrender was one of exhaustion; but whilst the Western Allies were so fatigued by the war effort, Stalin was not going to give up his territorial gains and was prepared for war and, indeed, fully expected it.

The Soviets did nothing to allay the fears that a Nazi haven had been built or that Hitler might not have committed suicide but, instead, had escaped

An official Soviet statement released in September 1945 claimed that "mysterious persons were on board the submarine, among them a woman..." With Stalin going on record with his view that Hitler was alive, and contradictions coming from his own generals, the USSR only added to the mystery.

Just before Berlin fell to the Soviets, it was reported that Martin Bormann had discussed Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, with Grand Admiral Dönitz. This conversation that emanated from Hitler's Berlin Bunker was one of the last to be intercepted in the war in Europe.

Argentina had long been perceived as a haven for many escaping Nazis, but this possibility was long denied by the sympathetic Peróns. Yet, with the Soviet General Zhukov and Stalin disagreeing as to whether Hitler was dead or had fled, the Nazi survival myth gained momentum.

Britain, in the unique position of holding the strategically important Falkland Islands, was the only country in the immediate months after the war that was in a position to investigate the leading Nazis' claims about an Antarctic haven and the rise of a Fourth Reich in South America.

The USA, distracted by the war against Japan and the brewing Cold War, had been caught short by Britain's Antarctic exertions and humbled by its aggressive stance. So the Americans soon adopted a policy, dreamt up during the war, that would destroy Britain's imperial aspirations, hinder every attempt by Britain to exert any influence around the world and make the country an "ally" in name only. However, as early as 1942, Britain and British identity were suffering as a result of the United States' globalization agenda. It must be remembered that Britain was denied its own atomic bomb, despite the fact that the bomb could have not been created without British expertise. Furthermore, the British people faced worse rationing than any other Western nation, lasting direfully until the 1950s, and Britain was also pressured into giving full independence or self-government to most of the territories in its Empire.

So, whilst Britain went into World War II a superpower, by the end of the war and by the actions of American foreign policy, especially Operation Highjump, it had been put firmly in its place. The United States became the only country that could successfully influence Britain—as the 1956 Suez crisis proved. Even now, 60 years after the end of World War II, British blood is still being shed on behalf of US foreign policy.

The Nazi "Shangri-La" did exist. Of unknown size, it was set up during the 1938–39 Deutsche Antarktische Expedition. The existence of a Nazi Antarctic base hidden in vast caverns was considered feasible enough for the British to set up bases in many parts of Antarctica during the war in response to the threat. And whilst the officially recorded British expeditions mainly concentrated around the Antarctic Peninsula, those not recorded were those that concentrated on investigating Queen Maud Land—so named by Norwegian whalers prior to 1939 in honour of Queen Maud of Norway (1869–1938), consort of King Haakon VII and formerly Princess Maud of the United Kingdom, a granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

The Norwegians began exploring Queen Maud Land intensively in 1930, and using planes for the first time they photographed and sketched the area. In subsequent flights in 1931 and 1936, they uncovered areas unknown and identified anomalies that would attract worldwide interest. On 4 February 1936, Lars Christensen dropped the Norwegian flag from his plane, thus claiming the land informally. The maps produced from the photographs omitted the dry areas and lakes that had been identified, but the discoveries led to private discussions between the Norwegian Government and the Monarchy as to whether Norway should annex the area.

After much deliberation, on 14 January 1939—six days before the first Deutsche Antarktische Expedition flight over Queen Maud Land—the Norwegian Government passed a royal decree annexing the region between Enderby Land and Coates Land as Queen Maud Land.

The Deutsche Antarktische Expedition discoveries were well publicized. Captain Ritscher and his two Dornier Wal flying boats ['Boreas' and 'Passat'] flew extensively and produced in excess of 1,500 photographs that covered an area of over 250,000 square kilometres. However, as with the strange case of the suppressed Norwegian maps, most of the films, records and research materials were destroyed in the war, though some have since resurfaced.

During the war and up till the end of the Antarctic summer of 1945–46, Britain's RAF was also flying over Antarctica to map the area and search for suitable places to establish bases. It discovered more dry areas and possibly even the intelligence that provoked Britain's Neuschwabenland campaign.

Britain's arrogance in committing troops to Antarctica, independent of the United States, and in celebrating the feat with the release in February 1946 of a provocative stamp set, would inevitably lead to Britain's claims on Antarctica being contested, even though the stamps commemorated Britain's final fight with Nazism rather than being a statement of its Antarctic claims. And even though Britain expressed outrage publicly when Highjump was launched, it was just a pretence: privately, Britain knew that the USA's newfound superpower status meant that it would not permit Antarctica to be utilised by other nations for financial gain.

Britain halted its Antarctic flights and operations for two years, giving the United States a free hand in Antarctica with the commencement of Operation Highjump.

In the two years they had to discover as much about Antarctica as possible, the Americans found dry areas and warm-water lakes that provoked immense media interest, but Operation Highjump, which they'd planned to last for six months, ended after just eight weeks. They received a hostile reaction from other nations, but it was only after the mission's return that the rumours and theories began to abound and the enigma surrounding Highjump really began. The US conducted another expedition, Operation Windmill, in the Antarctic summer of 1947–48 and mapped additional areas of special interest.

The RAF returned in 1948–49 and flew extensively in search of a viable base in Queen Maud Land for the joint Norwegian–British–Swedish Expedition (NBSE) that was going to last from 1949 to 1952 and whose objective was to investigate and verify the 1938 German discoveries.

Britain and Norway knew that the area of Queen Maud Land which the Nazis had utilised would be vastly different from that which was mapped in the 1930s and early 1940s.

When NBSE team members inspected the area, they found the largest land animal (bar penguins) on the continent: tiny mites. That discovery was an irregularity in itself. The expedition also discovered unusual lichens and mosses in certain areas. However, the lakes that had been so prevalent in reports from previous expeditions were largely not noted; nor were the vast, dry areas. Could the lakes have frozen and the majority of the dry areas have disappeared under a blanket of snow?

Meantime, more and more countries wanted their own bases in Antarctica, and soon skirmishes started. In November 1948, Britain's Hope Base on the Antarctic Peninsula was suspiciously destroyed by fire; in 1952, Argentinian forces shot at the British returning from the joint expedition. Details of other skirmishes unfortunately have been suppressed for diplomatic reasons.

However, in 1982, Britain went to war against Argentina over the Falkland Islands [the Malvinas]. Its defeat of the Argentinian forces led to the collapse of the fascist military junta that had dominated Argentina for several years. Argentina also had more than a passing interest in Antarctica but, with the deaths of over 2,000 personnel in the Malvinas campaign and facing the possibility of Buenos Aires being bombed, Argentina had no choice but to admit defeat. Yet, whilst admitting the battle was lost, Argentina insisted the war was not over. The Malvinas are Argentinian possessions according to South American Atlases, and who is to say that war will not erupt again one day? If that were to happen, Britain would again send an armada to fight because, quite patently, the Falkland Islands are still one of Britain's most prized dependencies and the reason is quite simple: their close proximity to Antarctica and all its treasures and mysteries that one day will be allowed to be utilized and accessed. A 50-year extension on the mining ban was agreed in 1998; it runs until the year 2048.

Before the Antarctic Treaty was ratified on the 23 June 1961, the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1958 brought immense international attention and cooperation to the frozen continent. The Americans returned in numbers, as did the British, but the Soviets also began their own experiments.

The aim of the IGY was to enable nations to put aside their claims whilst sharing resources and scientific information. The success of the IGY allowed the Antarctic Treaty to be enacted—but with the USSR stating that it had no intention of leaving Antarctica and that it would keep all its bases when the IGY ended. However, all claimants deemed that "Antarctica is to be used for peaceful purposes only", although military personnel and equipment may be utilised but not for military reasons.

In the years prior to the June 1961 ratification, the USA, UK and USSR had all used Antarctica for military purposes and all three nations were rumoured to have tested nuclear bombs on the continent. On 27 and 30 August and 6 September 1958, at least three such bombs were detonated in Antarctica, allegedly by the Americans. Rumour has it that they were set off in the area of Queen Maud Land and were triggered 300 metres above the target, with the initial aim being to "recover" frozen areas. The locations of other bomb detonation sites have been firmly suppressed, but it is believed that the areas reconnoitred by the Germans in 1939 and 1940 were targeted.

-- Stevens, Henry, "The Last Battalion and German Arctic, Antarctic, and Andean Bases", The German Research Project, Gorman, California, 1997

With the Germans and Americans officially claiming to have found warm-water lakes on their expeditions, it was only a matter of time before more were discovered. One such lake, discovered by the Russians, is Lake Vostok, which is 4,000 metres below the surface and curiously is located under the Russian base camp of Vostok. News of the discovery was not released to the world until 1989, so had the Soviets found the subterranean lake years earlier and was this their main reason for refusing to leave its base? The lake has still not been investigated, mainly out of fear of what could be unleashed and to avoid contamination of the lake, although a huge magnetic anomaly has been identified.

With so many lakes being discovered and with satellites proving that the Antarctic is made up of huge, ice-encased Archipelagos, is it unimaginable to believe that a subterranean trench, wide enough for U-Boats to pass through, actually runs through Antarctica, as claimed on the Piri Reis map?

Another mystery may be central to Queen Maud Land. In 1984 the British Antarctic Survey, based at Halley Station, noticed a hole in the ozone layer for the first time; it was located over Queen Maud Land.

Halley, Britain's premier Antarctic station, is named after the British astronomer Sir Edmund Halley, who extraordinarily was the first person to state that the Earth is hollow, consisting of four concentric spheres. Another Antarctic Enigma?

Scientists, after much speculation, claimed that the hole was due to CFCs and in time would increase global warming. Could the hole have been caused by a huge explosion of nuclear proportions? With three known atomic tests associated with the likely destruction of the Nazi base, it appears that the hole was caused by more than just CFCs.

Subterranean lakes with signs of life, geothermally warmed lakes in dry valleys in a supposed frozen wasteland, mysterious holes in the atmosphere allied with suppressed military ventures may seem the work of fiction, and yet they are all fact! Antarctica is a truly mysterious place, and that is why it is inconceivable that the Nazis would claim an area and leave it unoccupied and undefended, especially when the Channel Islands, for instance, a strategically unimportant Nazi gain, utilized for its defenses more than 10 per cent of all the concrete and iron that was used in the construction of the Atlantic Wall—a wall that stretched from the Pyrenées to the North Cape of Norway!

Tales of ancient tunnels, even tunnels leading through the Mühlig-Hoffmann Mountains, appear at first far-fetched, but would a cavern network, glacially eroded enough, appear unnatural and thus be explained as a tunnel?  The Nazi base could have been similar to the U-Boat base that appeared in the film "Raiders of the Lost Ark", but that's highly unlikely—but what isn't is the possibility that a base had been constructed and was being manned by German forces.

It also must be remembered that some Japanese soldiers fought on, not accepting defeat, for over 20 years, 50 so why not pockets of Germans? In fact, Nazi Werewolves were active after the May surrender, and isolated attacks occurred for a few years after the war was deemed over and Nazism was thwarted.

If the Nazis had built a hidden base in Neuschwabenland and that base had been destroyed, then any evidence of a Nazi incursion on Antarctica would have been destroyed. Nevertheless, rumours persist that the Nazis were not totally destroyed in Antarctica but fled to secret bases in South America. 

The question that needs asking is - Just how much of Antarctica's past, present and, indeed, its future has been, is being and will be suppressed?

-- Excerpts from by "Britain's Secret War in Antarctica" by James Robert 2005 from Nexus Magazine Website

Subsequent to the March/April 1945 SS Technical Branch evacuation to Base 211 located in Neu Schwabenland, Antartica rumors began to spread of Nazi bases being constructed in South America as well; especially in Argentina, high up in the Andes mountains.

As hard as it is to believe, the truth of Argentine co-operation with the Third Reich throughout World War II is extensive, involving transfers of supplies to Base 211 via Tierra del Fuego and upon Germany’s collapse, both technological and monetary assets of the Reich. This included the German disc technology and elements of the SS Technical Branch not assigned to Base 211.

Argentina already had a sizeable illegal German community smuggled covertly into the nation by German ships, U-Boats, long-range secret air flights, and disc flights. Although the rest of South America and especially Brazil had joined the Allies in the fight against Nazism, Argentina covertly supported the Nazis and was only coerced by Britain and the US to join the war in March 1945 by direct threat of crippling Argentine industry which was reliant on the Western Allies.

During the war Argentina benefited greatly through the sale of beef and agricultural products, but not war material.

In March 1945, the US already had the intention of raping Germany of every technological secret it held, but the disc aircraft and a wide range of "unconventional" metaphysical science remained serious threats that had to be tracked down and either destroyed or captured.

Germany had used crude beam weapons and electrostatic weapons in the air war from late 1944 until collapse in the form of “Foo Fighters” and the energy field defenses of the Jonastal S III complex while it was under construction with 18,000 slave laborers under SS guidance.

Forced to abandon the world’s largest underground war plant and future Führer HQ, the SS Technical Branch sought refuge outside the Reich in two areas thought remote enough to secure bases for continued disc development - Base 211 in Antarctica and in Argentina, South America. But U-Boats U-530 and U-977 ran into a rude awakening when they surrendered several months after Germany officially “surrendered”.

Of course, the second Führer, Grossadmiral Karl Dönitz, of the Kriegsmarine knew of the existence of Base 211 and of Argentine co-operation. He was responsible for supplying Base 211 during the war via U-Boat and the covert dealings at Tierra del Fuego. Dönitz had devoted 50 or more U-Boats to the South Atlantic from 1943 forward - the same year Base 211 was completed. The U-Boat commanders of the two renegade subs therefore thought that Argentina would be a safe haven for them after their missions were accomplished unloading secret weapons and Nazi personnel at Base 211.


It came as a shock then when the Argentine authorities detained them until the Americans could inspect the boats in every detail and interrogate the crews separately for months.

The officers falsified their statements concerning the true nature of their journeys and everyone stuck to their story of each sub's time at sea post May 1945.

Ronald Richter was invited to participate in the "Huemel Experiment" [Proyecto Huemel] in which Argentina attempted to develop a fusion nuclear weapon.

Although thought a hoax in 1951, apparently the Richter design of a "convergent shock wave detonation induced-fusion" nuclear weapon proposed during World War II was just as much a failure in Argentina since the nation had neither the industrial capacity nor materials to make such a weapon work - even with German assistance.

It would seem then that Argentina failed to become a benefactor of German technology.


The Typ XXVI Walter U-Boat was intended to become the most important weapon in the German naval arsenal, with performance figures that would not be found in other navies until the nuclear age. Whether it would actually have lived up to these theoretical qualities is open to conjecture. There were four Typ XXVI boats under construction when World War II ended. None were actually completed, so the true performance figures remain a matter for speculation among engineers.

The actual boats would have been numbered U-4501 through U-4504, had they been completed. The degree to which German industry had declined might be illustrated by the fact that these four boats were all that were begun out of an order for 100 units.

The projected performance figures included a submerged speed in the area of 25 knots, and a surfaced speed of at least 18 knots. A diving depth of about 1,000 feet was built into the design, though whether it could have been safely reached is open to debate. Other German designs intended to operate at such depths proved incapable of actually reaching it without serious leaking problems.

Armament would have consisted of ten 533 mm [21-inch] torpedo tubes. Four would have been located in the usual place in the bow, with six more located approximately amidships, firing aft. Access for both sets of tubes would have been from the forward torpedo room.

The Typ XXVI would have been the first German combat submarine to have its attack center located in the control room. Previous designs put the captain in the conning tower. In the Typ XXVI, the conning tower contained only an escape trunk. The usual two periscopes would have been provided, a night periscope with a large objective lens, and an attack periscope with a very narrow head to minimize the chances of it being spotted during the day.

While the Walter turbine would have allowed a very high submerged speed for chasing down a target, or escaping an attacker, the need to carry huge supplies of the highly-corrosive hydrogen peroxide fuel limited the use of turbines. For normal propulsion, one of these boats would have used its Diesel engine or electric motor. A Schnorchel was fitted, and the head would have been covered in the usual anti-radar coating and contained the most advanced radar detector available.

Plans also called for inclusion of the most sophisticated sound gear available. German designs were sophisticated, indeed. Late war German designs included phased array hydrophones, which could be electronically "steered," and became the basis for post-war American systems development. Other refinements, which were being tested at the time and might have been fielded given only a little more time, included the first wire-guided torpedoes. 

The Walter boats did not have any real effect on the war but they were a very interesting development and according to Admiral Karl  Dönitz with a little courage and vision they could have been in service 2 years earlier and then they certainly would have had enormous impact on the war.


Several prominent Nazi aeronautical specialists were invited to the nation to pursue continued aircraft development including such famous German designers as Raimar Horten and Kurt Tank of Focke-Wulf. There, Horten worked on a flying wing and several Delta aircraft while Tank worked on the Pulqui II jet fighter that resembled to some degree the Fw Ta 183 Huckebein while designing several other aircraft.

Although Base 211 is thought to have operated until the late 1950s, military threats posed by Britain and the US involving troops ["Operation Highjump" in 1947] and detonation of atomic bombs in the atmosphere above Base 211 to create EMP [mid 1950s] had forced the SS to move over to Argentina.


Nazi Secret Weapons: The Rocket U-Boat?
David Meyer
4 April 2013

Throughout World War II, the Nazis sought to build long-range, secret weapons [such as the Amerika-Bomber and the Sun Gun].

The Nazi Sun Gun: Death from Above?
David Meyer
3 April 2013

Nazi Germany created many unusual, horrific weapons during World War II. One incredible weapon, however, failed to materialize. What was the Nazi Sun Gun?

In 1929, a German physicist named Hermann Oberth wrote "Wege zur Raumschiffahrt" [Ways to Spaceflight]. The book described Oberth’s vision of a manned orbital space station created from prefabricated parts. He also described a way to create electricity using a 100-meter wide concave mirror. The idea was to concentrate sunlight onto a single area and use steam turbines to convert the heat energy.

While Oberth’s mirror was designed to create useful energy, Nazi scientists saw another use for it. Namely, an orbital weapon called 'Sonnengewehr'…or Sun Gun.

Plans for the Sun Gun were worked out by Nazi scientists at Hillersleben. They proposed creating a giant three-kilometer square mirror out of metallic sodium. Then they wanted to break it apart and launch the individual pieces into an orbit of 8,200 kilometers. In order to do this, the Nazi scientists hoped to use the Aggregate A-11.

The A-11 was a multistage rocket intended to deliver people and/or small payloads into low Earth orbit. At the time, it was being designed by Wernher von Braun [who later became chief architect of the Saturn V launch vehicle via Operation Paperclip, which helped land Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins on the moon].

Oberth’s original plan was to send an unmanned rocket into space, containing six long cables. These cables would then unreel themselves, eventually covering a vast area. Nazi astronauts would then fly into space and attach pieces of the giant movable mirror to the cables.

According to "Life", Nazi astronauts would live inside the rocket, using large greenhouses to maintain fresh oxygen. They would remain in space, waiting for orders from radio or wireless telegraph. Upon receiving orders to attack, they would use rocket thrusters to move the mirror into position. The mirror would focus the sunlight, causing incredible devastation in the process.

Fortunately, the Sun Gun never went past the theoretical stage. In fact, newspaper articles from 1945 say it would have taken 50 to 100 years to harness the sun’s energy in this fashion. However, Oberth disagreed, claiming it would take just 10 to 15 years. Oberth admitted the original mirror’s design might not have worked. However, he came to believe that a larger mirror would’ve done the trick.

“If the mirror were double the size mentioned, however, the irradiation would be four times as strong, and so on. The temperature on the surface irradiated by the double-sized mirror would be 200° C [392° F]".

In 1941, this desire led Nazi scientists to research the Rocket U-Boat. They hoped such a U-boat could travel across the globe, targeting cities on distant continents. In 1942, scientists developed and tested the first Rocket U-Boat. It was relatively simple, just a few rocket launchers mounted on the U-511’s deck. The test was a mixed bag. On one hand, the missiles fired just fine at depths of up to 12 meters. However, the lack of a guidance system rendered the missiles useless.

In 1943, Nazi scientists developed another secret weapon known as the V-1 flying bomb, an early predecessor to the cruise missile. It had a range of 160 miles. Paired with a U-Boat, it would be capable of long-distance strikes on any city in the world. However, the Nazi Luftwaffe showed little interest in helping to create the Rocket U-Boat, probably due to inter-service rivalry.

That same year, Nazi scientists developed another secret weapon known as the V-2 rocket. The V-2 was the world’s first long-range combat ballistic missile as well as the first rocket to achieve sub-orbital spaceflight. It had a range of 200 miles. Again, this seemed like the perfect fit for a Rocket U-Boat. And in late 1944, resources were finally allocated to it under Project Prüfstand XII. The target of the Rocket U-Boat?

New York.

The V-2 was much larger than the V-1 flying bomb. In fact, it was too large for any existing Nazi U-Boat. Undeterred, Nazi scientists developed a 500-ton specially-constructed container for the V-2. The plan was to have a U-Boat tow it across the Atlantic Ocean. Then sailors would flood the ballast tanks, causing the rocket to shift into a vertical position. Afterward, the sailors would fuel the rocket, prepare the guidance system, and aim it at New York.

The Nazis ordered three of these containers. At least one was actually built. It is unknown if this container was ever tested in any fashion.

The Americans were well-aware of Nazi attempts to build a Rocket U-Boat secret weapon and prepared a contingency plan known as 'Operation Teardrop'. In March 1945, six Nazi U-Boats approached America. The U.S. launched Operation Teardrop and ended up destroying the four of the boats. It was later determined that none of these were Rocket U-Boats.

But that doesn’t mean the Rocket U-Boat was never launched. In February 1945, the U-1053 was carrying out diving trials off the coast of Norway. With all sides closing in on Nazi Germany, this seems like an odd time to worry about diving trials.

Some historians think the U-1053 may have had an ulterior purpose, perhaps to test out a Rocket U-Boat system.

The U-1053, a Typ VIIC U-Boat, left Bergen, Norway on 15 February 1945 and arrived the same day in the North Sea in the Byfjord, North-West of Bergen. She was there on a diving trial, after an overhaul in the naval yard at Bergen, the submarine was forced to carry out her diving trials in the Byfjord. There were 38 crew members on board including the commander and 7 Norwegian engineers and foremen from the naval yard.

The U-1053 dived normally, but after this first dive there must have been an accident aboard. When the submarine surfaced, her bow suddenly stuck up into the air at a steep angle and the submarine sank quickly in the sea stern first. Other boats came to the scene and even heard knocking from the inside of the submarine from the trapped crew. The submarine sank to a depth of 340 metres [1,120 ft] taken all 45 crew, engineers and foremen with her. The accident was probably a result of an operational error at the Schnorchel facility, but sabotage was also suspected.

The wreck of U-1053 was located on 18 March 2010 and her discovery was announced by the Norwegian Navy. The wreck is broken up into several pieces which indicates that the submarine hit the sea floor at a high speed.

-– Hermann Oberth, "Man into Space" [1957]


In the early months of 1945, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay all signed a document engineered by the Allies, probably by financial inducement, that they would mobilize and cooperate and provide all means necessary to the common global objective of destroying National Socialism. The total contribution of all three in the naval arena was the eight depth charges dropped on U-977 on 18 July 1945. Meanwhile arrangements were being made with Germany their supposed enemy to accept any war criminal, the wealth of the Third Reich, land purchase money-laundering arrangements and to allow certain advanced technologies to be pursued inland, and there is no doubt whatever that this occurred. The wealth and the technological transfer could be achieved by sea. There was little option but to choose a submarine as the means to carry Hitler across the Atlantic to Argentina, but it was still a high-risk plan.

In March 1943, the German U-Boat Arm under the command of Admiral Karl Dönitz had brought the Allied convoy system to the verge of collapse. A spirit of optimism prevailed at the OKM, Oberkommando der Marine [Headquarters of the German Navy] in Berlin as reports of numerous sinkings were received over the teletype. Döitz’s U-Bootwaffe was engaged in the largest offensive of the North Atlantic against Allied convoys. The results were encouraging. During the first twenty days of March they had sent an estimated 141,000 tons of shipping to the bottom of the Atlantic with the loss of one U-Boat. More good news surfaced that the Admiral’s B-dienst intelligence network had again broken the Allied naval codes and read each message with ease.

The excitement was abruptly curtailed on 18  March when Dönitz received word that Allied VLR [Very Long Range] aircraft had penetrated airspace in the eastern mid-Atlantic. Within days the OKM was flooded with communiques from a number of boats returning home with depth charge battle damage. The tide had turned virtually overnight, without warning, as the Admiral began to explore his options. In the months that followed, the U-Boat losses soared, forcing Dönitz to recall his remaining U-Boats back to their bases on 24 May. The situation deteriorated with each passing day as the puzzled OKM played the role of helpless bystander in the unfolding drama.

Since this tipping point in the Battle of the Atlantic in May 1943, the balance of power in the sea war shifted even more. The Kriegsmarine lost its French U-Boat bases in the summer of 1944, making the approach voyages to possible patrol areas much longer, more difficult, and more dangerous. Allied anti-submarine naval and air forces with greatly improved equipment now dominated the North Atlantic sea-lanes and the waters around most of Europe, so Allied shipping losses were a small fraction of what they had been.

In 1944, U-Boat loss rates had outstripped the numbers of new boats being commissioned; consequently, the remaining crews and most of their commanders were much less experienced. From January through April 1945 alone, no fewer than 139 U-Boats and their crews were lost. The chances of a successful submarine escape directly from northwest Europe to South America would have been slim; however, the odds improved significantly with Spain as the point of departure.

The controversial "History Channel" documentary series 'Hunting Hitler' stated that there were two submarine bases or pens in Spain itself that were utilized by German U-Boats during and immediately after the war.

Spain was neutral in name only and was really an Axis co-belligerent in the shadows - but the program claimed it went further than this. There was also mention, along with video footage, of a radio direction-finding installation in Spain itself that was used by German bombers for navigation, presumably on air raids over England and probably elsewhere, as well.

In the program, there was also a lot of interesting information about the state of affairs in Europe at the end of WWII, and particularly, about the "Rat Lines" and clandestine aid lent to numerous escaping Nazis by fellow-travelers and allies in the shadows. This certainly included some powerful people and institutions in Spain.

In March 1945, nine Type IX U-Boats sailed for the Atlantic; this was the last major U-Boat operation of the war, and the first such operation since the scattering of the failed Gruppe "Preussen" a year previously.

Two of the boats, U-530 and U-548, were directed to operate in Canadian waters, to "annoy and defy the United States". The other seven, designated Gruppe Seewolf—U-518, U-546, U-805, U-858, U-880, U-881 and U-1235—were to form a patrol line code-named "Harke" [Rake] It is believed, however, that in mid-April three of these boats opened sealed orders that would divert them southward on a special mission.

This U-Boat type was designed to be able to operate far from home support facilities. As an example of their endurance, the Type IX boats briefly patrolled off the eastern United States. Some 283 were built from 1937–44. It was not by chance the word 'Wolf' was used in the operation’s designation. From early in his career and throughout his life Hitler used the pseudonym Wolf. Among the most successful German operational techniques during the war were the "Wolf-Pack tactics" [known as Rudeltaktik] by which the U-Boats preyed on Atlantic shipping, and the submarines themselves were lauded by the Propaganda Ministry as "Grey Wolves".

It was typical of Bormann’s meticulous planning that three separate U-Boats of Gruppe Seewolf were assigned to the escape mission to provide alternatives if needed and that the mission was concealed within a conventional Atlantic operation so as not to attract Allied curiosity.

The planning for this phase of the escape had begun in 1944, and navy and air force assets across the Reich had been allocated to play contingent parts in the complex and developing escape plan. One such part was a misinformation phase. In July 1944, News Agencies reported that Hitler had approved a plan for an imminent attack on New York, with "robot bombs" launched from submarines in the Atlantic. On 20  August, the Type IXC boat U-1229 [Cdr. Armin Zinke] was attacked and forced to surface off Newfoundland on the Canadian east coast, and among the captured survivors was a German agent, Oskar Mantel. Under interrogation by the FBI, he revealed that a wave of U-Boats equipped with V-1 flying bombs was being readied to attack the United States.

In November 1944, U-1230 landed two agents off the Maine coast; they were spotted coming ashore and arrested. During their interrogation, Erich Gimpel and William Colepaugh [an American defector] corroborated Mantel’s story. This also seemed to be supported by the prediction in a radio broadcast by the Reich armaments minister, Albert Speer, that V-missiles "would fall on New York by 1 February 1945". On 10 December 1944, New York’s mayor Fiorello La Guardia broke the story to an astonished American public. On 8 January 1945, Adm. Jonas H. Ingram, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, announced that a new wave of U-Boats approaching the United States might be fitted with V-1 rockets to attack the eastern seaboard. The Nazis might launch "robots from submarine, airplane or surface ship" against targets ranging from Maine to Florida, but the U.S. Navy was fully prepared to meet the threat.

Many Americans took this V-1 scare seriously. The British dismissed it as propaganda, and—with the grim experience of four years’ bombardment and some 60,000 civilian deaths behind them, about 10 percent caused by V-1s—believed that even if such attacks occurred they would not cause a great deal of damage. After all, Hitler’s Operation Polar Bear had succeeded in hitting London with 2,515 V-1s [about one-quarter of those launched], so the handful that might be fired by a few U-Boats seemed negligible. On 16 February 1945, a British Admiralty cable to the U.S. Navy chief of operations, Adm. Ernest J. King, played down the threat, while conceding that it was possible for U-Boats to store and launch V-1 flying bombs. [The Germans had indeed tested a submarine-towed launch platform with some success, but were nowhere near any operational capability. There was even an embryo project, Prüfstand XII, to launch the much larger V-2 ballistic missile at sea from a sealed container, which would be flooded at the base to swing it upright].

 The Rocket U-Boat was an abandoned military project to create the first ballistic missile submarine. It was conceived of by Nazi Germany during the Second World War. Plans for the rocket U-boat involved an attack on New York City with newly invented V-2 rockets.

During World War II, several projects were undertaken at Peenemünde to mount rockets on a U-boat.

In 1941 first trials were held, using a Nebelwerfer rocket launcher, mounted on the deck of U-511. Tests were carried out, with successful firings from the surface, and from up to 12 metres underwater without any effect on the missiles' accuracy. The arrangement was envisaged as a weapon against convoy escorts, but with no guidance system the arrangement was largely ineffective.

In 1943 interest in the concept was revived with the advent of the V-1 flying bomb; proposals were made to mount a V-1 and launcher on a U-Boat in order to strike targets at a much greater range than the 150 mile [251 km] radius from land-based sites. This proposal foundered on inter-service rivalry, however, as the V-1 was an Air Force [Luftwaffe] project.

In 1943 also, consideration was given to firing the V-2 rocket from a U-Boat, with particular thought to hitting targets in the United States. As the V-2 was too large to be mounted on any U-Boat then in service, a 500-ton submersible vessel for transport and launching was designed. Un-manned and unpowered, this was intended to be towed by a conventional U-Boat to within range of its target, then set up and launched. Three of these vessels were ordered in late 1944, but only one was built, and no trials of the practicality of the system were carried out.

Allied intelligence came to know of these projects, and the US Navy developed a counter-measure, known as Operation Teardrop. This operation was actually carried out in early 1945 when a group of U-Boats were detected heading for the US east coast. Most of these submarines were quickly pounced on in Mid-Atlantic and destroyed in the massive anti-submarine operation, though post–war analysis showed no credible missile threat had existed. 

The Luftwaffe analyzed the possible use of "V-weapons" against the US in a plan to launch a squadron of Junkers Ju 290 long range recon aircraft armed with Fieseler Fi-103 [V-1] rockets.

The Kriegsmarine considered a similar idea with submarine-based V-1/V-2 launchers against United States coasts.

Similarly, the Wehrmacht created the "Division zur Vergeltung" [Reprisal Division] or "Div.z. V." through which a special unit was organized. From islands or just offshore, this unit would use the "Langrohrkanone LRK 15 F-58", also known as the "HDP Kanone" or V-3, or the ultra long-range version of the multi-phase mid-range missile V-4 "Rheinbote" against U.S. soil.

Rheinbote [Rhine Messenger, or V-4] was a German ballistic rocket developed by Rheinmetall-Borsig at Berlin-Marienfelde during World War II. It was intended to replace, or at least supplement, large-bore artillery by providing fire support at long ranges in an easily transportable form.

One of the problems for the German military, and indeed any mobile military force, is the weight of the artillery and, more importantly, its ammunition supply. Battlefield rockets were intended to circumvent the problems, which led to the development of Rheinbote. The Rheinbote was the successor of the earlier Rheintochter [Rhine Maiden].

Developed in 1943 by the Rheinmetall-Borsig company, Rheinbote was a four-stage solid-fuelled rocket, and the only long-range battlefield ballistic missile to enter service in World War II.

Over 220 were constructed, with over 200 being used against the Belgian port of Antwerp between November 1944 and the end of the war. They caused only limited damage in small unpredictable areas of the city.

Some were fired from positions near the town of Nunspeet in the Netherlands.

The concept of long-range artillery rockets on the battlefield would remain undeveloped after the war. Even Rheinbote was not used in its intended role, but instead as a smaller version of the V-2 missile in a strategic role.

Other special weapons were envisioned for possible use against the United States too, such as:


The A9 was a further development of the "A4" rocket. No prototype was ever developed before the end of the war, although a variant, the A4b, was produced. The A9 would have been used as the upper stage for an intercontinental missile or a manned craft. The A10 was to have been used for the lower stage.


The A10, which was never built, was intended to serve as the first stage for the A9, to help it to reach an intercontinental range. New York City and other targets in the northeastern U.S. were its intended targets. Test Stand VII was built at Peenemünde for use in the A10's development.

The A10 was designed to have a diameter of 4.12 meters and to exceed the A4 in its size. It was to be fueled with alcohol and liquid oxygen.

A Combined Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee [CIOS] report, number XXXII-125, running to more than one hundred and fifty pages, details not only "an experimental model of an additional thrust unit which was to be fastened to either the A4 [V-2] or the A-9 to give an additional range," but also various "Amerika Rakete" projects for a guided missile with a range of 3,500 miles.

These latter rockets, the report notes, with less than complete reassurance, "probably never progressed beyond the drawing board stage". But additionally, there was a V-3 weapon, "a larger version of the V1 with an incendiary warhead instead of the [high explosive] normally used. Very little information is available concerning V-3 control systems".

What, indeed, was this "incendiary warhead"? A thermite bomb? A fuel-air bomb? An actual atom bomb? The report is unclear.

-- "German Guided Missile Research" CIOS Sub-Committee, G-2 Division, SHAEF [Rear] APO 413, XXXII-125

To this astounding inventory, one may add radio-controlled surface to air missiles - one of which sank the Italian battleship 'Roma' on its way to surrender to the Allies - infrared heat seeking air-to-air and surface to air missiles, wire guided missiles and torpedoes, biological and chemical warheads for the V-l and V-2, and possible fuel-air and atomic warheads as well. Where were these modifications being made?

In Prague.

-- Friedrich Georg, "Hitlers Siegeswaffen", Band 1

However, the planted misinformation achieved its purpose. It would focus American attention toward any detected pack of U-Boats, such as the majority of Gruppe Seewolf, thus drawing USN and USAAF assets in the Atlantic eastward and northward—away from the latitudes between Spain’s southern territories and Argentina..

Central to the Escape Plan was the use of the "Schnorchel" a combination of air intake and exhaust pipe for a submarine’s Diesel engines, which became widely available from spring 1944. This allowed a U-Boat to cruise [very slowly] on Diesel power a few feet below the surface, while simultaneously recharging the batteries for the electric motors that had to be used for cruising at any depth. Using the Schnorchel limited a boat’s range to about 100 miles per day; it was normally raised at night, and in daylight hours the boat cruised submerged [again, very slowly] on electric power. While the theoretical ability to remain underwater twenty-four hours a day was a lifesaver for many U-Boats, using the Schnorchel was noisy, difficult, and sometimes dangerous, especially in choppy seas. The low speed it imposed robbed the boats of their tactical flexibility on patrol, and remaining submerged made navigation difficult.

While no transits to Argentina could have been contemplated without the concealment offered by the Schnorchel, it also worsened the U-Boats’ communication problems. Remaining submerged almost permanently made the reception of radio messages a hit-or-miss affair. Neither U-Boat Command nor the British eavesdroppers at Bletchley Park near London could ever be certain when, or even if, a specific U-Boat had received the orders transmitted to it. In order to receive and send anything other than long-wave signals, a U-Boat had to bring its aerials above the surface, exposing the conning tower and risking radar detection. In theory, long-wave messages were detectable while submerged if the conditions were perfect, but Schnorchel boats had a poor record of picking up long-wave transmissions.

Thanks to the Decryption Experts at Bletchley Park, the Allies were well aware of the dispatch of Gruppe Seewolf in March 1945, and the relatively slow speed of Schnorchel boats —whether or not they were the rumored "V-1 Boats"—gave the U.S. Navy time to organize a massive response, code-named Operation Teardrop. Convoys were rerouted further south with limited escorts, leaving most of the U.S. Navy assets free to concentrate on hunting down Gruppe Seewolf and the two associated boats.

The U.S. Navy supposedly achieved devastating results, claiming seven sunk and two surrendered; however, until this day there remains uncertainty as to the extent of the attacks, and while the Kriegsmarine remained relatively ignorant about the extent of Allied naval radar capabilities—one of the best-kept secrets of World War II— the U-Boat commanders were well aware of the dangers of radio location and recognized that maintaining radio silence was central to a U-Boat’s chances of survival. High-frequency direction finding—HF/DF, or "Huff-Duff," introduced by the British Royal Navy—was a means of locating U-Boats by taking cross bearings on the high-frequency radio transmissions they employed.

Numerous long-range listening stations were built on many of the Atlantic’s coasts, and "Huff-Duff" was also installed on the warships of Allied escort and hunter-killer groups. Any transmission from a U-Boat risked betraying its rough position, allowing the hunters to close in for more sensitive searches by radar and sonar. It was not necessary to understand what the U-Boat commander was saying—figuring that out was a lengthier task for Bletchley Park; for the hunters, it was enough that the commander was making himself "visible" by transmitting. In obedience to their orders, none of the Gruppe Seewolf boats transmitted any traffic after 2 April 1945. While U-Boat Command sent occasional orders to the boats of patrol-line Harke, there is no actual evidence that any of them picked up these messages and acted on them. After that date, the Royal Navy’s submarine-trackers at Bletchley Park, and Western Approaches Command in the northwestern English port of Liverpool, were unable to verify the actual positions of the U-Boats by using any form of direction-finding. All they had to work on was the information decrypted from U-Boat Command’s transmissions to the boats, filtered through past experience and gut instinct, and as a result they had only a vague idea where the boats might be. The Admiralty situation report for the week ending 2 April stated that the U-Boats were "likely to operate against convoys in mid-Atlantic but may tend to move along the estimated convoy routes in the general direction of the U.S. departure ports".

The U.S. Navy Official History claims that of the nine U-Boats that sailed for the Atlantic in March and April 1945—seven of them forming Gruppe Seewolf—two surrendered at sea and seven were claimed as having been sunk. However, there was no real evidence to support the destruction of four of these boats.

These four were some of the last unconfirmed U-Boat sinkings at sea; the few losses of Type IX boats that sailed subsequently are well documented and correct. From December 1944, the U.S. Navy would employ four escort-carrier groups in Operation Teardrop—the carriers 'USS Mission', 'Croatan', 'Bogue', and 'Core', with no fewer than forty-two destroyers. This largest Allied hunter-killer operation of the whole Atlantic war was undertaken in the North Atlantic’s worst weather in forty years, with high winds and mountainous seas. Of the seven Gruppe Seewolf submarines facing this overwhelming force, only one was a confirmed kill.

U-546 [Lt. Cdr. Paul Just] left Kiel, Germany, on 11 March 1945, and joined the Harke patrol line on 14 April. On 23 April, aircraft from 'USS Bogue' spotted her; the next day the Edsall-class destroyer escort 'USS Frederick C. Davis' made contact, but Paul Just got his torpedoes off first, sinking the destroyer with the loss of 115 lives. A subsequent ten-hour hunt ended with the U-Boat being hit and forced to the surface; Just and thirty-two survivors were rescued and shipped to Newfoundland. It has been confirmed that both there and after being transferred to Washington, Lt. Cdr. Just, two of his officers, and five seamen were treated with great and repeated brutality. The reason seems to have been American fears about submarine-launched V-1 attacks—grim confirmation of the success of the misinformation plan.

Lt. Cdr. Richard Bernadelli’s U-805 sailed from Bergen, Norway, on 17 March and also joined patrol line Harke on 14 April, later surviving several attacks from aircraft and warships. After the breakup of Gruppe Seewolf, U-805 operated off Halifax, Nova Scotia, eventually surrendering at sea on 9 May—five days after Adm. Dönitz transmitted his surrender order to all U-Boats still on patrol. This crew were also interrogated about the supposed V-1 boats, but apparently were not roughly treated—after all, the war with Germany was now over.

Lt. Cdr. Thilo Bode’s U-858 left Horten in Norway on 11 March and was judged by the Royal Navy’s Submarine Tracking Room to have joined the patrol line on 14 April. It seems not to have been detected before Bode surrendered at sea on 14 May. Bode’s crew were also questioned about the alleged V-1 launchers.

U-881, helmed by Lt. Cdr. Dr. Karl Heinz Frischke, was late joining the line. It left Bergen belatedly on 7 April after problems with its Schnorchel. Frischke clearly did not pick up Dönitz’s surrender order of 4 May, and U-881 was detected and claimed to be destroyed by the destroyer escort USS 'Farquar' as it approached the carrier USS 'Mission Bay' on 6 May. However, no physical evidence of its destruction ever came to light. Nor was there any proof of the destruction of U-1235, U-880, and U-518, all claimed as sunk during Operation Teardrop. In reality, they were nowhere near where the Submarine Tracking Room thought them "likely" to be.

U-1235 [First Lt. Franz Barsch] left Bergen on 19 March and was judged by the Submarine Tracking Room to have joined patrol line Harke on 14 April. Officially, this boat was lost during the night of 15–16  April to an attack by the destroyers USS 'Stanton' and 'Frost', which assumed from a violent underwater explosion that U-1235 had been destroyed—and that it had, indeed, been carrying V-weapons. No wreckage came to the surface, and no other evidence was produced to confirm this kill. In conformity with the orders of 2 April to all Gruppe Seewolf boats, U-1235 sent no radio messages at all during its last patrol. U-Boat Command certainly had no idea that the submarine was "lost", continuing to send it orders as late as 22 April.

Lt. Cdr. Gerhard Schötzau’s U-880 had left Bergen on 14 March, and the British tracking room plotted its arrival on the line exactly a month later. The U.S. Navy Lt. Cdr. Gerhard Schötzau’s U-880 had left Bergen on 14 March, and the British tracking room plotted its arrival on the line exactly a month later. The U.S. Navy claimed that this boat, too, was "killed" in a joint attack by the destroyers 'Stanton' and 'Frost' on 15–16 April, within an hour of the destruction of U-1235.

"Several underwater explosions" were assumed to have destroyed the boat, but no wreckage came to the surface or was recovered. Again, U-Boat Command kept transmitting messages to U-880 until 22 April . Finally, the veteran U-518, commanded by First Lt. Hans-Werner Offermann, left Kristiansand on 12 March. U-518 was judged by the Admiralty to have joined the Harke patrol line on 14 April. The official U.S. Navy description of the loss of this boat was similar to the descriptions of U-1235 and U-880. The Cannon-class destroyers USS 'Carter' and 'Neal A. Scott' claimed the kill on 22 April, but again no wreckage came to the surface.

The Royal Navy’s brilliant Capt. Rodger Winn, head of the Submarine Tracking Room, highlighted the shaky nature of these claims. In a memorandum of 20 May, 1945, he noted, with classic British understatement, that the outcome of these actions had been reconsidered in an optimistic light, and as a result it is thought that possibly as many as 14 U-Boats were sunk.… On this assumption it would follow since the identities of the boats in Norway are now well established that 11 remain to be accounted for. So far as is known these 11 boats are at sea but the Americans claim, possibly rightly, to have sunk 2 of them.… What the remaining boats are doing or intend to do is a fruitful and intriguing subject for speculation.

The same memorandum implicitly cast some doubt on the U.S. Navy’s claim to have sunk U-530, commanded by First Lt. Otto Wermuth. For a confirmed kill, that boat did indeed look surprisingly intact when it surfaced off Mar del Plata, Argentina, and surrendered to the authorities on 10 July 1945.

The British Admiralty’s daily war diary for 15 April stated that an independent Liberty-class merchant ship, 'SS Samoland', saw a surfaced U-Boat in the approximate position where U-518 could have been. It was steering a course of 101 degrees, back across the Atlantic in the direction of the Canary Islands—1,300 miles away, and thirteen days’ submerged cruising with Schnorchel assistance.

There is no official record of a third boat in addition to U-530 and U-977—which might have been U-1235—surrendering to the Argentine authorities at Mar del Plata. However, on 19 July 1945, the Buenos Aires daily newspaper "Critica" reported that yet another U-Boat had been "surrounded by Argentine Navy vessels thirty miles off the coast of Mar del Ajo" just north of Mar del Plata. Nothing more is ever heard of this boat.

There is, however a story that the commander of what was probably U-1235 [Lt. Cdr. Franz Barsch] survived to buy a farm in Córdoba, where he was still living in 1952.

Hitler's Secret Sub which took the Führer to South America discovered
Misssing German submarine said to have taken the defeated Nazi leadership to South America has been discovered after nearly 73 years. The U-3523 was one of Hitler’s Type XXI submarines – a new and highly advanced design which came too late to stop the Allied victory.
By Mchael Havis
19 April 2018

It was the first class of U-Bats designed to sail submerged for a prolonged period of time and had a range which allowed it to sail non-stop to South America.

The U-3523 was thought to have been sunk by a British B24 Liberator attack on 6 May 1945, but the inability to locate the wreck fuelled reports that it had escaped.

Yet now the wreck has been located 10 nautical miles north of Skagen – Denmark’s northernmost town – and nine miles west of the position reported by the British bomber.

Denmark’s Sea War Museum, which found the submarine, said there was no evidence that it was escaping with Nazi leaders or loot.

Gert Normann Andersen, the museum’s director, said: “Rumour has it that the submarine had great valuables from Germany because it was heading away from Germany even though the war ended.

“I think the rumour developed because U-3523 was a very modern, long-distance U-Boat and some Nazis tried to escape with valuables in the last days.

“But the submarine was going to Norway, and not to South America with Nazis and valuables”.

Declassified documents from US Intelligence have fuelled claims that the Nazi leadership, including Hitler himself, escaped to South America in the final days of the war.
One CIA file dated  3 October 1955, carried allegations from a former SS trooper named Phillip Citroen that Hitler had been hiding in Colombia and later Argentina.

The trooper even had a photo taken in 1954 in the Colombian city of Tunja, allegedly showing him with Hitler.

The document stated: “According to Citroen, the Germans residing in Tunja followed this alleged Adolf Hitler with an idolatry of the Nazi past, addressing him as "der Führer" and affording him the Nazi salute and storm-trooper adulation.”>

Meanwhile a file from the FBI archives, dated 21 September 1945, detailed eyewitness claims that Hitler had arrived in Argentina via submarine two-and-a-half weeks after the fall of Berlin
It said: “By pre-arranged plan with six top Argentine officials, pack horses were waiting for the group and by daylight all supplies were loaded on the horses and an all-day trip inland toward the foothills of the southern Andes was started.

“At dusk the party arrived at the ranch where Hitler and his party, according to [redacted], are now in hiding”.

Several prominent Nazis are also known to have fled to South America, including Adolf Eichmann – a leading architect of the Holocaust, and the notorious Auschwitz doctor Josef Mengele.

However the new discovery proves that U-3523 never made the trip and sank with all 58 crewmen.

Mr Andersen also has a copy of the last telegram sent by the submarine, dated 5 May 1945, which makes no mention of any precious cargo or high-ranking passengers.

Nazi Germany would sign the first instrument of unconditional surrender just two days later on 7 May 1945.

Scans of the seabed reveal the U-boat now lies in 123 metres of water, making it very difficult to access.

Unusually, the whole fore of the ship lies buried in the sand, while the stern stands 20 metres above the bottom.

Nazi Germany built 118 Type XXI U-Boats but – due to poor quality control – only four were fit for combat before World War 2 ended and just two were deployed, neither sinking any Allied ships.

Their design was later copied by Britain, the US, France and the Soviet Union – with Soviet models subsequently inspiring Chinese submarines.

Only one original Type XXI U-Bat survives, the Wilhelm Bauer [formerly U-2540], which is now part of the German Maritime Museum in Bremerha


U-Boat rumoured to have helped Nazis escape to Argentina is discovered
The sophisticated German submarine U-3523 might have been the perfect vehicle for getting Nazi loot and leaders to South America 
Adam Lusher
19 April 2018

A submarine linked to rumours that Adolf Hitler survived and escaped to Argentina in a U-Boat has been discovered – lying wrecked at the bottom of the North Sea between Denmark and Norway.

Submarine U-3523 had been one of a new generation of type XXI U-boats that were able to run more silently and stay submerged for longer than any of their predecessors, with a range that would have allowed them to sail non-stop from Europe to South America.

As such it would have been perfect escape vessel for Nazi gold, high-ranking officials or even Hitler himself as the Reich collapsed at the end of the Second World War.

And although the British crew of a B24 Liberator bomber reported sinking the sub on 6 May 1945, its wreck was never found, helping support suspicions that the U-Boat, and whoever it was carrying, might have got away to Argentina.
Now, however, researchers from the Sea War Museum Jutland, Denmark, say they have discovered the wreck of U-3523 in the Skagerrak strait, ten nautical miles north of the north Danish town of Skagen.
The discovery seems to prove that U-3523 never took Hitler, any Nazis or any treasure to Argentina.


The real reason it lay undiscovered for 73 years, the researchers say, is because the Liberator bomber crew made a mistake in reporting its position, placing the wreck nine nautical miles east of where it had actually sunk.

But, intriguingly, the researchers also say that U-3523 probably had been “on the run” when the Liberator cut short its escape, and they still don’t know for certain who was on board when the submarine sank.
There have been persistent rumours that Adolf Hitler escaped to live among die-hard Nazis in south America, despite the overwhelming consensus that he killed himself in his Berlin Bunker.

A statement issued by the Sea War Museum said:

“The day before [U-3523 was sunk] German forces in Denmark, Northwest Germany and the Netherlands had surrendered, and the U-Boat was not on a war patrol, but probably on the run.

“After the war, there were many rumours about top Nazis who fled in U-Boats and brought Nazi gold to safety, and the U-3523 fed the rumours.

The Type XXI was the first genuine submarine that could sail submerged for a prolonged time, and the U-3523 had a range that would have allowed it to sail non-stop all the way to South America.
“But nobody knows if this was the U-Boat’s destination, and nobody knows if the U-boat had valuables or passengers aboard in addition to the 58 crew, all of whom perished at 123 meters depth”.

The final telegram sent by the submarine, on 5 May 1945, made no mention of Nazi treasure or officials, so there probably needs to be considerable scepticism about whether skipper Willi Müller and his crew were carrying Nazi passengers instead of just trying to escape themselves.

And as for Adolf Hitler, the U-boat appears to have left port five days after 1 May 1945, when German radio announced the Fuhrer’s death.
Josef Mengele escaped capture and lived in freedom in South America until his death in 1979.

But the fact is that some Nazis including Adolf Eichmann and Dr Josef Mengele, the “angel of Death” of Auschwitz, did make it to Argentina, Eichmann to be captured by the Israelis in 1960, Mengele to live out his days in freedom until drowning while swimming off Brazil in 1979.

And although men like Eichmann and Mengele got away on conventional passenger ships, two German submarines are known to have turned up in Argentina some months after the war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945.

U-530 surrendered to the Argentine navy at Mar del Plata on 10 July 1945
Its captain Otto Wermuth insisted he hadn’t carried any passengers, but his Argentine navy interrogators noted that he admitted destroying the submarine’s log book and secret documents, while consistently refusing to give details about the specific routes taken.
Later news articles suggested that an Argentine reporter claimed to have seen a provincial police report which supposedly documented a strange submarine landing a high-ranking officer and civilian.  It was even suggested that the pair might have been Hitler and his lover Eva Braun in disguise.

And about a month later, on August 17 1945, another submarine, U-977, turned up in Mar del Plata.

The submarine crew told interrogators that after realising the war was over in May, they had headed for Argentina, hoping to avoid falling into the hands of the Russians and maybe even to settle in South America without being sent to a POW camp.

They had also been influenced by Nazi propaganda claims that after the war all German men would be enslaved and forcibly sterilised by the victorious Allies.
What the submarine had been doing between early May and arriving in Argentina in August was explained by factors like taking evasive action after spotting or being spotted by planes and ships, and by a stop off at the Cape Verde Islands, where the men swam and sang songs

Skipper Heinz Schäffer, like Wermuth, insisted he was carrying only crewmen and no passengers.

But the mere presence in Argentina of U-977 and U-530 has helped fuel curiosity about ‘missing’ submarines like U-3523, and the linked rumours that Hitler lived to a ripe old age in South America.

The overwhelming historical consensus is that the Nazi leader killed himself in his Berlin Bunker on 30 April 1945.
But the rumours of his continuing survival started almost as soon as German radio announced that “our Führer Adolf Hitler, fighting to the last breath against Bolshevism, fell for Germany this afternoon in his operational headquarters in the Reich Chancellery”.

In the intervening 73 years, Hitler has been reported living in the foothills of the Andes after escaping via submarine to Argentina, being photographed aged 95 with a younger Brazilian girlfriend in 1984, and being idolised by die-hard Nazis in Colombia in the 1950s.

Declassified FBI files show that the post-war American authorities even went to the trouble of  investigating some of these rumours.
No FBI file records anything close to confirmation of the rumours, but the fact that they were investigated at all seems to have been taken by some conspiracy theorists as proof that there was truth in them.

As recently as last year, there were reports about a 1955 memo from the head of the CIA base in Maracaibo, Venezuela, who said that in 1954 steamship company worker Phillip Citroen told agents that while working for a railroad firm in Colombia he had met a man who insisted he was Adolf Hitler.

The man, who was said to bear a striking resemblance to the Führer, was alleged to be living in Tunja, in the Colombian Andes.
The city, Mr Citroen assured the CIA, was “overly populated with former German Nazis”.

“According to Citroen,” the 1955 CIA memo continued, “the Germans in Tunja follow this alleged Adolf Hitler with an ‘idolatory of the Nazi past, addressing him as ‘der Führer’ and affording him the Nazi salute and storm-trooper adulation'”.

The memo added that in 1954 Mr Citroen, who co-owned a local English language Maracaibo newspaper, had also shown the CIA a photo of him sitting beside the Tunja "Adolf Hitler".

Perhaps tellingly, though, the 1955 memo also noted the “apparent fantasy” of Mr Citroen’s claims.

The CIA view was echoed by credible historians when the memo resurfaced in 2017.

Asked to comment on the memo, Uki Goni, the respected author of "The Real Odessa? about Nazis who really did escape to Argentina, told the Miami Herald: “Hitler committed suicide in his Bunker. All the rest is fake news”.