Researchers have identified a wrecked German Navy Ship that was used during World War II. According to researchers, this cruise ship named Karlsruhe sunk to the depths of the ocean on April 9, 1940, when Germany was invading Norway.
It was found 15 meters from an undersea power cable between Norway and Denmark during inspection work three years ago by Statnett's Senior Project Engineer Ole Petter Hobberstad about 13 nautical miles from Kristiansand in Southern Norway. An offshore vessel "Olympic Taurus" probed the mysterious wreck by ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) and multi-beam echo sounders.
"When the ROV results showed us a ship that wwt was torpedoed, we realized it was from the war. As the cannons became visible on the screen, we understood it was a huge warship. We were very excited and surprised that the wreck was so big," Hobberstad said.
How Karlsruhe sunk
With a length of 174 meters (571 ft) and equipped with steam turbines and nine cannons, Karlsruhe led the German attack on Kristiansand during Operation Weserübung April 9, 1940. The German Rear Admiral (konteradmiral) Otto Schenk has written about the day himself in a book published the same year as the attack.
Under dense fog caused concern in the hours before the attacks took place. As Karlsruhe entered the fjord outside Odderoya near Kristiansand city, it came under fire from the Odderoya Fortress. Kristiansand was taken, but the very same afternoon the British submarine Truant attacked Karlsruhe and hit the cruiser with a torpedo, significantly damaging it. It was then sunk by order from the German Captain.
"You can find Karlsruhe's fate in history books, but no one has known exactly where the ship sunk. Moreover, it was the only large German warship that was lost during the attack on Norway with an unknown position. After all these years we finally know where the graveyard to this important warship is," said Frode Kvalo, archaeologist and researcher at the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
Statnett spotted Swastika
Norwegian power company Statnett said the shipwreck was initially spotted in 2017, while carrying out inspection work on a power cable. The 571-feet long ship was lying at a depth of 1,607 feet, and closer analysis helped researchers to find the Nazi Swastika symbol on the ship's structure.
Underwater photos taken by drones also showed some of the cruise ship's guns and porthole. Frode Kvalo, an archaeologist and researcher at the Norwegian Maritime Museum called the discovery a rare find. According to Frode, most of the cruise ships turn around when they sink, but the Karlsruhe was sitting firmly on the seabed, with its cannons pointing towards the sea.
Karlsruhe: Germany's pride
Karlsruhe was one of the most precious warships in Germany's arsenal, and the cruise was leading the attack against Norway. However, the cruiser soon came under fire from Norwegian artillery and was torpedoed by a British submarine. The ship was eventually scuttled by German forces.
A few days back, researchers have identified a lost US submarine that was lost 77 years ago in South East Asia. The discovery was made by divers, and the wrecked submarine was spotted 82 meters underwater, near to the Strait of Malacca. Researchers speculate that this submarine could be most probably USS Grenadier, a United States submarine bombed by Japanese aircraft.