Wednesday, December 23, 2009

New Details Surface Behind Mysterious Sinking of WWII Nazi Submarine

William Leeman and his team of divers have made a profound discovery.

The Gulf of Oman's pithy-black deeps have finally surrendered secrets of the mystery sinking of Nazi submarine U-533 during the Second World War, XPRESS has learnt.

Several years after the discovery of the U-boat on the seabed 108 metres below by Dubai shipwreck hunter and diver William Leeman, a new deep-sea mission in October to the U-boat's final resting place has confirmed a fatal blast hole was ripped into her rear port side, dooming the twin-screwed 76.8-metre-long vessel and 52 crew members to a watery grave.

Clear waters

Capitalising on clear waters and armed with electric underwater scooters and high-powered spotlights, Leeman and his team of recreational divers discovered the two-metre gash near her propellers, confirming reports by RAF (Royal Air Force) Squadron 244 that a British light bomber aircraft had scored a direct strike on the submarine on October 16, 1943.

"This is where she was hit by a depth charge by a British Blenheim that struck from the air," said Leeman, 52, an electrical engineer. "During our last dive, we could see the jagged edges of the hole where she was blown up. That was the moment of truth - the ship then sank to the bottom in a forward motion marking the epic death of 52 German mariners."

Lone survivor

Only one U-533 survivor somehow scrambled to safety from the submarine. Records show mechanic Gunther Schmidt bobbed in heavy seas for more than a day after the sinking and made it to shore only to be taken prisoner, Leeman said.

"How the survivor got out, we can't say," he added.

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The oceans hold such mystery and wonder... just waiting to be discovered.

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