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Diving team investigates the wreck of the sinking Nazi ship

Inside the wreck of the Karlsruhe.

Rusty vehicles in the wreckage of the Karlsruhe.
Photo: Thomas Stachula/Santi

Last year, a group of Polish divers found the wreck of a Nazi ship Karlsruhe. The sunken ship contained porcelain, vehicles and other wartime goods, and the diving team will return in the next few days for further investigation. They were especially interested in some unopened crates that sank with the ship. The team may even bring some items to the surface.

This shipwreck was discovered by a team from Baltictech in September 2020. The company is a diving company looking for the sinking of several ships involved in Operation Hannibal. This is one of the largest maritime evacuation operations in history. The eastern front fled the Soviet army. The Baltictech team shot some Karlsruhe The shipwreck when it was found. What is a bit confusing is that Karlsruhe It was one of the two Nazi ships of the same name that sank during World War II.this Karlsruhe Baltictech is investigating a ship about 40 miles from the coast of Poland; another Karlsruhe Is a Nazi warship Sunk in Norway in 1940. Both sunken ships were discovered last fall.

When Soviet troops recaptured the city in April 1945, this ship was one of the last Nazi ships to leave the Prussian city of Königsberg (now Kaliningrad, Russia). In addition to 360 tons of cargo, the ship also carried 150 soldiers from the elite Nazi regiment and about 900 civilians. Two days after the ship left Königsberg, it was sunk by a Soviet plane, leaving 113 survivors. According to the Associated Press. “this Karlsruhe Tomasz Zwara, a diver of the Baltictech team, said in a press release sent to Gizmodo via email that, unlike other ships participating in the operation, it mainly carried cargo and refugees boarded the ship at the last minute.

Now nearly 300 feet underwater, the sunken ship is difficult to dive. It takes about two and a half hours of decompression to spend about half an hour at this depth. Since this ship was one of the last ships to leave the area, the Baltic technical team thought it might be full of valuables that the Nazis hoped to seize while escaping.This is why The unopened crates on the sunken ship are of great interest to the team.

Nazi box.

Some interesting crate fragments found in the shipwreck.
Photo: Thomas Stachula/Santi

Tomasz Stachura, president and technical diver of SANTI Diving Company, said in an email to Gizmodo: “We will dive and inspect the contents of the crates without destroying them.” If the diving team thinks the objects are worth further inspection, they can remove them. The object is brought to the surface, and a representative from the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk, Poland will be on board to provide advice.

The unopened crates of the third quarter century can easily carry the daily necessities of Königsberg. But they may also contain valuables looted by the Nazis during the war. Stachula hoped that the shipwreck would provide an answer to the Amber Room incident in the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. This was a luxurious paneled room in the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. It was looted by the Nazis and taken to Königsberg. It disappeared during the war.

“We don’t have any conclusive evidence that the Amber Room is there [in the wreck], But no one has any conclusive evidence that the Amber Room is elsewhere.” Tell Atlas Obscura last year“The truth is that Germans want to send something valuable to the West, only through KarlsruheBecause this is their last chance [to get it out of Prussia]. “

Although the treasure hunt may be fruitless, the upcoming dive will allow the team to better understand what is left Karlsruhe And what it carried on its last voyage to the bottom of the Baltic Sea.

More: This is the way to protect sunken ships from looters and hackers

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