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The Mystery of U-Boats Appearing of the Argentina Coast Much After the End of the War

MG Singh- early retired Airforce senior officer who is now a corporate advisor. He is also a global traveler and writer

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The mystery

Everybody likes a mystery and there are plenty of mysteries regarding the U-boats the linchpin of the Nazi fleet. Germany didn't have very many capital ships and the only way they could make their presence felt in the oceans was by sending packs of submarines to attack Allied shipping convoys and also engage their warships. There are many weird theories also which may or may not be true and that concerns the escape of senior Nazi leaders in U-boats of all places to Argentina. Also, the rumor going around is that many of the submarines that escaped to Argentina carried Nazi gold but this has never been verified.

But there are some cases which need explanation and that is when a couple of Germans submarines appeared off the coast of Argentina many weeks after the war had ended. It's a moot point what the submarines were doing for weeks together before surrendering in Argentina's waters.

There is also the report of a submarine wreck which was washed ashore on one of the beaches on Argentina coast. The submarine was a wreck but it was a mystery what it was doing in these waters thousands of miles from Germany.

There are weird theories that Hitler escaped in a U-boat but then I guess this is just a story for Facebook. But the fact is that two U-Boats did appear off Argentina cost much to the surprise of the people and surrendered. This was the weeks after the war had ended and the question remains as to what the submarines were doing all these weeks thousands of miles away from their bases.

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Uncomfortable truth

We are all aware that Adolf Hitler committed suicide on the 30th of April 1945 and Germany formally surrendered on 8 May 1945. Two days earlier Grand Admiral Donitz had passed a message to all submarine commanders who were sailing to cease all operations and move to the nearest ports and surrender. However, all commanders did not obey this message and it is on record that in July/ August two U-Boats surfaced off the coast of Argentina and surrendered. This was almost 10 weeks after the war had ended.

The submarines that surrendered months after the end of the war are U- 530 and U -977. One of the submarines U- 530 was supposed to spread nerve gas in New York as instructed by Hitler after the bombing of Dresden but the crew did not do anything like this and they jettisoned the gun and carried on. All the crew members and captain were interrogated but no worthwhile information came out.

Many people feel that the submarines may have carried Adolf Hitler and dropped him somewhere on the coast in America or they were carrying Nazi gold which was deposited somewhere. This is all conjecture but we must remember that Hitler's master hitman Skorzeny on his deathbed had said that Adolf Hitler escaped in a submarine. The submarine left Germany on the 10th of May after the surrender has been signed on the 8th and the claim of the captain that he had left on the second is untrue. U-530 was destroyed by the American Navy during target practice.

U-977 is a bigger mystery because it surfaced close to the Argentina coast on 17 August 1945. The war had ended three months back. This submarine had dropped 16 sailors in Norway and taken food and continued to the south Atlantic. Conspiracy theories surround the submarine also and it was also destroyed by the American Navy during target practice. One fact which has come to light is that this submarine made an undersea voyage of 66 days to escape observation by the Allied airforce which were still searching for submarines.

Another wreck of a U-Boat was washed ashore after almost 70 years of the end of the war on the coast in Argentina This is again a mystery. WW2 Historian Fernando Martin Gomez of Buenos Aires believes the 70-year old submarine might have been washed up by heavy underwater currents.

The mystery, is not the wreck was found but that it was found so far away from Germany in the South Atlantic close to Argentina. There are many conspiracy theories doing the rounds. One of the childhood friends of Hitler who was a member of the SS, Herman Freudenstadt was arrested in 1987 in Argentina and convicted for war crimes. He made a statement to the interrogators that he had escaped with Adolf Hitler in a submarine with a small crew and some unnamed high-ranking nazi officials. People with knowledge have dismissed his confession.

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Last word

The top Nazi leaders may or may not have escaped but there is no doubt that at least 3 to 5000 Nazis who were involved in the war crimes escaped by various routes either to Spain, the Middle East, or Argentina. It is possible many of them traveled in submarines. It is a disconcerting thought that the US Navy which was tracking the submarines is unable to account for more than 50 submarines.

Comments

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 31, 2020:

Alan, Eichman cooked his own goose. he was lucky to have made it to Argentina and survived for 15 years. I understand that American intelligence had some ideas about him there. But his son had an affair with a `Jewish girl and he made some inadvertent remark and the girl reported it. Simon Wiesenthal was already on his trail and this hastened the end. He was kidnapped and brought to Israel tried and hanged. But he was unrepentant and to the last maintained he did everything as ordered. He hailed Argentina and Germany on his death. As far as pope Pius is concerned I understand he was a supporter of the Nazi philosophy but I have never understood what was his motive for it. theories of race have not died down and now China is practicing similar policies in Tibet and Sinkiang. ˜Imagine 100,000 Uighur Muslims are in camps and their women being married to Han Chinese and Ramadan banned and no Burka. The Arab world so vociferous against France is silent on China, By the way, China has broadcast the photos of the prophet and the Arabs ? sitting on their haunches. I am surprised that Corbyn the labour leader is suspended for his anti-Semitic attitude. I had no love for him for a number of other reasons.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 31, 2020:

Tom, that's the nomenclature given to this Pope.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 30, 2020:

If you want the 'whys' and 'wherefores' behind the Vatican's help for fleeing war criminals look no further than the top man. Pius XII, in Anglican parlance 'the Bishop of Rome', had been Germany's envoy to the Vatican, a legal eagle, before he was elected to his office. He criticised in his later years but never censured by the Church he led for his conduct in not standing up to Hitler over the treatment of Jews in occupied Europe. It was revealed after his death the extent of his collaboration, and that of Vatican officials who'd eased the passage of some fleeing Nazis.

One 'client' Eichmann had been given passage to Argentina and took the alias 'Ricardo Clemens', working in a car factory. He must've been the easiest one for Mossad to track down once Simon Wiesenthal had been given the tip-off.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 30, 2020:

Tom, thank you. Alistair MacLean is one of my favorite writers and I have read his book also. I haven't seen the movie but it is sad that this man escaped with all his experiments in Germany and finally was never brought to justice

tom on October 30, 2020:

movie bear island 1979,alistair macleans novel,richard widmark

tom on October 30, 2020:

movie with richard widmark is bear island 1979 alistair maclean,novel,mengele played by gregory peck in the movie the boys from brazil

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 30, 2020:

Yep, when so many were speculating that Martin escaped finally came out that the man had been gunned down. Hitler is a strange phenomenon and despite all the evil that he spread I think he is the most discussed man of the 20th century. One reason so many nazis escaped is the Catholic church and the Vatican. I wonder how do they pray.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 30, 2020:

Remember the mystery of Martin Bormann, emge? Rumours almost ran dry, of his whereabouts. Was he in Brazil/Argentina/Paraguay or somewhere in the Soviet Union? He'd left the bunker after Hitler's (alleged?) and Eva Braun's suicide with a senior officer. Can't remember now, it's been a while since I saw the programme, but he came a cropper under Soviet gunfire at a small station not far away. His remains - verifiable by dental records - were identified when someone prepared the ground to build a car park.

[Shades of Richard III, found years later in a Leicester car park on the site of a demolished priory where he'd been interred by the Brothers in 1485, although I wouldn't demean Richard by a comparison with Martin Bormann - despite my surname I'm a Yorkist!]

Odd how the weirdest of historical figures end up dying ignominiously, although still 'worshipped'. I'd bet there's been more written about Hitler than Genghis Khan!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 29, 2020:

One thing that clearly stands out is Skornezy was the man who always wanted to be in the limelight. That is the reason he jumped into the plane at the last moment and it almost crashed while taking off from the mountaintop with my MUSSOLINI. He was a big man almost 6'4" and his weight had increased the payload of the plane. There is a chance that he wanted to create a mystery on his deathbed forever and mentioned that Hitler had escaped in a U-boat to South America.

But I wonder what motive Herman Freudenstade who was arrested in 1987 had to say the same thing. He claimed he was in the submarine along with Hitler. There is no doubt that this man escaped in a submarine but one can't be sure that Hitler was with him.

As far as the gold is concerned private investigators and government agents have for the last seven decades been trying to find where the Gold is. It is possible some of it is deposited in the coffers of the Vatican. Some of it could have been stored in a submarine to proceed to South America and it may have sunk on the way. Anyway, it's fascinating to read about it.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 29, 2020:

DreamerMeg, it was very interesting, reading your comment. Sometimes fact can be stranger than fiction.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 29, 2020:

Skorzeny wasn't without his own mental problems. Remember, he was involved with Mussolini's escape from the hotel off the coast of Italy. As the pilot gunned his single-engined Storch monoplane Skorzeni - powerfully built - clambered in beside the former Italian dictator. The plane dropped out of sight of the men on the hilltop and, bearing in mind the shortness of the 'take-off strip' - did a great job in bringing the aircraft up again with more than the prescribed weight of passengers aboard. Skorzeny wanted to escort Mussolini to Berlin without bothering to think of the possible consequences of his actions. Perhaps also he couldn't bear the thought that the man he practically worshipped as 'Fuehrer' would kill himself, so he shielded himself by telling of Hitler's escape by U-Boat to Argentina.

As well as Argentina, Paraguay was ruled by the far right Stroessner, and the 'Angel of Death', Mengele is considered to have left Germany for Argentina before switching to Paraguay when he got wind of Mossad being on his scent (guided by Simon Wiesenthal). He eventually set down roots in Brazil before drowning whilst swimming (so we're told). Mengele had been captured by US forces but because he bore no SS blood group tattoo they released him, aside from which the name Mengele was fairly common in his native Bavaria (more info from watching the 'Yesterday' channel, Freeview 23). He continued to conduct experiments, it emerged after his death, on local tribes folk from near the 'farm' he lived on.

Eichmann's flight from capture was aided by the Roman Catholic church, as opposed to the usual 'Odessa' channel. There are lots of 'fairytale' stories about daring escapes and gold reserves being left in remote hideouts, including on a U-Boat base in Arctic Norway that has been turned into a book and film with Richard Widmark and Vanessa Redgrave.

Then there's the gold dropped into a deep dammed gorge, Toplitz See (Lake Toplitz) in the Austrian Alps by hard-pressed SS personnel and guided by a local schoolgirl who was told to keep quiet.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on October 29, 2020:

That's an interesting story. I knew there were theories that Hitler had escaped and considering the stories in the last couple of years about someone who committed "suicide" in prison and whose body is alleged to have been replaced by someone else, it's not beyond the bounds of possibility. I remember the Neuremberg trials being held, though I was only a child at the time. Those would have been even bigger news (if possible) if Hitler had been captured alive.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 29, 2020:

Thank you Tom for commenting. There is definitely some mystery about Hitler and I wonder if the two people who were close to Hitler say that he escaped in a submarine how far it can be true.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 28, 2020:

Sp Greaney, Thanks for commenting; I agree there is something fishy in all this because there is no reason once the war was over that the U-boats be floating around for months. The fact remains that nearly 50 subs still remain unaccounted for.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 28, 2020:

Tom, Thanks for commenting could you throw some light as to what happened to the nazi gold deposited in the vault is in Switzerland?

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 28, 2020:

Alan, a very interesting comment. Generally, historians do believe that Hitler died in the bunker in Berlin. I am also convinced of this but I wonder how a person on his deathbed which is recognized as sacred in law can make a statement that Hitler escaped in a submarine to South America. I am referring to Skorzeny. There is a possibility that he may have been under some delusion. As far as the gold is concerned much of it was put in the Swiss vaults and large amounts were transported by submarine but I presume they may have been sunk.

Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 28, 2020:

We shall never know the whole truth as to what they were actually up to but it sure would be interesting if a dossier magically showed up from that time.

Maybe they though they could escape and survive without getting captured by the allies.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on October 28, 2020:

What Tom mentions about 'stealth coating' was 'Alberich', rubberised and drilled with various sized holes to avoid sonar detection, attached to hulls by means of adhesive resistant to sea water. In addition to 'Alberich' another feature surfaced later in WWII, 'Schnorkel', also known as 'Snorkel', that enabled U-Boats to stay submerged with the use of electric rather than conventional diesel engines.

Sixty-six days is a long time, even bearing in mind a submarine making its way from almost the Arctic to nearly all the way to the Antarctic underwater is going to have to dodge Royal Navy as well as US Navy warships. The Royal Navy - having suffered higher losses than the US Navy - wasn't going to ease off on U-Boat detection just because the German high command had signed their surrender on Luneburg Heath. The Germans would've suspected their old adversaries were out for revenge, ceasefire or not.

As for Hitler reaching South America, both German and Soviet sources who inspected the part-burnt remains found in the Reichstag 'gardens' tell us it was him from his dental records. He had begun to show the effects of Parkinsons Disease after the time of the July Plot bombing at Rastenburg, (slurred speech, shaking hands etc). He wasn't likely to go anywhere without giving himself away, and in poor health was unlikely to survive an undersea crossing from Europe to South America. The vessel would've had to surface regularly, thus hazarding its mission.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 28, 2020:

Thanks, Pamela, the silence of the intelligence agencies is baffling and definitely, there is more than what meets the eye. Yes, two death bed accounts have sworn that Hitler escaped in a U boat.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 28, 2020:

This is quite a mystery, MG. Maybe Adolph Hitler did escape and what happened to the gold? I imagine many escaped in the submarines as they must havehad an agenda in those three months. I knew some Germans were captured in Argentina and tried for war crimes, but I didn't know about the missing gold.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 28, 2020:

Tom, I wonder where all the gold is now.!!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 27, 2020:

Flourish, another point is Argentina people are devoutly Catholic. The Vatican and the Catholic Church greatly facilitated the 'ratlines' of escape and the junta and people supported it.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 27, 2020:

Flourish you have raised a very interesting question. Why Argentina? The fact is Argentina had a very influential -Italian community. The Army was also greatly Germanized. In addition, Argentina people hated the British as they had taken much of their territory by force, like Falkland islands. There was also the monetary angle as much of the Nazi gold would go into the coffers of the junta. That is why the famous escape route called the "Ratline" allowed Nazis to escape to Argentina for resettlement and rehabilitation. The rumor also is that Adolf Hitler escaped in a U-boat to Argentina.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 27, 2020:

Why was Argentina so willing apparently to give comfort and shelter to these evildoers? What was on it for Argentina?

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 27, 2020:

Klaus Barbie appears to be one of the main persons who helped in the capture of Che Guevera- The revolutionary leader who was a friend of Dr Fidel Castro. He was finally extradited to France and sentenced to prison in life in 83 I think and died after four years of imprisonment.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 27, 2020:

Tom, thanks for commenting. Klaus Barbie was personally responsible for the death of at least 14000 jews. His escape was aided by US intelligence to Bolivia. Martin Bormann is a mystery.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on October 27, 2020:

Liz, thanks to exciting possibilities for imagination and creativeness.

tom on October 27, 2020:

argentina sheltered 150 nazis like eichmann,peron pro nazi,since 19t century latin america had german minority,before ww one there were german military advisers in mexico,roehm was in bolivian army.deisel electro uboats used,one sunk german submarine was stealth coated,martin bormann may have reached argentina by submarine,klaus barbie in brazil

Liz Westwood from UK on October 27, 2020:

This is an interesting post script to World War 2. I see the makings of a mystery film here, based on your findings and some of the theories.