Lost U-boat Fleet Discovered
Three scuttled U-boats with a unique history have been discovered in the Black Sea off the Turkish coast. Tentatively identified as the Type IIB subs U-19, U-20, and U-23, they could prove a treasure trove to historians because they probably sustained only minor damage in their sinking.
The trio was half of the German 30th Flotilla, which was moved 2,000 miles overland—by river when possible and roadway when not—from the Baltic port of Kiel, Germany, to Constanta, Romania. From 1942 to August 1944 the flotilla wreaked havoc on Soviet shipping, losing three subs in the process. When Romania switched allegiance and declared war on Germany, the remaining three were stranded. With no base and no route home (the Bosporus and Dardanelles were closed to them by Turkey's neutrality), they were ordered scuttled out of the sight of the Turks.