USA: Mysterious Nazi submarine from WWII discovered in Great Lakes

Niagara Falls | Divers from the U.S coast guard took part this morning, in a delicate wreck recovery operation to bring to the surface a Nazi submarine discovered two weeks ago at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

The U-boat was spotted for the first time by amateur scuba divers in late January and they had contacted the authorities.

Archaeologists associated with Niagara University and master divers from the U.S Coast Guard were mobilized on the site to determine what it was, and they soon realized that they were dealing with a German submarine that sank during World War II.

A wreck recovery vessel of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society was mandated to refloat the ship and bring it back to Niagara Falls, where it must be restored before becoming a museum ship.

The delicate recovery operation took nearly 30 hours to complete, but the submarine was finally brought down on the bank with relative ease.


The divers of the U.S. Coastguard braved the frigid water temperature to go attach cables to the wreck for the recovery operation.

The submarine was identified as the UX-791, a unique experimental German submarine, based on the U-1200 model, and known to have participated in the “Battle of the St. Lawrence”.

It was reported missing in 1943 and was believed to have been sunk near the Canadian coast.

Professor Mark Carpenter, who leads the team of archaeologists, believes that the U-boat could have traveled up the St-Lawrence River, all the way to the Great Lakes, where it intended to disturb the American economy.

A report from the dated from February 1943 suggests, that the ship could have attacked and destroyed three cargo ships and two fishing vessels, even damaging the USS Sable (IX-81), an aircraft carrier of the U.S. Navy that was used for training in the Great Lakes, before finally being sunk by anti-sub grenades launched by a Canadian frigate.

“We have known for a long time that the Nazis had sent some of their U-boats in the St-Lawrence River, but this is the first proof that they actually reached the Great Lakes,” Professor Carpenter told reporters.

“This could explain the mysterious ship disappearances that took place in the region in 1943, and the reported “Battle of Niagara Falls” which had always been dismissed as a collective hallucination caused by fear.”

The restoration of the submarine could take more than two years, but once completed, the museum ship is expected to become one of the major tourist attractions of the region.

63 Comments on "USA: Mysterious Nazi submarine from WWII discovered in Great Lakes"

  1. How did this get past the falls? without being noticed?

    • Robert Irwin | February 19, 2016 at 5:11 pm |

      The falls are above lake Ontario.

    • It sounds like it was found in Lake Ontario. The falls are in between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario

    • Anthony Ferradino | February 19, 2016 at 5:15 pm |

      Niagara Falls is at the WEST end of Lake Ontario, not at he end of the St. Lawrence Seaway. And they say American’s don’t know geography!

    • Michael Kusuplos | February 20, 2016 at 1:45 am |

      only way to do that is via the locks.

    • curious george | February 23, 2016 at 10:54 am |

      How did it get through the lock system on the st Lawrence seaway?

    • Jim Hunter | March 2, 2016 at 1:01 am |

      I’d like to know how it pass the Wellington Canal. And any of you feel sorry for the Nazis on the sunken sub read the book MIRACLES WATER about how the Nazis sunk a British passenger ship fill with children being transported to Canada to escape the bombing of England by the Nazis. The biggest mistake we made in WW2 was not letting the Nazis and Soviets chew each other up.

    • Jim Hunter | March 2, 2016 at 1:04 am |

      It had to go up the Wellington Canal which is in Canada two of three miles north of Niagara Falls.

    • Jim Hunter – Do you mean the Welland Canal near Welland, ON?

  2. Nazi’s? Leave it down there to rot.

    • Kimberly B Stone | February 19, 2016 at 11:22 pm |

      Most rank and file members of the military in WWII Germany were not members of the Nazi party. They were guys drafted and doing a job.

    • Cruel bastards — yes, Nazis — not so much excepting the SS.

    • Germans and the s.s very different. My grandfather was first into italy and spent 10 months in stalag 7a and he never said he hated the German soldiers who he hated more was the Italians for raping a lot of women who he later shot he commented after walking up onto a village and these italians had french women hung and body parts missing. Even one mission the germans went into new york city to find key landmarks of interest. Glade they found this. I still have a medal my grandfather gave me that hitler gave to women who bore first sons he got it in a village that was destroyed along with nazi currency.

    • They where not any different than todays US conservatives… same idiology

    • US Conservatives are most definitely not akin to Nazism. Nazism is a branch on the Marxist tree, it a is perversion of Marxism more closely related with communism.

    • It is understandable that most people still think Germany started the War and it is hard to convince them that the Germans were put on an extermination list in the late 1800s. That was because they were a threat to financial interests.

    • I think the movie is call RED OCTOBER..

    • Dan Andrews | March 19, 2016 at 4:24 pm |

      They may still be alive! Get them out.

  3. There have been stories of Crews that have defected so it may not be a WAR GRAVE. The Crew may have scuttled it and went lived among the populous.

    • Kimberly B Stone | February 19, 2016 at 11:20 pm |

      That’s an intriguing possibility. Would make a good movie.

    • I think I read that NOVEL about the German sub being sunk in Lake Ontario and the surviving crew living in Canada & northern US states.

    • This is exactly what I think. More than likely an escape sub from Germany. Could be that someone in Canada knows all about it, or they made their way down to South America with a few bars of gold.

  4. If it was sunk with crew aboard this is a War Grave and should be left alone!!!!!
    Who authorized its disturbance?
    As a submariner I find this very disturbing.

    • Ric,

      you only made that statement to tell people you are a submariner. You could literally care less. The military decided to pull this vessel and the museum will work towards restoration appropriately and respectfully. Go back in your hole where you pretend to care.

    • that looks more modern. that doesn’t resemble any u boat I’ve seen .salvage a u boat that could potentially contain un exploded torpedoes etc. something isn’t adding up here.

    • j mcdowell, that’s because that’s a November class Soviet sub. Specifically K-159. It’s kind of sad a submariner didn’t recognize it.

    • drib:

      Your comment is uncalled for. Why the personal attack? While your post is silent as to a submarine background, one can easily infer that you do not have one thus you are not qualified (pun not intended) to justify whether of not he cares. If you did, you would know about the tolling of the bells and the respect of submariners for those on eternal patrol.

      Ric’s point is correct. Only under unique circumstances is a warship raised. For example there is a well know submarine wreck off of Newport RI that would be easily raised but it is designated as a war grave. Given the short time between discovery and raising, I doubt that they ascertained whether remains are on board. I also note the the article is silent as to Navy involvement. It appears to be a Coast Guard operation. In that this is not a hazard to navigation it should have been left alone until the Navy cleared it to be raised. As j mcdowell says, there may well be armed torpedoes aboard.

    • If there are Nazis on board dead for all those years retrive there remains to the shore make a pile with them and set them on fire they started a major world war then killed 6 million people

    • It states nowhere that the men of this ship escaped or were captured, this is a war grave albeit the enemy but never-the-less A WAR GRAVE this is desecration we wouldn’t want or allow on a submarine belonging to our people

    • drib…. the name fits…. better if it was dumbassdrip tho.

    • Yeah, those Submariners did walk a little light in the loafers, maybe those guys were doing the big nasty when it hit that depth charge, just saying

    • Like the CSS Hunley, which you submariners were all about raising and “preserving”?

    • Did ANYONE read the article? It has been identified and the type was given. It is NOT a Soviet sub.

    • Michael Kusuplos | February 20, 2016 at 1:42 am |

      Grave Robbers! What about the lost crew of this vessel. It is a graveyard for sailors. Since when is it accept to rob graves?

    • Unless Germany wants their sailors remains back. Germany may want to clear up some MIA files since they literally had thousands of MIA during the war. The ship wasn’t brought down in international waters either.

    • I was wondering that same thing!

    • Vincent DeGennaro | February 21, 2016 at 2:11 am |

      drib, you are a Loser and need to crawl back into your Mothers cunt, pic was right in what he said. You probably never served and you deserved a good fuck in the ass.

    • You heard the man… it’s to be a major tourist attraction for the region… the dead be damned.. I agree with you – make it a dive site, but that’s all ..

    • I’m sure any bodies will be identified, family contacted, and proper reburial seen to.

    • GhostOfJefferson | February 22, 2016 at 1:15 am |

      Its all about the monetarily game, show me the money.

    • The article says how the sub was sunk but does not say anything one way or the other about the fate of the crew.
      Show some respect for those who participated in and authorized the raising of the sub that they know what it and is not a War grave. They are not idiots as you are implying. Very likely they know whether their was any crew remains, something you do not, and if so, obtained the proper permissions beforehand.
      What is disturbing is knee-jerk comments when you don’t know any of the facts.

    • I think this sub should be returned to Germany after America loses WW3.

    • Stan Lupkowski | February 25, 2016 at 5:23 am |

      Waah,waah! Get this guy a box of kleenex already!!!


    • Who knows for sure … maybe they all deserted then sunk it themselves

    • I agree Ric, I am also a submariner and this should have been left as a war grave just as the one off of Block Island, Rhode Island.

    • if its a war grave, they are in hell by now and can’t reincarnate, its not sacred grounds where good people died, its military killers who died, nothing sacred about that.

    • Luke Koppendberg | March 3, 2016 at 12:24 am |

      well they are nazi’s and i think its frickin awesome good job people that found it 🙂 and your in the military cool i salute you

    • Major Lackland | March 6, 2016 at 2:20 am |

      Ric: You sound disturbed.

    • I agree sir. Much as I would love to see more people experience what a German sub looks like, if there are souls aboard her she should remain intact and in place. I’ve dove the U-352 and a few others, but I would never penetrate a sub with known persons aboard, as many others have done. Let the German sailors rest in peace!

    • If I understand what I have read, no sign of bodies were mentioned, and in the cold temperature of the lakes, the preservation of remains would have been very good, and if sunk by the canadian coast, the chance of it making it up the river would have been very slim, if at all.
      But if hit! and obtaining minor damage, it could have made it up river to the great lakes and there be scuddeled? Remember it was an experimental U bout, special parts that may not have been available for repairs, but safe to disembark. Just a theory. Mainly because it looks pretty good for a destroyed U-bout
      I agree with you if it was a floating tumb, however I would wait for more info before being upset over it.

    • Not to be rude, but this is a “grave ship” site of nazis who were only there to destroy us. Why should we worry about disturbing it? I’m sure nazis would have the same respect.

    • I agree. But they will also be remembered by others now and for time to come. It was war, regardless of who side they are or were on they are humans. They will be honored by many..

    • I totally agree. As a retired military veteran, I appreciate your comment!

    • No way. their skeletons will be on display.

    • Ange T Kenos, ex Australian navy | March 12, 2016 at 8:48 pm |

      I agree Ric. And folks, a sub is a boat, NOT a ship

    • Hadrian Sculptor | March 13, 2016 at 8:45 pm |

      fully agree with you, Ric, and besides think, that to preserve this ship as a war memorial serves nobody and nothing

    • The only right grave for a Nazi is the one he finds in HELL.

    • There NAZI’s they don’t deserve to rest in peace. What an ignorant statement.

    • J.C. McClain | April 13, 2017 at 5:38 pm |

      I disagree about “War Grave etc.” As a NamVet, I’d want MY remains sent home to be buried with my Family & NOT “Left Behind!” If a person wants his body left undisturbed, they need to wear that inscribed on a bracelet etc!

  5. 五大湖で発見された第二次世界大戦からの謎のナチス潜水艦

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