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.

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


  2. Lake Erie drains into lake Ontario. Seriously? How did this get past the falls?

    • Yes but if u come in on st Lawrence that’s to my east. Erie and the falls have nothing to do with this. It easily could have come up the river into Ontario. And drifted to the west side of Ontario. Aka the falls.

    • The St Lawrence is the entrance from the Atlantic into the Great Lakes with Lake Ontario being the first Great Lake it would have come into. It’s a east to west track. The falls have nothing to do with it because how could it of come west to east unless there is some secret water system from the west that no one knew about but the Germans. lol. I think this is historically pretty cool. Answers a lot of questions from that time period. The U.S. and Canada will do what’s right when it comes to military honors.

  3. Well, im sure it was cleared of any deceased or ordanance. But, this class sub used 533 TT topedoes….thats Britsh made. Hhhmmmm, on being THAT close to Canada. Loaded in tubes redy with normal storage docks, this sub culd only carry 8 torpedoes at a time….so, if they ran out, being british made, where do u think it docked to re-arm? Hhhhmmmmmmm…..

  4. This is a russian November class sub

  5. It appears to be a precursor of the Type XXI U-Boat developed near the end of the war.

    • Bryn Watkins | February 20, 2016 at 3:20 am |

      Actually, it’s a Russian ‘November’ class nuclear submarine from the 1960s. UX-791 never existed.

    • I tend to agree with William, to me based on the way the boat looks this could be one of the experimental Wilhelm based models that they were building mid-end of WWII, if you factor in the point that the “X” in UX-791 might just stand for experimental(just a possibility) then its plausable this boat under that number actually exhisted in secret, we know that U-792 to U-795 from that series were all used in trials at that time, whats to say this boat wasn’t secretly built and used to infiltrate our North American waters ways right up to the great lakes, the only evidence we have is that its here, even though it doesn’t officially exhist in the U-boat production records.

    • Royal Canadian Navy archive 1943 describe the encounter as ” anti submarine action forced the u boat to surface where the crew scuttled the boat.” No crew were lost or killed. Due to war time secrecy and the possibility of civilian panic a news black out was imposed. the crew were sent to POW camps in Canada and the USA where they did work on farms of Amish Germans. Most elected to stay after the war. The Capetian died in Toronto Canada in the 1960s or70s.

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