Nazi mystery | 

Sunken wreck found off Argentina coast could be Hitler’s secret German U-boat

‘This could be the submarine that evacuated Hitler at the end of the war’

A similar U-boat pictured in Argentina at the end of the war

Part of the sunken wreck pictured by divers

Did Hitler escape at the end of the Second World War?

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

The discovery of a sunken German U-boat off the coast of Argentina has raised speculation that it may have been the Nazi submarine that Hitler used to escape in at the end of the Second World War.

The 262ft-long wreck of the submarine lies on the seabed near Quequén, a port in central Argentina, by the Eslabón Perdido (Missing Link) research group.

The leader of the group, Abel Basti, believes that Hitler fled to Argentina in May 1945 as the Nazi third Reich collapsed, an opinion that remains highly controversial to this day.

“My main hypothesis – which I have detailed in my books – is that Hitler fled to Argentina,” he said. “This could be the submarine that evacuated Hitler at the end of the war.”

Mr Basti believes that the submarine was blown up to cover Hitler's tracks, before the fallen dictator was taken to a Nazi-owned ranch at Moromar, 24 miles north of Quequén.

According to ArgenPorts, an industry publication covering Argentina's ports, the cliffs in this particular area are ideal for signalling small boats of the sort that might have brought people ashore.

The website further asserts that the ranch was built by Ludwig Freude and Thilo Martens – both of whom are named in US government files as German agents.

Then Argentine newspaper La Arena, highlighted one local legend that a policeman named Luis Mariotti even went to investigate reports of submarines landing in 1945.

Part of the sunken wreck pictured by divers

He reportedly followed truck tracks from the beach to Moromar, where men with machine guns prevented him from entering.

The story goes that when he asked for further instructions from his superiors, Mariotti was told to forget the whole matter.

Declassified FBI documents also include one 1945 account of Hitler reaching the Valdes Peninsula by U-boat, but that is located 400 miles south of the newly-found wreckage.

Steven Woodbridge, a senior history lecturer at London's Kingston University, urged scepticism when the wreck was found earlier this year.

“Until it can be fully verified by the Argentinian authorities one has to tread very carefully,” he said.

And there has been no official comment from the Argentine Naval Prefecture (PNA), which has dived the wreck.

However, Fabio Bisciotti, who heads the Italian Naval League, which operates under the supervision of Italy's ministries of defence and navigation, analysed photos of the wreck and found several potential clues.

One such clue was a yellow plate, marked with two S-like characters in a familiar font.

Mr Bisciotti, said: “Talking to other historians, we have discovered that this type of character is very similar to the German alphabet used during the war.”

The colour might indicate a U-boat too – under the red lights of a submarine, yellow is easier to distinguish than other hues.

“The plate itself is yellow-golden,” said Mr Bisciotti. “In every submarine it's like this, every plate or important item in a submarine is golden.

“Because the gold is the first and last natural colour able to be seen in the darkness with red light.”

The diver also highlighted the interesting whereabouts of the wreck.

He continued: “If we are talking about a submarine, yes, it could be German.

“Because this area was avoided by American or British warships, including submarines.

Did Hitler escape at the end of the Second World War?

“So at the end of the war, May '45, if we are talking about submarines, it's German.”

Other photos revealed a potential periscope, as well as what could be hatches.

There's also an image showing the possible remains of a conning tower.

Mr Bisciotti said: “It's quite destroyed and very, very ruined. But by the images I can see something very, very interesting such as the deflector of the conning tower for the waves.

“The U-boat has got a particular design, very similar to the SS uniform – it's unique.

“We can't confuse it with a British submarine – British submarines are totally different.

“The design is quite similar to a German conning tower; so this is one of the proofs that maybe can bring us to the truth.”

Mr Bisciotti stressed that he would have to dive the wreck personally in order to identify it with confidence.

"Only if I go on the shipwreck can I be 100% sure,” he added.

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