The Sea War Museum Jutland has announced yesterday that they have found the wreckage of German submarine, U-3523, which was sunk by a British B-24 Liberator on May 6, 1945, one day after the German forces surrendered in Denmark, Netherlands and North Germany.
U-3523 was found in the Skagerrak sea and was discovered 9 nautical miles (ca. 17 km; 10 mi) further away than previously believed it was sunk. The discovery was part of the Sea War Museum Jutland’s work to find and map shipwrecks in the North Sea.
“This was a very special U-boat. It was the most modern submarine the Germans built during the war. It was highly modern and well ahead of its time,” said Sea War Museum Jutland director Gert Normann Andersen, adding “Only two of the 118 that were ordered actually entered service.”
The only preserved example of this U-Boat type, Type XXI (one of “Elektroboote” types), is currently displayed at the German Maritime Museum at Bremerhaven.
It is unknown what exactly the intentions were of U-3523, rumors were spread that they were heading off to South America and may have treasures on board. However, a British B-24 Liberator of RAF 86 Squadron/G, spotted the U-3523 and attacked it by dropping depth charges, northeast of Skagen Horn, in the Skagerrak at 1839 hours. All 58 hands were lost including its Commander Oberleutnant Willi Müller.
The Sea War Museum Jutland says it has no plans to raise the sunken U-boat, which is sitting at a depth of 123 metres.
Franklin Medhurst, a sonar operator back then in RAF 86 Squadron added: “In 86 Squadron the crew that sank U3523 also destroyed two other U-Boats in the preceding month, using sonar buoys. Following the attack on U3523 three of the crew, pilot, navigator and radar operator were awarded DFC’s.”