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By now, most of us have heard of that American, Roger Miklos, who claims to have located a ‘secret’ German U-boat sunk somewhere in the Caribbean.  He claims that his boat is in 80 feet of water on a hidden ledge….and that scares me, as the one I have located is in 80 feet of water and on a hidden ledge.  However, I am wondering if Mr. Miklos has found a U-boat, or an easy scheme to make some quick change.  Too many of his claims just don’t ring true.

In the first place, he claims that he is primarily interested in salvaging the mercury used for blast – and we know that just can’t be.  None of the World War II U-boats used mercury blast.  Perhaps Miklos is merely a bad researcher.

He claims that the boat has a brass plaque on the outside, saying (in German) “Hamburg, Germany.  Commissioned 1944.”  He also claims that this is one of nine specially modified U-boats, built in secret near the end of the War, for the escape of high ranking officers of the Third Reich.  If anyone has knowledge of any such U-boats being built, please let me know and we’ll being researching them.

It is easy to find fault with the description of his supposed boat, as he claims that it is a specially modified Type VII-C with extremely large tail fins, and with the conning tower positioned well forward of the midships and linked to the bow with a large, reinforced jagged ripping bar.  I’m not sure, but I think the ripping bar (used for net cutting) was discontinued around the middle of the war, so why would a special U-boat, built only for escape, be so equipped?

We run into some real problems with the rest of the description.  Miklos claims that his Type VII-C U-boat is 250 feet long and weighs 200 tons.  We’ll pay no attention to the weight (even though it is nowhere near correct) as there really isn’t any way to guess weights underwater.  But the length of 250 feet causes a whole lot of problems.  Type VII-C boats were all 218 ¼ feet long, but only six were mad and we know where each of them went down.  Type VII-F boats were 257 feet long, but only four were built, and we know where they went down.  So what does this diver have?  If anything!

He further claims that there is still air in the boat, and that the remains of the crew and 18 passengers (with their gold bullion) are still inside.

I wonder how any German U-boat ever sank a ship, as they all carried gold, diamonds, or art treasures….no torpedoes!

What is even more interesting is his claim that the boat is still sealed, that he has not entered it, that he has found no documentation on this U-boat anywhere……yet he knows that there are 18 passengers inside with gold.  How?

He claims that this was a special boat, one of nine that were taking these high ranking Nazi officials to South America.  He also claims that he has confirmed the existence of these special U-boats through former U-boat Captains who had seen them being built.

If anyone has knowledge of any kind relating to these ‘special’ U-boats, please let me know immediately with whatever details you know.

There are two other stories we are attempting to track currently, and if you have any knowledge at all of these, please let me know.

One story is that a U-boat brought quite a lot of stolen art treasures to the South American country of Ecuador, on the Pacific Coast.  These art treasures were first placed in a monastery, then taken by the Ecuadorian Government, and recently restored to the Louvre.  The U-boat is allegedly sunk off the Pacific Coast of Ecuador.  I can find no records of any U-boat down in that area, and as of yet, have not been able to confirm these treasures.  Do you know anything about this?

The other story was broken in the Chicago Tribune September 21, 1982.  It tells of a U-boat that travelled to Japan with two tons of Uranium for the Japanese to use in production of their own atomic bomb.  The story goes that this voyage took place in 1942, no month was given.  The U-boat carrying the Uranium was sunk by the Allies en route to Japan, but the article gives no U-boat number, no date of sinking, who sunk the boat, where….nothing!  Know anything about this?

Should you run across a guy who claims to be a former U-boat Captain by the name of Houben, don’t believe what he tells you.  He claimed to be on U-134 when she went into New York Harbor and partway up the Hudson River….only U-134 was never patrolling off New York.  Further, U-134 was sunk with all hands.  How did Houben survive?  He also claimed to be First Watchkeeping Officer on U-181 when she went to Penang and returned….only U-181 did not return.  She was turned over to the Japanese there and renumbered I-501, yet he claims to have returned to Bordeaux on U-181.  Yet another of the boats he ‘served on’ was sunk with all hands, yet he keeps on living.  The final straw came with the boat he commanded when the war ended, U-2456.  The boat he describes being so far from home on is described as a Type XXI, but U-2456 was ordered as a Type XXIII.  And U-2456 was never built.  The war ended before she was built, yet he was on board in the South Atlantic.  Kriegsmarine records have no mention of him on any boat; they do not even show him serving in the Kriegsmarine at all.  Steer clear….

Now, as the old joke goes, we have some good news….and we have some bad.  The good news is that in each of the following KTB newsletters, I’ll profile various U-boats, describe the types, and give details pertaining to each.  We’ll naturally begin with U-1 and work up to U-whatever.  Should be a gold mine of information for the researcher, and I’d like to see some information coming in to this central file area as well, to keep the files full.

Now for the bad news….money.  Pure and simple, money.  I’ve been putting out all the costs of mailing this to interested parties and so far, I’m approximately out $5.50 per man (photocopies, letterhead, postage, envelopes, etc.) which doesn’t seem like much to mail four newsletters and copies of two major articles.  But when this is multiplied by the number of people who receive this newsletter, we see the numbers closing in on $200 out of my pocket so far.  Between now and the next newsletter, please decide whether you really want to receive this monthly information or not, as I’m going to have to ask you to reach into your pocket to help defray cost.  Kriegsmarine veterans of course, will not be asked for this cost sharing; their information and advice more than offsets the cost.

As U-1 is a Type II-A boat, we’ll begin with those descriptives.  The Type II-A boats were coastal boats, based on the UB-II series of World War I and Finnish “VESIKKO” submarines.  Due to limited range, they were used as training boats.  Only 6 Type II-A boats were built.

Displacement:      254/303 tons
Dimensions:          134 ¼ x 13 ½ x 12 ½ feet
Power:                    Twin shaft diesel/electric motors                      700/300                 BHP/SHP
Speed:                    13/7 knots
Fuel capacity:      12 tons
Range:                   1,050/35 miles @ 12/4 knots
Torpedoes:            Three tubes fwd. only (21 inch)
Guns:                     Single 20mm. A.A. gun.  (later increased to four)
Crew:                     25

U-1         Type II-A                              Built by Deutsche Werke (Kiel), launched June 5, 1935.  Sunk with all hands April 16, 1940 SW of Stravanger (lat/long position on file) by HMS PORPOSIE (submarine).  Commander of U-1 was Deeke.

U-2         Type II-A                              Built by Deutsche Werke (Kiel), launched July 1, 1935.  Sunk April 8, 1944 W of Pillau.  We do not have lat/long position, still researching.  Can you help?  Sunk by collision.  Commander of U-2 was Schwartzkopf.

U-3         Type II-A                              Built by Deutsche Werke (Kiel), launched July 19, 1935.  She was not sunk, but was de-commissioned, and then surrendered May 1945 then scrapped.  (Paid off at Neustadt)

U-4         Type II-A                              Built by Deutsche Werke (Kiel) launched July 31, 1935.  She was paid off (decommissioned) July or August of 1944, surrendered May 1945 and scrapped.

I hope this is the kind of information you want to see in this newsletter.  If so, it will continue.  I’m open for comments, questions, suggestions, whatever.

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