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(KHOU Houston)   It wasn't really all that long ago when you could find Nazis hanging out in a submarine just south of the mouth of the Mississippi River   (khou.com) divider line 71
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7706 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jul 2014 at 3:48 PM (50 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-07-15 07:11:08 PM  

El Dudereno: vudukungfu: Artemus_Hackwell: My great2 uncle volunteered to patrol the coast line (Gulf) on horseback; being too old to actually join up.   The threat did exist.

I know a guy that fired a round at Nazis that were getting off a raft on long island.
They were patrolling the dunes.
He got in trouble for firing his one bullet.
Yes, they did give them each one bullet.
But he did stave off the "invasion" and they went back to their U-Boat before he and his other patrollers could get someone in authority out to see it.

U-boats were how German spies got to the US during the war. There were a couple who actually made it inland before they got caught with their gear.


Two of them, Erich Gimpel and William Colepaugh, were only caught because Colepaugh, a US citizen, had second thoughts and turned himself in to the FBI. The landed on the Maine coast via U-boat and made their way to NYC.

They likely would have been caught fairly quickly once they started transmitting their reports back to Germany, though, had Colepaugh not gotten cold feet. The Radio Intelligence Division of the FCC was pretty efficient at that point.
 
2014-07-15 07:14:08 PM  

kendelrio: You know who ELSE had u-boats.... Oh, wait.

Actually, in South Louisiana around Golden Meadow there is a rumor one of the major supply boat companies whose name rhymes with Edison Chouest got the seed money for their company by selling fuel oil to Nazi U-boats for gold**

**For the Chouest lawyers reading this to make sure it wasn't one of their U-boats: This is only a legend I have heard and in no way do I vouch for the veracity of this story. As a matter of fact I punched the rumor-monger in his lying commie mouth and told him he had better not EVER question the patriotism and contributions of a red white and goddamit blue patriotic family and job creators like the Chouests. I then went to his house and kicked his dog and left a burning bag of poop on his porch!


Yeah, it's only legend. There are legends in most coastal areas about U-boat crews coming ashore to buy bread and the like. It never happened.
 
2014-07-15 07:14:35 PM  

mjbok: I saw a documentary recently that was all about the U-boot attacks just off the east coast of the US.  I had never heard about it before and if you asked many people they would say that the Germans never attacked anything near the US.


'Operation Drumbeat' is an excellent book on the subject
 
2014-07-15 07:15:46 PM  

dittybopper: Magorn: Grandad commanded a Fleet of "sub-hunters " during WWI (basically rich people's pleasure yachts donated to the war effort and fitted with depth charges)  he sank at least one U-boat at the mouth of the Long Island Sound.


I don't think so.

As far as I know, there weren't any U-boat losses in American waters during WWI.  See the page on WWI U-boat losses at uboat.net:

http://uboat.net/wwi/fates/

That's because the overwhelming majority of WWI U-boats didn't have the endurance to make it to the US and back, and the US was a combatant only for a little more than a year.  Very few u-boats made the trip, and I don't think any of them were sunk in US waters (though I could be wrong).

Back in WWI, prior to the advent of effective active sonar, depth charge attacks were mostly ineffectual.

I've no doubt your grandfather attacked a German U-boat, or perhaps what he *THOUGHT* was a German U-boat*, but I don't think any were sunk in US waters.

*That's another problem:  there are known instances of things like schools of fish and innocent whales and other natural phenomena being mistaken for submarines and attacked.


well the navy gave him a citation for it that I've read so I am reasonably certain it happened, but ti was "classified"   ( designation didn't really exist at the time as we know it now) at the time so as not to panic merchant shipping)
 
2014-07-15 07:19:51 PM  

GRCooper: mjbok: I saw a documentary recently that was all about the U-boot attacks just off the east coast of the US.  I had never heard about it before and if you asked many people they would say that the Germans never attacked anything near the US.

'Operation Drumbeat' is an excellent book on the subject


Yes, but Gannon is a bit, erm, emphatic about how the US Navy fell down on the job. It's great because you get the viewpoint of the captain and crew of U-123, though.

A more even-handed and fair treatment of Paukenschlag is in Clay Blair's seminal work "Hitler's U-boat War", either near the end of volume 1 or the beginning of volume 2.
 
2014-07-15 07:31:21 PM  

dittybopper: kendelrio: You know who ELSE had u-boats.... Oh, wait.

Actually, in South Louisiana around Golden Meadow there is a rumor one of the major supply boat companies whose name rhymes with Edison Chouest got the seed money for their company by selling fuel oil to Nazi U-boats for gold**

**For the Chouest lawyers reading this to make sure it wasn't one of their U-boats: This is only a legend I have heard and in no way do I vouch for the veracity of this story. As a matter of fact I punched the rumor-monger in his lying commie mouth and told him he had better not EVER question the patriotism and contributions of a red white and goddamit blue patriotic family and job creators like the Chouests. I then went to his house and kicked his dog and left a burning bag of poop on his porch!

Yeah, it's only legend. There are legends in most coastal areas about U-boat crews coming ashore to buy bread and the like. It never happened.


Lawyer like typing detected.
 
2014-07-15 07:49:07 PM  

dittybopper: GRCooper: mjbok: I saw a documentary recently that was all about the U-boot attacks just off the east coast of the US.  I had never heard about it before and if you asked many people they would say that the Germans never attacked anything near the US.

'Operation Drumbeat' is an excellent book on the subject

Yes, but Gannon is a bit, erm, emphatic about how the US Navy fell down on the job. It's great because you get the viewpoint of the captain and crew of U-123, though.

A more even-handed and fair treatment of Paukenschlag is in Clay Blair's seminal work "Hitler's U-boat War", either near the end of volume 1 or the beginning of volume 2.


Granted. He doesn't get the facts wrong, he just didn't admit, or come to terms with, the fact that protecting the US east coast against U Boats wasn't the top USN priority, even when only considering the Atlantic.

Good writer tho, and a fun read
 
2014-07-15 07:49:53 PM  

Magorn: dittybopper: Magorn: Grandad commanded a Fleet of "sub-hunters " during WWI (basically rich people's pleasure yachts donated to the war effort and fitted with depth charges)  he sank at least one U-boat at the mouth of the Long Island Sound.


I don't think so.

As far as I know, there weren't any U-boat losses in American waters during WWI.  See the page on WWI U-boat losses at uboat.net:

http://uboat.net/wwi/fates/

That's because the overwhelming majority of WWI U-boats didn't have the endurance to make it to the US and back, and the US was a combatant only for a little more than a year.  Very few u-boats made the trip, and I don't think any of them were sunk in US waters (though I could be wrong).

Back in WWI, prior to the advent of effective active sonar, depth charge attacks were mostly ineffectual.

I've no doubt your grandfather attacked a German U-boat, or perhaps what he *THOUGHT* was a German U-boat*, but I don't think any were sunk in US waters.

*That's another problem:  there are known instances of things like schools of fish and innocent whales and other natural phenomena being mistaken for submarines and attacked.

well the navy gave him a citation for it that I've read so I am reasonably certain it happened, but ti was "classified"   ( designation didn't really exist at the time as we know it now) at the time so as not to panic merchant shipping)


Oh, I don't doubt that he got a nice pat on the back for it. Heck, probably a third or more of the awards for sinking U-boats during WWII were for sinkings that didn't happen. Blair's books I mentioned above are full of attacks the Allies thought were successful, but the U-boat managed to escape and limp back to port. It wasn't until after the war when there was a real effort to reconcile Allied and Axis records that we got a semblance of the truth, and as the U-869 story shows, we're still learning. That didn't really happen after WWI because we didn't occupy Germany and so we didn't have access to their records like we did after WWII.
 
2014-07-15 07:52:54 PM  

GRCooper: dittybopper: GRCooper: mjbok: I saw a documentary recently that was all about the U-boot attacks just off the east coast of the US.  I had never heard about it before and if you asked many people they would say that the Germans never attacked anything near the US.

'Operation Drumbeat' is an excellent book on the subject

Yes, but Gannon is a bit, erm, emphatic about how the US Navy fell down on the job. It's great because you get the viewpoint of the captain and crew of U-123, though.

A more even-handed and fair treatment of Paukenschlag is in Clay Blair's seminal work "Hitler's U-boat War", either near the end of volume 1 or the beginning of volume 2.

Granted. He doesn't get the facts wrong, he just didn't admit, or come to terms with, the fact that protecting the US east coast against U Boats wasn't the top USN priority, even when only considering the Atlantic.

Good writer tho, and a fun read


Oh, it's an eminently readable book, all the more so because it isn't a "dry" telling of the facts like Blair's work. It's more engaging because he focuses on the personalities involved.
 
2014-07-15 07:59:10 PM  

dittybopper: *That's another problem:  there are known instances of things like schools of fish and innocent whales and other natural phenomena being mistaken for submarines and attacked.


Which is a shame, because the whales were on our side in WWII.  Originally they were isolationist, but the Japanese whaling fleet kept deliberately attacking them.

"Depth charges dropped by a Coast Guard escort vessel blasted U-166 apart shortly after it had sunk the SS Robert E. Lee, a freighter that was bound for New Orleans when it was struck by a torpedo late one night in July 1942. Among the 25 dead was a passenger who had survived another U-boat attack."

"Watching the video streaming live from the wreck site, Kohler recounted the story of the ship's sinking and the U-boat captain's act of mercy: Firing a torpedo that missed its target, then giving the doomed vessel's crew time to abandon ship."

I guess it wasn't just the Titanic that didn't have enough row boats?  How do you lose 25 people when the enemy gives you time to evacuate?
 
2014-07-15 08:04:31 PM  

HoratioGates: dittybopper: *That's another problem:  there are known instances of things like schools of fish and innocent whales and other natural phenomena being mistaken for submarines and attacked.

Which is a shame, because the whales were on our side in WWII.  Originally they were isolationist, but the Japanese whaling fleet kept deliberately attacking them.

"Depth charges dropped by a Coast Guard escort vessel blasted U-166 apart shortly after it had sunk the SS Robert E. Lee, a freighter that was bound for New Orleans when it was struck by a torpedo late one night in July 1942. Among the 25 dead was a passenger who had survived another U-boat attack."

"Watching the video streaming live from the wreck site, Kohler recounted the story of the ship's sinking and the U-boat captain's act of mercy: Firing a torpedo that missed its target, then giving the doomed vessel's crew time to abandon ship."

I guess it wasn't just the Titanic that didn't have enough row boats?  How do you lose 25 people when the enemy gives you time to evacuate?


Died in the initial explosion of a ton of explosives tearing a massive hole in the side if the ship, maybe trapped below decks, or drowned.

Oh, and you know who was on our side? Das Limpet.
 
2014-07-15 08:07:11 PM  
BTW, we were whaling back then too, as were the Brits, so from the perspective of the whales, there were no good humans.
 
2014-07-15 08:07:44 PM  
I had a great uncle who swam in the Mississippi during WW2 looking for mines. They swept at least as far north as St. Louis as he would visit family there during random evenings.
 
2014-07-15 08:39:14 PM  

Ennuipoet: Now you just have Nazis breathing through their mouths hanging out in Mississippi.


Too bad we don't have a Post Of The Day.
 
2014-07-15 10:08:02 PM  

sporkme: Dr. Robert Ballard is an amazing person. When I was in school, his exploration company set up an incredible multimedia command center in our auditorium, and students could remotely pilot, via groundbreaking satellite link, the Alvin and Jason ROVs at the site of the wreck of the Titanic.


I would love to meet Ballard, but I would respect him a lot more if he admitted that he didn't "find" the Titanic, but rather was given its location as part of the Thresher/Scorpion thing.
 
2014-07-15 10:13:44 PM  
Can't believe I'm the first to      bring this up.


img.fark.net
 
2014-07-15 10:30:26 PM  

mjbok: sporkme: Dr. Robert Ballard is an amazing person. When I was in school, his exploration company set up an incredible multimedia command center in our auditorium, and students could remotely pilot, via groundbreaking satellite link, the Alvin and Jason ROVs at the site of the wreck of the Titanic.

I would love to meet Ballard, but I would respect him a lot more if he admitted that he didn't "find" the Titanic, but rather was given its location as part of the Thresher/Scorpion thing.


I haven't heard this criticism. Isn't his method of finding a debris field then chasing it to the wreck what found the site? Nobody told him where to find those Black Sea ships, that's for sure. I genuinely have never heard of such a controversy.

All in all, the guy's Wikipedia reads like a Clive Cussler character bio. Yorktown, PT109, the Rift, all the tech, over 120 scientific and archaeological expeditions, and still producing results at over 70 years old.

The program that brought his operation to my high school in 1996 continues today, the Jason Project, for any interested educators out there. It is aimed at middle schools. They still do the remote piloting.

Jason.org

He says adults are not allowed to pilot his robots, because they lack gaming experience.
 
2014-07-15 11:30:46 PM  
2.bp.blogspot.com

I knew one of the Royal Canadian Navy sailors that this wartime poster depicts;  what the poster doesn't show is that when he jumped from the Oakville onto the sub casing, his shorts (the only thing he was wearing in the sultry heat) caught a stanchion and tore off--the second sailor didn't get down to the deck of the sub for a couple more minutes.  So Sub-Lt. Hal Lawrence was left staring down U-boat crew members stark naked, save for his revolver.

Hal was a character.  Brave man, too.
 
2014-07-15 11:41:05 PM  

sporkme: I haven't heard this criticism. Isn't his method of finding a debris field then chasing it to the wreck what found the site? Nobody told him where to find those Black Sea ships, that's for sure. I genuinely have never heard of such a controversy.


Ballard's resume speaks for itself, but re:  Titanic there are two things.  One is def. true, but not necessarily his fault, and the other will not be known for sure until the end of the next decade.

1.  Ballard gets sole credit for finding the Titanic.  If you believe the official narrative (which has already been altered significantly) he was co-expedition leader of a joint French/American expedition, but the other co-leader gets no credit for the most part.

2.  The second part is murky and parts of it are still classified.  If you're a Titanic geek like myself it is interesting reading:  http://www.paullee.com/titanic/titanicfound.html

//It was a big thrill for me that I got to touch part of the Titanic hull at one of the traveling expeditions.
 
2014-07-16 03:42:36 AM  
If you pay attention to such things the Scorpion wreck (the first one on the list) and the Thresher wreck (the second one on the list) were reportedly visited first, mostly for better pictures because they already knew where they were so search techniques were pointless (that hard part was finding them the first time back in the 60's), the locations are what is still classified and I doubt that they ever will be declassified. They also probably did sampling to make sure that the reactors were still not a problem (and to be quite honest they never will be simply because of how they are designed but better safe than sorry).

It's possible that the navy had some suspicions about where the Titanic wreck was if only because the place where it landed was a flat underwater plain and someone might have picked up on the anomaly for any one of a few reasons, mainly because they are a bit more aware of the bottom even in deep water while commercial ships don't give a damn out in the middle of nowhere. So the navy might have pointed out a few spots where those anomalies were that were close to the last reported position was.
 
2014-07-16 12:41:55 PM  

Rusty Shackleford: So Sub-Lt. Hal Lawrence was left staring down U-boat crew members stark naked, save for his revolver.

Hal was a character.  Brave man, too.


But he did have a gun.

assets.amuniversal.com
 
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