A British submarine which vanished during a mission to Greece in 1942 during the Second World War for unknown reasons has been found in the Aegean Sea. The 84-meter-long H.M.S. Triumph was discovered by Greek diver Kostas Thoktaridis and his team after they had been looking for it since 1998 several km from the coast, at a depth of 203 metres.
According to Kostas Thoktaridis, the H.M.S. Triumph is linked to both the British secret services and the resistance against the Nazi occupation of Greece at the time.
He mentioned that the submarine’s 64 crew members were all killed when it sank.
Between 1939 and 1942, the H.M.S. Triumph took part in about twenty military missions.
In March 1941, it began operating in the Aegean Sea close to the Dodecanese Archipelago, which was then occupied by Italy.
According to the Greek news agency Ana, the submarine successfully sunk a number of enemy ships, including the Italian submarine Salpa.
But on January 23, 1942, the British Navy reported the H.M.S. Triumph as “missing” as it was on its 21st deployment in the Aegean Sea.
An Italian pilot reported seeing the submarine for the final time on January 9, 1942, at Cape Sounion in the Saronic Gulf near Athens.
According to Kostas Thoktaridis, a number of theories have been put out as to why the ship sank, including a mine collision close to the Cycladic island of Milos, German soldiers capturing it with the help of Italian spies, or an explosion in the ship’s bow.
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In order to find the wreck, the diver had to thoroughly review archives from several nations, including Britain, Germany, Italy, and Greece.
He told Ana that it was the most difficult and expensive undertaking of his life.
Numerous teams from Malta and Russia had previously travelled to Greece in an effort to locate the wreckage.
The British submarine is several kilometres from the coast, resting on the seafloor in a large body of open water, tilted eight degrees to the starboard side.
The lowered periscopes and hatches provide evidence that the submarine was in a deep dive during its final minutes.
The placement of its directional and depth rudders suggests that it was keeping its depth constant while moving.
The submarine’s sinking appears to be a result of a significant explosion in the front section, although the exact cause of the explosion remains unknown.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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