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Off The Coast, Near Kristiansand…

The year was 1940… the Nazi Imperialism had devastated Europe! Karlsruhe, a German warship, was near the coast of Norway. The 174mt light armoured cruiser was attacked by the British Forces, and sunk. However, its wreckage has not been found for the last 80 years. So, it was touted as the last of the big German WWII-era Battleships to remain missing… On June 30, 2020, the wreckage of the German ship, which was torpedoed and sunk by a British submarine, was discovered around 13 nautical miles (or 24km) off Kristiansand, Norway!

The Norwegian Power Grid operator, Statnett, and Marine Archaeologists have identified the shipwreck through sonar scanning. The German vessel was first found in 2017, near undersea electricity cables during an inspection. The wreckage was found 15mt away from the cables, which have been in operation between Denmark and Norway since 1977.

The Wreckage

The ship, built in 1920 and commissioned into the Nazi German Navy in 1929, later took part in the WWII. In April 1940, Germany deployed the ship to invade Norway. In fact, the Karlsruhe led a fleet of German warships to attack the city of Kristiansand. The advanced guns and cannons onboard the vessel, supported by other smaller ships in the fleet, destroyed the Norwegian maritime defences in just a few hours. Then, the fleet dropped off German soldiers in Kristiansand. The German soldiers, with the help of German fighter jets, went on to take over the city and eventually occupy the entire Scandinavian Country…

The British submarine, HMS Truant, had targeted the Karlsruhe when it was returning from Kristiansand in southern Norway. The ship started sinking shortly after its departure from Kristiansand Harbour as it was hit by a torpedo fired from the British submarine. The ship was then quickly evacuated. The shipwreck has recently been found 490mt under the sea.

HMS Truant

The Statnett officials clicked photographs of various parts of the sunken ship. The sonar scan of the wreckage has made it easier to identify the vessel. Then, the images were aired by the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK. The discovery of the wreckage of Karlsruhe is significant, as experts believe that thousands of litres of oil and other substances could still be inside the shipwreck. Hence, an attempt to salvage the wreck could trigger an ecological disaster in case of a leak. So, salvaging the wreck would not only be dangerous, but also be a very expensive process…

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