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Wreck of rare German U-boat found after 73 years

By Ed Adamczyk

April 13 (UPI) -- The remains of a rare World War II-era German submarine have been located at the bottom of the North Sea, Danish Sea War Museum Jutland announced on Friday.

The submarine, identified as U-3523, was sunk by bombs from a British B-24 Liberator bomber on May 6, 1945, the day after Denmark was liberated from Nazi control.

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The vessel was regarded as a major advance in submarine technology, and may have given Germany an advantage had it not entered the war at a late date. It could stay immersed for several days at a time and could recharge its electric batteries underwater, each a unique feature at the time.

Of 118 ordered, only two entered service prior to the end of the war.

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It's believed 58 German sailors died aboard the submarine, which now sits on the seabed at a depth of 403 feet. The sub was found nine nautical miles from where it was believed to have sunk.

The findings are part of a project by the museum to locate and map shipwrecks in the North Sea. Only one other preserved example of the submarine model exists, in the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven.

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"On May 5th, when the war ended, someone decided to flee. Why they were fleeing, and where they were going, no one knows," museum director Gert Andersen said Friday.

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There were rumors after the war that German submarines -- including U-3523 -- carried gold and precious art from Germany to South America.

Andersen said the sub was on a training mission when the bombing occurred, after the war ended for Denmark.

There are no plans to raise the sub to the surface.

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