Deep Sea Detectives: The Mystery of U-166
Given recent news items about the exploration of U-166 and her last victim, the passenger liner Robert E. Lee, folks might be interested in this old Deep Sea Detectives episode about the discovery and original study of those vessels:
U-166 was discovered in 2001 by two archaeologists from C&C Technologies, Rob Church and Dan Warren, going over data collected for a pipeline survey. I think it was Dan who first suggested the blurry shape might be U-166, which had never been found but was supposedly sunk many miles away. The boat’s hull is broken forward of the deck gun, and the two sections are some distance apart on the sea floor.
Once it had been determined that the wreck was indeed U-166, there was a lot of additional research done both in the U.S. and in Germany. Captain Kuhlmann’s widow was still living, and she had a trunk of his that had been sent to her after his loss that she had left intact. In it were photographs and film footage (below) of the boat during its working-up trials in the Baltic and passage to its forward operating base at L’Orient.
Digital reconstruction of U-171, another Type IXC U-boat that figures in this story, on Flickr here.