Other Recoveries

sbt
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Other Recoveries

Post by sbt »

Some YouTube (UTube? :) ) stuff that I think the team might be interested in...

VERY 1970's recovery - of HMSm XE8 Expunger from the Race off Portland Bill

Part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wkZicsnlE8

Part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dbb2lweBYw

The XE's were built in 1944 and were adapted to conditions in the Far East.

More details of the recovery:

http://www.submerged.co.uk/xe8submarine.php

HMSm Expunger is now at Chatham Dockyard

Operation STRUGGLE, Singapore, August 1945 resulted in 2xVC, 2xDSO, 1xCGM, 1xDSC, 1xDSM and 3xMID for the crews of XE1 and XE3.


The tale of Operation SOURCE, including a little bit on the finding of what may be part of HMSm X5 in 2004

1/4 -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW5B7u1HAvs
2/4 -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oriDsJUiq-Q
3/4 -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cs0Qi9WBr_A
4/4 -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6P9sJQ2ZDjI

I know that over the years, there have been many major expeditions to try and find X5. Unfortunately there may not be anything to find, if she was near the Tirpitz when the other charges went up or was indeed hit by a 4 inch shell.

... I do love the typically 1950's idea of taking the later development of the X Craft, the Stickleback Class, and replacing the side charges with an 15KT Atomic charge.

PS: Half of X7 (what remained after the Germans had recovered the Stern) was recovered in 1976 and is at Duxford in an 'It'll Fix' state.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/42117802@N06/5033751071/

(Edited to show videos inline - Al)
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Renegadenemo
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by Renegadenemo »

The X-5 mystery is a fascinating one. The items found in 2004 are definitely not anything to do with X-5. The hull-like object, we think, is part of the sliding entrance to the net booms but it most definitely isn't X-craft. The other tantalising possibility was an unexploded saddle charge that the BBC tried to con the world into thinking may have come from X-5 and they tried to say it was outside the southern perimeter of the net defences when, in actual fact, it was very much inside and lying at the stern of where Tirpitz lay when she was in the north anchorage. (She was later moved to the south side of the fjord after Source). The spare charge - now moved and detonated by the Norwegian navy - most probably came from X-7.
Had X-5 been shelled and sunk her charges would be with her and we'd never have missed those. They aren't there. Nor is there any hint of her anywhere else in Kaafjord because we've been through it with a fine-tooth comb. We have a couple of other ideas as to where she might have gone but there's another exped to Norway needed to prove or disprove those. One day...
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sbt
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by sbt »

Thanks for the info - I should have known you would have been involved.

I can't help thinking the fuss about a VC is a bit of a distraction. It seems to me more important to find out what happened and where those four men are. It also distracts from the fact that there were four men aboard, not one.

I also get a little annoyed that some reports regarding SOURCE omit that Lt Smart, passage crew commander of X8 (scuttled en-route), was made an MBE for Gallantry. These days that would be a Queens Gallantry Medal, a Level 3 award, one step below a George Medal.
Terminator
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by Terminator »

Hi Mike or Alain when clicking on the above links they don't seem to go anywhere just a blank screen! No searching going on in bottom left corner for site which has happened with other links in the past. Any idea's as to why this should be? Apart from copying and pasting each separate link into the search box it becomes annoying especially with so many links. The X5 mystery is certainly of interest which Bill has obviously done his homework on in the past unlike the buried spitfire lot.
Cheers
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Renegadenemo
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by Renegadenemo »

Thanks for the info - I should have known you would have been involved.
We've done lots of exploring up there, not just in Kaafjord but on the Tirpitz wreck too. Go to Google satellite view to the south side of Haakoy Island and you can still see the staging erected to scrap the battleship as well as the craters from the Tallboy near misses.
We went through Kaafjord with our own hi-res sidescan as well as joining the Royal Navy up there for a week with a pair of minehunters, HMS Quorn and HMS Blyth. I reckon I know the bottom of that fjord about as well as I know my own front garden and X-5 remains a mystery.
Tug & Saddle Charge (Small).jpg
Above is one of our shots from the north anchorage. You can clearly see the sunken tug on the left. Lots of small vessels were sunk in the various attacks and they litter the seabed. Now look directly off the bow of the tug to the right of the image and you can see a long thin target looking somewhat like a pair of lips. That's an unexploded saddle charge. If you also look at the upper, left corner of the image you can see that the seabed has been heaved into mounds. That's where another charge detonated and under that lot is the wreck of X-6, visible to sonar through the thin mud but invisible to the divers who went for a look. We scoured that fjord end to end but such is exploration - X-5 may still be in there... somewhere.
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Andrew453
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by Andrew453 »

Still on submarines, I'm currently working with the Dutch Navy on the search for the O13 (Onderzeeboot 13), the last Dutch submarine lost during the Second World War that has still to be found and protected as a war grave.
Briefly, O13 escaped from Holland when the Germans invaded in May 1940 and volunteered for service with the Royal Navy. She patrolled the English Channel to cover the Dunkirk evacuation at the beginning of June, joined the 9th Submarine Flotilla based at HMS Ambrose in Dundee on 6 June, sailed to patrol the entrance to the Skagerrak on 12 June and disappeared.
One theory put forward to explain the loss of the submarine and her 31 Dutch and three British crew was that she collided with the Polish submarine Wilk. This now seems highly unlikely and our research in Dutch, British, German and Polish archives points more towards the submarine having been unwittingly routed through a newly laid enemy minefield 110 miles south-west of Norway. That certainly was the conclusion of the Royal Navy's postwar investigation, though we will only know what really happened if and when the wreck is found. A small section of the search area was surveyed before the weather closed in at the end of last year. The sea search will resume later this year.
A trailer (in Dutch and English) for a forthcoming Dutch TV documentary on the search is at http://vimeo.com/57303195 and there is more on the Dundee International Submarine Memorial Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dundee-In ... 2908906382
A fascinating project that clearly means so much to the Dutch and British relatives of the lost crew.
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Richie
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by Richie »

you might want to contact Axel Niestle he is the authority on WW2 sub's both lost and found.
http://www.uboat.net/fates/revised.html :D he specialises on U-Boats but is a dab hand at other countries subs too.


hope that helps....
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Andrew453
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by Andrew453 »

Hi Richie,
Thanks for that, but Axel is already involved in the project and has turned up much useful information on U boat activity in the North Sea at the time of O13's disappearance. This, along with other German records, suggests we can exclude enemy action as a cause. Nor, despite an extensive search at Kew, have we been able to link any RAF Coastal Command sightings (or mistaken attacks on Allied submarines) with O13. And nor have we been able to turn up many surviving RN documents covering O13's last patrol.
Basically, we have no confirmed sightings of, or communications with, the submarine after she sailed on the evening of 12 June 1940. But we do have the projected track which took her (and the Polish Orzel which had also disappeared by then) through the newly laid German minefield 16B. The chart attached was generated by the RN, but was missing from the relevant file in the UK archives. Luckily a copy turned up in Dutch archives, particularly as it also shows the tracks of HMS Thames and HMS Salmon, two missing British boats.
Who knows what the search will turn up!
Andrew
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Renegadenemo
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by Renegadenemo »

I assume you've had a natter with Innes McCartney too then? He's the best authority on those funny, sausage-shaped boats that I know of. Got some good sidescan shots of subs somewhere. We shot one for Deep Wreck Mysteries.
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'Sometimes you gotta be an S.O.B if you wanna make a dream reality' Mark Knopfler
sbt
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Re: Other Recoveries

Post by sbt »

Renegadenemo wrote:X-5 may still be in there... somewhere.
I can't help thinking that if it were there to find, in that area, you would have found it. With that standard of picture it would have been seen.

There may, of course, be many ways it which it would not be there to find, quite apart from the idea that they got clear of the area.

It may have gone ashore and been broken up by the sea - but I would expect that it would have been found at the time if so. It may be beneath one of the other targets, or be deep in the mud (in which case, how?). Or it may have been blown up, for example if one of the Tallboys hit the location where the crew had finally lost their struggle. All of these low probability, at least without leaving anything to see, but possible.

Nothing for it then. Drain the Arctic Sea and excavate the lot to bedrock, removing and restoring each wreck as you go.
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