Image: geschichtsspuren.de

As the dust settles on a defeated Germany after World War II, the weapons of war grind to a halt. And near Hamburg, three great U-boats are abandoned to their fate. For the next 40 years, their location remains a mystery to most – until three men make their way into a demolished, ruined bunker in the Elbe river.

Image: Imperial War Museum/William Lionel Wyllie

On September 5, 1914, the British scout cruiser HMS Pathfinder was sunk off the coast of Scotland by a torpedo fired from a German submarine. It was the first time that a U-boat had successfully sunk an enemy vessel – but it would not be the last.

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Image: Paul adams

During WWI and WWII, Germany’s stealthy military submarines would terrorize the seas around Europe. Their most powerful use was to wage economic war by cutting off commerce and vital supplies. As ships attempted to reach enemy shores, the German U-boats would lie in wait.

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