Sunk 80 Years Ago, German Warship Discovered Off the Coast of Norway
Out of millions of shipwrecks, we rarely hear about their nostalgic stories pictured in movies, well, if they are not Titanic. That is why a recent discovery of a WWII warship resounded. It sank 1,607 feet (490 meters) below sea level, 78,989 feet (13 nautical miles) away from Kristiansand in Southern Norway,
The German cruiser was 571 feet (174 meters) long and apparently, it sank in its above-water position and did not capsize due to its high center of gravity.
Reportedly, it was the biggest and most frightening ship attacking the country back in the day.
Refusing to sink
The legendary long-gone German cruiser's initial purpose was to attack Kristiansand with an intention of supporting Norway's invasion on April 9, 1940. Although Kristiansand was taken somehow, "Karlsruhe" couldn't really have its finger in the pie and was eventually sunk by the order of its own German captain. Here comes the giant cruiser's ambitious story.
80 years ago, it was one of those densely foggy days, as the German Rear Admiral (konteradmiral) Otto Schenk wrote about it in his book. Karlsruhe was making its move onto the fjord outside Odderøya with a little trouble.
Supporting forces were behind schedule but that was not holding the cruiser back from its duty. Afterwards, Norway's forces opened fire from Odderøya Fortress which didn't really hit it hard enough to sink it down to dark waters.
That same afternoon, the cruiser was hit by another blow by the British submarine Truant. As a result of the torpedo attack, the German giant lost its ability to function through waters and that was when its captain decided to let it sink.
80 years of sleeping underwater
Surprisingly, three years ago Statnett detected a shipwreck in those waters. And this summer, the old wreck was investigated by a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
"When the ROV results showed us a ship that was torpedoed, we realized it was from the war. As the cannons became visible on the screen, we understood it was a huge warship," Ole Petter Hobberstad, Statnett's Senior Project Engineer, said. "We were very excited and surprised that the wreck was so big," he continued.
Up until now, Karlsruhe was the only German warship that had disappeared during the Norway attack. It seems like the mystery is solved now, with a damaged treasure.