Sunken WWII-Era British Submarine Found off Danish Coast

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tags: WWII, British Submarine, British Royal Navy, HMS Tarpon



The wreck of a British Royal Navy submarine from the Second World War, missing since 1940 after being attacked by German forces, has been found submerged in 40 meters of water off the Danish coast.

76 years ago, the HMS Tarpon was attacked and destroyed by an armed Nazi merchant ship, resulting in the deaths of at least 50 British Navy personnel. The site of the wreck, now designated as a war grave, was found 50 miles off the coast of Denmark. Danish divers found the sunken sub reflected the conditions of its violent demise, with shattered periscope glass, several of its hatches opened, and significant damage beneath the conning tower consistent with being hit by a depth charge.

Two of the Tarpon’s torpedo tubes were also found empty, indicating that she had been engaged in a naval battle. Surviving records from the Second World War corroborate this evidence, with German documents stating that the merchant vessel was fired upon twice before retaliating, crippling the sub and sealing its fate. A combination of German and British records tell the story of the Tarpon’s fate: after sailing from Fife under orders to attack German merchant ships providing arms shipments to Nazi forces occupying Norway, the submarine engaged Schiff 40, firing twice at the merchant ship and missing with both of her torpedoes. After sighting the Tarpon on sonar and visually sighting her periscope, Schiff 40 dropped several depth charges, resulting in the sub’s demise.




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