The only German submarine captured by British bombers
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The only German submarine captured by British bombers

The U-570 after being captured.

During the war in the Atlantic during World War II, the Nazis often used submarines to attack Allied convoys, especially supply vehicles to Britain.

In 1941, the submarine U-570 was assigned to the German navy, stationed in Norway commanded by naval lieutenant colonel Hans-Joachim Rahmlow.

On August 23, the German Naval Intelligence Agency (B-Dienst) eavesdropped on British communications, revealing that a large fleet of Allied cargo ships had left Iceland.

The next morning, submarine U-570 set out on its first combat patrol.

By August 27, the submarine U-570 had been operating in rough seas for several days but the Allied convoy was nowhere to be seen.

At that moment, Sergeant Bathy Mitchel of the Royal Air Force’s 269th Squadron was patrolling on a Lockheed Hudson bomber when he discovered the U-570 submarine floating on the surface.

The only German submarine captured by British bombers

Squadron 269 with Lockheed Hudson aircraft.

Meanwhile, Rahmlow was unaware of the presence of a British bomber right above his head, possibly due to inexperience or not even bothering to observe through the periscope.

Rahmlow heard the sound of the plane’s engine through the submarine’s hull and quickly ordered the ship to dive, but it was too late.

Thompson’s last depth charge exploded about 9 meters from the submarine.

Rahmlow gave the order to surface, then asked the sailors to put on life jackets and go to the conning tower.

On board the U-570, Rahmlow contacted his superiors to request a rescue force, while his subordinates began destroying the Enigma code machine and throwing the book containing the encryption key into the sea.

The German commander ordered U-boats to assist.

Early in the morning of August 28, things got worse, the Germans requested immediate rescue, but the British wanted to protect the submarine first.

The weather is getting worse.

The only German submarine captured by British bombers

The German crew climbed onto the deck to escape.

After the tugboats HMS Kingston Agate and HMCS Niagara arrived, the British were finally able to attach a tow line to the submarine and evacuate the German sailors.

After repair and performance testing, U-570 provided the British and American navies with important information about German submarines.

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