For 73 years, the disappearance of Nazi submarine U-3523 has fed the fantasies of conspiracy theorists. However, it was recently found near the Danish coast, and thus did not bring Adolf Hitler to South America in May 1945!
According to The Independant, who received information from the Jutland Sea War Museum in Denmark, the U-Boat U-3523 looks to have been sunk on the 6th May 1945, two days before the official end of the Second World War in Europe. However, the wreck of the submarine has only just been found around 15 km from Skagen, the most northerly city in Denmark. Thanks to radar images from the oceanography ship Vina, the U-Boat was spotted, embedded in the ocean floor at a depth of 120 meters. The stern was protruding upwards from the sea bed at a 45° angle, only 20 meters of which are visible.
The U-Boat U-3523 is famous for its disappearance, rather than for its importance in the German fleet. In fact, when the Royal Air Force’s B24 announced that they had sunk U-3523, their was a 15 kilometer difference between the stated location and the actual location of the wreck. At the time, this mysterious disappearance lead to great speculation. Certain people believed that the submarine was transporting gold, or that the leading Nazis (and Hitler himself) used it to get to South America.
On the other hand, although we are now certain that U-Boat U-3523 was well and truly sunk by a British plane, the panic during the final week of the Third Reich meant that until today, “nobody knew the destination of the U-Boat, and nobody knew whether it was transporting valuable objects or passengers, as well as its 58 crew members”, according to Jutland Museum staff.
On a side note, although there were certain outlandish conspiracy theories regarding U-3523, the idea that it could have made its way to South America is not as unthinkable as all that. In fact, U-Boats U-977 and U-530 successfully arrived in Argentina a few months after the end of the war.