U-Boats Found in the Gulf of Mexico
Dead and Gone
Under the Waters
The Robert E. Lee was torpedoed by the U-166 while ferrying victims of other U-boat attacks from Trinidad to New Orleans. The sub succumbed to depth charges fired from an escort ship. These doomed ships are now separated by only two miles of seabed.
Hitler as Dictator
In the early 1930s, the mood in Germany was grim. The worldwide economic depression had hit the country especially hard, and millions of people were out of work. Germans lacked confidence, and with the though that Adolf Hitler could solve their economic problems they allowed him into office.
Sinking of Ships
The United States provided escorts for many ships traveling throughout the Gulf but it seemed unproductive against advanced German submarines. German submarine U-166 was patrolling the Mississippi River Delta just 25 miles from the Louisiana coastline. When Robert E. Lee approached the proximity, U-166 fired a torpedo into the side of the vessel. The ship took fifteen minutes to sink and killed twenty-five.
U-166 and Robert E. Leewere not discovered until May of 2001 during a pipeline survey. The ships were less than two miles from each other. There are no efforts to restore the German submarine as it was designated a “war grave” because of the 52 crew members entombed inside.