Wreck of the first ship to be sunk in WW2 found

Wreck of the first ship to be sunk in WW2 found

Wreck of the first ship to be sunk in WW2 found

Written by Keshala Dias

05 Oct, 2017 | 11:17 am

The remains of the first ship to be sunk in WW2 appear to have been identified on the Atlantic seabed.

David Mearns, a ship wreck hunter says sonar data shows the Athenia to be lying 200m down on Rockall Bank, off the coast off Ireland.

The SS Athenia was a steam turbine transatlantic passenger liner built in Glasgow in 1923 for the Anchor-Donaldson Line, which later became the Donaldson Atlantic Line.

The vessel was struck by a German submarine literally hours after Britain declared war on Germany in 1939 – more than 100 people, including many Americans, were killed.

However, Germany denied involvement fearing the U.S. would join the war.

U-boat commander, Fritz Julius Lemp, had mistaken the liner for an armed cruiser and the German naval authorities tried to cover up the sub’s actions.

It was not until the Nuremberg Trials after the War that the truth of the U-boat sinking of the SS Athenia finally came out.

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