Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

salvage uk scuttled german uboots denied by usa, russia why

Discussion in 'Post War 1945-1955' started by dude_really, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. dude_really

    dude_really Doesn't Play Well With Others

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    122
    Likes Received:
    3
    I came across this in wikipedia on the Uboot XXIII and operation deadlight:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Deadlight

    "In the late nineties an approach was made to the British Ministry of Defence for salvage rights on the Operation Deadlight U-boats by a firm who planned to raise up to a hundred of them. Because the wrecks were constructed in the pre-atomic age, they contain metals which are not radioactively tainted and which are therefore valuable for certain research purposes.
    No salvage award was made due to objections from Russia and the USA, and it is now probable that the U-boats will remain under the sea."

    Can someone explain why USA and Russia are 1) objecting it and 2) why they are in a position to object it , since the scuttle area is in/around N-Ireland and originally done by the British and so their approval should not have to be asked at all.
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,381
  3. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    8,841
    Likes Received:
    1,870
    Location:
    Reading, PA
    Simple answer...The U-Boats sunk during Operation Deadlight were unallocated U-Boats, IIRC, the prevalent feeling that it was better to sink them, then have the Allies(UK, US, USSR, and possibly France) fighting over who gets what. Thus, the United Kingdom has no singular claim to the U-Boats, and would have to seek approval for their disposal from her other Allies.

    As to why the objections, that is anybody's guess. Offhand, I would believe that scrapping was prohibited originally, since all that scrap could have been used, at the time, to help rebuild Britain.
     
  4. Admiral_Humaid

    Admiral_Humaid New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2014
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    My Dream World, Republic of my Brain
    That would make sense...At the end of the war all the allies tried their hardest to get as much of the German eqipment as possible but in the end they had a agreement that they would have to seek approval.
    Q: When were Subs with atomic capabilities made?
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    24,985
    Likes Received:
    2,381
    1950s (the Soviets did only get the bomb in 1949)
     
  6. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    8,617
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    I figured at first that the reason for not allowing sunken vessels to be raised was they were classified at grave sites. But why would the Russians care about raising sunken German vessels? So who knows really.
     
  7. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Messages:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    451
    The operation deadlight subs are not war graves, they were surrendered boats scuttled without loss of life. Pretty hard to say who has "rights" on those ships, and a IMO very touchy subject as claiming rights would probably also mean assuming liability for the pollution threat some of the stuff sunk by the allies is causing.
     
  8. Takao

    Takao Ace

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    Messages:
    8,841
    Likes Received:
    1,870
    Location:
    Reading, PA
  9. von_noobie

    von_noobie Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2007
    Messages:
    1,079
    Likes Received:
    73
    At Scapa Flow where the German High Seas Fleet was scuttled with 52 ships sinking, 38 later being raised there is 14 other ships in deeper waters that are still used time to time for limited salvage to acquire the low-background steel (steel from pre-WWII) for the production of radiation sensitive devices.

    Could be that the High Seas fleet ships have corroded to the point that they are not of use and as such need's vessels that have not been down there as long?
     
  10. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,381
    Likes Received:
    153
    ROFLAMO!!!

    And now - the local angle!

    I actually know....or rather knew!...the man concerned, who owned the "firm" in question...it's funny how certain stories come back to the fore after years and years...

    The gentlement in question is(was) legendary on County Down, Northern Ireland...as he lived in a tumbledown ruin of a house-cum-scrapyard AND knacker's yard in a very picturesque part of North Down...specifically the outskirts of the village of Helen's Bay, beside the town of Bangor Co. Down. He was - to put it mildly - a cantankerous old bastard who had covered a square mile of Northern Irish landscape with hundreds of assorted old vehicles, caravans and scabby horses wandering among the whole thing...across the road from one of the area's leading torurist spots, Crawfordsburn Country Park!

    In the early 1990s he came up with the idea of clearing the whole thing, and selling the land off for building houses...but it was designated "green belt" and no outline planning permission was granted, despite several attempts year after year. In the end, after hearing about the salvage of various metals from some of the scuttled 1919 German wrecks in Scapa Flow...which were indeed valuable because the metals could be used in a number of specialised scientific instruments as the metals hadn't been above water in the Atomic Age, particularly the two decades of atmospheric testing before the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty of the mid 1960s.

    I have to admit to being the person who mentioned this to him in conversation...! I was one of the few humans he talked to, because I never tried to buy anything from him, or sell him anything, or complained about the state of the place.

    Anyway - some months after I had the discussion with him, he decided to indulge in a little bit of BLACKMAIL!

    He came up with the idea of salvaging several of the Deadlight uboats and plonking them down in the middle of his fields! The idea being that if the local council should actually in the end grant him outline planning permission, he'd abandon the entire scheme! But it they didn't he'd create an even greater eyesore than ever before...a pile of rusty uboats in the middle of Northern Ireland's most green and pleasant!

    In the end the refusal of permission - he was a registered scrap merchant and knew the right people to sub-contract the salvage to...scuppered the whole blackmail idea! Instead, he held out for as long as possible on clearing the land, although there were several court injunctions taken out against him by the local council, and he was forced to stop conducting business at that address. He never got his planning permission, and the location has only partly been cleared....but he's now terrorising a local old folks' home, seems to have no intention of dying...and he refuses to clear the land any further. It's STILL a damn' eyesore...

    ...and he's made the land over to his BROTHER, who has done something similar on a big farm on the main road into Bangor, known locally as "Southfork", and who is busy fighting any further attempts to clean up the Helen's Bay site on his brother's behalf!

    I'll nip out some nice day this week and take a pic of the place, then you'll see what I mean!
     
    George Patton likes this.
  11. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,381
    Likes Received:
    153
    And in the meantime...some more gems pertaining!


    http://archive.niassembly.gov.uk/record/reports/990222d.htm

    http://www.thefreelibrary.com/BATTLE+OF+THE+BLOT%3B+Residents+in+court+wrangle+over+plans+to+develop...-a072593926


     
  12. Carronade

    Carronade Ace Patron  

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,605
    Likes Received:
    483
    The first nuclear powered submarine was USS Nautilus, commissioned 1954. The hull design, including twin screws, was fairly similar to the German Type XXI U-boat.
     
  13. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,381
    Likes Received:
    153
    ...while the first subs with a "nuclear capability" were the first two Regulus boats, the Tunny and the Barbero.
     
  14. USMCPrice

    USMCPrice Idiot at Large

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,617
    Likes Received:
    1,658
    Location:
    God's Country
    I don't think it has been mentioned yet, but low background steel does not need to have been underwater in order to be so. The increased radioactivity in post atomic bomb steel has to do with the forced air used in the forging process. Any steel, such as in reserve fleets, produced pre atomic bomb testing is low background steel.
     
  15. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,381
    Likes Received:
    153
    The Reserve Fleet is indeed mined for low-background steel in the U.S.... but the attraction to re-using low-background steel from Scapa Flow...or the Deadlight boats...in the UK is, well, that's it's in the UK ;)

    The property of low background steel is indeed that wherever it's recovered from, it was made before 1945. The Bessemer process for making steel, and the more modern BOS process, both use potentially-contaminated air or oxygen pumped into the blast furnace. During this, the steel can be contaminated by radionucleides including Cobalt 60, making it weakly radioactive. Geiger counters, medical applications such as whole body counters or lung counters and certain physics applications frequently require an extremely low radiation environment, a "low background counting chamber"...

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-24928837.html

    From The Irish Times, October 14th, 1995...

     
  16. dbf

    dbf Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Wherever the brasso & blanco is
  17. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,381
    Likes Received:
    153
    Yep, just up from the front gate of the park...

    Here!

    [​IMG]

    That was just before he signed the place over to his brother, who used to own/run Geddis Transport, a road haulage firm...and who then used the place to scrap his old lorries!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]



    The uboats were to be piled up in a gurt big heap behind and to the left of that old hay shed...!!!
     
    dbf likes this.
  18. dbf

    dbf Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Wherever the brasso & blanco is
    I'm sure I saw something like a sub there... whiles ago now.
    Required a double take, like you do when travelling along a lane and something like that suddenly looms over a hedge.
    Or am I mad.
     
  19. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,381
    Likes Received:
    153
    I doubt it was a submarine...but he did go through a few years of buying up old bulk propane tanks from factories, and old petrol bulk tanks from filling stations if they were dug up and replaced...letting them outgas for a year or so...then cutting them up for scrap.

    Not the sort of thing many others were prepared to handle/do!
     
  20. dbf

    dbf Member WW2|ORG Editor

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2010
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Wherever the brasso & blanco is
    Cheers Phylo
    Well not the subs in question, but I've seen tanks from petrol stations at least and it wasn't one of them.
    Too long ago to recall any details or swear to the fact, so another memory niggle added to my list.
     

Share This Page