After WW II, at least five German U-boats reached Argentina with no less than 50 high ranked Third Reich officials on board. During the trip they sunk a US battle ship and the Brazilian cruiser Bahia with a death toll of more than 400, including US citizens. Both the US and the British Government have systematically covered up the operation. Why? Did they take Hitler to Patagonia?
Supporting their research with irrefutable first hand documentation, two Argentine investigators, Carlos De Napoli and Juan Salinas, made an extraordinary contribution to unveil what has been called the last secret of World War II. Ubersse Sьd, Overseas South in English, is the name of the operation that, according with this investigation, helped high Nazi officials to escape from the Soviet fist under the umbrella of the British Government and the US hawks.
"WWII finished on May 7th 1945 and the first submarine arrives in Argentina on July 10. The second one, in August 17", says De Napoli. The Argentine investigator makes reference to the well-known landing of the German U-boats U-530 and U-977 that surrendered to the Argentine Navy in those days.
This is a fact, as their commanders Otto Wermuth and Heinz Schдffer, respectively, were arrested and interrogated several times in Buenos Aires, Washington and London. However, what has been systematically covered up by US and British authorities is the fact that they sunk the USS Eagle 56 battle ship in front of the US coasts and the Brazilian cruiser Bahia, amid three other vessels. So, the immediate question is why the British and the Americans (from the North and the South) harbored the assassination of more than 400 people when the war had finished two months ago?
"There was a conspiracy against the USSR. It was the Operation Sunrise (Crossword for the British) designed to stop the advance of Stalin troops over Europe. Therefore, the English needed to count with German officers and soldiers to continue the war against Russia and destroy communism. Ubersse Sьd is part of this large operation", explains Juan Salinas, former investigator of the bomb attack to a Jewish club in Buenos Aires in 1995.
Unfortunately is impossible to check this information with official sources as documents related to Operation Sunrise have been classified by both the US and British authorities: Top Secret. It means that they are kept out from the insidious sight of investigators for 75 years. Another detail: they are the only ones that remain classified about World War II.
"Churchill was the mastermind of the escape. The Argentine Navy established a free zone to let Germans to disembark without disturbs, following British instructions", told Salinas to PRAVDA.Ru. In fact, exists an order issued by Argentine authorities to stop attacks to German submarines operating close to the Argentine beaches. The cautious reader may point out why other forces attacked the German U-boats if the British Government was behind the operation. De Napoli answers: "Churchill successors (Tories lost the elections immediately after the war and the Labor Party came into power), did not want the operation to go on."
However, as facts show, the operation went ahead and no less than 50 Third Reich high officials found cover in the desolated lands of Southern regions of Argentina and Chile. It is important to notice that the Patagonia holds the largest German community of Latin America and many Nazi and Ustasha's criminals lived there after the war: Menguele, Eichmann, Martin Bornmann -NSDAP General Secretary-, Ante Pavelic and Erick Priebke among others.
According with documentation supplied by the Argentine, Brazilian and US navies, the Norwegian and Danish Embassies in Buenos Aires and the United States National Archives and Record Administration -NARA-, Salinas and De Napoli could recreate the trip of the U-boats. Juicy data has been also provided by the memories of Hanz Schaeffer, Commander of the U-977.
A fleet of almost 20 submarines sailed out from the Norwegian port of Bergen, between May 1st and the capitulation of the Third Reich, six days later. They joined another group of U-boats coming from the US coasts (the U-530 and others) in Cape Verde, an Atlantic archipelago close to Africa. There, they got noticed that the Flensburg Government, headed by Great Admiral Dцnitz after Hitler dismissal, and kept alive by the Western Allies until May 23rd 1945, had fallen.
Consequently, German commanders, whom expected a new turn on international politics based in the outbreak of a conflict between the Soviet Union and the Anglo-Saxons, became aware that they would have to go on by their own. Some Kriegmarine Officers decide to sink their U-boots, surrender to the enemy or come back to Europe. However, at least six U-boats, including the U-530 and the U-977, headed South to Argentina carrying on "heavy" passengers and gold.
"Then, the tragedy came", points out Salinas. "Disguised as fishing vessels, the German submarines sail on the sea. Shortly after crossing the Equator Line, they come across with the operation to guide US planes to Japan. The route Natal - Dakar." The Brazilian cruiser Bahia, was taking part of the operation when, according with the results of the investigations, was shot by two acoustic torpedoes fired by the U-977. The toll: 336 crewmembers died in what is, by far, the largest-ever catastrophe of the Brazilian Navy.
William Joseph Eustace, Andrew Jackson Pendleton, Emmet Peper Salles and Frank Benjamin Sparks, were the four US radio operators of the Bahia. They died after the shooting, but the US Government reported them as "disappeared". Obviously, this is the main reason why the German Government did not cooperate on Salinas and De Napoli's investigation. The Brazilians said that the sunk of the Bahia was a fatal accident; exactly the same speech of the US Navy on the shooting of the USS Eagle 56... until last year. Then, the U-977, the U-530 and others went down to Argentina and the first two surrendered to the local authorities.
Was Adolf Hitler a passenger on one of these U-boats? De Napoli answers: "We think that Hitler, Eva Braun, Grettel Braun and Martin Bornmann escaped thanks to this operation. However, we cannot assure whether Hitler landed in Argentina or not." Martin Bornmann died in Paraguay. Perhaps, Stalin's suspects become true someday: "Hitler fled either to Spain or to Argentina", he told to the that-time US Secretary of State, James Byrne. But this is subject to further investigations.
Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina
This article is based on the book "Ultramar Sur. La Ultima operaciуn secreta del Tercer Reich", published by Grupo Editorial Norma, and conversations with Juan Salinas and Carlos De Napoli co-writers of the book.
Photo: The U-977 in the Argentine port of Mar del Plata at its arrival in 1945.