U 679 wreck found

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Juha Tompuri
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U 679 wreck found

Post by Juha Tompuri » 17 Sep 2015 10:53

Immi Wallin and her Subzone team discovered a missing German U-boat off the Estonian coast in August. Here, Wallin tells the story for the first time.

“The secrets of the seas, with its hidden lost ships, do not reveal themselves easily. To find these secrets, you sometimes need perfect weather, plotting information from the archives of sea charts and then checking a mysterious marking on your chart, which you do not remember how and why you put down in the first place.

On August 12th, about a month ago, I went to check a marking on my sea chart with side scan sonar together along with my colleague. The marking had bothered me for some time because I did not remember what it was and it seemed to be next to a mine row and in a patrol area of a still missing German U-boat.

U 679 gave a weather report on December 27th 1944 while in the Gulf of Finland. She had rendezvoused at sea with U 637 and U 745 in the evening of December 26th. U 745 had delivered encrypted communication.

On January 9th, Soviet MO-124 detected a submarine four miles northeast of the Pakri lighthouse and dropped eight large and 20 small depth charges. The Germans assumed that MO-124 had sunk U 679, but the Soviets did not believe it because they didn't find any evidence of a destroyed submarine in the area. Nevertheless, the cause for disappearance of U 679 that was recorded in Western literature was depth charge attack by MO-124. The fact that U 679 did not reply to a message sent on January 10th, 1945 supported this theory.

Back to August 12th 2015. I decided to survey the whole mine row laid in January 1945 that was plotted next to the marking I had on my sea chart. When reaching the marked spot on the chart, something happened on the screen of the side scan sonar. The moment I saw a submarine image appearing on the sonar screen was exactly the fraction of a second that I will remember forever. The image showed a Type 7C German submarine – already recognizable from the image. There was only one that had not been found yet – U 679. That same night the Estonian National Heritage Board was informed about the discovery.

The first dive to U 679 was conducted on September 10th. Due to the depth, 90 m, we needed a flat sea and a team of deep divers, support divers and boat handlers. The aim for the dive was to document the wreck’s condition. The video material was provided to the authorities.

Conditions were good at the surface, but more challenging in the water. There were slight horizontal currents all the way from the surface to the bottom. The most challenging part was the visibility that worsened towards the depths.

We passed several white cloud layers and just about 10 m above the bottom the visibility got very bad and I could smell the hydrogen sulphide typical for a sea bottom with hypoxia. The shape of the submarine’s conning tower became slightly visible in the light we carried with us. The shot line was in the middle of the conning tower, so we decided to shoot video around the conning tower having possibility to find back to the shot line.

The video camera, once again, could see much more than our eyes. We could confirm what was visible already on the side scan sonar image. The conning tower was type IV, having 3.7 cm anti-aircraft gun on the lower wintergarten and two 2 cm zwilling anti-aircraft guns on the upper wintergarten. The hatches were closed.

U 679 was lost with all hands, so the wreck is also a war grave for 51 men who lost their lives serving their country. The wreck will be respected as these men’s final resting place and as a historical monument of the war event. U 679 is now under state protection set by Estonian Heritage Board"
http://www.suunto.com/sports/#!/SuuntoDive/14152

Video: https://www.facebook.com/subzoneltd/vid ... 266947715/

Regards, Juha
Last edited by Juha Tompuri on 17 Sep 2015 14:51, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: adding info

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Åkerberg
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by Åkerberg » 17 Sep 2015 16:47

Great job Juha !!!!

mark harrison
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by mark harrison » 17 Sep 2015 17:37

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHLZkACRPos
Hi, The commander of this boat, E. Aust is on this film he is in the center of a line of commanders and his face is slightly obscured by the KKapitän -senior officer in front of him. Next to him is the tall man Karl E. Utischill and on the other side Ernst Fischer.
regards MH.

Tic Tac
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by Tic Tac » 04 Jan 2018 22:58

Photos of the commissioning U 679 on 29.11.1943
(Own collection)
Greetings Tic Tac
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mark harrison
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by mark harrison » 05 Jan 2018 22:48

Hi The last commander of U 679 was Eduard Aust he appears in U Boat school video at around 1.56 mins, only half his face is visible.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHLZkACRPos
regards
MH.

mark harrison
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by mark harrison » 05 Jan 2018 23:30

Hi Sorry about the repeated post-best pictures yet of a commissioning crew.
regards
MH.

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Bruce7506
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by Bruce7506 » 06 Jan 2018 09:24

Tic Tac wrote:Photos of the commissioning U 679 on 29.11.1943 (Own collection)
Greetings Tic Tac
Hello
On these photos, I think that it is Eduard Aust. But I do not believe that it is U 679. I think that it is U 922 on November 3rd, 1943.
The symbol UAK of U 679 was:
UAK U679.jpg
0000659-u-679.jpg
(U 679 with Lt. Friedrich Breckwoldt).
What do you think about it ?
Pascal :milwink:
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A me suivre, tu passes.

mark harrison
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by mark harrison » 06 Jan 2018 14:34

Hi Yes you are right about that, if I would have looked closer I would have seen the UAK mark.The first boat is Blohm Voss and has two wintergardens and a standard magnetic compass housing, so we should be able to isolate the period in which it was made.
Thanks for putting us right.
regards
MH.

Tic Tac
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by Tic Tac » 06 Jan 2018 18:53

Hello Pascal,
Thank you for your message, which I was very pleased. You're right, the UAK sign does not match U 679. What boat could be meant?
I have attached the back of a photo with inscription. In the book by Georg Högel the UAK-mark (photo) is assigned to the shipyard Blohm & Voss (HH). I can not find a submarine, which was commissioned that day (U 1002, on 30.11 .43).
Who has an idea? I would be happy about answers.
Best regards
Heiko
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mark harrison
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by mark harrison » 07 Jan 2018 14:47

Hi Tic Tac, I think you are spot on with U 1002 the commander looks exactly like Heinz Hans Boos- He may not have been available on the day the boat was commisioned.
regards MH.

Axel N
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Re: U 679 wreck found

Post by Axel N » 07 Jan 2018 16:16

Hi Mark

sorry to say, but Boos is not present on the pic at all! He was still on training in the Baltic at that time.

Best

Axel

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