World War II Secret Submarine Found After 20 Years

The discovery of the wreck of HMS Triumph, a British World War II submarine, off the coast of Greece has shed new light on its historical significance and the daring missions it undertook during the war. Veteran Greek diver Kostas Thoctarides and his team made the announcement through a Facebook post, revealing that the submarine was found in the Aegean Sea, submerged at a depth of about 666 feet (203 meters), and located “ten of kilometers” off Cape Sounion.

The condition of the wreck, with closed hatches and a retracted periscope, suggests that the submarine was in a diving position when it sank, indicating a sudden and perhaps unexpected event. Rena Giatropoulou Thoctarides, a member of the search team, mentioned that the fore section showed significant damage from an explosion, raising questions about the cause—whether it was from an external source like a depth charge or an internal explosion, possibly from one of the sub’s torpedoes.

HMS Triumph had a remarkable wartime record, participating in over 20 missions that included engagements with Axis ships and submarines in the Mediterranean. However, its most notable contributions were in special military operations, such as rescuing Allied soldiers in North Africa and conducting covert operations in enemy territory like Greece.

In one such mission, the submarine transported Capt. Bill Hudson, a British Special Operations Executive (SOE) officer, to aid Yugoslav partisans in Axis-held territory, marking a significant early operation for the SOE and influencing future special military operations. The search for the Triumph wreck spanned over two decades, reflecting the team’s dedication to uncovering this piece of naval history intertwined with Greek resistance and wartime intelligence activities.

Utilizing advanced technology like remotely-operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) was pivotal in overcoming challenges posed by depth and underwater currents during the search. The discovery of HMS Triumph not only adds to our understanding of WWII naval operations but also serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by its crew, who likely perished with the submarine, making it a maritime war grave deserving of respect and remembrance.

The story of the Triumph and other lost vessels from WWII also underscores the importance of acknowledging and honoring the human stories behind these tragedies, as highlighted by maritime archaeologist Timmy Gambin. The discovery of shipwrecks like HMS Triumph and the Gribshunden, with their historical and human significance, contributes to preserving the legacy of those who served and the complexities of wartime operations and sacrifices.

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