Robert S. Ballard and his team of ocean explorers have taken new crystal-clear photos of a Nazi submarine in the Gulf of Mexico, right off the Texas' shoreline: U-166 was one of the many Kriegsmarine U-boats that swam like sharks waiting for prey around the United States' coast. Admire it, in all its decrepit glory, in high resolution.
The U-166 was a type IXC U-boat built in 1940, a revision of the IX long range submarine series. The C version carried an additional 43 tons of fuel, which further extended the Kriegsmarine's area of influence right to the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, the U-166 was the only U-boat of any class ever sunk in that coast.
While in the Gulf the U-166 destroyed four ships in the month of July 1942: the Carmen — a sailing vessel with Dominican Republic flag — the Oneida — an American steam merchant — the Gertrude — an American fishing ship — and the Robert E. Lee — an American passenger steamer that was sunk on July 30, 45 miles off the mouth of the Mississippi River. 25 people died of a total of 404 people aboard. The Robert E. Lee lies only a few miles from the U-166.
The Robert E. Lee, a passenger ship sunk by the U-166.
Right after the attack against the Robert E. Lee, the escort US Navy patrol craft PC-566 launched deep charges against the U-166, sinking her and all of her crew members, 52 sailors.
The wreck was discovered in 2001, first the Robert E. Lee at a depth of 5,000 feet (1,500 m) then the U-166, two miles away from the site, but the photos above were just captured this month.