German cruiser sunk in WWII found off Norway

Karlsruhe in 1931 (Photo: German Federal Archives)

Norwegian media reports that the wreckage of a German warship dating back to World War II has been found off the coast of Kristiansand.

The ship has been identified as Karlsruhe, a Königsberg-class 174-metre light armoured cruiser originally built in the 1920s.

The cruiser saw action during the first year of the war in Europe until it was sunk by torpedoes fired by a British submarine on April 9, 1940.

The location of Karlsruhe‘s final resting place remained a mystery until its recent confirmation by Norwegian authorities.

Although the wreck was initially discovered in 2017, it had not yet been identified then as that of the lost German cruiser.

The ship’s identity was finally confirmed during a routine undersea cable inspection by a team from state-owned power grid operator Statnett. The team used advanced sonar and an unmanned submersible to inspect the wreckage, which has spent more than 80 years at a depth of 490 metres some 20 kilometres off Kristiansand.

The wreck was identified as that of Karlsruhe after images captured by the submersible showed the ship’s full length and its preserved battery of 15-centimetre main guns.

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