tv U- Boats off the U.S. Coast During World War II CSPAN October 24, 2021 5:40am-6:02am EDT
>> how everybody. thank you so much for joining me today. mayanne are to be here with you. i'm with the -- and today we are talking about world war ii and u-boats off the mid-atlantic coast. i represent noaa. the mantra is just one of 15 sanctuaries in the national marine system. this is 600,000 square miles from washington state to the florida keys and from lake huron to american samoa. the monitor national marine sanctuary is off the coast.
here's other representations of our sanctuary is located 16 miles a coast of cape hatteras and north carolina and 230 feet of water with the labrador in the -- current collide so it's not only challenging to it environment to work in it's the most -- so we are proud to be working with the uss monitor. basically the union ironclad was the first of its kind prototype designed specifically for estuary harbor warfare to fight the uss virginia during the civil war concedes a strange looking vessel. these are the days of cannonball and canon fire and it would stay low to the water not giving much for the enemy to hit. that strange square box that you
see to the right side and that rotating gun turret n gun turret is the first working gun turret in the history of the world and the first time it was employed. here it is in the water next to the uss virginia and again you can see how both vessels are low-lying to the water and again the virginia which is in the background has sloping sides and this was done on purpose. the monitor to the left of it is again a much different profile a strange looking vessel with a rotating turret low-level low level in the water and this is the worst time they have come face to face and warfare. this of course occurred famously in hampton roads which is here in the chesapeake bay between newport news hampton and this is the battle of the ironclad the
first time these iron warships came head-to-head. in march of 1862 this uss virginia attack hampton roads thinking for vessels capturing the transport. the structure left behind 241 sailors killed and 100 wounded. in contrast virginia suffered two casualties so that evening of 1862 marte the uss monitor arrives after coming down from new york and encountered carnage and despair. the monitor took a protective position next to the uss minnesota which is a frigate. and the battle was certain to come the next day. on march 9 coming to to to to the virginia fired from a
thousand yards out hitting the ship and causing an explosion. protecting minnesota the uss monitor intercepted for the next four hours the two ironclads circle one another shade -- trading shots and shelves of point brown -- pointblank range. each tried to ram the other. the commuter tried to find a weak spot in third all -- the battle that took place that day left neither the monitor or the virginia seriously damage a both sides claim victory. ultimately they would call the battle of draw. it was firebrand technology. the uss monitor sinks with less than a year afloat. on december 29 the meeting 62 the monitor joined the forces off north and south carolina.
you can see the image in the background going to beaufort north carolina. december 30, 1862 it encounters is dorm off of cape hatteras and the next night the monitor battle the storm and it worsens and surely after midnight that evening the monitor goes down for the last time the 16 officers and crew. the vessel was discovered initially and 70 for an announcement was made to the u.s. navy and in 1975 it becomes the nation's first national marine sanctuary. you may referred to the monitor in your days in the high school from the civil war and if you're a history buff you may remember in 2000 they recovered the vessel including the rotating gun turret the first in the history of the world. it's now undergoing conservation at the american museum in virginia. what this allowed us to do was
not to look a field of shipwreck and here it is just last year. after all this work on the monitor the archaeology and the conservation artifact recovery for the public it out allowed us to look at other shipwrecks and north carolina and they were eventually found. we are excited to be telling the stories one of which is of world war ii and the story of all of the shipwrecks is really the story of america's rises a superpower can very simply the story of united states big uss monitor for example was the 1 iron warships that signaled the u.s. transition to an industrial technological giant to build this prototype vessel to change the world. the monitor is not the only shipwreck off of cape hatteras. we had battleships associated with air marshal billy mitchell.
these battleships tell the story of america's introduction is a world naval power and ushered in a transition to carrier warfare. after their lifespan they were actually decommissioned and used to target vessels where general mitchell use this new invention to drop tom's on these battleships to prove a small mosquito could indeed think some of the most powerful weapons of any nation. it was a huge transition going from these battleships to carrier warfare. also in these racks that help to story -- tell the story on the world stage just as we did to help our allied forces in the most prominent collection today is from world war ii battle of the atlantic or the shipwrecks
restore the most economic part of the world. what we have is unable -- naval battlefield for world war i and world war ii that belonged to america. it's where we suffered similar greatest defeats and enjoyed some of our greatest victories. december 71941 the navy attacks pearl harbor hawaii. the casualties total 2300 killed in 1177 aboard the uss -- it wasn't just four days later that the axis powers italy and germany declared war considered states and that happened on december 11. it's a little known historical fact that even though the germans and the japanese were allies they didn't necessarily
share all the information. just like us they work unaware in a few days difference of the war declarations. to understand what kind of war the united states entered and again it was a global war and it's amazing to see how the united states could project its military prowess in the far pacific and atlantic in africa as well as asia. it's astounding so it shows how battles were fought on literally the other side of the planet. the most complex undertaken. we talked about the battle of the atlantic. the germans they needed to stop
it. a month after germany were the first wave of u-boats arrived at these codes. operation drumbeat was the first of many operations that continued to lift the ships who had been easy targets. the u.s. navy had sub chasers to the troll opposed with ship convoys which had devastating consequences and the shipping is what supplied the atlantic convoys going to resupply the war effort. the coastal shipping worthy lifeblood of the allied forces. the proximity to the outer banks and how close it comes to the outer base of north carolina and
made look at how close it comes this was the key point why there's such a high concentration of shipwrecks there because what the germans would do was basically in the daytime hiding that deeper water just off the continental shelf so was harder to discover them and in the cover of darkness they come closer to the land and use these well-known shipping lanes and attack these convoys. this is the overlay of what the shipping lanes that like of cape hatteras the same shipping lanes we have today in the same that they had back in world war ii and world war i. you can see exactly where these lanes are where they make that turn southwest to come down the eastern seaboard. and, when we overlay those world war ii shipwrecks over the shipping lanes you can see where
they exactly fall had their right in the lanes of the germans knew exactly where to hit us. they were very smart and enable to prohibit the coastal shipping to go to this main ports to come across the atlantic they wanted to stop it here at home first and they did especially 1942. during world war ii a total of 90 vessels were lost off of north carolina alone but most of these occurred during the first six months of the war. of those vessels 78 of those were merchant ships and cargo ships moving that were material in the tanks and the guns ammunition supplies and everything we needed. those were the ones that they wanted to stop and they did. they also -- they lost eight allied naval ships and u-boats by the way to the 657 world war ii casualties off the coast of north carolina over 1200 were merchant marine years. historians have called at america's second pearl harbor except the difference here is
the enemy wasn't attacking another naval force. the germans were scoring off against battleships or aircraft carriers they were attacking merchant ships with volunteer crews bid u.s. merchant marines and in many of these shipwrecks and north carolina -- during world war ii one and 26 merchant mariners died in the line of duty suffering more deaths than any other u.s. foreign service. north carolina may have been where the germans hit us hardest to the may that's also where we started pushing back. i think at the start of the war went president roosevelt said history has recorded who fired the first shot and in the longrun however all that would matter is who fired the last shot. north carolina is where that road began. this is where we had the first victories against the germans and think of the coastal defense of these goes were all three prongs of the first successes against the u-boats off of our
shares for the first of these was april 14 of 1942 when they u85 was sunk off of carolina becoming the first in u-boat signed by the u.s. navy off the coast for the second was on may may 91942 wind this 52 was sunk in by icarus becoming the first u-boat sunk and here we have some of the survivors being taken for interrogation by the u.s. navy coast guard in charleston south carolina through the third was on july july 71942 in his hudson airplane sank the u71 office sc becoming the first u-boat sunk off of the american coast and thankfully by may of 1943 the u-boats were no longer a threat and now convoys updated tactics
by the u.s. navy and coastal blackouts going into effect the sheer volume of american shipping -- a truly believe these first successes we had off the coast of north carolina pushing the u-boats back from our shores all the way across the atlantic may d-day possible on june 6 of 1944. if we hadn't had those first successes in 1942 we would have never had the freedom to move the men and material necessary in the waters. like gettysburg and antietam battlefields have a battlefield setting up the coast of north carolina. this naval battlefield is where two world wars came home to america. the shipwrecks are great sites and memorials to heroes and fragile reminds us of our past and so much more. one of the things i really like to point out about the shipwrecks is obviously the history is amazing and the
gravity of how these vessels were lost hits us hard. we want to tell the stories and honor the history and honor our veterans but we also look at it as a transition from weapons of war and they become habitat for marine life. they like to think of it as as an historian everyone wants to focus on history but we all know that's not true. some people dive in general just to see the marine life in these shipwrecks and these u-boats and allied anti-submarine vessels and these merchant ships these gigantic merchant ships on the seafloor are these beautiful homes from all sorts of marine life. we know when we find shipwrecks the fishermen nowhere these start. they are the first ones to know. that's where the fish are so we want to tell that story to end these vessels are important for the coastal economy. the charter fishing and diving
industries relying on the shipwrecks to help bring economic well-being to their communities and for jobs. this is important so while we are looking at this collection of vessels and how people interact with them we want people to dive on them fish on them and enjoy them and show them respect and don't take any artifacts. otherwise they are there for us to enjoy and whether you just love to dish and you want to go after mahi-mahi or you want to scuba dive it's there for everybody. we have had some challenges this past year so we want to get the word out so one of the things we have done is work of their partners especially a state of north carolina to have on line webinar to retype about stories just like we are telling today and other things we are doing with their communities. shipwrecks don't end at the water's edge. we tell stories about how their
shipwrecks along the shore. we are working with their partners to tell all the stories to get a huge picture of what the maritime history means for north carolina and eastern seaboard and we invite all of you to join us on that journey. we are also hopefully going to be doing a telepresence expedition which is actually taking you out to the public out to her shipwrecks working with a group called the global foundation for ocean exploration and there's a link right here that you can go to and take a look but we are hoping to be able to work with members of the public teachers and educators researchers all sorts of folks and remotely during -- bring the shipwrecks tilted them down on the seafloor and exploring the sights and it will tour with you in sharing the world over the internet and hear some of that technology working with our partners. you can see the rop which is that little robot on the
seafloor looking at the pearl on the bottom and that signal is bounced by satellite to you at home or you at the coffee shop or out with friends on the beach. you can watch that for free in your iphone who were ever you would like but this history is important to us as a nation that we remember these veterans and their sacrifices to us and here's a list of some of our partners that we are excited to work with. local aquariums, museums, maritime museums all sorts of folks so we are very proud of that. as we look at the shipwrecks and their stories it reminds me as americans we aren't born into greatness and we don't seek it out but we do rise when greatness is thrust upon us and this is our story. our mission is that we never forget the sacrifices made by her veterans and all those that came before us. we are open -- hoping to expand
our site to include these other shipwrecks and these other histories so we invite you to come join our site at monitor. know what.gov and hope you follow us on facebook and twitter as well. .. >> i'm not worried about him, but i'm worried about gayle. if she's mad at me, i'm in trouble. i want to thank each and every one of you for braving the traffic tonight. i know