tv U- Boats off the U.S. Coast During World War II CSPAN November 22, 2021 6:48pm-7:10pm EST
live streams of the house and senate floor and key congressional hearing to white house events and supreme court oral avrgs even our live morning programm washington journal where we hear your voices every day. c-span now has you covered. download the app for free today. hello, everybody. thank you so much for joining us today. it is my honor be here with you. my name is tane casserly and i'm with the sanctuary and today we're talking about world war ii and america's doorstep, u boats. i represent noaa, and we're part of the office of national sanctuaries. the monitor of one of 15 sanctuary system. this system encompassed more than 600,000 square miles of great lakes waters from
washington state to the florida keys and from lake heron to american samoa and we represent the sanctuary which is off the coast of north carolina. that i could see here with the arrow. again, here is some other representations of our sanctuary. but we are located about 16 miles off the coast of cape hatteras, north carolina. and we're 240 feet of water with a labrador and a gulf stream currents collide so it is a very challenging environment, we have one of the most important and significant ship wrecks in the world that we are interpreting. so we're proud to tell the story of the uss monitor. it is a strange basically cheese box on a raft that was union ironclad that was the first of its kind it is a prototype and designed forestuary harbor warfare to fight the south during the civil war. you could see it is a strange looking vessel. but this is the days of cannonballs and cannon fire that
was purposely very low to the water and not giving much for the enemy to hit so you just had a little ford, which is that little strange square box by the bow that you see there to the right side. and then that rotating gun is the first working rotating gun in the history of the world and it is the first time this is been employed and it is great great grandfather of every gun on warships today. and here is in the water next to nemesis is, the css vaerm, that belonged to the navy amount and again you could see how both vessels are low lying to the water. again the virginia, which is sort of in the background, it is got sloping sides where cannonballs would bounce off on purpose and the monity oar, to the left, much different profile. strange looking vessel. again very low to the water and these are the first time that these two type of vessels have come face-to-face in warfare.
and this of course occurred very famously in hampton road which is in the chesapeake bay. and this is the about thele of the ironclads. the first time these iron warships come head-to-head. so on march 8th of 1862, the css virginia attacked the union fleet sinking four vessels capturing a transport and damaging four other war ships. but the destruction left behind 241 sailors killed and 100 wounded. in contrast, the crew of virginia suffered only two casualties and a dozen wounded. so that evening, march 8th, 1862, the uss monitor arrived from new york where it was built and it counters the carnage into despair for the union navy. the monitor took position next
to the steam frigate and battle was certain to come the next day. on march 9th of 1862, the virginia fired the opening salve from a thousand yards out against the uss minnesota and causing an explosion. protecting the minnesota, uss monitor moved to intercept and the two ironclads circled one another and trading shot and shell at point-blank range. each ship tried to ram the other. even commander tried to find a weak spot. through it all the minnesota remained afloat. only an iron ship could stop another iron ship. that battle left neither the monitor or both damaged and boebl sides climed victory and it is called i draw. there was one winner, the age of war ships was over. sadly the uss monitor sinks.
on december 29th, 1862, the monitor was off of north and south carolina. it departs hampton roads and you could see the image in the background, bound for bow ford, north carolina. in 1862 it encountered a storm off of campaign hatteras and the next night they bat toll stay afloat and shortly after midnight that evening, monitor goes down for the last time. with the loss of 16 officers and crew. now the vessel was discovered in 1974 in the now bay between duke university and the navy that discovered it, in 1975 it is our nation's first national marine sanctuary. so you may have heard of plnt and remember that we recovered from the vessel, including that
gun turning, that gigantic naval which is now in newport news, virginia. but what this allows us to do was now to look further afield of the monitor ship wreck. and here it is just last year on the sea floor. but after all of this work on monitor, archeology, the conservation and the exhibits for the public, it allows us to look at other ship wrecks off of north carolina and there are literally thousands. and we're very excited to be telling these stories one of which is world war ii and the story through all of the ship wrecks is really the story of america's rise as a superpower and quite simply it is a story of the united states. so the uss monitor was the first warship who was designed for naval warfare and changes a
giant into building this prototype vessel that changed the world. but the monitor is not the only ship. we have battleships associated with billy mitchell and these battleships tell the story of america's world naval power with roosevelt's great wight fleet and they're sinking, in the transition to the carrier warfare. so after their life span where they were in world war i, they were decommissioned and used as target vessels or general van mitchell used this new invented airplane, to drop bombs on these battleships so prove that his -- the small little mosquito could sink some of the most powerful weapons of any nation afloat. so this is a huge transition now. we're moving from battleships to carrier warfare. we also have world one ship wrecks and these stories an these recs help to tell the story from isolation to a player
on the world stage just as we did going to europe to help our allied forces an the most prominence collectionp ship recs is from world war ii battle of the atlantic. these ship wrecks were the most dominant military economic power in the world and the status that remains today. so what we have here is a naval battlefield of north carolina is where world war i and ii came home to america. it is where we suffered some of the our greatest defeats and celebrated our first victories. and it began with the united states in 7:55 a.m. it's it's 7th. when hawaii have attacked. 2300 killed and 1177 aboard the uss arizona. now a lot of people don't realize this. but it wasn't until four days later that the axis power and italy and germany declared war against the united states.
that happened on december 11th. and it was a little known historical fact even though the germans and the japanese were allies, they didn't necessarily share all of the information together so even though they knew japanese would be tacking at some point, they didn't know exactly when, so just like us 44 were caught unawares hence the few days difference in the war declarations. and we need to look at this map to understand what kind of war the united states entered. again this is not news to any of you watching this, but it was a global war. and it is a mazing to see how the united states was able to project its military prowess and in the far pacific and the far atlantic over in europe and africa as well as asia. it is astounding. so it literally shows how battles were fought on the united states on the other side of the planet. it is the most complex taking if the united states to move personnel and material around the world is mind-boggling.
again when we talk about the battle of the atlantic, take a good look apt the shipping routes because the germans knew where that war material was coming from to attack them and they needed to stop it. so, a month after germany declared war on america, the first wave of five u boats. this is operation drum beat and the first of many operations that continued as months as u boats were made easy targets in front of coastal city lights. in the start of the war, they have patrolled the coast and escorting ship conveys across the atlantic. and this shipping is what supplied those atlantic conveys that were going to resupply the war effort in europe. this coastal shipping was the life blood for the allied forces and germany knew that by cutting that off they would strangle the aallies into submission. and in north carolina, the
proximity to land of the outer banks. when we look at that continent at shelf and the outer banks of north carolina. >> this is the key point whether such a high concentration of ship wrecks there. because what the germans would do if the day time hide in the deeper water off the shelf where it is much por difficult to discover them and then at night, in the cover of darkness, they would come closer into land, and go to those well-known shipping lanes and attack those conveys quite easily. and these are an overlay in gis maps of what those shipping lanes look like off cape hatteras, the same shipping we have today was the same in world war ii and they quite tighten up where they make that turn southwest to come down the eastern seaboard. and will over lay the world ii ship wrecks and they're right in
those lanes, so the germans knew exactly where to us to prohibit the coastal shipping to get to the main ports to come across the atlantic. they wanted to stop it here at home first and they did. especially in 1942. so during world war ii, ai total g 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 it is also where we started pushing back at the start of the war, president roosevelt said, history has recorded who fires the first shot, in the long run, however all that will matter will be who fired the last shot. north carolina is where that road began in the atlantic war. this is where we had our first victories against the germans, think of the coastal defense of the east coast like a -- where all three prongs have successes off the shores --
the first of these was april 14th of 1942 with the you 85 sunk by uss rover off north carolina. the first u-boat sunk off of the east coast -- the second, was on may 9th. 1942. the you 52 was sunk by -- becoming the first u-boat sunk off the american east coast. here we have the survivors from -- taking into interrogation -- [inaudible] his airplane sunk the use 7:01 sunk off north carolina. becoming the first -- thankfully, by may of 1943, the year boats were no longer a major threat to the l.a. cowboys -- they now convoys --
[inaudible] the sheer volume of american shipping had turned the tide against -- these four successes we have had off the coast of north carolina, pushing evokes back from our shores and across -- made d-day and the allied invasion of europe possible in june 6th of 1944. if we didn't have the first successes as we did in 1942, we would never have had the freedom to move the material necessary for one of the largest -- assaults in history in any wars years later. like gettysburg, we truly have a battlefield setting off the course of north carolina. those naval battlefields or where to world war's came home to america. the ship breaks are -- their grave sites, they are they are -- there so much more. one of the things i like to point out about these shipwrecks is that, obviously, the history is amazing.
the gravity of how these vessels are lots his touch hard. we want to tell these stories, we want to honor our veterans. we also look at it as a transition from weapons to war to an oasis of life, they become habitats for marine life, i like to think as an archaeologist and historian, everybody wants to focus on history but we know that that is not true. some people love diving on shipwrecks just to see marine life. these marine marine, you boats, these submarine vessels, these merchant ships on the sea floor are beautiful homes for all sorts of marine life. we all know that when we go out to find shipwrecks, the fishermen obviously know where these ships are, they are often the first ones to know. many years before we do. this is because this is where the fish are. --
-- this is really important, we are looking at this collection of vessels. we want people to dive on them, show them respect, but don't take any artifacts. otherwise, they are there for the public good for us to enjoy in very different ways. whether you just want to fish or something of that nature, or if you want to scuba dive. it is there for everybody all four different uses. we had some challenges this past year and we want to get word out in different ways. one of the things we have done is work with our partners, especially the state of north carolina and their archeology, to have online webinars where we talk about stories just like we are telling today. and some other things that we are doing with our communities. shipwrecks, at the water's edge. we tell stories working with our state partners about shipwrecks along the shore,
some of them around the standards, some of them are in the lakes. we are working with our partners to tell all of these stories to get that huge picture of wet maritime history means for north carolina and the eastern seaboard. we invite all of you to join us on that journey. we are also hopefully going to be able to do a tele-presence expedition. we are working for a group called global -- there is a link right here so you can go and take a look. we are hoping to be able to work with members of the public, teachers, educators, researchers, all sorts of folks and remotely bring these ship tails to them -- down on the sea floor, exploring the site and then we will tour it with you and shared with the world on the internet. we work with our partners -- you can see that rsv, it looks like a little robot on the sea
floor, looking at the little coral on the bottom. that is found by a signal from satellite to you at home or you at the coffee shop or your friends at the beach. you can watch that for free on your iphone or your computer, wherever you. like it is something we want to share with the public. history is important to us as a nation. we need to remember these veterans and their sacrifice to us. here is a list of some of our partners that we are excited to work with. local aquariums, museums, all sorts of folks. we are very proud of that. as we look at the shipwrecks and their stories, it reminds me that as americans we are not born into greatness, we don't seek it out, but we do rise when greatness is thrust upon us, this is our story. our mission is that we never forget the sacrifices made by our veterans and all of those that came before us. we are looking to expand to
monitor these other shipwrecks in our histories. we would invite you to join our website monitor dot noaa dot of, and follow us on facebook and twitter to see everything that we are up to. now that we have come to the end, i would be more than happy to take any questions that you might have about the work we are doing off of north carolina, on world war ii or our veterans, thank you.
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