Team of researchers followed tip-off from local divers to uncover hidden World War II U-boat with its crew still aboard

Researchers in Indonesia have discovered the wreck of a WWII U-boat with the skeletons of its crew still aboard after following a tip-off from local divers.

The U-boat, believed to be U-168, was torpedoed in 1944 and sent to the ocean bed with at least 17 of its crew being taken to a watery grave along with it. These skeletons have been found trapped inside the submarine, preserved by the ocean bed, with some skulls still retaining teeth.

Bambang Budi Utomo, head of the research team at the National Archaeology Centre, which found the submarine, said: “This is the first time we have found a foreign submarine from the war in our waters.” He continued: ‘This is an extraordinary find that will certainly provide useful information about what took place in the Java Sea during World War II.”

U-168 was part of the Monsun U-boats; a group of vessels that targeted trade routes around the world to cut off supplies to the allied nations.

Alongside the skeletons, the team uncovered hidden WWII artefacts still emblazoned with the symbol of Hitler’s Nazi Party, the Swastika. Items including teacups, dinner plates and batteries were all found aboard, with some of the teacups suffering minimal damage.

The German war vessel is unlikely to be lifted off the seabed any time soon due to its vast size and the cost of the operation.

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