Sunken Nazi German U-boat clearly visible for first time

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Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

For the first time ever, scientists are getting a crystal-clear look at a fascinating, and haunting, piece of WWII history -- the only submarine the Nazis lost in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Media outlets are taking a look back at a time when the Allies were struggling to enter the war, finding it nearly impossible to deliver oil past the Nazi Navy who sunk 56 Allied ships in 1942 alone. And Fox News highlighted this ship's fearsome reputation.

"In 1942 this German U-boat terrorized the Gulf of Mexico, sinking commercial liners and even an American passenger boat –– the Robert E. Lee."

Twenty-five Americans on board the Robert E. Lee died. A Navy ship escorting the passenger boat then sank the submarine U-166 by dropping depth charges –– killing all 52 German sailors.

WTVT reports a team of scientists under Robert Ballard, who famously discovered the location of the Titanic, is currently exploring the wreck using 3-D imaging.

Fascinating pictures of both U-166 and the Robert E. Lee, which rest only two miles apart, are featured on a website affiliated with the Ocean Exploration Trust.

Research on the ship is nothing new, since both ships were discovered back in 2001 when a consulting firm for BP and Shell oil was conducting a deep-water pipeline survey. But this is the first time conditions have allowed for such clear views of what the wreckage has become.

Three-dimensional imaging is required because the ship, which is considered a military grave, cannot be touched out of respect for the fallen soldiers.

With the Gulf of Mexico's shallower waters, compared to the Atlantic Ocean, the ship gives scientists an unparalleled glimpse into history.

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