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U-559

CountryGermany
Ship ClassType VII-class Submarine
Builder NameBlohm und Voss
Slip/Drydock NumberIII
Laid Down1 Feb 1940
Launched8 Jan 1941
Commissioned27 Feb 1941

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Alan Chanter says:
31 Oct 2019 05:29:03 AM


As 1942 drew to a close a German U-boat, the U-559, was spotted and depth charged off the coast of Palestine by HMS Petard and forced to the surface. The U-boat’s crew realising that their boat was rapidly sinking decided that they must abandon ship. Royal Navy Lieutenant Andrew Fasson, Able Seaman Colin Glazier and 16-year-old NAAFI boy Tommy Brown swam out to the U-boat which even now was beginning to sink. Entering the abandoned submarine Lt. Fasson and Seaman Glazier were astounded to find a four-rotor Enigma (the machine that the Germans used to encrypt communications) and a code book containing the current Enigma keys.

In an act of bravery and ingenuity they wrapped the machine, the keys and the bigram tables in waterproof material to rescue them for Allied intelligence, not realising just how vital their discovery would prove to be. With supreme effort, they managed to reach Tommy Brown who was waiting outside the boat and handed him the machine and the books. Sadly, both Fasson and Glazier were unable to get away as U-559 finally disappeared beneath the waves. Both men would be posthumously awarded the George Cross.

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