|On May 9, 1945, several days after Germany
surrendered to the Allies, a German U-Boat, number U-234, pulled into the
Portsmouth Naval Base in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
The German crew, aware that the war was over, promptly
surrendered themselves and their boat. What makes this event even
more extraordinary was the cargo they were carrying: 10 cases of uranium
According to later testimony, the U-boat left Germany
several weeks before en-route to Japan. In addition to the
precious cargo, there were several Japanese envoys onboard assigned to
accompany the shipment.
When it became obvious to the German High Command that
defeat was inevitable, it was decided that this last desperate act might
greatly assist the Japanese in the defense of their homeland.
Japan had been working on a nuclear weapon, although technically far
behind the American effort, and it was thought that they could use the
scare uranium oxide.
During the voyage, it was learned via radio that
Germany had surrendered and that U-boats should surrender at the nearest
port. There was much dissention amongst the crew as to whether
they should surrender. Eventually, the decision was made.
They would proceed to the Naval Base at Portsmouth, NH. The Japanese envoys onboard,
unwilling to surrender themselves to the Americans, committed suicide.