Day: September 9, 2020

There’s no accounting for the missing
Front Lines

There’s no accounting for the missing

The Second World War set a new standard for disappearances. Unprecedented millions simply vanished during the maelstrom in Europe and the Far East, many under genocidal conquests by Japanese forces in China and Nazis on the continent. The German penchant for detail and meticulous record-keeping answered the questions of many who suspected Jewish and other relatives had been shuttled off to concentration camps, only to die by gas or gun. Still, millions more family members have lived out their lives never knowing what happened to loved ones who vanished without a trace between 1939 and 1945. But it is not only war that accounts for the unaccounted. Totalitarian regimes such as those in China and the Soviet Union simply eliminated opposition and potential opposition by disappearance...
The sinking of <em>U-484</em>
Military Milestones

The sinking of U-484

The history of U-484 is short, and not so sweet. Commissioned on Jan. 19, 1944, the submarine travelled to Norway to join the German 3rd flotilla in early August under command of Korvettenkapitän Wolf-Axel Schaefer. Its first and only patrol began on Aug. 18. The sub passed through a gap separating Iceland and the Faroe Islands and headed for the Hebrides, where it was sunk on Sept. 9. All 52 aboard perished. Who sank the sub? That depends on what you read and where and when it was written. An RCAF Sunderland flying boat piloted by J.N. Farren spotted whitish vapour or steam and a 30-metre wake indicating a submarine. It dropped eight depth charges, then called in HMCS Hespeler and HMCS Dunver, on patrol south of the Hebrides. “The original postwar analysis credited the Sunderl...