Nazis in Antarctica
The [U-2015] was an enigma. The records indicate that she was lost off Denmark in early April of 1945. However, some historians believe she escaped the war intact and was scuttled by her crew in the Rì de la Plata between Argentina and Uruguay near the site where the Graf Spee wa blown up, but nothing has ever been proven...all that is known for sure is that she was completed in November of 1944, sent to sea, but never entered combat duty."
"Because she was a new generation in German electrode-sign, she was considered far superior to any other submarines then in service by any nation at the time. Her lower hull, which was packed with powerful batteries, enabled her to outrun most surface vessels, remain submerged for literally months, and travel great distances underwater. ..she became part of a project known as the New Destiny Operation."
This was a blueprint drawn up by top Nazis, in collaboration with the Peròn government in Argentina, for the flow of immense wealth accumulated by the Nazis during the war. While other submarines were still maintaining combat patrols to sink Allied shipping, the U-2015 was traveling back and forth between Germany and Argentina on a mission of transferring hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of gold and silver bullion, platinum, diamonds, and art objects stolen from the great collections of Europe. High-level Nazi officials and their families were also transported along with the treasure cargo, all discharged in absolute secrecy at a remote port on the coast of Patagonia."
The story that circulated in unconfirmed reports suggests that Operation New Destiny was the brainchild of Martin Bormann. He may have possessed a fanatical adoration of Adolf Hitler, but he was smart enough to see the Third Reich crashing and burning in flames. Smuggling the Nazi hierarchy and a staggering of amount of valuables to a nation friendly to GEermany was his goal even before the Allied armies crossed the Rhine. His most ambitious plan was to smuggle Hitler to a secret redoubt in the Andes, but it fell through when Hitler insisted on dying in his bunker in Berlin."
12 U-boats were used in this plan..."All were accounted for after the war. A few were sunk by Allied planes and warships; the rest were either turned over in a neutral country or scuttled by their crews."
"I read somewhere that the greatest unsolved mystery of the war was the total disappearance of the German treasury. Not one Deutschmark or scrap of gold was ever found."
"...Captain Edmund Mauer, who in turn had the box carried aboard the U-621. Numerous other crates and boxes containing precious relics of the Nazi party, including the Holy Lance and the sacred Blood Flag and other prized art treasures from the Third Reich, were loaded aboard another submarine, the U-2015, under the command of Rudolph Harger."
[Cussler describes the history of the Blood Lance, supposedly the lance that was used to pierce the side of Jesus when he was on the cross]
Nazi Arctic exploration
[Hitler] acquired a fascination for Antarctica, primarily to populate and to use as a giant military establishment. He believed that if such a dream came true, his naval and air force could control all the seas south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Captain Alfred Ritscher was put in command of a large expedition to explore the subcontinent. The Schwabenland, an early German aircraft carrier used to refuel seaplanes flying the Atlantic in the early 1930s, was converted for Antarctic exploration, and left Hamburg in December of 1938 under the pretense of studying the feasibility of setting up a whaling colony. After reaching their destination in the middle of the southern summer, Ritscher sent out aircraft with the newest and best German cameras. His flyers covered over two hundred and fifty thousand square miles and took more than eleven thousand aerial photographs."
"Richter returned with a larger expedition a year later, this time with improved aircraft with skis, so they could land on the ice. They also brought along a small zeppelin. This time they covered three hundred and fifty thousand square miles, landing at the South Pole and dropping flags with the swastika emblem every thirty milies as markers for their claim to Nazi territory."
"The aerial surveys recorded a number of ice-free areas, frozen lakes whose ice surface was less than four feet thick, and steam vents with signs of vegetation growing nearby. Their photographs also detected what looked like bits and pieces of roads under the ice.
"Teams using motorized snow vehicles found natural ice caves. While exploring them, they stumbled onto the remains of an ancient civilization. This discovery inspired the Nazis to use their engineering and technical ingenuity to build a vast underground base in Antarctica. It was the best kept secret in the war.
"During a speech to his U-boat commanders, he announced, "The German submarine fleet is proud of having built for the Fuhrer, in another part of the world, a Shangri-La on land, an impregnable fortress." pg. 355 (with more)