Category: Wrecks Country: Croatia

German torpedo boat Stella Polare

Lat: 45.144831640904 Lng: 14.23258971797
German torpedo boat Stella Polare
The Stella Polare was built for the needs of the Italian Navy during World War II. Its was launched on 11 July 1943 at the Rijeka shipyard. Originally designed for convoy escort and anti-submarine warfare, less than two months later, on September 8, 1943, the Italian government signed the armistice, and all Italian vessels were seized by the German command. After being renamed TA-36, its new mission was to demine Italian minefields and lay new German ones.

On March 18, 1944, after only 8 months of service, while on a reconnaissance mission, the German commander, Captain Von Kleist, ordered the boat to pass through a minefield. The ship encountered an Italian mine that literally split it in half.
The rapid influx of water inside caused it to sink in just 2 minutes, leading to the death of 46 sailors. To cover up his mistake of navigating an unauthorized route, the German commander deliberately entered incorrect coordinates for the sinking. For this reason, the boat couldn't be located for a long time. 

The boat sank deep into the sea, at a depth of 67 meters. It is split in two, with the bow lying 150 meters from the larger part of the ship, which is remarkably well-preserved. Two-barrel guns and three-barrel torpedo launchers with ammunition (torpedoes) can still be seen on the wreck.

The wreck of the boat has been declared a monument to World War II.
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