Andrew James John Mackenzie
an historiography
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Salvors recover sunken silver hoard from torpedoed SS GAIRSOPPA

More than seventy years after its sinking, a US marine salvage company has discovered a British cargo ship torpedoed by a Kriegsmarine U-boat during World War Two. With a cargo of silver bullion, pig iron and tea, the salvors believe they have recovered virtually all of the silver ingots deposited on the seabed from the wreck of the SS GAIRSOPPA.

Commenting on its discovery, Odyssey Marine Exploration stated that it recovered 1,574 silver ingots, 61 tons, coupled with the addition of 1,218 ingots recovered the year before. Salvaged under contract with the British Department of Transport, Odyssey will retain 80% of the salvaged value of the sunken cargo.


Loaded with a cargo of silver, pig iron and tea, the SS GAIRSOPPA departed from India to England in February 1941, whereupon it was attacked and sunk by a German torpedo. Most of the crew were lost to the naval engagement. Describing the challenges of deep water salvage, Chief Executive Officer Greg Stemm stated:


“This was an extremely complex recovery which was complicated by the sheer size and structure of the SS GAIRSOPPA as well as its depth nearly three miles (4,800 meters) below the surface of the North Atlantic.”


Odyssey Marine Exploration released a video of its discovery operations on YouTube, the link to the video can be seen below (

ShipwreckOmex, “SS Gairsoppa Shipwreck,” Copyright © 2013 YouTube.
All copyrighted material used in this article or cited by this website is the property of their respective owners and in no way accepts any responsibility for an infringement on one of the above.
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