Sanctuary to host docu-drama about Hitler

ALPENA – The Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary is hosting a screening of a National Geographic docu-drama, “Hitler’s Secret Attack on America,” at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The film chronicles the World War II Battle of the Atlantic along the east coast and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s efforts to search for sunken vessels from that period, including the German U-boat, U-576.

The sanctuary currently is working on a technical deep diving project with archaeologists from other sites, and the project’s lead scientist, Joe Hoyt, maritime archaeologist for the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, is among those working on the deep diving project, and will be at the screening for a question and answer period before and after the film.

“National Geographic put together this documentary to show how close the World War II naval battles were to the United States coast,” Media and Outreach Coordinator Stephanie Gandulla said. “Joe did a lot of work on this battle field, and has a wealth of information on the project.”

The film follows NOAA researchers as they piece together the 1942 assault by German submarines on American shipping, which claimed more than 200 vessels and 2,000 lives.

As the lead scientist on the expedition, Hoyt can elaborate on the little know history of the battle so close to the U.S. shores.

“These battles were off the coast of North Carolina, and along the eastern seaboard in the Atlantic Ocean,” Gandulla said. “It’s neat to take advantage of the experts in the sanctuary system when they come to do research here, and learn about the research they have been doing.”

Some of the archaeologists from the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary traveled to North Carolina to participate in the expedition and explore the ships, and are also featured in the National Geographic film.

For more information on the film or the event, contact the Gandulla at the sanctuary at 356-8805, ext. 38.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.