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Historical Research In Support of Maritime Archaeological Projects: A Case Study of the Sinking of the Ashkhabad by the U-402

Author(s): Aaron Hamilton

Year: 2014

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Summary

In May-June 2013, the Battle of the Atlantic Research and Expedition Group partnered with NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to conduct a maritime archaeological survey of the Soviet tanker Ashkhabad, torpedoed and sunk in April 1942 by the German submarine U-402. Before any in-water work commenced, however, a considerable amount of archival research and photographic interpretation was conducted to provide historical context for the survey. This paper will present key findings of this research, including the history of the Ashkhabad prior to its service in the Soviet merchant fleet, the historical background of its protagonist, the U-402, and details on the fatal encounter between the two, including oral histories. The paper will further demonstrate the potential contributions of privately-held photographic collections and avocational historians to maritime archaeology projects such as the Ashkhabad survey.


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Historical Research In Support of Maritime Archaeological Projects: A Case Study of the Sinking of the Ashkhabad by the U-402. Aaron Hamilton. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436763)


Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-20,03

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America