New York: A new documentary has revealed that at the height of the Second World War, German U-boats had dropped eight saboteurs in the United States on a secret mission to destroy targets across the country.
According to a German documentary – ‘Attack on America – Hitler’s 9/11’, the first group of four men - carrying armfuls of weapons, explosives and primers - came ashore near New York on June 13, 1942, with another four landing from another U-boat off Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida four days later.
They were supposed to stage attacks on economic targets such as New York’s Penn Station, hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls and aluminium factories in Illinois and Tennessee.
Codenamed Operation Pastorius, the mission was the brainchild of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the German Abwehr counter-intelligence service.
“It has surprising parallels with 9/11 because the Nazis’ goals were the same - to kill as many people as possible while crippling economic installations,” a newspaper quoted Spiegel TV, the documentary makers, as saying.
The German ‘terrorists’ were however less successful than those of al Qaeda, as all the eight men were arrested without striking any of their targets.