PHOTOS: Marine Archaeologists Explore Sunken Nazi Submarine Off the Coast of Texas

During Ocean Exploration Trust‘s recent underwater expedition off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico, they captured some incredible footage of a sunken German U-166 boat.

The group of surveyors were led by the same man who discovered the Titanic, Dr. Robert Ballard.

“Hitler brought the war to our doorstep shortly after they declared war on us, so this was something that most American people do not realize: How close the war came, and how threatening it was,” Ballard said. “They were extremely successful.”

Yes, indeed–Hitler’s submarines once lurked around the Gulf. Nazi naval commanders sent off 22 U-boats during those days, which allegedly sank at least 50 of our ships, including one at the mouth of the Mississippi.

This information may come as a shock to most people, especially since Americans never thought the Nazi regime posed a threat.

“And there’s a very good reason,” said shipwreck diver Richie Kohler in a WFAA video. “The United States government didn’t want us to know. They didn’t want us to know how Germany was taking us to task, how successful these U-boats were.”

The submarine was first discovered back in 2001, but it still lingers as a stark reminder of how close WWII came to the US.

Check out the slideshow of the U-166 boat above.

Images: Ocean Exploration Trust via WFAA/ABC