World War II

U-Boats: Shadows in the Moonlight

Selected by German High Command, Cape Hatteras became a central area of German submarine activity in the early years of World War II.   From January through July of 1942, approximately 50 German U-boats operated off of North Carolina’s coast.  During this six month period, German submarines sank at least 80 freighters and tankers, sending the boats to the “Graveyard of the Atlantic." The attacks during this time also resulted in many military and civilian casualties.  For the first three months, the American response to this coastal threat was virtually non-exist

Digital projector, computer, screen/display

Recovering the M4 Enigma Machine, an oral history

During WWII the German navy used a cipher machine called Enigma to encipher and decipher messages. The machine was onboard of the U-85, one of the U-boats operating off the coast of the Outer Banks, and went down with the ship when it sank in April of 1942. The Enigma machine was not recovered and remained entombed in the U-boat until 2001 when it was found by a team of local divers.

Lectern, microphone, digital projector

B-1: How NC A&T and UNC Integrated the Modern US Navy

When World War II broke out, African Americans were still relegated to service in the U.S. Navy at mess rank only. B-1, a 45-piece band comprised primarily of students at NC A & T, was used to integrate the Navy’s ranks, becoming the first blacks to serve in the modern Navy at a general rating. Their service began at Norfolk for training and continued at Chapel Hill, where they were assigned to serve the Navy’s preflight training school established on the UNC campus there.

lectern, microphone, digital projector, DVD player

Nazi POWs in the Tar Heel State, 1942-1946

            More than 10,000 German prisoners of war were interned in eighteen camps in North Carolina during World War II. Yet apart from the guards, civilian workers, and FBI and local police who tracked escapees, most people were--and remain--unaware of their presence.

Special requirements for presentation: Lectern Microphone, if large auditorium

Witness to the Holocaust

In this very personal program, Dr. Walter Ziffer informs his audience of the difficulties of surviving during the German genocide known as the Holocaust and of the importance of maintaining vigilance so as to prevent a repeat of this atrocity. The program also counteracts contemporary revisionist distortions of the Holocaust.

Lectern, microphone

War Zone: World War II off North Carolina’s Outer Banks

In 1942, the United States suffered one if its worst defeats of WWII, not in Europe or the Pacific, but along the nation’s eastern seaboard. Three hundred ninety-seven ships were sunk or damaged, and 5,000 people died. For six months, sixty-five German U-boats hunted merchant vessels, practically unopposed, within view of coastal communities. The greatest of these attacks occurred off NC’s Outer Banks. For this program, Kevin Duffus has compiled a stunning collection of eyewitness stories of merchant sailors, Coast Guard recruits and coastal residents who survived the events.

LCD projector and screen preferred

North Carolina’s U-Boats – U-85, U-701, U-352

Hitler declared war on the United States on Dec. 11, 1941 – four days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  German U-boats soon began crossing the Atlantic and sinking American shipping along the North Carolina coast.  Some of these attacks were within sight of coastal residents. By August of that year three of these boats – U-85, U-701 and U-352 were also sunk within 20 miles of the North Carolina mainland.

Screen, display table, base for projector
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