In 1963 the body of a German navy NCO was found in Neelova Gulf with the remnants of his uniform and rifle ammunition.

In 1985 Soviet helicopter pilot Peter Statsyukom discovered a small complex of five underground Nazi bunkers in the delta of the Lena River in the Siberian Arctic.

Article in Russian: What did the Nazis build in the mouth of Lena?

Lena Delta

Lena Delta cliffs

Apparently these artificial caves were built into a large rocky outcrop and blasted out with explosives. Nearby there was a 200m concrete jetty built linked by a small tramway to the storage caves. These storage bunkers sheltered 250 German manufactured fuel drums.

Inside an accommodation bunker they also found Nazi era coins, German naval badges and buttons. There had always been wartime tales amongst the indigenous Yakut people about mysterious men called chuchuna dressed in black spotted in the Bykovskaya Duct area between 1940-42.

According to some accounts when the intact wreck of a German U-boat, U-534 was raised in the Baltic by a wealthy private individual, amongst her soaked papers were orders at the end of WWII to sail to the Lena Delta.

My question is what was the base used for?

The nearest U-Boat base was at Narvik in Norway. DISTANCE FROM Narvik to Tokyo was 7,540nm, easily within the 13,450nm range of an IXC40 class Uboat

Was it in support of U-boat operations to Japan or to refuel flying boat operations to Japan, or for espionage/reconnaissance flights deep into the soviet rear?

Does anybody know and if so please could you identify sources?

OPERATION WUNDERLAND August 1942 my speculation is that the LENA BASE could have been built by the GERMAN Merchant Raider Komet, disguiset as a SOVIET ice breaker

Komet voyage to Japan via the Soviet ARCTIC Nor should we forget U362 was sunk in the Laptev Sea at 89.27 deg East:


  • 8
    Was there any base at all? Sounds like a question for skeptics. Google search didn't bring anything other than unconfirmed theories published in local newspapers. Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 5:48
  • 5
    Before you ask why this base existed, it needs to be established that it existed at all.
    – Schwern
    Commented Jul 9, 2017 at 20:28
  • 2
    Related: Who deposited German fuel drums on a Japanese air base
    – DevSolar
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 12:31
  • @DevSolar: yep, and the answer is pretty much the same.
    – sds
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 14:16
  • 2
    Comments are not for discussion. Comments identify issues; edit the question to address the issues and the flag the comments for dismissal. In this case, the question should contain all the evidence for the existence of the base.
    – MCW
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 23:22

1 Answer 1



No such base has ever existed.

Let's look at the map

The "port distance" between Kiel and Archangel is 1951 nautical miles, between Kiel and Murmansk - 1584 nautical miles.

The air distance between Murmansk and Tiksi (Lena delta) is 1744.66 nmi.

Yes, a German Type IX submarine with a range of 12knmi can go there and back. Can it actually carry there concrete, fuel drums, workers, heavy equipment &c &c &c? Not really.

Moreover, one look at the map is enough to realize that a Krigsmarine base there would serve no purpose. It is too far to be used against the Arctic convoys. There are no targets in the area. Pacific is also too far. Add to this the harsh climate (to put it mildly - ocean actually freezes and the base is unreachable 9 months of the year) and the question becomes moot.

Yes, but the rumors are so persistent!

My guess is that it all started with oil drums. USSR swiped in Germany everything if could carry. They probably took the fuel drums and brought them to Tiksi (and many other places). Some of them might have been stolen by the locals, who then, quite naturally, claim to have fished them out of the river. Then the rumor mill takes over - someone would claim to have seen Nazi coins or uniforms or submarine pens...

At any rate, I think the Lena base is as real as the Secret Nazi Base in Antarctica or on the Moon.

PS: Don't confuse this mythical base with automatic and manned weather stations. Lena delta is too far to be useful as such.

  • 3
    There's also a Nazi base on the moon. On the backside of it, if I remember correctly. I think I saw a documentary on it once;-)
    – user10356
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 3:24
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    @coderworks yes, it was built there for the nazis by the Mossad on orders of the CIA :)
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 10, 2017 at 9:12
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    There were small weather stations by the German Navy or Air Force in the arctic. I haven't heard about any on Soviet soil.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jul 11, 2017 at 4:19
  • @o.m. given the extent of German occupation of Europe, they would have several such within their own territory, which included northern Norway.
    – jwenting
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 11:22
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    @jwenting, they did go beyond the perimeter of their conventional military occupation, e.g. to Svalbard. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Haudegen
    – o.m.
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 15:17

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