In a shocking reminder of how close the Second World War came to America, a German U-boat has been discovered by marine archaeologists working off the shores of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.

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That Nazi subs once prowled the Gulf of Mexico may come as a bit of surprise to Americans.

"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."

Indeed, in addition to marauding merchant shipping in the North Atlantic, Nazi naval commanders dispatched 22 U-boats to the Gulf of Mexico, including the Texas coastline. Historians claim that U-boats sank at least 50 American ships in the Gulf — including one in the very mouth of the Mississippi River. The U.S. Navy was only able to sink one U-boat in the Gulf — a sub that was just discovered by none other than marine archaeologist Robert Ballard and his Nautilus team. Ballard, as you'll surely remember, discovered the wreck of the Titanic back in 1985.

Related: Nazi subs found off Nantucket and as far away as Indonesia.

"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."

Images: Sea Research Foundation via WFAA/ABC

[ WFAA-ABC ]