Located just south of the equator, Seenu Atoll (also known as Addu Atoll) is the southernmost atoll in the Maldives. The heart-shaped atoll, which spans over 18 kilometres in width and 15 kilometres in length, has 24 islands with 20 of them still uninhabited. The atoll is famous for its unique geographical aspects, wreck dives, large manta rays, sharks, turtles and bigger fish in general, all throughout the year, as opposed to an abundance of smaller reef fish. The ancient wrecks and wide variety of marine life make Addu Atoll a great location for novice scuba divers looking for a thrilling dive excursion in the Maldives.
Maldives have played an important role during the Second World War, by providing logistical, and even financial support to Britain. TheIndian Ocean island nation, which became a British protectorate in1887, (until 1965) was strategically important as both Japan and Germany used ocean lanes around Maldives.
British built its top secret military base in Addu Atoll code named Port T. When Malaya and SIngapore fell to the Japanese the British withdrew to Ceylon and Addu was developed as a military base. The Japanese were not aware of Port T until the later part of the conflict, and by then they were on the verge of defeat.
A group of 150 British Royal Marines, under the command of Col Jones arrived in Villingili (now the popular Shangrilla Resort), Addu Atoll, in August 1941. Soon after, British and Commonwealth Forces setup defenses in Hithadhoo, Meedhoo and Gan, turning the sleepy atoll to a military fortress in the Indian Ocean.
Shipping around the Maldives became vulnerable to attacks from Axis powers Japan Catalinas, Sunderlands and even long-range Liberators flew from Addu Atoll on submarine hunting missions and reconnaissance flights. Despite the secrecy of Port T and anti submarine defences around the atoll, a German submarine torpedoed British Loyalty, a British Petroleum oil supplier moored in Addu Atoll. Although there were no casualties, oil spill destroyed the marine habitat of the atoll, severely affecting the local fishermen, according to historian Mohamed
Distance from Male': 540km
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