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In what became the last major ship-to-ship surface gun and torpedo action of World War II the Haguro was sunk in the Malacca Strait off Panang by Royal Navy destroyers on 16 May, 1945. Her wreck was located in March of 2003. In 2014 the wreck was found to have been heavily damaged due to illegal salvage operations. This has been the fate of as many as 19 of the sunken WWII warships in asian waters.
The steel recovered from the wrecks is known as “low-background” steel, that is steel manufactured before the atomic age and the open atmospheric atomic bomb testing following WWII. This steel is very valuable in the making of in devices that require the highest sensitivity for detecting radionuclides.