Πέμπτη, 14 Απριλίου 2016

WWII war wrecks & relics from around the world

We tend to think that we have found all the wrecks and relics from the battlefields of the world wars. But, when you realise how vast the wars were it shouldn’t really come as a surprise to us when machines of war are discovered. Here is a collection of wrecks and relics that have been found.
IL-2 Sturmovik
Freshly retrieved from ‘Crooked Lake’ near the town of Severomorsk in the Murmansk region of Russia is the IL-2 Sturmovik wreck pictured below. The wreck was lifted on 21st June 2012 by a team named ‘Icarus’ from the city of Zaozersk. This particular IL-2 served with 46th Air Assault Regiment of the Northern Fleet and made an emergency landing on the ice covered ‘Crooked Lake’ on November 25th 1943. It was part of a group of 16 IL-2s that were part of a raid on a German airfield at Luostari. 25 Me-109’s rose to intercept them and the resulting engagement cost the Russians 11 planes and the Germans 23.
After the B-25 had taken off from the Army Air Base outside Columbia, South Carolina, on a skip-bombing training mission over the lake’s island targets, its left engine had lost power. The base was a good six miles away, so Henry Mascall, the bombardier, urged pilot William Fallon to land on the lake. The airplane ditched about two miles west of Dreher Shoals Dam. The crew climbed out onto the wings, then inflated a life raft and set it in the water. Sewall Oliver eventually rescued them all in his speedboat.  About seven minutes after impact, the aircraft began sinking. It finally ended up at the bottom of Lake Murray, at a depth of 150 feet—too deep for the U.S. Army Air Forces to salvage it. It was written off as a loss.

Fw 190
On 1 Nov 2006, a Fw 190 A-3 was salvaged from the ocean off the island of Sotra, near Bergen, Norway. Its pilot had made an emergency landing in December 1943 and had scrambled to safety and was rescued soon after; his aircraft had sunk to the bottom of the sea. After its retrieval from 60 m deep water, the Fw 190, “Yellow 16,” from IV/JG 5 was only missing its canopy and the fabric-covered wing and tail surfaces.
British WWI Mark IV tank
French war scholar Philippe Gorczinski discovered the resting place of a British Mark 4 tank, used in the Battle of Cambrai, on 5 November 1917. A team of a dozen archeologist dug the 27-ton machine out of its grave. It had been buried beneath more than eight feet of soil in a vegetable patch in the French town of Flesquieres, near the Belgian border. It will now be restored and made into a memorial to the thousands who lost their lives.
Soviet KV-1 tank
A Soviet KV-1 tank which sank in the Neva River near Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) during World War II has been successfully recovered from the bottom of the river in the Kirov district of northwestern Russia’s Leningrad Region. “There were no remains of the crew found inside the tank, and that suggests that they had escaped from the sinking battle machine,” Bobrun continued. “We can already conclude that the tank was likely to have sunk while crossing the river on a pontoon on the way to the combat area. After determining serial numbers of the units and the assemblies of KV-1, the museum staff will be able to track the fate of the crew and even find their relatives.”
Dornier Do-17
The wreck of the Dornier Do-17 plane being raised to the surface of a ship at Goodwin Sands, Kent, at the mouth of the English Channel, on June 10, 2013. Experts from the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum had spent five weeks preparing to lift the aircraft, which is believed to be the only Dornier Do-17 bomber plane left from the war. The aircraft was a mainstay of the German bomber fleets during the Battle of Britain in 1940.  The wreck is believed to be aircraft call-sign 5K-AR, shot down on 26 August that year at the height of the battle. Two of the four crew members died and were buried elsewhere, and two – including the pilot – survived to become prisoners of war.
The Swamp Ghost is a Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress that was shot down over Papua New Guinea during the Second World War in 1942, after a raid on ships at Japanese-held New Britain. While flying over Rabaul, it was intercepted and eventually had to force-land in a remote swamp near the north coast of New Guinea. All of the crew survived the crash landing and arduous trek out. Was discovered in 1972 during an RAAF helicopter exercise.

15-ton cannon
A 15-ton cannon barrel left over from World War II was found on august 2012 from a dig site near Hiiumaa island’s Lehtma port. A team working for the Hiiumaa Military Museum spent three hours removing the 180-millimeter cannon, part of one of several field guns the Soviet Union had installed on the island at the beginning of the war to guard its western front.
Valentine Tank
The Valentine tank lay in Warta since January 1945, when during the war broke through the ice. The Red Army received from the Allies about 2000 tanks Valentine. In the world to date, only three such tanks are known to survive in Russia, which can be seen in museums. None, however, did not participate in the fighting.

A SDKFZ-10 was dug up in a construction site at Euskirchen Train Station (Ger) on February 10, 2014. Construction was being carried out on the site when the said WWII machine was found. When part of the remains of the SDKFZ-10 became visible to the workers, the work was halted and the emergency control center of the German railway company was informed. They initially believed the buried WWII vehicle was a “Borgward IV”, a remote-controlled heavy explosive carrier used by the Germans in WWII, thus, the police were called to cordon the area in case explosives were found.
The remains of the USS LST-480, is seen in West Loch near Pearl Harbor.- The naval vessel sank in an accidental explosion on May 21, 1944 which killed 163 men and sank several other Landing Ship Tank vessels. The LST ships were being loaded with ammunition and gas and were preparing for a voyage to the Marianas Islands, for what was expected to be a brutal invasion, codenamed “Operation Forager.”
On 2 Aug. 1994, the wreckage of a United States Army Air Forces Consolidated B-24D Liberator Beautiful Betsy, was discovered in Kroombit Tops, a national park in Central Queensland, Australia. The aircraft had gone missing in stormy weather on 26 February 1945 while on a “Fat Cat” run from Darwin to Brisbane – transporting men and supplies as part of a regular flight. The American crew members and two English RAF officers were all killed.  It was not until 1994 that the plane wreckage was located unexpectedly by a Park Ranger who was doing controlled burns.
Graf Spee’s rangefinder
Recovery of the Graf Spee’s rangefinder off the coast of Uruguay – Shipwrecks can be significant sites for archaeologists. Admiral Graf Spee sank nine commercial vessels in the Atlantic in late 1939 before it was badly damaged in the battle of the River Plate, one of the first naval clashes of World War II. Termed a pocket battleship, it made port in Montevideo but neutral Uruguay gave in to pressure from Britain and ordered the Graf Spee to sail. The captain scuttled it to prevent the blockading Royal Navy getting hold of it. A group of private investors from Argentina and Germany aims to refloat the pride of the Nazi fleet and rebuild it as a museum.  Divers recovered the 27-ton range finder – the first radar antenna installed on a warship.
USS Arizona, then and now:
An aerial view of the USS Arizona Memorial with a US Navy (USN) Tour Boat, USS Arizona Memorial Detachment, moored at the pier as visitor disembark to visit and pay their respects to the Sailors and Marines who lost their lives during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.
The USS Arizona Memorial, located at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, marks the resting place of 1,102 of the 1,177 sailors and Marines killed on USS Arizona (BB-39) during the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and commemorates the events of that day. The attack on Pearl Harbor and the island of Oʻahu was the action that led to the United States’ direct involvement in World War II.
The memorial, built in 1962, is visited by more than two million people annually. Accessible only by boat, it straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it. Historical information about the attack, shuttle boats to and from the memorial, and general visitor services are available at the associated USS Arizona Memorial Visitor Center, which opened in 1980 and is operated by the National Park Service. The sunken remains of the battleship were declared a National Historic Landmark on 5 May 1989.

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