31 July 2006

Graf Zeppelin discovered

Not the dirigible, and not its inventor, but the only German aircraft carrier of World War II.

The Graf Zeppelin was launched in 1938, and was to have been loaded out with redesigned versions of the Junkers Ju-87 and the Messerschmitt Bf-109. She was never fully completed, though, and was scuttled in 1945 near the then-German port of Stettin (Polish Szczecin), as Russian troops approached the city. The Russians raised her, though, and she was sunk a second time in 1947, in the Baltic Sea, after being used as a target.

A Polish group discovered the wreck last week whilst looking for sites for oil in the Baltic, and divers have confirmed the ship’s identity.

Articles here and here about the discovery. This one has some nice pictures.

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