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Nazi dive bomber hoisted to the surface after 70 years at the bottom of the Baltic

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Nazi dive bomber hoisted to the surface after 70 years at the bottom of the Baltic

Post by el on Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:18 am

German military divers are working to hoist the wreck of a Stuka dive bomber from the floor of the Baltic Sea.

The single-engine monoplane carried sirens that produced a distinctive and terrifying screaming sound as it dived to release its bombs or strafe targets with its machine guns. There are only two complete Stukas still around.

The wreck, first discovered in the 1990s when a fisherman's nets snagged on it, lies about 10 kilometers off the coast of the German Baltic island of Ruegen, in about 18 meters (60 feet) of water.
The divers have been working over the past week to prepare the bomber to be hoisted to the surface, using fire hoses to carefully free it from the sand. They have already brought up smaller pieces and also hauled up its motor over the weekend.

Captain Sebastian Bangert, a spokesman from the German Military Historical Museum in Dresden, which is running the recovery operation said they were now working to free the main nine metre (30-foot) fuselage piece and expect to bring it to the surface on Tuesday, depending on the weather.
Initial reports are that it is in good condition despite having spent the last seven decades at the bottom of the sea, he said.

'From my perspective there's a lot of damage - it's been under water for 70 years - but our restoration crew says it's in really good condition for being restored,' Capt Bangert added.

'That's our goal - a complete restoration and not conservation as a wreck.'

So far, little is known about this particular plane - when it crashed, who its pilot and gunner were and whether they survived the crash is still a mystery.

Once the plane is brought to the surface, researchers will use the serial number to track down this information.
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