• Welcome to The Fedora Lounge!

Graf Zeppelin Found?

Discussion in 'WWII' started by Vanessa, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. Vanessa

    Vanessa One Too Many

    Wreck likely that of Nazi aircraft carrier

    By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer

    WARSAW, Poland - Poland's Navy said Thursday that it has identified a sunken shipwreck in the Baltic Sea as almost certainly being Nazi Germany's only aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin — a find that promises to shed light on a 59-year-old mystery surrounding the ship's fate.

    The Polish oil company Petrobaltic discovered the shipwreck earlier this month on the sea floor about 38 miles north of the northern port city of Gdansk.

    Suspecting it could be the wreckage of the Graf Zeppelin, the Polish Navy sent out a hydrographic survey vessel on Tuesday, said Lt. Cmdr. Bartosz Zajda, a spokesman for the Polish Navy.

    "We are 99 percent sure — even 99.9 percent — that these details point unambiguously to the Graf Zeppelin," said Dariusz Beczek, the Navy commander of the vessel, the ORP Arctowski, said soon after returning to port Thursday morning after the two-day expedition.

    During their time at sea, naval experts used a remote-controlled underwater robot and sonar photographic and video equipment to gather digital images of the 850-foot-long ship, Zajda said.

    "The analyses of the sonar pictures and the comparison to historical documents show that it is the Graf Zeppelin," Zajda told The Associated Press.

    Zajda said a number of characteristics of the shipwreck exactly matched those of the Graf Zeppelin, including the ship's measurements and a special device that lifted aircraft onto the launch deck from a lower deck.

    The naval experts were still waiting to find the name "Graf Zeppelin" on one the ship's sides before declaring with absolute certainty that it is the German carrier, Zajda said.

    The Graf Zeppelin was Germany's only aircraft carrier during World War II. It was launched on Dec. 8, 1938, but never saw action. After Germany's defeat in 1945, the Soviet Union took control of the ship, but it was last seen in 1947 and since then the ship's fate has been shrouded in mystery.

    Navy researchers plan to continue to examine the material they gathered during their two days at sea, but the analysis of the shipwreck will then fall to historians and other researchers, Zajda said.

    The Graf Zeppelin will almost certain remain on the sea bed, he said.

    "Technically it's impossible to pull it out of the water," Zajda said.
  2. db5zx

    db5zx Familiar Face

    Yes, it is the "Graf Zeppelin"

    I am a TV journalist working for a German TV science and technology magazine show. Plus, I have been interested in the "Graf Zeppelin" for a while now.

    Today, I talked to a naval historian who wrote a book on the carrier. He was 100% sure it is the "Graf Zeppelin". Later today, I called the Polish Navy's press office and asked them about their findings. There, I was told that they had a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) in the water at the wreck and also thoroughly inspected it using sonar. I got to see the sonar images and it is obvious that this is definately the carrier. Even in the low-res pics I got to see, it was very easy to make to a number of features like the plane elevators, the flight deck, flight deck artillery, etc.

    I am currently working to get a dive expedition to the wreck started for our TV magazine, so I might actually be at the wreck filming with archaeologists and naval historians. Keep your fingers crossed that that will work out. I'd love to go there.

  3. Vanessa

    Vanessa One Too Many

    So you'll keep the Lounge updated with pictures, yes? :D
  4. db5zx

    db5zx Familiar Face

  5. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

    Be careful, db5zx - this is how John Carpenter movies usually start. :eek:
  6. Vanessa

    Vanessa One Too Many

  7. Julius Xavier

    Julius Xavier One of the Regulars


    That's really cool. I can wait for the History or Doscovery Channel to get involved so I can watch the progress on tv. The only problem with this whole thing is waiting to see how long it'll be before the jokes start concerning the "Polish Navy". :p

  8. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

    Pics as she looked before the Soviets used her

    as a target vessel.
  9. Graf Zepplin

    Graf Zepplin

    Very Intresting.

    Yes, Please do keep us inform on this.

    Thank you.
  10. Warden

    Warden One Too Many

    Rare Zeppelin items for auction for the first time.

    See BBC news report here

  11. For a moment I thought this was about an airship. An aircraft-carrier on the other hand...that's interesting. I wasn't aware that the German navy during the Second World War had aircraft carriers.

    Well, you learn something new every day.
  12. This is fascinating. I knew the Germans had built an aircraft carrier, but didn't realize it had been launched and was at sea. Did it reach full operational status? What aircraft did it carry? What kind of operations did the Germans expect to do with her? And, given that the Russians slavishly copied the B-29 down to almost the last rivet, why didn't the Russians use the ship themselves as an aircraft carrier?
  13. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

  14. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

    Never operational. Soviet post-war history is kinda interesting.

  15. @db5zx: Which show are you working for?
  16. I remember being asked some years ago about the Kriegsmarine using aircraft carriers and why things 'went south'. I mentioned to the person I was discussing this with about Goering and how he would have been the one to prevent the Navy from using aircraft for their own purposes (was my general response - although what I wrote fully was far more detailed).

Share This Page