German Divers Recover Stuka Dive Bomber Wreck
German military divers are working on bringing up the wreck of a Stuka dive bomber that has been on the floor of the Baltic Sea for 70 years, according to Associated Press.
The Stuka wreck was first discovered in the 1990s, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) off the coast of the German Baltic island of Ruegen, in about 18 meters (60 feet) of water.
During the past week the divers prepared the bomber for hoisting. Over the weekend the motor of the bomber has been brought up as well as some smaller pieces. The divers will now hoist up the main 9-meter (30-foot) fuselage piece.
Head of the recovery operation, Capt. Sebastian Bangert, from the German Military Historical Museum in Dresden 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. That’s our goal — a complete restoration and not conservation as a wreck.”
There are only two complete Stukas still around, and they are on display at the Royal Air Force Museum in London and at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
The Stuka, also known as the Junkers JU87 or Sturzkampfflugzeug, was first sent by Hitler to help the fascists in the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War, after which it fired the first shots of World War II. Used throughout the World War II, Stuka was later replaced by a quicker and more maneuverable Allied fighter planes.
Now in the museums, these bombers are a great attraction for the visitors as well as for researchers and historians.
Kathleen McCarthy, director of collections at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry stated: “The discovery and rising of a third Stuka from the sea floor will be a great asset for both scholars and the general public interested in learning more about historic military technology as well as this critical period in our world history.”
After the recovery of the Stuka from the Baltic Sea, it will be exhibited in the Air Force Museum, located at the former Gatow airport in Berlin.
Subsea World News Staff , June 13, 2012