Zeppelin discovered!

Graf Zeppelin, that is.

Poland’s navy said today that it identified a sunken ship 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.

Backround on the ship here.
Cool stuff!

9 Responses to “Zeppelin discovered!”

  1. DirtCrashr says:

    Goering hated this idea and the Navy. Airplanes were his playthings, not some sailors’ – and the challenge revealed his un-fittness. “His response was to offer redesigned versions of the then-obsolete JU-87 Stuka dive bomber and older versions of the Messerschmitt 109 fighter. Both planes were land-based aircraft never intended to meet the rough requirements for carrier operations.” (http://www.damninteresting.com/?p=434)

  2. Oh, SPIFF!!
    Goering hated this idea and the Navy.
    Obviously someone was watching out for us, then. I’m just surprised the Russians didn’t actually USE the thing for a while, if it was so fearsome.

  3. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Yeah, I’ve read that the Luftwafte had a real chip on their shoulder, and didn’t integrate well with land operations either.
    Be thankful — if Nazi Germany had effect air-ground operations, things would have really nasty. As it was, they couldn’t cooperate well strategically. Whew!

  4. DirtCrashr says:

    Goering vs. Doenitz vs. Rommel – it was Subs vs. Airplanes vs. Armor for the Krauts. The Germans had no ship/aircraft experience despite a wakeup call: “The first strike from a carrier against a land target took place on July 19, 1918. Seven Sopwith Camels launched from HMS Furious attacked the German Zeppelin base at Tondern, with two 50 lb bombs each.” — while we (and the Brits) have had it practically since WWI. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_carrier
    Attacked a Zeppelin base…huh, ya think they might have had an inkling about things after that.
    The Graf-Z design was top-heavy with armor, “the anti-aircraft armament was heavy but badly sited, all on the starboard side.” Jeepers!! Dive down and come in from the left with a TBM (what my dad trained in as a radioman) and it’s all over. And it carried only 40 planes, while we normally had 80 to 100.
    The Russkies just used the hull as a booty-barge, they filled it with war material and towed back to Leningrad. One-track minds those guys.

  5. Crusader says:

    I think the GZ would have had more to fear from Stringbags than Turkeys. The Stringbags did a good job of ruining the Busmarks day. But the GZs aircraft capacity was not far off what the RNs armored carriers could carry. i just think that for their first carrier, they would have been better off with a simpler design w/out the armored deck. Once they had gotten the hang of carrier ops, then design a second class with the wizbang stuff. but one carrier would have made little difference in the war over all.

  6. Gunslinger says:

    Basically, a sea-going Tiger tank. It would have been a real bitch against the Atlantic convoys especially working in concert with U-boats.

  7. robin says:

    This is VERY interesting-I love nautical disaster stories! But I have to admit when I saw the article start with, “Poland’s Navy…” I was waiting for a punchline! (So they can see the OLD Polish navy, yadda yadda)

  8. Crusader says:

    Those glass bottomed boats helped to find the wreckage…..

  9. Nightfly says:

    Rule one – while submerged, do NOT answer knocks at the hatch.

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