Rare British WW2-airplane found in Norwegian fjord




 
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November 9th, 2014  
MontyB
 
 

Topic: Rare British WW2-airplane found in Norwegian fjord


Rare British WW2-airplane found in Norwegian fjord


University students have made a sensational discovery deep down at 180 meters in the Trondheim fjord in Norway. During an underwater search a British aircraft used in the fight against Tirpitz during WW2 appeared on the ocean floor.

Publisert 25.10.2014, kl. 04:06 Oppdatert 25.10.2014, kl. 04:34
– We have found the wreckage of a Halifax bomber from World War 2. The plane was most likely on a bombing raid against the Tirpitz in 1942, but was shot down in the attempt, says Professor Martin Ludvigsen, at the Marine Technology Centre at NTNU in Trondheim.
The aircraft was found off the shore of Vikhammer, on the outskirts of Trondheim. The great depth of the find has made the search challenging.

– We were out with six students conducting a course . They were from the marine technology center and NTNU. Students had been tasked to plan and carry out the operation, says Ludvigsen.
Planned search

Before the operation the studenty used historical sources, and various technical equipment in the planning of the search.
– The were loud cheers on board when we discovered the plane. Nine out of ten operations are unsuccessful, so it was great that we found it.
Years of searching comes to an end

Tirpitz was a German battleship that was in Norway during WW2. The ship was hiding from British bombers in Fættenfjorden, which is a narrow channel of Åsenfjorden . Later, it sailed to Alta, and in 1944 it was sunk near Tromsø.

The Halifax plane was used by British pilots, and it has been known for a long time that several planes were shot down over Trondheim fjord in their attempt to bomb the Tirpitz.
– This has been known in the community of underwater surveillance and many have searched for the aircraft over the years, said Ludvigsen .
In spite of lying on the bottom of the fjord for more than 70 years, the plane is fairly intact.
– It has a wingspan of 30 meters, and it is a four- engine aircraft. The body is quite damaged by the sea water, but the aircraft itself is complete. The wings are on and the engine is where it should be. The plane is standing nose down on the bottom, says Ludvigsen.

Detailed investigations have now been done to document as much as possible.
– We will give the documentation to the Aviation Museum in Bodø. They have been notified and are very positive and happy about the discovery, says Ludvigsen.
– This is huge, and a lot of fun. It’s a reward for all the hard work.
– Spectacular discovery

Historian Lars- Erik Vaale is an expert on WW2, and finds the discovery exciting.
– This is a very spectacular discovery. About 20 years ago they found another battle plane in Kragerø, which lead to a lot of intrest.
This discovery may also turn out to be of historical significance.
– The aircraft is like a time capsule on the ocean floor. There may be documents bringing new information about how this military operation was supposed to be conducted and its role in the war strategy of the allies. Only 15 years ago a scuba diver outside of Narvik found documents in two sunken ships in the harbor with important information about the “Weserübung Operation”. The information about the German attack on Norway April 9 1940 was unknown until then.
The aircraft is also an important part of the long relationship the United Kingdom has had with Norway.
The sinking of Tirpitz in the autumn 1944 helped reverse the relative strength in the North Atlantic in favour of the Allies, and was thus a major contributing factor to the fall of the Third Reich in the spring of 1945.
This contributed to take Norway out of the war whitch they had drawn us into during winter of 1940. The Halifax plane is thus a symbol of how the Norwegians' chilly attitude towars the British warmed again, and Britain ended up being our most important ally in the fight against Nazism.

http://www.nrk.no/trondelag/rare-bri...ord-1.12005570
November 9th, 2014  
BritinAfrica
 
 
I was always under the impression that it was 617 (Dambuster) Squadron that attacked the Tirpitz. 617 Squadron as far as I am aware only flew Lancasters not Halifax's
November 10th, 2014  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
I was always under the impression that it was 617 (Dambuster) Squadron that attacked the Tirpitz. 617 Squadron as far as I am aware only flew Lancasters not Halifax's
There were earlier raids where the Halifax was used during 1942, there were four attempts made by the RAF to attack and sink the Battleship Tirpitz.

The first was on 30/31st January 1942 when Stirling aircraft from 15 and 149 Squadrons, along with Halifaxes from 10 and 76 Squadrons participated in 'Operation Oiled', an attack against the Tirpitz as she lay in Fættenfjord in Norway.

Another attempt was on the night of 30/31st March 1942, when Halifaxes from 10, 35 and 76 Squadrons made an attack.

There were also attacks in April 1942 by Halifaxes from 10, 35 and 76 Squadrons.
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November 11th, 2014  
tetvet
 
Tirpitz was a threat while doing nothing but staying tied up at dock but it was a mean machine if it ever got loose among British shipping trouble big time , but the way it was it was as good as a fleet . I saw a film about the Dam busters I believe they were used to take out a Hydro electric Dam don't remember where .
November 11th, 2014  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetvet
Tirpitz was a threat while doing nothing but staying tied up at dock but it was a mean machine if it ever got loose among British shipping trouble big time , but the way it was it was as good as a fleet . I saw a film about the Dam busters I believe they were used to take out a Hydro electric Dam don't remember where .
Umm the Operation Chastise was one of the greatest and most innovative raids of the war to destroy three damns in the Ruhr valley ( Eder, Möhne and Sorpe Dams) using the bouncing bomb designed by Barnes Wallis, it cost the lives of 53 Allied Airmen and almost 2000 Germans mainly civilian and forced labourers.

November 11th, 2014  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
There were earlier raids where the Halifax was used during 1942, there were four attempts made by the RAF to attack and sink the Battleship Tirpitz.

The first was on 30/31st January 1942 when Stirling aircraft from 15 and 149 Squadrons, along with Halifaxes from 10 and 76 Squadrons participated in 'Operation Oiled', an attack against the Tirpitz as she lay in Fættenfjord in Norway.

Another attempt was on the night of 30/31st March 1942, when Halifaxes from 10, 35 and 76 Squadrons made an attack.

There were also attacks in April 1942 by Halifaxes from 10, 35 and 76 Squadrons.
Thanks for the correction Monty. I'd forgotten about the previous raids.

The dams raid did do quite a bit of damage, but its main result was boosting morale of the British public that Bomber Command was fighting back and doing damage.

The deaths of 53 of 617 Squadrons aircrew deeply affected Barnes Wallace, he swore he would never put mens lives at risk again.
 


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