Me 323 wreck found in the Med

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12 years 5 months

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Apologies if this has already been posted. In todays Torygraph. Looks exciting, 200 feet down. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/9541566/Massive-Luftwaffe-plane-wreck-found-off-Sardinian-coast.html
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Profile picture for user shepsair

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Me323 Would be nice to see some photos. Will have to have a google. Mark
Profile picture for user Wyvernfan

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11 years 11 months

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What an amazing discovery to 'stumble' across. Really hoping this one is in a condition good enough to be recovered relatively intact too. Can't wait to see some pictures. Out of interest who would now be the legal owner? Rob
Apparently the Germans were planning to use the type in "Operation Sealion", the invasion of Britain. Really? Don't tell Dr North! :eek:
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OK, call me a wally, but I just can't help wondering how big a crane you'd need to lift one of those out of the Med! Adrian
Profile picture for user BSG-75

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Is there not an awful lot of wood in the original structure from its origins as a glider ? it would be very interesting to see whats left.:cool:
Profile picture for user Moggy C

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Don't tell Dr North! :eek:
Ah.. It's that 'narrative' again Needs a thorough debunking in my opinion Moggy

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11 years 8 months

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232 wreck It's a very fragile aircraft - even when it was in use - as it is basically a glider with engines fitted to make it into a transport plane. It must have been forced down, perhaps by the engines being disabled by gunfire or crew killed, and forced-landed on the sea. Any other kind of arrival would have seen its total destruction. I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't either a vehicle or a load of troops inside the fuselage. It will probably be a war grave as such a thin-skinned aircraft would have almost certainly had crew casualties under gunfire from a Beaufighter. It will be very interesting to see pics of its recovery. I wonder how the structure has fared? Of course, it may just fall to bits when they touch it. Let's hope not. Anon.
Perhaps they can use all the floatation gear left over from the Dornier 17 project...!!

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One Me 323 unit was entirely wiped out and shot into the Med, a massacre really. ''On April 22, the Germans sent in 21 of the huge Me-323s, each carrying 10 tons of fuel to Tunisia. Although the clumsy transports were strongly escorted, this move marked the passage of the Axis daylight transport effort, already irresponsible after April 5, to the stage of insanity. The South Africans sent out 38 P-40s, covered by a South African Spitfire squadron and additional flights of British- and Polish-manned Spitfires. They downed 16 (or possibly 17) Me-323s, an Mc 202, and an Re-2001, and perhaps three or more German fighters. Curiously, Allied losses also are uncertain; at most they lost four P-40s and a Spitfire, which had to belly-land'' http://stonebooks.com/archives/020407.shtml

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I couldn't find the thread previously where i'd wished for this scenario however i'm pleased to see it has come to fruition! Sadly however there is not too much to the construction of a 323, it's tubular lattice construction with a fabric covering, the armoured cockpit and undercarriage being the only really resilient pieces, I will be interested to see what they have discovered! http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-dRzr8wcALLA/Tvazgj8jSwI/AAAAAAAAd9M/lnL65S5FA7g/s1600/transport%2Baircraft%2BMesserschmitt%2BMe%2B323%2B%2527Gigant%2527%2Binterior%252C%2Ba%2Bsoldier%2Bwith%2Ba%2Blife%2Bjacket.jpg Gives you an idea of whats left after you remove the fabric!!!! http://www.57thfightergroup.org/pictures/life/images/11.jpg
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One Me 323 unit was entirely wiped out and shot into the Med, a massacre really. ''On April 22, the Germans sent in 21 of the huge Me-323s, each carrying 10 tons of fuel to Tunisia. Although the clumsy transports were strongly escorted, this move marked the passage of the Axis daylight transport effort, already irresponsible after April 5, to the stage of insanity. The South Africans sent out 38 P-40s, covered by a South African Spitfire squadron and additional flights of British- and Polish-manned Spitfires. They downed 16 (or possibly 17) Me-323s, an Mc 202, and an Re-2001, and perhaps three or more German fighters. Curiously, http://stonebooks.com/archives/020407.shtml
I think it is also a fact that many allied POW's from the North African campaign were transported and subsequently killed when these huge transporters were easily shot down, mostly over the sea, by allied fighters, whilst returning to Axis occupied airfields.
Profile picture for user Peter D Evans

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Some images have been posted here ;) Cheers Peter D Evans LEMB Administrator
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Oooohhh that looks messy...
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Oooohhh that looks messy...
True, but think how easy it'll be to hide under all those acres of fabric! Adrian

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19 years 9 months

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re; Sorry if im being thick is the picture of the semi complete a/c above the same a/c that has its wings on show at Speyer?
Profile picture for user D1566

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If there was a competition for the aircraft least likely to be the subject of a successful recovery from the sea ...

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Rumour has it... It was carrying several new 109's still in their sealed packing crates.......:p I'll get my coat.

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I can't help thinking this aircraft should be left precisely where it is. Sure, it's a fascinating and unique discovery; but as mentioned the site is likely to be a war grave. Add this to the cost and technical difficulty of raising from 200 feet, the likelihood that little more will surface than a heap of corroded tube sections, and the huge cost of restoring and displaying indoors what little usable material remained; then any recovery effort seems to be a waste of time. Better to leave it in situ for divers to marvel at from a respectful distance. Just my tuppence...