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The Mystery of The Sunken "Thistlegorm"

January 28, 2014, in Interesting
Thistlegorm was transport merchant ship, which during the war was carrying loads of naval forces of Great Britain. In 1941, German bombers sank him at Suez Canal. Ever since its board so nothing has changed - trucks, motorcycles, surviving rusted ammunition, where tropical fish floating slowly past the twisted hull.
In April 1940, "Thistlegorm" was built from "Thompson and Sons", in their shipyards based in Sunderland, for "Albin Line Ltd". The ship was partly funded by the British government and was classified as an armed freighter. "Thistlegorm" was armed with a 4.7-inch (120 mm) anti-aircraft gun and a heavy machine gun due to wartime.
After three successful voyages (first to US for steel rails and aircraft, second to Argentina for grain, third to India for rum), "Thistlegorm" has undergone repairs in Glasgow.
On 2 June 1941 in Glasgow, "Thistlegorm" set sail on her fourth and final voyage. The vessel was involved in a secret operation called "Crusade", the essence of which was that the caravan of 16 ships must sail around Africa to ensure the equipment of troops operating in the north of the continent. This route was much longer crossing the Mediterranean, but allowed the British Transport without risk to reach Alexandria. Task set before the freighter was shipping ammunition, equipment and technology for the Eighth British Army, numbering 200 000 people, which was located in Egypt and eastern Libya.
Due to a collision in the Suez Canal, the convoy could not transit through the canal to reach the port of Alexandria and instead moored. Overlap that time one aircraft bomber dropped two bombs on the "Thistlegorm" and sent the vessel to the bottom of the sea.
"Thistlegorm" was discovered in March 1955 by a team of Jacques Cousteau during his expedition to the Indian Ocean on the research vessel "Calypso". Follow the prompts to local fishermen, Cousteau was able to find the skeleton of a sunken ship and raised several items, including a motorcycle, the captain's safe, and ship's bell. These studies are described in detail in the famous book by Jacques Yves Cousteau "The Silent World" and the scene underwater sunken ship entered the eponymous documentary.
Scheme of the British ship "Thistlegorm":
more information: SS Thistlegorm in wikipedia
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