Riddle of Graf Zeppelin’s Sinking May Surface From the Deep

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The New York Sun

WARSAW, Poland — Poland’s navy said yesterday that it has identified a shipwreck in the Baltic Sea as almost certainly 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.

The Polish oil company Petrobaltic discovered the wreck this month on the sea floor about 38 miles north of Gdansk.

“We are 99% sure — even 99.9% — that these details point unambiguously to the Graf Zeppelin,” Dariusz Beczek, the Navy commander of the vessel, the ORP Arctowski, said soon after returning to port yesterday morning after the two-day expedition.

The Graf Zeppelin was Germany’s only aircraft carrier during World War II. It was launched December 8, 1938, but never saw action. After Germany’s defeat in 1945, the Soviet Union took control of the ship, but it was last seen in 1947, and since then the ship’s fate has been shrouded in mystery.

The Graf Zeppelin will almost certainly remain on the sea bed, he said. “Technically it’s impossible to pull it out of the water,” a spokesman for the Polish navy, Lieutenant Commander Bartosz Zajda, said.

The New York Sun

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