Classic Cars at the Bottom of the Sea

Very cool piece from the London Daily Mail

 

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Loaded on the ship were a wide range of military vehicles which were being transported by the ship from Glasgow to Alexandria, Egypt.

(photo courtesy of London Daily Mail)

 

Treasure trove of classic cars at the bottom of the sea: The British Merchant Navy ship carrying military vehicles that was sunk in the Red Sea during the Second World War

from London Daily Mail  of 23 May 2014

by Leon Watson

 

 

  • British Merchant Navy ship the SS Thistlegorm sank after it was bombed in 1941
  • The 128-metre-long vessel has lain 30m beneath the Red Sea for 73 years 
  • Still contained within the rusting cargo hold are a wide range of military vehicles
  • They were being transported by the ship from Glasgow to Alexandria, Egypt 

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Motorbikes inside the hold of the SS Thistlegorm, a British Merchant Navy ship that sank after it was bombed by two German planes in 1941.

(photo courtesy of London Daily Mail)

There are more photographs of the sunken ship and cargo and a cool video at the Daily Mail link here:

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2702871/Treasure-trove-classic-cars-bottom-sea-The-British-Merchant-Navy-ship-carrying-military-vehicles-sunk-Red-Sea-Second-World-War.html

 

1200px-Thishtlegun

 British Merchant Navy SS Thistlegorm 100 feet down on the bottom of the Red Sea.

By this time in the war, almost all British merchant ships were armed to defend against air attack, German raiders or surfaced U-Boats. These were known as DEMS (defensively equipped merchant ship). The guns were manned by several Royal Navy sailors and merchant sailors who had been trained to operate the gun.

(photo by Albert Kok2 courtesy of Wikipedia)

1200px-Thistlegormtruck

Trucks in the hold of SS Thistlegorm

(photo by Albert Kok2 courtesy of Wikipedia)

the wikipedia link is here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Thistlegorm

Below is a cool site by a British diver who researched the wreck in detail and took many photographs and videos of the wreck of the SS Thistlegorm.

http://www.divernet.com/Travel_Features/red_sea/157708/

 

Flugzeug Heinkel He 111

3 September 1939 HE 111 dropping bombs during the invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany

(photo from German National Archive)

As referenced, the ship was sunk in the Red Sea by two bombs from a German Heinkel He 111. This twin engine medium bomber was effective but was vulnerable to high performance fighters such as the RAF Spitfire because the Heinkel was slow (273 mph/440 km/h). It was originally developed as a “passenger plane” by the Luftwaffe in the early 1930s and the its speed in those years was considered fast but airciraft performance and speed increased dramatically as newer designs came into service in the later 1930s.

If you have an interest in diving on the wreck there is a link about that here:

http://www.divershotspot.com/Site/Egypt/Red_Sea/SS_Thistlegorm

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/