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Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

Article about: That day of July 1943 were shoot down two Gigant that come from Sardinian bound to Elba isle. They were loaded of men, both Germans and Italians and many were the deads. After seventy years

  1. #1

    Default Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    Todays most interesting news is:

    Massive Luftwaffe plane wreck 'found off Sardinian coast' - Telegraph

    But do any of u guys have any more information about it ?
    I've always been fascinated by the Me 321/323 aircraft and i'd love to see this being brought to the surface.

    How intact is it, and did it have any cargo on board when it went down? It coud be stuffed to the gills with interesting (and valuable) Wehrmacht kit.....

  2. #2

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    You have to laugh at the description though,

    Experts at the Imperial War Museum in London said they believed that there was "no other complete surviving Messerschmitt-323 Giant in existence."

    As I doubt it is that complete and surviving is stretching it a bit IMHO. It would be interesting to see the pictures taken of the wreck the article mentions?


    Whatever its just an opinion.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    doesn't seem to be many pictures around, but here's what I have grabbed off the net..impossible to tell how intact it is from these

    Me 323 Gigant discovery off SardiniaMe 323 Gigant discovery off SardiniaMe 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

  4. #4

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    Seeing as the 321/323 series were initially built as gliders, they were mainly constructed of plywood and canvas over a tubular framework, so I would imagine that best case scenario is that it'll look like the picture below, only covered in coral and concretion...

    Furthermore, the aircraft would have probably been flying troops or perhaps vehicles as cargo, so could well be considered as a war grave due to the probable presence of crew and/or passengers. Therefore no chance of a recovery would be considered IMO.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia  
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    I bet that made one heck of a splash when it hit the 'drink' !!!

    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  6. #6

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    I read a report that stated the Gigants were practically shot down like flies trying to re-supply Rommel...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    I can imagine them being sitting ducks, being so slow and large an aircraft - roughly same length as a Boeing 737 but with a wingspan of 180 feet, (compered to 93 feet for the 737) and a top speed of only 170 ish mph they would be rather difficult to miss . apparently they could soak up a far bit of damage (just as well really) unless of course they were loaded with fuel drums for Rommel's panzers They did have a lot of defensive MGs on board but probably only made the crew feel a bit better rather than actually helping in any practical way.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    Now that is relic hunting From the pics it looks pretty far from intact. Nice find though Thanks for sharing!

    Regards, Lars

  9. #9

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    The inevitable Wiki link:

    Messerschmitt Me 323 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Looks like my dream of seeing it come to the surface isnt exactly realistic.
    I'd have expected all the wood and fabric to have rotted away, but it looks as if the basic metal framework is very far from intact.
    Engine resting on the seabed is not a good sign, though the initial report gave the impression that the engines were still in alignment.

    Still very curious about what was aboard......the original design brief for the 323 was to be able to carry a PzIV, which seems a bit ambitious, but they could carry up to 12 tonnes of gear.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Me 323 Gigant discovery off Sardinia

    Very interesting discovery, such news make me extremely happy. Lets hope there is enough to save so it can be "saved" for a museum.
    Collect ROA, Cossack, Schuma and other WW2 Volunteer militaria.

    "Be Humble and kind, for you may find that it was Odin you entertained"

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