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Another attempt to extract a Douglas A-20 has failed?

In recent days there has been another failed attempt to retrieve from the Baltic Sea, a bomber of American design Douglas A-20? Originating from the times of World War II and belonging to the Soviet army, the machine was found in the summer of 2013. Since then, it has been possible to examine the wreckage
Published: September 9, 2014 - 16:08
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 08:12
Another attempt to extract a Douglas A-20 has failed?

In recent days there has been another failed attempt to retrieve from the Baltic Sea, a bomber of American design Douglas A-20? Originating from the times of World War II and belonging to the Soviet army, the machine was found in the summer of 2013. Since then, it has been possible to examine the wreckage and retrieve most of the small artefacts, but attempts to lift the plane itself have failed twice already.

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At the end of 2013. a private company failed to do this due to bad weather conditions. Had they risked raising the wreck in the prevailing weather at the time, there was a serious risk that it would have been destroyed during the lift. Now, last Friday’s reportedly unsuccessful a trial run by the Polish Navy. However, the obstacle was not the capricious Baltic weather, but unexploded ordnance found at the site. At least, this is the unofficial version reached by the mainstream media.

In the first phase of preparations for this year’s excavation attempt, the wreck, hidden from the eyes of outsiders, had to be uncovered first. It is not a novelty what kind of procedure is common in Polish waters. Therefore, it is not surprising that preventive measures were taken in the form of covering the wreck with a tarpaulin and covering it with sand. This is all the more purposeful as the wreck is located at the depth of about 15-17 m.

[ot-video type=”youtube” url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge5_bT_i_8Q”]

The A-20 was then lifted and positioned on a level piece of bottom, where it was prepared to be brought to the surface. However, subsequent ROV operations revealed the presence of three bombs. At this point it was decided that the wreck, due to inadequate preparation and lack of mine clearance, was not suitable for further recovery at this time.

We emphasise once again that this information is unconfirmed by the source of tvn24.pl. In a conversation with journalists, Radosław Pioch, spokesman for the 3rd Flotilla in Gdynia, denied the revelations of tvn24. Iwona Pomian, in turn, responsible for the whole operation on behalf of the National Maritime Museum, comments these reports in the following way:

“This is absolute nonsense. Work will still be carried out over the next few weeks, when there is something to report, we will certainly do so.”

douglas2001a

We will probably never know what the truth is. But the most important thing is that the excavation of Douglas finally finds a happy ending. Probably in Krakow, where it is to be included in the collection of the local Museum of Polish Aviation, they are already getting impatient.

The bomber was probably part of the support for the totalitarian Moloch in the form of the USSR, carried out as part of the Land-Lease programme during World War II. The Douglas A-20 is a real treat for fans of aviation history, as only 12 have survived in the world, including only 2 in Europe. Therefore, the determination and consistency in trying to retrieve it should not come as a surprise.

Source: tvn24.pl Photo: im.gda.pl

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Małgorzata Brykała
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