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Soviet WWII wreck discovered in Volga - video

A very interesting find has fallen prey to archaeologists in the Russian Federation. The wreck of a World War II ship, which sank during the legendary Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. The whole thing was brought to the surface, thanks to which it was possible to recover, apart from the ship itself, a whole mass
Published: January 6, 2018 - 16:30
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:17
Soviet WWII wreck discovered in Volga – video

A very interesting find has fallen prey to archaeologists in the Russian Federation. The wreck of a World War II ship, which sank during the legendary Battle of Stalingrad in 1942. The whole thing was brought to the surface, thanks to which it was possible to recover, apart from the ship itself, a whole mass of artefacts that went to the bottom 76 years ago.

Found near Volgograd (Stalingrad in 1925-1961), the structure is the wreck of the Soviet armoured patrol boat BK-31, which was sunk near Stalingrad on 9 October 1942, during the fighting of one of the largest and most ferocious battles of World War II.

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Units of this type were called “tank on water” because of the specific features of construction. As you can see, the whole thing is not very big, but what strikes you at once is the 76 mm gun, used in the legendary T-34 tanks. In addition, there were two 7.62 mm machine guns on the equipment.

BK-31 was sunk by a direct hit and went to the bottom of the Volga near Golodny Island. The traces discovered during the examination show how fierce the fighting was. One of the photos below shows the wooden temporary seals used to patch up the holes left by hits before the unit could be repaired properly.

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Along with the excavation of the wreckage, the bodies of eleven crew members and large quantities of various weapons, as well as a great many other items and valuable historical artefacts were also found. Among them, among others, a Mosin M91 rifle, a DP (Diegtiariow Piechotnyj) hand machine gun with a characteristic “plate”, a special weapon, small arms and a lot of ammunition.

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According to preliminary findings, it is believed that the crew of this particular unit may have been engaged in transporting the wounded from the west bank of the Volga and delivering reinforcements from the east bank, while firing with all available weaponry.

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The Soviets used about 300 units of this type during World War II. The floating tanks were used to transport soldiers and to support operations in complexes located in the riverine regions of Ukraine and the European part of the USSR.

The wreck was found by chance in 2015, but the operation to excavate it was only carried out at the end of 2017. The remains of the soldiers found will be buried with honours, while the wreck and the excavated artefacts, after undergoing a series of conservation works, will be opened to the public.

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Source: guns.com, thefirearmblog.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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