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dseehafer

The sinking of the Deutshland/Lutzow (pictures)

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Greetings all,

 

I have some interesting pictures to share with you today!

 

For those of you who were not aware, the partially sunken wreck of the Lutzow (bombed by Tallboy bombs in 1945) was captured by the Russians and refloated after the war.

 

 

The Lutzow as she appeared after the war

Lützow

 

 

A group of Soviet navymen inspects the Lutzow

Lützow

 

 

Lutzow was officially enrolled in the Soviet navy on September/26/1946 but was immediately moth-balled pending repair and restoration. However, the ship was later deemed "damaged beyond repair" and it was decided to sink her in the Baltic Sea in a weapons test on July/22/1947. The captured incomplete German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin would also be disposed of in similar tests.

 

On board Lutzow were strategically placed 11 bombs... 4x 500kg, 3x 250kg, and 4x 100kg... totaling 3,150kg. 

 

The first bomb (a 250kg bomb) was detonated within the ship's conning tower at 8:25 AM. The explosion blew a hole in the 55mm floor of the conning tower and threw the main forward range-finder (mounted on the conning-tower's roof) into the sea.

 

Several hours later, at 12:45 PM, a 500kg bomb was detonated below deck amidships. This destroyed the foundation of the catapult and penetrated the aft main deck. The ship burned for some time but refused to sink. 

 

The Soviets grew impatient and decided to combine the remaining 3rd and 4th test into one and detonate all of the remaining bombs simultaneously. Notably, one of the 500kg bombs was placed in front of the forward 11" turret for this test. 

 

The remaining 1.5 tons of bombs were detonated at 3:45 PM. This explosion jammed one of the 11" guns at its maximum elevation and the forward deck was peeled open so that debris rests on the forward edge of the bow and even on the turret roof. 

 

At 4:15 Lutzow started to sink by the bow. By 4:23 the bow was completely under water and she had developed a 30-degree list to port. Shortly after the stern slipped beneath the waves and the Lutzow sank in 113m of water.
 

 

Now for the pictures...

 

Lutzow after the first and second tests

deutschland50.jpg

 

 

1.5 tons of explosives are detonated simultaneously for the third and final test 

deutschland51.jpg

 

 

After the smoke has settled...

deutschland53.jpg

 

 

A closeup from the other side of the ship shows that the deck forward of the turret has been decimated, almost the entirety of the turret's barbette is exposed and debris rest on whats left of the bow as well as on the turret roof...

deutschland52.jpg

 

 

Lutzow begins to sink by the bow, it appears that her bow may have even snapped off at this point...

deutschland55.jpg

 

 

A close-up shot

deutschland54.jpg

 

 

The entirety of the bow is submerged as well as most of her bridge

deutschland56.jpg

 

 

The final moments of the Lutzow

deutschland57.jpg

 

 

 

Hope you found this interesting!

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3 minutes ago, mohawkdriver said:

What a waste.  Seems to me blowing up a ship like that for testing purposes is just folly.

 

So many ships microwaved by the US you could say that about as well.

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5 hours ago, mohawkdriver said:

What a waste.  Seems to me blowing up a ship like that for testing purposes is just folly.

 

Well, she was already deemed unrepairable due to damage from the previous 1945 Tallboy attack. Sinking her in a weapons test was about the most use she could have been to the Soviets outside of being scrapped. Graf Zeppelin was not unsalvageable but the Russians did not want to get in trouble with the Allies over an aircraft carrier that they weren't supposed to have so they blew her up as well in order to get rid of the evidence.

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And since I brought up Graf Zeppelin...

 

FascistFlattop88.jpg

 

FascistFlattop87.jpg

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23 hours ago, Estimated_Prophet said:

 

So many ships microwaved by the US you could say that about as well.

True.

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Just as a aside, the vessels destroyed during the Bikini Atomic Bomb tests would have made a pretty decent task force had they survived. There were ... 

 

CV:  Fleet Carrier -1

CVL:  Light Carrier - 1

BB:  Battleships - 5

CA:  Heavy Cruisers - 4

CL:  Light Cruiser - 1

DD:  Destroyers - 13

SS:  Fleet Submarines - 8

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16 hours ago, BB3_Oregon_Steel said:

Just as a aside, the vessels destroyed during the Bikini Atomic Bomb tests would have made a pretty decent task force had they survived. There were ... 

 

CV:  Fleet Carrier -1

CVL:  Light Carrier - 1

BB:  Battleships - 5

CA:  Heavy Cruisers - 4

CL:  Light Cruiser - 1

DD:  Destroyers - 13

SS:  Fleet Submarines - 8

 

.... you do know we're not talking about Bikini Atoll, right?

 

Edit: I reread "as an asside". Sorry, you're good. 

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One has to remember that most of the ships at test Baker were ones that were destined to be scrapped if they hadn't been expended in that test.  They were for all intents, obsolete or obsolescent at best.  Ones like the CVL's were marginal as carriers and not worth retaining.  The battleships were all old and obsolete.  Saratoga was the oldest US carrier and had many survivability issues that made her surplus to fleet needs, especially where there were so many nearly new Essex class available.

Prinz Eugen was included specifically because she was the only all-welded hull ship present and the Navy wanted to see how she'd hold up compared to riveted and mixed construction hulls.

As a side note, the USS Arkansas was the only battleship in history to be literally blown out of the water.

1946_07_25_baker_c.jpg

That's her standing upright on the right side of the blast column...   

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technically the CVL didn't sink at Bikini

USS Independence came back to the states, they tried various methods to decontaminate her, then loaded her with toxic waste and scuttled her off California in 1951.

 

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/weird-science/amazingly-intact-wwii-aircraft-carrier-found-ocean-floor-n343596

 

Edited by Lord_Slayer

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