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At the bottom of the North Sea, the almost intact wreck of an American B-17 bomber from the Second World War was discovered. Human remains have also been found there.

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The discovery was made during the construction of the high voltage cable link between Great Britain and the European mainland. The wreck is now being investigated and identified. Even if that research is already well advanced, VRT reports. During the soil investigation for the cable connection, the researchers collided on a piece of the aluminum wing and a part with a paddle wheel. There were part numbers on the sheet metal, which makes the identification of the wreck easier for the researchers. These numbers appear in the lists of parts of the B-17 bombers of the Americans.

‘Flying fortress’

After examining documents and consultation with the American government, it could be one of four aircraft of which to date one or more crew members are missing. If it is known which device is involved, a decision will be made about any storage thereof. In a B-17 there could be about 9 to 10 crew members. The aircraft – nicknamed ‘flying fort’ – could carry two to five tons of bombs. The heavy bomber was deployed en masse during the Second World War for attacks on German industry and cities. During the soil investigation, parts of other aircraft were also found, such as the wing of a German Messerschmitt fighter aircraft, the aluminum sheet metal of a British Spitfire, and a radial engine of an American aircraft of the Wright R-1820 type, the Flemish broadcaster reports.

War Grave

“We should mainly see this as a war grave that can solve missing people. From an archaeological point of view we do not learn a lot from this, “says Maritime Archaeologist Wouter Waldus,” The Second World War is so well documented that we already know a great deal. “It is especially important that this is handled with care and that any relatives are well informed. to become.”

Submarine

The announcement of the discovery of the bomber follows almost a year after the discovery of an almost intact wreck of a German submarine from the First World War. That wreck was found at a depth of about 30 meters near the coast of Ostend.

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BATTLE OF GRONINGEN – WW II

The Battle of Groningen took place during the final month of Second World War, from April 13 to 16, 1945, in the city of Groningen between a mixture of Image result for Battle of Groningen WW IIGerman soldiers, Dutch and Belgian SS troops numbering 7,000 against the entire 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, though the whole division was never in combat at any given time. There were also substantial amounts of Luftwaffe units manning flak guns in the area. Groningen was also the site of the headquarters for the Sicherheitsdienst in the North of the Netherlands. The German command structure was poor and the defenders had never exercised together.

The Canadian division, consisting of nine infantry battalions, a machine gun battalion, and a reconnaissance battalion, was battle experienced with a proportion of partially trained reinforcements. Armour from the 10th Armoured Regiment (The Fort Garry Horse) and the 9th Armoured Regiment (The British Columbia Dragoons) was used in support.

Image result for Battle of Groningen WW IIGerman objectives

German soldiers in the city were determined to keep enemy forces from German soil while their Dutch SS colleagues had reason to fear for their lives if forced to surrender. German troops also needed to control the city to cover the withdrawal of forces from Friesland to Germany and defending the Ems entrance into Germany, important because German surface vessels and U-Boats still used Emden as a port.

Allied objectives

Wary of advancing into the western Netherlands and incurring heavy casualties (as well as losses to the densely packed civilian population) at a late stage of the war (fighting in Langstraat and Betuwe showed the soldiers very favourable to the defence), the First Canadian Army instead moved northeast, supporting the flank of the British 2nd Army as they entered Germany proper.

Battle

German forces were mainly deployed in the ancient city centre shielded in part by an ancient canal. Some troops were deployed in the southern suburbs. A German pocket in the power station surrendered after the fall of the inner city. The inner city was reached on 14 April. Western approaches to the old town (Oude Stad) were blocked because the bridges over the canal were destroyed. The Herebrug bridge in the south of the old town was not destroyed, but it took a day before the Germans with machine guns were defeated in the buildings north of a circular ‘circus’ on the north side of the bridge. The Canadians managed to enter the north of the city centre, Nieuwe Stad, after two hours of fighting in the Noorderplantsoen park, which was placed where the city walls used to be in the 19th century and before. The fight in the central market square, Grote markt, was the fiercest part of the battle. There were several German machine guns in the buildings north of the square. The buildings had to be destroyed by tanks. The Nieuwe Stad was conquered, but the Canadians could not reach the Oude Stad from the north, due to fierce German resistance. The German commander surrendered on 16 April once it was clear further resistance was useless. The Canadians used armour effectively in co-operation with their infantry. Artillery support was forbidden out of fear of harming the civilian population.

Result

The death toll included approximately 130 Germans, 43 Canadians, and 100 Dutch civilians. Some 270 buildings were damaged or destroyed in the fighting. Over 5,200 Germans surrendered (including 95 officers) and the remaining Germans (about 2,000) fled northeast, and the 2nd Division again met them in battles such as the Battle of Gruppenbuhren near Delmenhorst.

Significance

Groningen was one of the largest urban battles of the war for the Canadian Army; while Ortona was made famous by news reports referring to it as “Little Stalingrad”, Groningen involved five times as many Canadian soldiers in direct combat.

At the Municipal Cemetery Esserveld in Groningen are 16 graves of soldiers from the Commonwealth. At one location are the graves of 9 British soldiers and 1 New Zealand soldier. On the other location are the graves of 5 British soldiers and 1 New Zealand soldier.

Source: Wikipedia