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Russian Northern Fleet divers raise US WWII tank from Barents Sea bottom

July 19, 2016, 18:07 UTC+3 MURMANSK

In addition to the tank, a 102mm gun, an antiaircraft machine gun and a pair of locomotive wheels were discovered

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US Sherman tank

US Sherman tank

© AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

MURMANSK, July 19. /TASS/. Russia’s Northern Fleet divers have raised a US Sherman WWII tank from the bottom of the Barents Sea during drills, acting Head of the Fleet’s press office Andrei Luzik said on Tuesday.

The Sherman tank is the second combat vehicle recovered from the US Arctic convoy ship Thomas Donaldson sunk by a German submarine during World War Two.

"In addition to the tank, a 102mm gun, an antiaircraft machine gun and a pair of locomotive wheels, as well as a number of small items like artillery shell casings and projectiles were brought to the surface," the officer said.

The Northern Fleet personnel are using two diving boats with operational pressure chambers and a team of medical specialists for descents to the sea bottom, the officer said.

Also, remotely operated vehicles are being used to survey objects under the water, he added.

Northern Fleet Commander Nikolai Yevmenov has arrived at the scene of the fleet’s drills where the tank was raised from the sea bottom to supervise the naval exercises.

As acting Head of the Northern Fleet’s press office Luzik said, the drills will continue "for some more time," after which all the finds will be delivered to Severomorsk.

The Thomas Donaldson (Liberty-class) transporter was among the last Arctic convoys dispatched by the anti-Hitler coalition allies to the Soviet Union with military hardware.

The transporter was torpedoed by a German submarine in March 1945. The sunken vessel is lying in the western tip of Kildin Island near the entrance to the Kola Bay. It sank at a depth of 55 meters. The Northern Fleet divers have been surveying the Thomas Donaldson transporter since 2010.

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