Divers have found the wreck of a Nazi ship that may contain valuable stolen artworks.

 

The Boy Federsen was found close to the Crimean Peninsula in south-western Russia.

 

Lead diver Roman Dunaev and his team from the Russian Underwater Research Expedition discovered the ship while looking for a Soviet D-4 submarine that sank in the same region.

 

Mr Dunaev said: "During the search for a D-4 submarine, we found a large vessel in the same square of its alert duty."

 

The ship was found 15 miles from the city of Yevpatoria in the south-western part of the Crimean Peninsula, at a depth of 90 metres (295 feet).

 

The ship sunk in 1943 and there are many legends connected to it.

 

It was built in 1914 in Germany and named Anhalt but was given to Britain in 1919 as part of the reparation payments Germany was forced to make following World War I.

 

After that the British sold it to a Spanish company that re-named the ship Aya-Mendi and shortly after, in unknown circumstances, it was returned to Germany.

 

The ship was bought by the Soviet Union in 1931, who re-named it the Kharkov.

 

The Kharkov was almost destroyed in a huge storm travelling from Britain carrying grain.

 

And Soviet soldiers damaged the ship in 1943 when the port of the city of Mykolaiv in southern Ukraine was occupied during World War II.

 

However, Nazi engineers managed to repair the ship and renamed it one more time, this time the Boy Federsen.

 

It is believed that the SS could have been using it to ship artworks and other cultural items stolen from the Soviet Union when it was sunk on 10th August 1943 by a combined aerial and submarine attack.

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Author: Zoey McDougall

Zoey McDougall
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