Two American M4-Sherman tanks salvaged from the Barents Sea

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A team of specialist divers deployed with Russia’s Northern Fleet have salvaged two World War 2-era American M4 Sherman tanks from the bottom of the Barents Sea.

The tanks were inside the Thomas Donaldson, a steam-propelled Liberty EC2-S-C1 class cargo ship sunk near Kildin Islan by U-968 on March 20, 1945, shortly before the official end of the war.

The Sherman tank was mass-produced by the American war machine from 1942 onwards. Though technically inferior than the German heavy tanks such as the Panther and Tiger, the Sherman was manufactured in great numbers (some 50,000 were produced, as opposed to just under 500 German heavy tanks), allowing the allies to easily replace losses, something that the German army could not ever hope to achieve.

The Thomas Donaldson was part of convoy JW-65 at the time of her demise. Nowadays, divers attached to the Russian Navy use the ship’s wreckage as a training facility to simulate emergency situations for submarine crews.

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