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British WW2 Hurricanes found in Ukrainian forest



The remains of 8 WW2 British Hurricane fighter planes have been found buried in a forest south of Kiev.

The Hurricane is a single-seat aircraft used by the Royal Air Force during WW2, inflicting 60% of the losses sustained by the German Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain campaign.

The aircraft was built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd with the first prototype, Hurricane K5083, performing its maiden flight on the 6th of November in 1935. Production of the Hurricane commenced in 1936 under the supervision of the Air Ministry, and it was officially deployed in squadron service by late 1937.

One of the primary factors contributing to the aircraft’s popularity was its comparatively straightforward design and manufacturing process. The Hurricane proved to be more affordable than the Supermarine Spitfire, requiring 10,300 man hours for each unit produced, whereas the Spitfire demanded 15,200 hours.

Overall, some 14,487 Hurricanes and Sea Hurricanes were produced in England and Canada during the lead up and duration or WW2.

As part of the Allied support for the USSR under the so-called Lend Lease Scheme, Hurricanes were sent to the Soviet Union following Operation Barbarossa, an invasion of Soviet territory by German and Axis forces.

Around 3,000 Hurricanes were sent to the USSR between 1941 and 1944 to support the war effort, but following the conclusion of WW2, most of the remaining aircraft were deliberately broken up and buried to avoid paying back the allies under the terms of the Lend Lease Scheme.

The 8 Hurricanes were discovered by metal detectorists while searching for an unexploded bomb from the current war between Ukraine and Russia. This led to the National Aviation Museum of Ukraine to conduct an ongoing excavation to recover the aircraft, which appear to have been stripped of their instruments, radios, machine guns and any useful scrap metal during the 1940’s.

Valerii Romanenko, from the National Aviation Museum of Ukraine told the BBC:
“The Hurricane is a symbol of British assistance during the years of WW2, just as we are very appreciative of British assistance nowadays.”

“In 1941 Britain was the first who supplied fighter aircraft to the Soviet Union in mass scale. Now the UK is the first country which gives Storm Shadow cruise missiles to our armed forces,” added Romanenko.

Header Image – Hurricane Mk.IIB of No. 81 Squadron RAF in Russia during WW2 – Public Domain

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Maya tomb with funerary offerings found during hotel construction




A tomb with funerary offerings has been uncovered during the construction of the Tren Maya Hotel, in Palenque, Mexico.

Archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) conducted rescue excavations following the discovery, revealing skeletal remains associated with the Maya city of Palenque.

Palenque, also known as Lakamha in the Itza Language (meaning “Flat-Place-River”), is located near the Usumacinta River in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

The city dates from 226 BC to AD 799, with most of the major construction works representing a rebuilding effort in response to attacks by the city of Calakmul and its client states in AD 599 and AD 611.

The population declined during the 8th century AD, instead becoming an agricultural population that led to the abandonment of the city zone. By 1520 following the Spanish conquest, contemporary Spanish accounts record the entire region being sparsely populated.

Excavations uncovered a stone lined funerary space sealed with limestone slabs, in which the researchers found the remains of a high-status individual who likely lived in the periphery of Palenque in a small settlement.

The burial is located at a depth of four metres, and also contained ceramic vessels and beads deposited as funerary offerings.

“The individual was placed face up with his legs extended and his head facing north,” said Diego Prieto Hernández from INAH.

The discovery was announced in a press conference reporting on the progress of the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza) in Palenque, Moral-Reforma and El Tigre, the three heritage sites that are served within Section 1 of the Mayan Train Project.


Header Image Credit : INAH

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Archaeologists unearth possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle




Archaeologists from the Dyfed Archaeological Trust may have discovered the possible birthplace of King Henry VII at Pembroke Castle in Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Pembroke Castle was founded during the 11th century by Roger de Montgomerie, the 1st Earl of Shrewsbury.

In 1452, Jasper Tudor was presented both the castle and the earldom by his half-brother, King Henry VI. In 1457, Henry VII was born at the castle, the only child of Lady Margaret Beaufort and Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond.

Following Edward IV’s ascension to the throne in 1471, Henry VII endured 14 years of exile in Brittany. He eventually claimed the throne after his forces, with backing from France, Scotland, and Wales, emerged victorious over Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, marking the climax of the Wars of the Roses.

Henry VII’s reign is credited with many administrative, economic, and tax reforms, having ruled for nearly 24 years until his death in 1509 at the age of 52. Henry VII was succeed by his second son, Henry, Duke of York, who ascended to the crown as Henry VIII.

Historians have long assumed that a 13th century tower on the outer ward (known today as Henry VII Tower) was the birth place of Henry VII. However, a recent study by the Dyfed Archaeological Trust has uncovered evidence of a late-medieval winged hall-house, broadly dating to the 15th century.

The walls of the structure extend to around 25 metres, with comparisons being drawn to medieval buildings found in England and East Wales, such as Penallt Mansion in Kidwelly. Historically, Pembroke Castle was situated in the English-speaking portion of Pembrokeshire, often referred to as “Little England beyond Wales.”

Speaking to the Western Telegraph, Neil Ludlow, a consultant to Pembroke Castle, said: “All our indications are pointing to a late-medieval building which was clearly of high status within Pembrokeshire, and it looks as if it was at least two-storeys, which possibly makes it a better candidate for the birthplace of a king rather that the tower that currently bears his name.”

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