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British WW2 Hurricanes found in Ukrainian forest

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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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Archaeology

Megathrust earthquakes possible cause of Teōtīhuacān decline

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A new study, published in the journal Science Direct, suggests that a series of megathrust earthquakes led to the decline and possible abandonment of Teōtīhuacān.

Named by the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs as Teōtīhuacān, and loosely translated as “birthplace of the gods”, Teōtīhuacān is an ancient Mesoamerican city located in the Teōtīhuacān Valley of the Free and Sovereign State of Mexico, in present-day Mexico.

The development of Teōtīhuacān can be identified by four distinct consecutive phases, known as Teōtīhuacān I, II, III, and IV.

It was during phase II (AD 100 to 350) that the city population rapidly grew into a metropolis and saw the construction of monuments such as the Pyramid of the Sun (the third largest ancient pyramid after the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the Great Pyramid of Giza), the Pyramid of the Moon, the Avenue of the Dead, and the Ciudadela with the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (also known as Temple of the Quetzalcoatl).

An analysis of several pyramids within the city has revealed evidence of Earthquake Archaeological Effects (EAEs), potentially linked to seismic loading. The study has focused on the Temple of the Feathered Serpent (Old temple and New temple), and the Sun and the Moon pyramids, in which visible EAE’s can be observed.

According to the researchers, the EAE’s are likely caused by megathrust earthquakes, for which five destructive ancient earthquakes have been estimated to have struck Teōtīhuacān between the Tzacualli – Miccaotli (AD 100–150), and Metepec (AD 600 ± 50) stages, by matching EAEs and archaeological dates.

Based on the spatial pattern of the EAEs and the orientation of the dipping broken corners (DBC) or chip marks, it is theorised that a series of seismic shocks struct the city from the SW to the NE, indicating a possible origin of a seismic source in the Middle American Trench caused by repetitive megathrust earthquakes.

At least, two strong destructive earthquakes (Intensity VIII-IX) affected Teōtīhuacān in antiquity that impacted the development of the architectural styles. The first one occurred between the years AD 1–150 (Miccaotli phase), and the second one occurred in AD 455 ± 50 (Late Xolalpan-Early Metepec phase).

This was followed by three further damaging earthquakes, for which the latter two occurred around AD 650 before the abandonment of the city the following century.

“This proposal does not conflict with other existing theories for the Teotihuacan abrupt collapse, considering that the sudden overlapping of natural disasters like earthquakes could increase internal warfare (uprising), and civil unrest,” said the study authors.

Header Image Credit : Shutterstock

Sources : Science Direct | Teotihuacan ancient culture affected by megathrust earthquakes during the early Epiclassic Period (Mexico). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2024.104528.

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Excavations uncover traces of Kraków Fortress

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A team of archaeologists conducting archaeological works at the S52 construction site have uncovered traces of the Kraków Fortress in the Polish city of Kraków.

S52 is a Polish highway being constructed in the Silesian and Lesser Poland voivodeships, which upon completion will connect the border of the Czech Republic in Cieszyn with Kraków.

Kraków Fortress refers to a series of Austro-Hungarian fortifications constructed during the 19th century. The fortress included the 18th century Kościuszko Insurrection fortifications, the medieval Wawel Castle, and the Kraków city walls. Of the over 50 post-Austrian forts in Krakow, 44 structures have been preserved in their entirety or with minor changes.

Excavations in the area of ​​the northern bypass of Krakow have revealed the remains of earthen structures related to the network of military units being established around the city, whose task was to turn Krakow into a modern border fortress.

The team also uncovered traces of earth embankments and moats, as well as the infrastructure for draining rainwater from the infantry entrenchment area and a wooden shelter from a dugout measuring 25 by 7.5 metres.

A press statement by the Republic of Poland, said: “During the research, objects related to the everyday life of soldiers were discovered. These include a tin enameled mug with a signature on the bottom depicting a double-headed imperial eagle with the inscription Austria and the initials H&C 1/2.”

“The preserved marking allowed us to determine that the mug is a product of the Haardt & Co. factory located in Knittelfeld, Austria. Enamellierwerke und Metallwarenfabriken AG. Founded in 1873 by Friedrich Wilhelm Haardt, the factory produced embossed enamelled dishes, including orders for the then Austrian army.”

Header Image Credit : Republic of Poland

Sources : Republic of Poland

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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