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Chuuk - the graveyard of warships

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Chuuk - the graveyard of warships

Chuuk is a clear azure lagoon in the waters of the Pacific Ocean, in the midst of which hundreds of military planes, 3 dozen merchant ships and many Japanese warships have found their last refuge. The lagoon is located a thousand kilometers from the Mariana Islands. During the Second World War, the area became the seat of a fleet founded by the Japanese emperor in the waters of the South Pacific - a version of the American Pearl Harbor.

In addition to the "ordinary" ships, there were:

  • Submarines
  • Battleships
  • Tugboats
  • Aircraft carriers
  • Cruisers
  • Cargo ships
  • Tankers, etc.

The place was of great strategic importance: in addition to the fleet's parking, there were airfields, a radar station, underwater repair shops, and a communications center. All objects were guarded by mortars and defensive weapons.

Operation Hailstone

On February 17, 1944, Truk (the former name of Chuuk Lagoon) was attacked under the code name "Operation Hailstone". Japan was prepared to attack 500 aircraft, submarines and surface ships, having moved military equipment to safety in advance. Some of the equipment, which they did not manage to move, was destroyed during the bombing: 250 aircraft, 12 warships, 32 merchant ships.

Damaged vehicles represent a graveyard of warships. Most of it lies at a depth of 15 meters. It is not easy to approach it, as the wreckage is littered with explosives, detonators and the bodies of the dead Japanese - more than a thousand of them were killed here. On the other hand, having died, the ships became home to new fish and plants, especially the "ghost fleet" of turtles, sharks, rays.

Chuuk Lagoon today is part of the Federated States of Micronesia, one of the links in the chain of islands and reefs covering an area of 2 thousand square kilometers. Who knows, suddenly our generation will witness a historical event - the rise of sunken Japanese technology from the ocean floor.

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