Previously Unknown 20th Century Photo of the Airship "Graf Zeppelin" Discovered

Фото: Красноярский краевой краеведческий музей

The Krasnoyarsk Regional Museum of Local Lore has published a previously unknown photograph of the “Graf Zeppelin” airship. In the photo, the airship is flying over the 107-meter mast of the Dikson radio station.

"The author of this photo, Nikolai Aleksandrovich Ostroumov, was a member of several expeditions and, apparently, in 1931 he was also there on an expedition. In 1933, he sold to the museum a series of negatives from various northern expeditions, including this negative," said the Deputy Director of Exhibition Activities at the museum, Ilya Kuklinsky.

In 1931, an international (mainly German) scientific expedition set off to the Arctic aboard the “Graf Zeppelin”. Thought the expedition was officially scientific, its real objective was espionage. The airship flew along the route Arkhangelsk-Franz Josef Land-Severnaya Zemlya-Cape Chelyuskin-Dikson-Novaya Zemlya- Arkhangelsk, while taking detailed aerial photographs.

In 1945, after the defeat of Nazi Germany, in the German province of Mecklenburg, more than 250 thousand geographical maps were discovered (including materials from the expedition of the airship "Graf Zeppelin") in the archives of the special intelligence and information center "Raumkoppel".

The expedition helped Germany organize a reconnaissance operation on Soviet territory. Using the collected materials, German hydrographers and cartographers refined the sailing directions and created new maps of the Arctic coast. It was with the help of this cartographic material that the ships and submarines of the Kriegsmarine carried out military operations on the Northern Sea Route and planted mines in coastal waters during the Second World War.