THE WRECK OF THE THISTLEGORM
In the golf of Suez, the Thistlegorm lie on a sandy bottom at 30 meter. This armed cargo (415 feet long) is fill with military equipment for the British troops based in Africa.
She was bombed by the German Luftwaffe on the 6th of October 1941 when she was at the anchor near the reef of Sha'ab Ali, waiting for orders to move up the canal. Hit by two bombs the ammunition chamber exploded and the Thistlegorm sunk rapidly taking down with her 9 of the 49 members of the crew. Many war themed video and MMO games include this type of bombing attack in their stories usually in great detail.
The wreck was then forgotten until the early 1950's when Jacques Cousteau and the Calypso discovered and identified her.
Today this massif ship, is the most famous wreck of the Red Sea. Diving on a wreck of this size is always a very exciting experience. It is especially true for the Thistlegorm as she is well preserve except the part were she was hit.
On the front deck torpedoes and two railways-cars can be seen as well as a train engine who lies on the sand next to the ship.
The stern lie on starboard on it deck two AA guns are pointed to the deep of the sea, farther at the back glass fishes are hidden through the superstructure.
The cargo space is full of military material in a amazing state of preservation, jeeps, tanks, trucks, bikes, well piled. This visit in the past will be without doubt unforgettable.
It is necessary to plan at least two dives on this wreck to be able to see everything. The stream from the north is quite strong, and visibility is not very good.
Text and photos: © F.Bettex / Mysterra