A stunning historic shipwreck from WWII has surfaced along a massive river for the first time after one of the longest droughts in Italian history occurs as summer begins. The ship was found in a nature reserve in Gualtieri, a small town located on the banks of Po in Emilia-Romagna.
This is all started and due to the drought that allowed the river to dry up in March. The lack of rain in Italy this dry season has also been breaking historic records. Italy went an unprecedent amount of days without rain.
Meuccio Berselli, Secretary-General of the Po River Basin Authority, said: “We are in a situation where the river flow is approximately 300 cubic meters (80,000 gallons) per second here in (the riverside village of) Boretto, while normally in this area we have almost 1800 cubic meters (476,000 gallons).”
The drought exposed a very unique one-hundred and sixty foot-long Zibello barge researchers date it to have been active and running in 1943 when it sunk. The boat would have been used for transporting wood, supplies, and other goods during the conflict before it sank in the Po River.
The four-hundred and five-mile long river runs from the Cottian Alps to wind up meeting the Adriatic Sea. The worst drought in over seventy-years has caused the water levels to be the lowest the river has ever seen. The decades-old sunken ship has slowly been surfacing over many months.
AP reports that Northern Italy hasn’t seen rain in more than over a hundred and ten days. Alessio Bonin took photos of the wreckage with his drone. He told reporters from The Guardian it was a startling sight.
“In recent years you could see the bow of the boat, so we knew it was there, but to see the vessel so exposed in March, when it was essentially still winter, was very dramatic,” Bonin said. “I’ve never seen such a drought at this time of year – our main worry used to be our river flooding, now we worry about it disappearing.”
Researchers were able to piece together that the Barge’s sinking was caused due to a bombardment by American forces in 1943, where the boat was submerged. The reappearance of this WWII era ship is setting off major alarm bells for Italian authorities. The drought is causing many issues.
Water is so low in large stretches of Italy’s largest river that local residents are walking through the middle of the expanse of sand and shipwrecks are resurfacing all over the place. “It’s the first time that we can see this barge,” said amateur cyclist Raffaele Vezzali as he got off the pedals to stare at the rusted ship. Vezzali was only partially surprised, though, as he knew that the lack of winter rain caused the river to reach record low levels.
The region is not currently getting enough rain and there will be a seriously alarming shortage of water for the community to use for drinking, irrigation for farmers and, local populations across the whole of northern Italy.
Plans are currently being made to work on a resiliency that guarantees drinking and irrigation water to millions of households and Po valley farmers who produce forty percent of Italy’s food. Part of this plan being put into motion is more draining from Alpine lakes, lower water for hydroelectric plants, and rationing of water in upstream regions.
This intimate true account of Americans at war follows theepic drama of an unlikely group of men forced to work together in the face of an increasingly desperate enemy during the final year of World War II.
Sprawling across the Pacific, this untold story follows the crew of the newly-built “vengeance ship” USS Astoria, named for her sunken predecessor lost earlier in the war. At its center lies U.S. Navy Captain George Dyer, who vowed to return to action after suffering a horrific wound.
He accepted the ship’s command in 1944, knowing it would be his last chance to avenge his injuries and salvage his career. Yet with the nation’s resources and personnel stretched thin by the war, he found that just getting the ship into action would prove to be a battle.
Tensions among the crew flared from the start. Astoria’s sailors and Marines were a collection of replacements, retreads, and older men. Some were broken by traumatic combat, most had no desire to be in the war, yet all found themselves fighting an enemy more afraid of surrender than death.
The reluctant ship was called to respond to challenges that its men never could have anticipated. From a typhoon where the ocean was enemy to daring rescue missions, a gallant turn at Iwo Jima, and the ultimate crucible against the Kamikaze at Okinawa, they endured the worst of the final year.
Days of Steel Rain brings to life more than a decade of research and firsthand interviews, depicting with unprecedented insight the singular drama of a captain grappling with an untested crew and men who had endured enough amidst some of the most brutal fighting of World War II.
Throughout, Brent Jones fills the narrative with secret diaries, memoirs, letters, interpersonal conflicts, and the innermost thoughts of the Astoria men—and more than 80 photographs that have never before been published. Days of Steel Rain weaves an intimate, unforgettable portrait of leadership, heroism, endurance, and redemption.
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Oh how amazing to find this! Just thinking about the history that this ship holds is exciting 🙂
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There is always something fascinating to be found in this world! Speaking of which, I cannot wait to what your next adventure is! I have been watching to see where you go next! ❤
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That’s so kind of you 🙂 We are heading to Indiana Dunes National Park this weekend and maybe up into Michigan. Marking off a new national park and a new state!
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Oh that sounds exciting. I cannot wait to see your post about it all! ❤
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