A remarkably well-preserved Second World War tank has been salvaged from the wreck of a U.S cargo ship sunk by a German submarine in the Barents Sea in the dying days of the war.
The American-built M4 Sherman tank was being carried aboard the USS Thomas Donaldson which was part of Arctic convoy JW-65 when she was torpedoed by U-Boat U968 near the shore of Kildin Island on March 20 1945.
In addition to tanks the Thomas Donaldson was carrying 7679 tons of general cargo including 6,000 tons of ammunition, foodstuffs and other vehicles when a torpedo hit the engine room, killing one officer and two crewmen who were on watch below and destroying the engines.
With the risk of the ammunition exploding, the captain ordered eight officers, 34 crewmen and 27 armed guards into lifeboats while he stayed on board with a skeleton crew hoping to be towed into port. But just half a mile from Kilden Island she sank stern first.
The ship was discovered lying 55 meters deep near Kildin Island. Divers say there are two more tanks aboard which they hope to bring up.
Salvaged: This American-built Second World War Sherman tank was raised from the wreck of a cargo ship which was part of an Arctic convoy when it was sunk by a German U-Boat in the Barents Sea in 1945
Russian naval officers inspect the rusted Sherman tank before it is loaded onto a vehicle after being recovered from the bottom of Barents Sea on July 23, 2014 near the Russian city of Murmansk
A Russian Northern Fleet crane vessel hoists the US Army M4 Sherman tank aboard after the discovery of the wreck of the U.S Thomas Donaldson less than half a mile from Kilden Island
The Sherman was part of a cargo of 7679 tons, which also included 6000 tons of ammunition, foodstuffs and other vehicles which was sent to the bottom of the Barents sea after the Thomas Donaldson was attacked by a U-Boat
The tank is loaded onto a transporter in the port of Murmansk, Russia. The Thomas Donaldson was crippled when a torpedo hit the engine room killing one officer and two crewmen
The Russian salvage team say there are two more Shermans aboard the wreck waiting to be brought to the surface.