When you think “Zeppelin,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind, other than Jimmy Page and Robert Plant? Probably German airships, right? Well, there were also Zeppelins that were aircraft carriers — one, to be exact.

Here’s something for all you history buffs…

The crowning achievement of Adolph Hitler’s navy, the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin, has been found at the bottom of the Baltic.

Experts in the Polish navy, in addition to vehemently denying that the Polish navy ever manufactured submarines with screen doors, confirmed that the rusty discovery was indeed the famous ship.

According to Der Spiegel, while sounding for oil deposits in the Baltic Sea, Polish workers discovered the wreck about 34 miles outside the Polish harbor town of Wladyslawowo, near Gdansk — two cities that sound as if they were named by Boris Yeltsin after happy hour.

The story is indeed an interesting one. Here’s the gist:

Divers working for the Polish oil firm Petrobaltic on Monday discovered the rusting hulk of Nazi Germany’s only aircraft carrier, the Graf Zeppelin, sunk in mysterious circumstances by the Soviets after World War II. Its exact location had been a riddle for almost 60 years…

…Hitler started the war before the German navy finished building its prestige ship. His planners gave priority to building U-Boats, and the Graf Zeppelin had to be towed to Gdansk, where it was used for storage. The Germans finally anchored it in a shallow stream feeding the Oder, where troops blew holes in its hull before they fled the invading Red Army. The Soviets renovated the ship, and moved it — but how it met its final end is still the subject of controversy.

So, the Graf Zeppelin never made it to the operational stage, but it did manage to end up where it was destined to be in either case — at the bottom of the sea. Theories as to how and why the Graf ended up at the bottom of the sea vary. Some believe that the Soviets had overloaded the ship with post-war booty and it sank in a storm, some believe it was carrying a top-secret cargo of some sort and was scuttled, and others believe that Ted Kennedy was driving.

Fortunately, the “thousand-year Reich,” like the planes Hitler envisioned on the deck of the Graf Zeppelin, was never allowed to take off.

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