Did you know that several British World War II fighters have just been found in Ukraine?

Part of a Hurricane being excavated near Kyiv
(Photo: State Aviation Museum of Ukraine)
Ukraine usually gets in the news these days due to the current war with Russia. In a welcome change, however, the country made recent headlines after the remains of eight British Hawker Hurricanes, relics of World War II, have been found in a forest to the south of the capital of Kyiv.
The Hurricane was the first Western Allied aircraft to be sent to the Soviet Union under the Lend-Lease Act to help the nation defend itself against the German invasion. Many Soviet pilots criticized the plane for being under-powered, under-armed and under-protected, but the 3,000 Hurricanes serving on the Eastern Front still made an important contribution against the Luftwaffe early in the war.
Four Lend-Lease Hurricanes (three in the air) in the Soviet Union in late 1941
(Photo: Imperial War Museums)
Most Lend-Lease Hurricanes were destroyed in combat or scavenged for parts, but not these eight. These were dismantled deliberately, since the Soviet Union did not have to pay for any equipment that did not survive the war (and it didn’t matter who destroyed them). The planes were stripped of anything usable, broken up into pieces, and dumped into a ravine. They were discovered after a piece of unexploded World War II ordnance was also found nearby, prompting a search of the ravine with metal detectors. The planes are now being excavated by the State Aviation Museum of Ukraine, which hopes to reassemble them for exhibition.
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