In January 2012 Italian divers discovered the wreck of a massive plane off the coast of Sardinia. At a depth of 65 meters (213 feet) lies a Messerschmitt "Gigant", the biggest aircraft in WWII. The Germans originally developed the plane for the invasion of England, which could transport an entire company including equipment and even tanks. With six engines over a 181-foot wingspan and the ability to haul 95,000 pounds of gear, the Gigant was an incredible aviation feat. Doors in its nose opened up and allowed tanks, artillery, and personnel to hop inside and be transported up to 675 miles away. But it was also a big, slow, flying elephant with wings.
Together with a second plane, the "Gigant" had departed on July 26, 1943 from the Italian military airfield Venafiorita towards Sardinia. Just a few minutes later, the two transport planes were attacked and shot down by eight heavily armed British long-range fighters, killing 67 people.
The finding is a sensation. None of Hitler's mega planes has survived the war, and no other wreck has ever been found. 70 years after the disaster, the film takes us on a thrilling search for traces of the wreck and its victims.
One of these victims is Arthur Busch. It was only through the making of the film that his daughter Herta Salzmann, who lives in the U.S. today, learned about her father's fate.
A Film by Thomas Staehler and Oliver Halmburger; A Loopfilm Production for ZDF
Alexander IV History supplementary notes:
Original title: Der letzte "Gigant" - Auf der Suche nach Hitlers Riesenflugzeug / The Last "Giant" - In Search of Hitler's Giant Airplane
-- This is shared without profit for educational and historical purposes ---