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Russian 'Flying Tank' fighter plane is retrieved from the bottom of a lake 75 years after it was shot down during the Second World War

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 11/08/2018 Sarah D Malm

Piece of history: The WWII Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft was retrieved from the bottom of a lake in Murmansk, northern Russia Piece of history: The WWII Ilyushin Il-2 ground attack aircraft was retrieved from the bottom of a lake in Murmansk, northern Russia

The wreckage of a Soviet Second World War fighter plane nicknamed 'The Flying Tank' has been retrieved from the bottom of a lake in Murmansk, northern Russia.

The Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik was shot down on August 22, 1943, during a Nazi German assault on an airbase near the Norwegian border.

The pilot, Captain Alexander Ivanovich Kaličev, then 34, was able to land the damaged plane on the lake.

a river running through a field of grass: Fighter jet: The Soviet war plane was shot down and landed in the lake in August, 1943 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Fighter jet: The Soviet war plane was shot down and landed in the lake in August, 1943

Cpt. Kaličev managed to escape the aircraft before it sank, and survived the Second World War.

The plane has been brought back to the surface by a Russian organisation called Wings of Victory, an organisation which works to restore old WWII planes.

The organisation, which uncovered the plane and the information about Cpt Kaličev, last year successfully completed restoration of another Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik.

a close up of a bug: Recovered: The pilot, Captain Alexander Ivanovich Kaličev, managed to escape this cockpit and survived the crash landing © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Recovered: The pilot, Captain Alexander Ivanovich Kaličev, managed to escape this cockpit and survived the crash landing

After being brought back to the surface using giant floating devices, the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik is set to be transported to the city of Novosibirsk, for restoration.  

To this day, the Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik remains one of the most produced military aircraft designs in history.

a fighter jet sitting on top of an old airplane: Back in the day: A Soviet Air Force Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik in full flight © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Back in the day: A Soviet Air Force Ilyushin Il-2 Sturmovik in full flight

Josef Stalin once branded them 'as essential to the Red Army as air and bread', with thousands made during WWII to fight Nazi Germany.

The 38ft long plane was fitted with heavy armour, and became known among enemy soldiers as a 'Flying Tank'.

a man standing next to a body of water: An organisation called Wings of Victory, dedicated to saving old Russian war planes, are now hoping to be able to fully restore the Ilyushin Il-2 © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited An organisation called Wings of Victory, dedicated to saving old Russian war planes, are now hoping to be able to fully restore the Ilyushin Il-2

The single-engine, propeller-driven plane could fit a pilot and a rear gunner and had a wingspan of 47ft 11in. 

Gallery: Thrilling Underwater Shipwrecks to See Around the World (Provided by: National Geographic)

It was in use throughout the Second World War, and was eventually retired in 1954.

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