SS Richard Montgomery

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The SS Richard Montgomery was an American ship built during World War II. Montgomery was wrecked off the coast of Kent in 1944 with around 1,500 tons of explosives on board, which continue to be a hazard to the area

Controversy[change | edit source]

Montgomery sank in the Thames estuary in August 1944. It was loaded with 15,000 tons of explosive munitions. The Admiralty decided to leave the wreck and its dangerous cargo undisturbed. The wreck lies just a few hundred yards offshore between an oil refinery and the several towns. Southend on Sea is just a couple of miles away on the other side of the Thames estuary. Rumours about the ship and its cargo have circulated in these towns ever since. Denials have been issued by ministers in the House of Commons in response to MPs questions about the presence on board of biological, chemical and gas warheads. Nevertheless, rumours persist that the real reason the wreck was not made safe was because of the existence of ‘dirty weapons’ on board.

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