On the banks of the Stossensee there was a stand-off between British and Soviet troops, who tried to secure the crash site but failed. They watched suspiciously as the British ostensibly started the task of salvaging the fighter and returning the wreckage and the bodies of the airmen to the Soviet authorities.
Attlee had called in navy divers from Britain to examine the Soviet aircraft. The British and Americans were particularly interested in the Yak’s secret radar, which was known as Skipscan, which was more advanced than anything operated by the western air forces, as well as the fighter’s turbojet engines.
On the surface of the lake the British appeared to struggle to raise the jet or find the bodies of the crew. On the bed of the lake Attlee’s divers removed the Yak’s radar and engines and dragged them to a secure location far from prying eyes. The latest Soviet technology was then put in crates and flown from Berlin to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough in Hampshire for analysis.
Less than two days later the radar and engines were returned to the wreck of the Yak, which was then raised and passed to the Soviet authorities along with the bodies of the Soviet airmen. It was a remarkable operation. Within a year the British and Americans had reduced the critical gap in radar technology.