Lufthansa embarrassed after Russian 'Stalingrad' hijack

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Lufthansa, the German airline, was left embarrassed after a competition to name a new aeroplane was rigged by Russians who nominated "Stalingrad," the site of one of Nazi Germany's worst defeats.

Lufthansa launched the online poll last month in order to find a name for one of a batch of new Airbus A380s it will start using soon. It offered the person who dreamt up the winning name the "glittering prospect" of acquiring one million air miles, enough to fly round the world twice in first class.

Almost immediately, a Russian woman nominated "Stalingrad," the Russian city where Nazi Germany suffered a crushing defeat in 1943 at the hands of the Red Army with the loss of up to one million troops.

Within days, almost 10,000 people had voted for "Stalingrad" making it the favourite to win by a huge margin. The airline apparently thought Russian pranksters were behind the incongruous result, suspecting they had rigged the voting with the help of a special computer programme....

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