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German/Soviet Tank Pulled From Lake After 62 Years

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posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 08:34 PM
Looks to be in very good shape, turns out they got it started with a little bit of work

To see more photos

[edit on 28/1/2007 by Sauron]

posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 09:23 PM

turns out they got it started with a little bit of work

Good old German engineering. Wouldn't mind a little bit more of the story though. They don't tell us very much at your link.

posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 10:18 PM
That`s a capture T34.

posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 10:22 PM

14 September 2000, a Komatsu D375A-2 pulled an abandoned tank from its archival tomb under the bottom of a lake near Johvi, Estonia.

The Soviet-built T34/76A tank had been resting at the bottom of the lake for 56 years. According to its specifications, its a 27-tonne machine with a top speed of 53km/h.

From February to September 1944, heavy battles were fought in the narrow, 50 km-wide, Narva front in the northeastern part of Estonia. Over 100,000 men were killed and 300,000 men were wounded there. During battles in the summer of 1944, the tank was captured from the Soviet army and used by the German army. (This is the reason that there are German markings painted on the tanks exterior.)

On 19 September 1944, German troops began an organized retreat along the Narva front. It is suspected that the tank was then purposefully driven into the lake, abandoning it when its captors left the area. At that time, a local boy walking by the lake Kurtna Matasjarv noticed tank tracks leading into the lake, but not coming out anywhere. For two months he saw air bubbles emerging from the lake. This gave him reason to believe that there must be an armored vehicle at the lakes bottom.

A few years ago, he told the story to the leader of the local war history club Otsing. Together with other club members, Mr Igor Shedunov initiated diving expeditions to the bottom of the lake about a year ago. At the depth of 7 metres they discovered the tank resting under a 3-metre layer of peat. Enthusiasts from the club, under Mr Shedunovs leadership, decided to pull the tank out.

In September 2000 they turned to Mr Aleksander Borovkovthe, manager of the Narva open pit of the stock company AS Eesti Polevkivi, to rent the companys Komatsu D375A-2 bulldozer. Currently used at the pit, the Komatsu dozer was manufactured in 1995, and has 19,000 operating hours without major repairs.

The pulling operation began at 09:00 and was concluded at 15:00, with several technical breaks. The weight of the tank, combined with the travel incline, made a pulling operation that required significant muscle. The D375A-2 handled the operation with power and style. The weight of the fully armed tank was around 30 tons, so the tractive force required to retrieve it was similar. A main requirement for the 68-tonne dozer was to have enough weight to prevent shoe-slip while moving up the hill. After the tank surfaced, it turned out to be a trophy tank that had been captured by the German army in the course of the battle at Sinimaed (Blue Hills) about six weeks before it was sunk in the lake. Altogether, 116 shells were found on board. Remarkably, the tank was in good condition, with no rust, and all systems (except the engine) in working condition.

This is a very rare machine, especially considering that it fought both on the Russian and the German sides. Plans are under way to fully restore the tank. It will be displayed at a war history museum that will be founded at the Gorodenko village on the left bank of the River Narva.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:19 AM
Wow. It looks to be in really good nick.

A very good find. I wonder how many others there are like this? And not just tanks. I mean, I'm sure there were underground storage rooms at airfields that got bombed over, with the aircraft within them remaining undamaged.

Could you imagine finding one of those! Sitting behind the controls of a vintage Spitfire or Sturmovik . . .

posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 03:24 PM
Thats where i Parked me tank!

Under 3 meters of peat would keep anything in good condition for a very long time, only got to look at bog bodies.

posted on Jan, 31 2007 @ 03:30 PM
A little up date on the recovered Tank.

The latest news about T-34.

Have successfully started the diesel engine not replacing any spare part.
Have replaced only bearings on skating rolls.

Assembly of the tank will soon come to the end and it will be ready to trial runs.
It is planned in the following season to carry on tourists and to show it as a working exhibit of our museum.

Update On Recovered T-34 Tank With German Markings

posted on Feb, 2 2007 @ 10:56 AM

Originally posted by Skibum

Good old German engineering.

Make that Good old Soviet engineering.

It's a Soviet Tank that at the time of it's original abandonment was in German service (evident by the German cross seen on the front of the tank, a symbol used to recognise German tanks).

The Germans often used captured Soviet tanks, particulary T-34's, when it could get it's hands on them. The best all round tank of the war, that was only bettered by the Tiger and Panther in firepower, but not in rugged reliability and engineering, proved by the fact that other T-34's recovered from swamps 60 years later have started first time of asking.

The T-34 they recovered is not a T-34/76A as the article claims, but in fact either the later T-34/76C or T-34/76D, both models having the hexagonal turret (which enabled more turret space) as the T-34 pictured being recovered and in another photo on display has.

What should be noted of interest is that the Germans appeared to have welded a German Tank Commander's cupola (seen on German tanks) on to the turret, which the Soviets did not copy as far as I am aware until the T-34/85.

The T-34/76A and T-34/76B had the original oval type turret that looked hunched down and lean looking on top of the hull.

Following on from the T-34/76 followed the T-34/85, which had a bigger turret and a 85mm gun (up from 76mm) which you see in the pictures of the tanks blasting their way into Berlin in 1945 alongside the IS-2.

It was the T-34/85 that was seen after WW2 also, in many theatres of The Cold War, and in the Balkans wars as well.

[edit on 2-2-2007 by Regensturm]

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