Holy crap….

I wish my car was made by these folks. Here is the jist of the story:

Russian T34 tank pulled from lake, after 56 years. It still runs.

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 tank’s exterior.) On 19 September 1944, German troops began an organised 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.

Together with other history club members, Mr Igor Shedunov initiated diving expeditions [around the late 90s] 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 Shedunov’s 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 company’s Komatsu D375A-2 bulldozer.

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.



From a later update:

Successfully started the diesel engine without having to replace any parts.

Have only replaced the bearings on the skating rolls.

There is another part to the update, but it reads like it was put into one of those online translators. So, I took the liberty of making it read like standard English here:

Germans drove the tank into the lake when it had run out of fuel in 1944. It was at a depth of 12 meters, further covered by another 6 meters of peat and silt. For 2 weeks, divers of the history club washed away the silt and peat above the tank. There weren’t any traces of solar oil (?), and there wasn’t any oil in the water. The mechanical condition of the tank was ideal. There wasn’t any fuel in the tanks, and the oil didn’t leak out of the engine.

Article is here: http://xmb.stuffucanuse.com/xmb/viewthread.php?tid=2893

But wow, after 56 years of being underwater, put a little diesel in it, and it cranked right up.

I’m sure the inside of it was all trashed, but to think it was still mechanically sound after all those years.

I’m curious though, I wonder why they said the engine didn’t work in the original article, but yet later said it ran without needing any work? I guess they realized all it needed was a little diesel……

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