“He had a blood alcohol content of 1 promille – past the legal driving limit in Germany – and decided he'd like to take one of the vehicles out of camp,” British Army spokesperson Helga Heine said. “At some point he wrecked the tank, got out, went back and got another one and drove it in the same direction, hitting a tree before he was stopped.”
German police in the state of Lower Saxony reported that the 18-year-old Camp Hohne soldier stole two tanks, but Heine said they were actually Scimitars, which are armoured reconnaissance vehicles often called light tanks.
Just before the soldier reached the Bergen city limit, British military police stopped him as he almost rammed an oncoming car, police said. The soldier then ran a patrol car off the road and lost control of the tank, hitting a guide post before being halted by a 75-centimetre-thick tree, police reported.
Military police arrested the soldier and are being assisted in their investigation by German police.
"We all got the giggles when we read this," Heine told The Local. "But stealing a vehicle is a serious offense and it will be dealt with accordingly."
Camp Hohne is home to some 2,000 British soldiers and the headquarters of the 7th Armoured Brigade.