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Bullets – and bones – found in Soviet tank

The Local · 18 Nov 2011, 06:00

Published: 18 Nov 2011 06:00 GMT+01:00

Authorities at the German War Graves Commission will now attempt to figure out whether the remains are German or Russian, or if they belong to more than one person. They will likely eventually be buried in a city war cemetery.

The T-34 tank, a type developed specifically for World War II, was discovered during routine construction work near the Schleusen Bridge. Startled labourers immediately called authorities.

Click here to see pictures of the tank

Inside the rusted tank, a bomb disposal team identified shells, hand grenades and rifle ammunition, said Fred Tribanek, a team member. Tribanek said the ammo was live but would not be dangerous if it remained within the tank.

The tank is thought to have come under attack during the Soviet invasion of Rostock in May 1945.

"Despite the area’s fraught history, we’ve never found anything like this before,” said Tribanek. “Large World War II bombs certainly, but never a whole tank.”

Story continues below…

The rusted tank's remains were loaded onto a truck on Thursday and stored at a depot, where they will undergo careful examination. Eventually authorities hope to find the other half of the tank.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

18:59 November 18, 2011 by McNair Kaserne
Very cool.
19:21 November 18, 2011 by Drewsky
When I'm in Germany, it often reminds me of Michigan or some other place in the Great Lakes region. Serene and comfortable farmlands, etc. When something like this pops up, it's a reminder that things were very different not all that long ago. Pretty amazing !
00:13 November 19, 2011 by wxman
They'll be finding stuff like this for hundreds of years. Okinawa is riddled with WWII remnants including bones and armament. We still come across the same in the border states from the US Civil War.
20:09 November 19, 2011 by Drewsky
You're right, wxman. This T-34 is a good example. They built around 50,000 of them during the war and the US built around 50,000 Shermans. Germany built their share, too, of course. Lots of hardware unaccounted for, for sure. ( And they still don't farm a lot of areas around Gettysburg because what plows up sometimes isn't too pleasant.
03:58 November 21, 2011 by jmclewis
I hope the remains of these men will be returned to Russia so there families can have a proper funeral with the honor earned by their service.
17:47 November 21, 2011 by JosephW
jmclewis, I can understand your sentiment for fellow humans who have been entombed for 70 years without recognition, but unfortunately it is nearly 90 per cent likely that these Red Army soldiers did not acquit themselves with the honor you are alluding to. The fact is that daily human rights violations were a way of life for the Red Army in 1944-45 as they entered Europe. If anyone has naive doubts of the grand scale of these abuses which have been supressed for years, see the distinguished British historian Anthony Beevor's research at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1939174.stm

The US journalist Peggy Noonan said it best in the Wall Street Journal recently: "You could say soldiers of every country do some good in war beyond fighting, and that is true enough. But this makes me think of the statue I saw once in Vienna, a heroic casting of a Red Army soldier. Quite stirring. The Austrian man who showed it to me pleasantly said it had a local nickname, "The Unknown Rapist." There are similar memorials in Estonia and Berlin; they all have the same nickname. My point is not to insult Russian soldiers, who had been born into a world of communism, atheism, and Stalin's institutionalization of brutish ways of being..." So, let's not honour these men who were unfortunate puppets of Joseph Stalin any more than we would honour those who were puppets of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Khaddafi. The only difference was that the latter were on the losing side and hence don't get the benefit of suppression of their deeds in the history books.
12:38 November 22, 2011 by Englishted
@JosephW

I don't know from which country you are looking at this from ?

But if it was not for the Red Army things would have been different at least in Europe,if as I think you are from the U.S. then think of your reaction if a country invaded your land and then set about killing all of the population ,remember Hitler gave orders to kill all political officers and not to uphold the Geneva convention with regard to soviet soldiers.

To class the Red Army with the Nazis is wrong the soviets did commit war crimes no doubt but it was not on the scale of the Nazis who set out to wipe out a entire race in a war of aggression.

As a Englishman I am thankful for all the help given in defeating the Nazis.
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