For the second time this year, a British tank has been involved in a public crash while out on exercise in Germany.
This time a tank drove over the bonnet of Toyota which was being driven by an 18-year-old woman who was still a learner driver. The soldiers were able to rescue the woman from the car and no serious injuries were reported.
In a similar incident in February, blamed on a mechanical failure, a British tank drove into the garden of an elderly couple in Paderborn.
But, speaking to The Local, a spokesman for the British Army was reluctant to take any blame for the crash.
“The German military police are suggesting it was the Toyota driver’s fault. They’re saying she did not err on the side of caution. Whether the German civil police agree is another matter,” he said.
The spokesperson could not confirm whether the tank was going forward or reversing at the time.
When asked whether the two crashes so far in 2015 suggest a pattern is developing, the spokesperson said: “It isn’t a pattern. They are two very different types of vehicle.”
Did tank drivers need their training re-assessed?
“Not at all. Our tank crews go through a very rigorous training process,” said the spokesperson, adding that three men monitor the road “which is why they were able to stop soon enough.”
The view from the turret gave “ideal visibility” of the road, he said.
“You can never rule out mechanical failure. But our vehicles are maintained to the highest of standards.”