If you’ve ever wondered what a T-34 tank looks like after 66 years under water, wait no more…one has been found and recovered.
A German WWII T-34 tank spent nearly 66 years under water, mud, and peat in a small pond near Johvi, Estonia before finally being rescued and shown the light of day once again.
The tank, originally German but captured by the Soviet Army was being used in the area when in September 1944, German forces began to retreat. It is suspected that once the Soviets saw the retreat and planned to leave the area, they purposefully drove the 27-ton tank into the lake to keep it out of the enemy’s hands.
Shortly after, a local boy Kurtna Matasjarv, was walking in the area when he noticed tank tracks heading into the lake but not coming back out. He continued to observe the lake and for the next two months noticed air bubbles coming up through the water. These facts together led Matasjarv to assume that there was in fact an armored vehicle at the bottom.
Matasjarv finally told his story, and it got the attention of Mr. Igor Shedunov, a war history enthusiast who initiated diving expeditions and managed to find the tank under 7 meters (23 feet) of peat. After much effort the tank was finally dragged to the surface and what was found was absolutely remarkable.
The T-34 was a trophy tank; having fought on both sides of the war and had a total of 116 shells were found still inside. The tank was in remarkable condition and after a cleaning and without replacing a single part the tank was able to fire up and run.
Plans are to keep the tank in the local area to show off the find and the history of the war in that region.
Images via Rense.com