When I grow up, I want to be a tank driver.
September 9, 2001 5:56 PM   Subscribe

When I grow up, I want to be a tank driver. Ever want to drive a WWII-era Russian tank? Drive less than 90-minutes from Minneapolis and you'll get your chance.
posted by nathan_teske (10 comments total)

 
Why would anyone want to do this? I have not ridden in one, but I've heard from people who have. They're cramped, hot and bumpy. Whatever floats your boat. I'd rather have a day in one of these. Of course most of those are cramped, hot and bumpy.
posted by geoff. at 6:15 PM on September 9, 2001


this is why i love the internet. t-34 was a great tank
posted by clavdivs at 6:43 PM on September 9, 2001


cramped, hot, and bumpy is what it's all about..

umm...

the episodes of "crazy crazy police car chases" where the tanks wreak havoc are probably the best.
posted by lotsofno at 7:45 PM on September 9, 2001


The t-34 was a KICK ASS tank. About a bazillion of them bled the Fuhrer's panzer battalions dry in the steppes of Russia.

Which makes it so intriguing why this particular t-34 has a German Army cross on it....? Hmm.
posted by UncleFes at 8:52 PM on September 9, 2001


Guess it's more fun when the cops AREN'T shooting at you...as the guy who stole a tank a few years back in I think San Diego would have appreciated.

Check out Mojo Nixon's song "Tankman Blues" for a great description of the event.
posted by Vidiot at 10:37 PM on September 9, 2001


Guess it's more fun when the cops AREN'T shooting at you...as the guy who stole a tank a few years back in I think San Diego would have appreciated.

Check out Mojo Nixon's song "Tankman Blues" for a great description of the event.
posted by Vidiot at 10:37 PM on September 9, 2001


UncleFes: The Germans used lots of captured equipment during the war. Much of their own front-line tanks were really Czech and the a significant proportion of the equipment they used for keeping the local populations under control were often what they captured from the French and British in 1940.

There was a huge battle at Kursk (still the largest tank battle ever) where there were something like 1,500 tanks battling it out with no cohesion at all in a small valley about 1,000 miles south of Moscow. When it was all over engineers from both sides grabbed what they could of what was left and destroyed the remainder. A lot of the remainder are still there today. Having said that, that's a T34-85 in the picture and those at Kursk would likely have been T34-76's. It probably came from some other battle.

Towards the end of the war, especially after Kursk, the Germans were using significant numbers of captured Soviet T-34s and KV-1s. By the start of Operation Bagration (about the same time as D-Day) they were the only tanks they could get their hands on in quantity that could destroy the Sov's tanks and not fall apart in the process. The Tigers and Panthers were too thinly spread, and bizarrely concentrated against the Western Allies, and German industry wasn't exactly doing it's best work by then.

I like tanks BTW, especially the Russian WWII ones. :)
posted by vbfg at 4:37 AM on September 10, 2001


Towards the end of the war, especially after Kursk, the Germans were using significant numbers of captured Soviet T-34s and KV-1s.

First I'd heard that! Although the Panzergruppen were pretty much decimated after Kursk, I find it hard to believe that the German would use captured t-34's and KVs. It wasn't like swapping your Kar for a Nagant in the heat of battle. And with the animosity that the Germans and Soviets held for each other, I would find it difficult to believe that either side would do much of anything with captured tanks than blow them up or maybe strip the co-axials off them and use them for bunker guns.

You're right though, the t-34's ate the panzers for lunch. And then you had the Su-xxx tank killers, the mobile assault guns. That'd give even a Panther with Zimmerit instant air-conditioning. That was pretty late in the war, though, as I recall.

I like tanks BTW, especially the Russian WWII ones. :)

Tanks are the COOLEST. But as for effective method of warfare, they are just about over. Arty is, as always, the Queen of Land Battle, and with satellite imaging and commo, pinpoint accuracy and over-the-horizon range, any tank company stupid enough to come out of their hull-downs is likely to get smoked.
posted by UncleFes at 7:32 AM on September 10, 2001


The germans won kursk. t-34 where great but the panzers out manournvered and later with panther G, outgunned them. (also Comm was better) as it stands, the tigerII would and did outgun anything produced during the war. Not even the U.s. 90mm AP ammo could penetrate it. Yep, after ardennes the panzer makeup was a joke. Anyone seen that rocket mortar the germans had at the end, 310mm i think. Hell, i want to get out the squad leader now.(fes, talk to a modern tanker, its not as turtle time as you think) I belive they used the captured tanks for training and towards the end as decoys or counterstrike.)
posted by clavdivs at 7:45 AM on September 10, 2001


that is cool
posted by RVD at 5:45 PM on September 14, 2001


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