Saturday, 3 January 2009

Panzers As Defense

As Bulgaria sided with Germany during World War Two, which I believe was out of neccessity to protect itself due to being surrounded by countries siding with the Nazi regime, Germany presented around 100 panzer tanks for Bulgarias defense.

These tanks were placed in the ground as defense against Turkey to the south, you could say these were tank pill boxes. Some believe these were actually decoys should Turkey decide to become involved an attack Bulgaria.

For many decades the Bulgarian panzer tanks lay on the land or in unused military barracks collecting rust. Some of them even fell fowl to scrap men who illegally cut parts away to sell at a profit, it is even believed that a Bulgarian officer was caught trying to sell a full Panzer tank to a private German collector.

The Bulgarian authorities realised after much time that these tanks are worth alot of money and decided to collect all the tanks together, the best of which are to be given to the national army museum and the rest to be sold via auction to private collectors.

In total there are 19 mark IV panzer tanks, 6 Stug III's and a Jagdpanzer IV L/48. Some of these Panzers are special because its the first time anyone has seen a Panzer fitted with Soviet T 34 turrets.

It is amazing to think that after over 60 years these tanks are still in great condition, some in full condition, and the Bulgarian government has just saw fit to start to collect and recondition some of these for their national army museum. Ill definately be visiting once they are in the museum on my next visit to Bulgaria!

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