Shortly after the fall of the Hitler regime during WWII, Germany was in complete turmoil. Hitler had spent years collecting art and artifacts that were either destroyed or stolen. There have been ongoing investigations since WWII to locate many these priceless piece of history. One man on the outskirts of Kiel, Germany has been under investigation on multiple occasions for allegations of owning stolen Nazi artwork. As police raided his home they were in for a surprise as they found much more than they bargained for. German police and military were alerted to a threat by Berlin prosecutors who had been searching his home just a few weeks ago. German police came and teamed up with the military to investigate one of the most interesting finds they have on record.
As German police and military raided the man’s house they found an actual 45-ton 1943 Panther battle tank from WWII in near perfect condition.
The tank was just one of many incredible WWII-era military weapons the man had in his collection. Police also found an actual torpedo.
The 78-year-old man lived in a pretty rural area with a lot of property. The battle tank was missing its tracks so reclaiming it would be no easy feat.
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The man is being investigated for possibly violating German weapons laws. The man’s attorney states that all of his possessions are legal and have been demilitarized to proper specs so they wouldn’t be able to fire.
An independent investigator says that that’s not the case and the tank is a fully functional weapon.
The German military had to bring in a modern recovery tank in order to pull out the 45 ton beast. The process took nearly all day and spectators quickly gathered to watch the rare sight.
The 78-year-old man, whose identity is being held secret, was not secretive about his tank nor was he hiding it. The local mayor is even standing up for him talking about seeing the tank driving around the city during huge snow storms decades ago. The man’s neighbor even said he has used his tank to help people who got stuck in the snow and to help plow snow from the streets of the rural area.
The man’s attorney says that all items seized were properly registered but that has not been confirmed yet.
Among the tank, the torpedo and a few other items, Police also found a 3.5 inch anti-aircraft gun. This guy had a serious collection of WWII memorabilia. The reason the man was being investigated in the first place was the discovery of a pair of huge bronze horse statues that once stood in front of Hitler’s chancellery.
The man has not been arrested as of yet and he is sure that he won’t be. The police say there is much more to take into consideration before they make an arrest. Either way someone is going to be very unhappy with the outcome of this find.
If the man did properly demilitarized and register the weapons then he has every right to keep them in his collection. If the items have not been demilitarized then they are a huge danger and should be in the hands of trained officials. What an incredible find though. Some people enjoy collecting stamps or antique beer cans, well this man enjoys WWII weaponry. Huge weaponry at that. I wouldn’t mind owning a tank at all. Probably some pretty terrible gas mileage though. This reminds me of the WWII tank that was out of a lake in Russia. I wonder just how much from WWII is still out there hidden, just waiting to be found.