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Valentine found in Poland - extraction from riverbed started.


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FearyMaus #1 Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:00 AM

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A Valentine Mk X tank has been found in Poland. It seems to be the only such tank that participated in war and "survived" - others in museums are factory samples that did not see action.

It was used by Russians as part of Land-Lease program, drowned when ice broke during Warta river crossing.

Shortly after the war there was an unsuccessfull attempt at getting it out. Currently a team of dedicated people works on pulling the tank out of riverbed and then plans to restore it. Conditions are pretty difficult, especially that winter is coming, but efforts should be worth it - tank seems to be preserved completely.

Westonbirt #2 Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:06 AM

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Got any photos ?

That sounds promising.

ivortheengine #3 Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:07 AM

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View PostWestonbirt, on 25 October 2012 - 11:06 AM, said:

Got any photos ?

That sounds promising.

yeah pics would be nice if you have any

JagdWehrwolf #4 Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:12 AM

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http://sieradz.nasze...jecia,id,t.html

Some photos from the action are in this link. Mind you, it's in polish.

FearyMaus #5 Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:23 PM

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JagdWehrwolf - thank you for posting link to action photos!
Sorry, did not think about putting in my post...
Tank itself is under water and mud layer so there is no photos of it yet.

Another photo here:
http://www.siewie.tv...ta/SG105065.jpg

Main points quoted in articles:
- action is led by Jacek Kopczynski who is a well-known military vehicle collectioner and organizer of historical events,
- scuba divers are removing mud layer,
- a temporary ditch/wall will be erected around the tank so that water can be pumped out from this "well" to make work possible,
- tank seems to be completely preserved, making it a unique discovery,
- there is only 3 such tanks (Mk X) on display, all of them straight from factory, not participating in WWII.

As for now attempt was unsuccessfull due to weight of the tank and location. Another attempt is made today, if it fails they will continue next year. If they manage to get the tank out, it will be most likely restored over the next 3 years by Mr Kopczynski who has know-how and funds to do that (action was prepared for months).

Rumour only: some people say  that next to Valentine there is another tank buried under mud - an IS (!) with which Russians tried to pull out Valentine right after it drowned. IS did not make it either on treacherous ground.

Hammerbolt #6 Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:56 PM

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Holy cow, a Valentine?!  :Smile_ohmy:

Those things are very very rare. Every museumis gonna drool over it.

FearyMaus #7 Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:48 PM

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Update: turret and top of one side (tank is at an angle to the left) are visible now after water was removed from the "well".
Rest is stuck deeper in ground/mud. It seems to be well preserved.

Historical update: group of 4 tanks were crossing frozen Warta river. 3 made it, the 4th one said "screw it, 1-6 already" and chose to drown. His team won in the end ;>

Wolfesblut #8 Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:22 PM

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Great find, keep up the live feed!

Hammerbolt #9 Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:16 PM

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View PostWolfesblut, on 25 October 2012 - 03:22 PM, said:

Great find, keep up the live feed!

Indeed! A photo of the Valentine coming up would be great!

FearyMaus #10 Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:44 PM

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Photo of tank still in mud:
http://d.polskatimes...57ea63cfc_p.jpg

Meanwwhile they succeeded to get it out :-)
It seems to be Mark IX with 165hp engine and 6-pounder gun.
Tank is in excellent condition, even side canisters were preserved.
Seen it on tv only, I guess online photos will come shortly as this is big news.

JagdWehrwolf #11 Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:26 PM

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Latest on Valentine from Warta. This time some video footage. Enjoy.

FearyMaus #12 Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:41 PM

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Wheels were turning and tracks moving while the tank was hauled out - this means it's in even better shape than expected!

Dead_Skin_Mask #13 Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:09 PM

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Gallery of photos :)
http://lodz.naszemia...id.html#galeria

Hammerbolt #14 Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:25 PM

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Outstanding.

And look how small it was!!!

Commander_Breathy #15 Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:33 PM

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Thx keeping us updated. :Smile_great:

Westonbirt #16 Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:38 PM

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Apart from the mud, it still seem in shape. And the service plate is perfectly readable. It's probably the dirt that protected it.

Amazing.

Edited by Westonbirt, 25 October 2012 - 09:38 PM.


WriterX #17 Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:22 AM

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Wonder in how good a shape the "internals are". Of course I doubt it would run straight after getting it out, but at the same time is it sufficiently unscathed to not need any repairs or module exchange.

Wish I found a tank in my pond... Any tank to be honest.

marcint34 #18 Posted 26 October 2012 - 07:07 PM

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I'm living near the place, where the tank has been found  :Smile_Default:

http://sieradz.com.p...g-wydobyty.html
Photo gallery which includes photos inside this tank  :Smile_glasses:

http://www.nasze.fm/news,10526
Some photos and news (in Polish language only :) )
This is Valentine Mk. IX tank made in February 1943.

Edited by marcint34, 26 October 2012 - 07:16 PM.


AliceUnchained #19 Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:14 PM

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Indeed a Valentine Mark IX.

marcint34, could you provide some details as to where exactly it has been found? I am unable to get any more information than just Warta river, and it's quite a long river... And no, not going to try and steal it :-)

Soviet forces first crossed the river South of Poznan then moved to more favorable locations North in preparation of an attack on the forts and citadel and capture the city but it's possible the river was crossed somewhere between Poznan and Lodz.

Had a chat with edfrancis yesterday evening and we're fairly certain it belonged to a unit of the 5th Guards attached to the 1st but any details would be useful.

PzPionier #20 Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:54 PM

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I guess thats the find of a lifetime for every military enthusiast :D

Thanks for sharing!