Valentine found in Poland - extraction from riverbed started.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:00 AM
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.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:06 AM
That sounds promising.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 11:07 AM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:23 PM
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:
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.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 01:56 PM
Those things are very very rare. Every museumis gonna drool over it.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 02:48 PM
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 ;>
Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:22 PM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:16 PM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:44 PM
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.
Posted 25 October 2012 - 08:41 PM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:25 PM
And look how small it was!!!
Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:33 PM
Posted 25 October 2012 - 09:38 PM
Edited by Westonbirt, 25 October 2012 - 09:38 PM.
Posted 26 October 2012 - 03:22 AM
Wish I found a tank in my pond... Any tank to be honest.
Posted 26 October 2012 - 07:07 PM
Photo gallery which includes photos inside this tank
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.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:14 PM
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.
Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:54 PM
Thanks for sharing!