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Ya know, there’s a lot to be said for military weaponry. It’s made of some of the highest-grade materials on the planet and can do a helluva lot of damage. And one of the most awesome and respectable pieces of weaponry the military has is the tank. These bad boys are solid. Personally, I think they should be street legal and I’d get one. Let those bullies try to pick on me then! Ok, enough with the flashbacks. Here are five of the most indestructible tanks ever.
1. The Australian Army Mk 3 Centurion Type K was used in a small nuclear test at Emu Field in Australia in 1953. It was put about 500 years from the blast and during an examination afterwards, it had moved 5 feet from where it was, its antennae were missing, its lights and periscopes were heavily sandblasted and some armored side plates had been blasted about 200 yards away. But amazingly, it was able to be driven from the site. It was subsequently named the Atomic Tank and was used in the Vietnam War. During a firefight, it was hit by an RPG – rocket-propelled grenade – and was still battleworthy. The Atomic Tank is now retired and in Palmerston, Northern Territory, after 23 years of service.
2. A lone Russian KV tank sat quietly as Germans fired at it in June of 1941 during the Battle of Raseiniai. They fired endless rounds from 50-mm anti-tank guns and 105mm Howitzer but the metal giant stood its ground. Finally, after hours of battle, the KV tank responded, taking out the battery of Germans. At night, when the Nazis tried to plant explosives around the tank, they were met with machine gun fire from its crew. As German soldiers again carefully crept up on the tank, they spotted a hole made by earlier skirmishes and threw a grenade into it. The courageous tank crew was finally killed. Strangely enough, the Germans, out of complete respect for its foe for enduring such a fierce battle, pulled out each soldier from the tank and buried him.
3. On Feb. 10 and 11 of 1943, a German Tiger tank withstood an incredible amount of firepower. It was during an attack on a farm in Kampfgruppe that the leading tank began to take fire. By the time the 6-hour battle was over, the tank’s machine guns were obliterated and the engine caught fire. The top of the tank took extreme damage and the wheels and suspension arms were perforated. In all, the Tiger tank was hit 227 times, and once the fighting was over, it managed to cover another 60 kilometers on its own power.
4. During the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Challenger, a British main battle tank, took direct hits from 14 RPGs at close range, as well as an attack from a MILAN anti-tank missile. The crew survived and remained safe until repairs on the tank could be made. The worst damage to the vehicle was on the sighting system. After repairs were made, the tank endured another 70 hits by RPGs.
5. During the first World War in mid-1917, British Capt. Donald Richardson led a precarious tank attack on the Germans in a Mark IV tank. While attacking, the tank ran over a bomb crater and turned onto its sides, rendering much of its fire power completely useless and trapping the men inside it. For more than 72 hours, Richardson and his crew withstood temperatures that ranged from almost 90 degrees Fahrenheit to below freezing at night. The crew managed to survive the encounter by sharing their rations and drinking radiator water from the crippled tank. At one point, a German solder climbed on top of the tank and dropped a grenade inside it, but a quick-thinking crew member hurled the grenade back outside the tank before it exploded. Even other British soldiers began firing at the tank when they felt its technology was going to fall into the hands of the enemy. But the tank and all but one of its men incredibly withstood all the firepower and managed to survive with only pistols and a single rifle. Those men became World War I’s most decorated tank crew.
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