The Tiger Collection video from Bovington Tank Museum

Here is a short video showing off the new “Tiger Collection” Exhibition at the Bovington Tank Museum.

British tank collector finds five gold bars inside fuel tank of Iraqi tank

The Sun has posted an article about an unlikely find by British AFV collector Nick Mead.  While undertaking restoration work on an Iraqi “T54/69” (this designation is given in the article, its unclear whether this is a Soviet built T-54/55 or a Chinese Type 59), they discovered five bars of gold hidden in a fuel tank!

nintchdbpict000314875250Nick Mead, 55, discovered the five gold bars in the Russian T54/69 while restoring it to add to his collection of 150 military vehicles.

He and mechanic Todd Chamberlain were filming themselves prising open the diesel tank in case they found munitions and needed to show it to bomb disposal crews.

Instead, they pulled out the bars, weighing up to 12lb — 5kg — apiece.

Todd, 50, said a quick calculation suggested they were worth in excess of £2million.

He added: “We didn’t know what to do. You can’t exactly take five gold bullion bars down to Cash Converters without questions being asked, so we called the police.”

Nick runs Tanks-a-Lot, giving petrolheads the chance to drive any of his tanks on his farm in Helmdon, Northants.

He traded in an Army lorry and an Abbot self-propelled gun for the T54/69 in a deal worth about £30,000 after seeing it advertised on eBay.

Todd and Nick had already found machine gun ammunition while stripping down the tank and were worried they would find guns.

Instead, they discovered the gold, which they believe was looted by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait during the Gulf War.

The tank was later captured and shipped to Britain.

Nick said: “They must have cut a hole in the fuel tank and rammed it full of gold bars.”

After calling police, two officers took away the bars and gave them a receipt.

The military buffs have stored it in a safety deposit box in London. Nick said: “Even if I don’t get any of the gold back I will still have my beautiful tank.”

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said they could not comment “for operational reasons”.

Tank Chats #34 Chieftain

Tank Museum Curator David Willey talks about the Chieftain Main Battle Tank.

Book Alert: Centurion Main Battle Tank: 1946 to present

Haynes has published a new entry in their series of owners workshop manuals on tanks titled Centurion Main Battle Tank: 1946 to present (Owners’ Workshop Manual).  This new book explores the British Centurion Main Battle Tank.   Written by Simon Dunston, this is a hardcover book of 160 pages with numerous color photos, charts and images.

Publishers Description:

First trialled in Europe in the spring of 1945, but formally introduced into British Army service in December 1946, not only is the Centurion one of the most important tanks in the history of the British armoured fighting vehicle (AFV), but it is also one of the most significant post-war Western tanks. Between 1946 and 1962, 4,423 Centurions were built in 13 basic marks and numerous variants, with the chassis also adapted for several other AFV roles. A small number of the Beach Armoured Recovery Version (BARV) served with the British forces during the Iraq War of 2003, some 58 years after the Centurion first entered service! The Centurion has seen extensive combat in the Korean War (Britain), Vietnam (Australia), the Middle East (Israel) in the 1967 Six Day War, 1973 Yom Kippur War, and during the 1978 and 1982 invasions of Lebanon, and in the Indo-Pakistan War (India) in 1965 where it fought against US-supplied M47 and M48 Patton tanks.

Photo of the Day: Israeli Mystery Tank

All we know about this Israeli vehicle is that it some sort of proof of concept vehicle dating from the period of 1999-2003.  Light tanks are not a category that the IDF has traditionally been all that excited about. (source)

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Update: A google image search led us to this post from the For the Record blog which sources the photo to this Hebrew language book.

Inside the Chieftain’s Hatch: Sherman VC “Firefly” part 2

Here is part 2 of Nicholas “The Chieftain” Moran’s examination of the Sherman Firefly variant.

Photo of the Day: Ruptured Gun Tube

Here is a rather striking picture of a ruptured 125 mm gun.  This photo recently appeared in a thread on the tank-net.com forum.  No details were provided as to the exact cause of this rather dramatic gun barrel failure.

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