The body of an old Russian T-34 tank was found in Holon during city construction work
T-34s were supplied by the USSR to all the Arab states surrounding Israel. Many were captured by the IDF when Israel was attacked in wars of 1956 & 1967.
The hull of an old Russian T-34 tank was discovered in Holon during municipal construction work, the Israel Police reported Monday.
A surprising find, the chassis of the T-34 tank discovered during digging work – Photo: Courtesy
Construction workers were conducting excavation work on Merkava Street in Holon’s industrial zone when, much to their surprise, they struck metal at 2 meters deep and discovered the hull of a World War II-era T-34 tank with its turret missing.
Ironically, Merkava, which means “chariot” in Hebrew, is the name given to Israel’s domestically produced Merkava tank.
The workers called police sappers and Home front command officers to inform them of their unusual find.
The T-34 was the backbone of the Red Army in World War II, and proved decisive on the battlefield. The tanks were supplied by the Soviet Union to Arab states surrounding Israel and many were captured by Israel during the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis and the 1967 Six-Day War.
So far, the tank remains shrouded in mystery. How did it get to Holon? To whom did it belong? How and why was it buried so deep underground?
Yiftah Shapir, head of the INSS Middle East Military Balance project, told the Walla! News portal that the tank did not get to Holon in wartime maneuverings.
“There were no tank and armor battles near Holon,” Shapir said.
The closest the Egyptian Army ever got to Holon was the Ad Halom (literally “Up to Here”) Junction near Kibbutz Yad Mordechai in the western Negev during the 1948 War of Independence.
Shapir told Walla! News that Arab army tanks taken as war spoils would be turned into ad hoc memorials quite often and that the Holon tank may have been one such memorial. Other experts say Arab tanks captured in battle were quite often stripped for spare parts or used for target practice.
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=10407