Friday, January 12, 2007

Kremlin Infuriated by Estonian Decision on War Monuments

This is a photo of the statue on a war monument which in 1947 the Soviet Red Army built in Tallinn, Estonia. Now free after five decades of Soviet occupation, the Estonians are eager to remove relics of that dark era of foreign oppression. On January 11, 2007 the Estonian President signed a law authorizing removal of several monuments, particularly this one, located in his capital. This news has infuriated the Russians. There is one relic however which the Estonians are keeping - a Soviet T34 tank pulled from the bottom of a muddy lake. Entombed in a thick covering of lake mud, it was preserved like a time capsule. Cleaned, with an oil change and a tank of gas, the diesel engine still runs! A lengthy, photo illustrated account of the discovery of this WW2 tank and its significance to the Estonian people, can be found on our companion Blog site, webposted tonight.

Pulled from a lake bottom, captured Russian T34 medium tank in German markings.
UPDATE - February 22, 2007. Yesterday, in an interview with the BBC, Estonian President Toomas Hendrik condemned both armies which occupied his country in WW2. "A gang of bandits, Nazis, was expelled by another gang – Soviet troops." he said. Nevertheless, feelings are running high in Estonia, and in an act of political expediency the State President used his executive-veto to halt legislative he has championed till now.

The website of OTSING, an Estonian battlefield history group, contains plenty of video on the recovery and restoration of the T34.

On February 12 AFTER THE BATTLE magazine published an article on the wreckovery. It can be found (here)

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