The Panther tank removed from a cellar in Kiel, with a prosecutors’ evidence label attached to its barrel. Photo: DPA, through Local.de
The city of Kiel on Germany’s far north coast has become the centre of a mysterious World War Two discovery. This week authorities of the city located a World War Two tank and other munitions in the cellar of a large house in one of Kiel’s wealthiest suburbs.
The tank and other World War Two weaponry are being removed from the house in the area known as Heikendorf.
Authorities had been under suspicion that the owner of the house had illegal weapons stored in his home, and so the raid was sanctioned. The police found the stash in the basement of the house.
Little is known about the exact items that have been found, but it has been confirmed that a torpedo was removed from the site.
The tank is said to still be situated in the basement and is a 1943 Panther. The Panther was a medium-sized tank built and deployed by the Nazis in 1943. It was built to replace the successful Panzer tank, but the Panther never replaced the Panzers completely. The Panther had the same engine as the heavier Tiger tank, but had better armoury and was lighter and more mobile.
The Panther first served in the Battle of Kursk, but had a high rate of breakdowns and as the German war effort began to fail with shortage of fuel and declining training for crews, the Panther never saw out its full-potential.
The tank is going to be difficult to remove from its basement location, and the German army has sent its own current tanks to help remove it from the house.
The authorities were alerted to the fact that the house might have military equipment and weapons stored then, when the house was searched for Nazi art which was believed to also be at the house.
Prior to leading the Nazi party Hitler was himself an artist, and when he became leader of Germany he authorised the confiscation of original works of art and artefacts from all over the Nazi-occupied territories. The retrieval of artworks that were stolen by the Nazis during World War Two continues to this day. The initiative endeavours to locate the stolen works of art and return them to their original owners prior to World War Two.
Authorities have confirmed that the tank can no longer fire weapons. Locals say that they are not surprised by the find. They have said that many years ago the owner of the house would drive the tank around when they had severe snow. The owner is said to now be around 70 years old.