back to article 84-year-old fined €250,000 for keeping Nazi war machines – including tank – in basement

An 84-year-old German man has been fined €250,000 (£212,796.10) for keeping stockpiles of Second World War-era weaponry in his basement – including a 45-ton tank. The conviction under Germany's War Weapons Control Act was handed down in Kiel, a city in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein, and regards an investigation from …

  1. Chairman of the Bored

    Ha!

    On this side of the pond, just grow some facial hair, wear a baseball cap, and call yourself an ammosexual. All will be well.

    1. LogicGate

      Re: Ha!

      ..And on this side of the pond, americans are easily recognizable by their baseball-caps, whether they are ammosexuals or not..

      1. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: Ha!

        Septics are the ones with baseball caps _not_ made by Burberry.

        Altho they are all ammosexual

        1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Re: Ha!

          Sceptics as well.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Ha!

            Septics also have tanks, so I've heard.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Septics also have tanks, so I've heard.

              I thought it was good, at least.

          2. the spectacularly refined chap

            Re: Ha!

            It's Cockney rhyming slang.

            Septic tank = Yank

        2. TheRealRoland
          Happy

          Re: Ha!

          Stinks, doesn't it?

    2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: Ha!

      There is a book of Americans and their guns. One has / had a Napoleonic era canon.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Ha!

        There is a book of Americans and their guns. One has / had a Napoleonic era canon.

        I think most people would be surprised at what Americans own. Tanks, artillery, MG's, (not the car), mortars, bazookas, etc. Some even own fighter planes. There are specialty types like Civil War and Revolutionary War collectors (and re-enactors who own operational cannon.

        1. Great Bu

          Re: Ha!

          Lots of people in the UK also own cannon - I was in the Sealed Knot (UK Civil War re-enactors) and plenty of our artillery members had operational cannons. You only need a shotgun license to own the cannon but an explosives license if you want to keep gunpowder too.

          Neither license is all that hard to get but not as easy as now I live in the US of A where all I need is a credit card.....

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Ha!

            But the Sealed Knot is not intent on terrorism and is perfectly open about its very entertaining activities and is very active in honest education and academic research into the history of the Civil War.

            1. batfink Silver badge

              Re: Ha!

              Ha! That's what they want you to think. All that business of opposing the Parliamentary forces...

              1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

                Re: Ha!

                Jolly good too - I oppose Parliamentary forces at the moment.

              2. gandalfcn Silver badge

                Re: Ha!

                So you've never watched them or researched what they do. OK.

            2. YetAnotherLocksmith

              Re: Ha!

              To be fair, I don't think the 84yo was a dedicated terrorist either.

          2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: Sealed Knot: operational cannons

            Were they well preserved?

            1. gandalfcn Silver badge

              Re: Sealed Knot: operational cannons

              In alcohol?

      2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Ha!

        Don't understand the downvotes. The title is 'Armed America: Portraits of Gun Owners in Their Homes' - see

        https://www.amazon.co.uk/Armed-America-Portraits-Owners-Their/dp/0896895432

        "

        As the 2004 Presidential Election was beginning to take shape, Kyle Cassidy took note of the important role the simple concept of gun ownership was playing. Hardly anyone he knew didn't have an opinion in the debate over owning guns. Why was a constitutionally protected right so heavily debated, and who exactly are these folks that own guns? "I began to wonder who these seventy or so million Americans were, how they lived and what was important to them. I set out to photograph as many gun owners as I could and ask them one question: "Why do you own a gun."" Cassidy traveled some 20,000 miles, crisscrossing the country to meet with gun owners in their homes. Cassidy's photo essays create a powerful, thought provoking and sometimes startling view of gun ownership in the U.S. These "everyman" portraits, and the accompanying views of gun owners, fashion a riveting and provocative hardcover book. "I made two decisions early on," Cassidy says in his Introduction to the book. "First that I would photograph anyone who was willing, owned a gun, and whom I could physically get to. Secondly, I decided I wouldn't treat these subjects any differently than I would if I were photographing "Lottery Winners" or "Cancer Survivors" - I didn't want to rely on the crutch of controversy to prop my images up. I wanted a good portrait first." "As far as I could tell, there were no politically neutral books about gun owners - they all seemed to be propaganda, one way or the other. My job wasn't to make gun owners look good, or to spin something one way or another it was to take a series of interesting portraits".

        "

        1. Jilara

          Re: Ha!

          Yeah, possibly like those folks (haven't seen the book) I don't fit any stereotypes. I'm a liberal woman who has owned three repro cannons at different times, has a safe full of (mostly black powder) weapons ranging from a repro 1630 Dutch carbine (for English Civil War reenacting) to a vintage 20 gauge shotgun. (And have fired all of them, some a LOT.) I also have a small collection of antique swords (and know how to use them). We Americans are a motley lot.

          1. gandalfcn Silver badge

            Re: Ha!

            "We Americans are a motley lot." I suppose ne coukd spin it that way.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Ha!

          I suspect the downvotes had something to do with the canon. Not sure why.

          I own two canon, hand-me-downs from Great Granpa. No, I'm not in the book.

          1. cortland

            Re: Ha!

            A canon, or a son of a bishop?

          2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: I own two canon

            Do they trace out gravity's rainbow?

            >Great Granpa

            Ah probably monochrome bubblejets then.

          3. Eclectic Man Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Ha!

            The chairman of the local magistrates told my mother this story:

            When he was a child, his uncle, a former naval person, who lived next door had two brass cannons outside his front door. It seems that the croquet balls (wooden) were just the right size for the bore. So at school he made 7.5lbs of gunpowder (this was in the days of real chemistry lessons, no safety goggles, and playing with actual mercury with your bare hands). One Sunday night, when all was quiet, he crept round to his uncle's front door, loaded the cannon with 3lbs of gunpowder each, wadding, croquet ball, maximum elevation, and used the remaining 1.5lb for a fuse trail.

            They never found one of the croquet balls, it probably disintegrated. The other one went over the house opposite into the neighbour's greenhouse.

            In all the excitement he got away. And although it could not be proved that he was responsible he basically was unable to sit down for several days due to the extensive beating he received (see earlier comment re when this happened). Apparently his uncle never did manage to get those cannons to polish up as well as they had before.

            So, Jake, I do hope your ones are 'secure' from any schoolchildren who may have read some 'Master and Commander' or 'Hornblower' and fancy a bit of fun in the night. Failing that, make sure the croquet set is well locked up.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: Ha!

              Cool story, Bro. Shall we break it down?

              A standard croquet ball is approximately 3 5/8 inches (92mm). This translates to (roughly[0]) a 6-pounder. According to my "field guide", the maximum powder charge for a 6 pound gun was about 1.5 pounds of powder. Loading one with 2.5 pounds changes it's designation ... it becomes what we call "a bomb".

              The wooden ball being "just the right size" suggests that the operator had no concept of windage (the intentional gap between ball and barrel). This would further cause over-pressure, leading to bursting (the ball itself being turned to powder/toothpicks in the same instant).

              This is to say nothing of the fact that an open cannon barrel automagically becomes a collector of all kinds of detritus, especially when stored outside. This, when combined with rain water and/or condensation becomes a soggy mess at the bottom of the barrel. I seriously doubt the touch-hole would be functional in such a scenario.

              Also note that the build-up of crap at the bottom of the bore would put the powder charge above any banding or other re-enforcement surrounding the powder chamber, further making the explosion likely (if it wasn't too wet for the powder to burn at all ...).

              I wont get into the concept of a schoolboy making 7.5 pounds of functional gunpowder ... it's a lot harder than knowing the ratio of the chemicals involved, placing them in a bowl and stirring. It has to be a very fine powder, and very well mixed, in order to go bang. Most people trying to make it in bulk manage to burn themselves rather badly before it gets to the boom stage. (Yes, I know, we've all made small quantities. Knowing how, would YOU try to make several pounds of the stuff in a school chem lab? That's what I thought.)

              As a wrap, have no fear ... all the kids around here with access know that guns are tools. They would no more attempt to fire a cannon (or any other firearm) inappropriately than they would use a hammer as a screwdriver. Education, from an early age. Whodathunkit.

              [0] As a former British Naval Officer, they were probably French pieces, and back then we still had the awkward Troy vs avoirdupois (and several other "standards") translation difficulties.

              1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                Re: Ha!

                Fascinating, thanks for that.

                I suspect there might have been a tad of exaggeration in the story. I never said this guy knew exactly what he was doing as a kid.* As for windage - well, he probably didn't know about cannonballs having to allow a bit of a gap. If he did make some gunpowder at school, it may not have been ground as fine as an expert would make it, so may have (fortunately) been somewhat less explosive than 'perfect' gunpowder, so that the cannon did not actually explode. I have no idea whether he cleaned out the barrels first, I assume he must have done.

                In his adult life he did escape the NAZI invasion of Norway by sailing a dingy across the North Sea with a colleague, so he was quite a resourceful chap.

                I have never made gunpowder, but let's face it, lots of idiots have tried, and some have succeeded. My only actual 'experiment' with explosives (not counting letting off fireworks under adult supervision), was to cut the heads off a boxfull of matches, put them in a parcel of aluminium foil on a paving slab in the garden, light a match as a fuse and stand well back. I was rewarded with a lovely toroidal smoke cloud when the whole lot went up. (Do not try this indoors.)

                *One of my friends, as a schoolboy in Australia, made rockets and explosives in the 'shed' his family had in the outback. One day he showed his father what he'd been doing, and was promptly grounded for several months. He was well capable as a schoolboy of making significant amounts of gunpowder quite safely (for him) and, as it turned out, rocket fuel. He got a PhD in chemistry in the 1970s and oddly for a chemist interested in explosives still has all his digits and excellent sight and hearing for a person of his age.

      3. OssianScotland

        Re: Ha!

        Probably a Civil War era smoothbore called a "Napoleon"

    3. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: Ha!

      "On this side of the pond, just grow some facial hair, wear a baseball cap, and call yourself a" patriot and commit acts of terrorism.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

    well, the same could be said about man's penis, therefore... HE'S A WITCH!!!!! :(

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

      Was any of the seized ammunition usable in the tank?

      Perhaps that's why they didn't arrest him. Even if the tank cannon *could* be made operational, there's the not-insignificant problem of obtaining ammunition for a 70+ year old weapon. Not something you can just order from Amazon.

      Seriously, perhaps it's time to reconsider some of those laws.

      Props to the guy for having something in his garage that took an entire crew and a tank transporter to remove...I'm assuming he was NOT married :-)

      1. OssianScotland
        Coat

        Just order from Amazon...

        https://www.amazon.co.uk/75mm-Inflatable-World-Sherman-Shell/dp/B01MXPIUWS

        (OK, wrong nationality, and I don't think the "inflatable" bit would help (except with ammunition storage), but close...)

        Unfortunately I can't find anything for the 88mm Flak gun except in 1:35 scale

        Thank you, yes, the one with glue stains and the Tamiya catalogue in the pocket please...

        1. batfink Silver badge

          Re: Just order from Amazon...

          Was it an 88? I can only find references to "flak cannon" or "anti-aircraft cannon".

        2. KBeee Bronze badge

          Re: Just order from Amazon...

          Or if you don't want to buy from Amazon, The Tank Museum has inflatable ammo for sale.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: The Tank Museum has inflatable ammo for sale.

            What? You have to blow it up?

      2. graeme leggett

        Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

        The Panther also had two machine guns. And it says he had machine guns in his stash. So if any of them were MG34s then he had possibilities there.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

          The 8mm Mauser round is still in production and is popular with hunters in Europe.

    2. WanderingHaggis
      Coat

      Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

      With the rust you might need to rebore the barrel.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

        You'd be a braver man than me if you put 80 year old ammunition inside an 80 year old gun and then fired it.

        An explosive shell comes in two parts. There is the propellent which fires the shell, and the high explosive in the shell.

        You don't know how stable the high explosives in the shell is. Many explosives are shock sensitive and degrade with age; there is an expected "best before" date before they become dangerously unstable. Wartime weapons were expected to be used within the war and the quality control was a bit "iffy", to say the least. I literally wouldn't touch a shell like that, and i'd be taking a photo for the bomb disposal people before clearing the hell out.

        Now, who exactly is going to pick up an old shell like that? Firstly, there is a non zero chance that simply touching it might make it explode. Even if it didn't, I wouldn't put it in a gun that was known to be sound and fire it because you don't know that firing the propellent wouldn't set off the HE charge while it's still in the barrel. If you wouldn't do that in a gun that's known to be safe, what sort of a lunatic would put it in a rusty gun that is possibly brittle from age?

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

          May I suggest recruiting the football supporter who launched a firework from his arse recently as an operator?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

            Is it an AP round?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

            I had to look that up and and was surprised to see 3 separate such events in 2017, 2019, and 2021, all different yobs. The one in 2017 resulted in serious injury, 2019 at least his shirt appeared to be on fire, 2021 I'm not sure.

            1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

              Re: though corroded with rust, could be cleaned and restored to working condition

              > 2021 I'm not sure.

              He was contacted by a paper sometimes after the event, said he'd done a lot of coke that day and "had no regrets"

  3. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    If he had just kept the tank

    El Reg» The defendant ... was ordered to sell or donate the tank and flak cannon to a museum or collector within two years, as reported by AP News.

    If he had just kept the tank, he might have been able to make a good case for nostalgia and garner some sympathy, but enough ammunition and weaponry to make a terrorist outfit/criminal gang wet their pants is a much, much harder case to justify.

    Besides, if it was no secret that he had a tank, why was nothing done about it until now? That he has to either sell it or give it away for free does seem rather vindictive of the court.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells

      Re: If he had just kept the tank

      > That he has to either sell it or give it away for free does seem rather vindictive of the court.

      To be fair, they probably could have just confiscated it. Letting him sell it seems very reasonable.

      1. KBeee Bronze badge

        Re: If he had just kept the tank

        Being an expert in WW2 German military hardware - i.e. I once saw an episode of Combat Dealers - I'd have thought a working Panther tank would be worth a fortune.

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: If he had just kept the tank

          You'd hope so since he has 250kEUR fine to pay.

        2. jrd

          Re: If he had just kept the tank

          A fully restored and working Panther would be worth a lot of money. There are about six known in the world. For value, it's all about condition. Not easy to get spare parts though, even of you have the requisite expertise.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: If he had just kept the tank

          "Being an expert in WW2 German military hardware - i.e. I once saw an episode of Combat Dealers - I'd have thought a working Panther tank would be worth a fortune."

          Well, the article does say he spent DM500,000[1] restoring it and ""He was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978" , so I'd expect it to be worth something in that region as a starting point

          [1] rough guess, about £125,000 back then. ISTR 1DM being about 26p when I was in Germany around about that time.

          1. Dr Omega

            Re: If he had just kept the tank

            Give it to a collector? With everything he has, isn't he a collector? Maybe he can just give it to himself.

      2. teknopaul Silver badge

        Re: If he had just kept the tank

        34 wheeled vehicle, heavily armoured,

        4000 km on the clock.

        One careful owner, however the other owner was a bit of a Nazi War Machine.

    2. Tron Bronze badge

      Re: If he had just kept the tank

      -Besides, if it was no secret that he had a tank, why was nothing done about it until now?

      Not enough moral panic back then. Plenty now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If he had just kept the tank

        because at those time (no, not Nazi times, later), it was a bit of a local fun (you know, you can stick your MG up your arse, my neighbour's got a panther!). But, in the meantime (in the meanwhile!), the outside world has kept rolling, new laws kept being introduced, etc, etc, and then, some Nazi-style official had this bright idea: you know, perhaps we should check on our good old law-abiding citizen, whether he's got a license for whattis in his garage... And so, in their official-esque, meticulous German style, they kept checking what OTHER regulations and law he might have broken (barrel too long? Too few threads? Missing tracks... 100K rounds of ammunition, check, so... missing 100K permits to hold each one of them... all in all, he's been turned into an Uber-terrorist... And think what he COULD HAVE started with all that! Oh no, we can't have that!

        1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

          Re: If he had just kept the tank

          Probably just police being police. They raided his house looking for stolen art, found none, so they had to book him for something, especially if he wasn't too cooperative.

  4. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

    WTF?

    The guy collects military hardware. So what? Lot's of people collect strange things. He's been made to hand it over to a collector or museum? How come another collector can own it but he cannot?

    Surely there has to be something deeper in this? The article says he was not a Nazi sympathiser, nor does it say he was mentally unstable, a nuisance to his neighbours or anything, so why, after 44 years of owning and spending his life restoring this has it now been confiscated?

    Seems totally unfair and a horribly cruel thing to do to an elderly gentleman - not just confiscate his lifes work, but the fine too.

    Something just does not add up about this.

    Kudos to lifes oddballs who don't conform to boring society norms.

    1. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: WTF?

      He's simply gotten too old to drive a Panther tank...

      1. batfink Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        Hmmm. Maybe when I'm 84 and my driving is getting a little erratic I'll invest in a Panther...

        1. newspuppy

          Re: WTF?

          Hmm...

          when you hit your midlife crisis (40's) ... you invest in a Jaguar....

          then.. your second midlife crisis.. (next 40 years.. so 80's)... you drive around in a Panther....

          what is next? A Tiger? @ 120?

          1. ThatOne Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: WTF?

            > what is next? A Tiger?

            Either one is perfect for keeping those pesky kids off your lawn...

          2. Dave559 Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            "when you hit your midlife crisis (40's) ... you invest in a Jaguar....

            then.. your second midlife crisis.. (next 40 years.. so 80's)... you drive around in a Panther....

            what is next? A Tiger? @ 120?"

            That seems, as the Germans would say, "Alles in Ordnung".

            Once you get bored of the Tiger, you obviously then upgrade to a Leopard, and then to a Snow Leopard, etc…

            This particular series of tanks all have rounded corners and are beautifully thin, but repairing the fuel tanks is a real pain. On some models the controls get easily clogged with dust and dn't wrk very reliably.

          3. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            When do we hit Mountain Lion?

    2. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      "The guy collects military hardware. So what?"

      So death is a likely consequence of misappropriation of his collection.

      1. slooth

        Re: WTF?

        Death is inevitable, no matter how it comes about.

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          That just shows a lack of ambition.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        So does this mean that Mark Twain's "A Connecticut Yankee in the Court of King Arthur" is a banned book too? It's busy "promoting military hardware" in a book that children read?

    3. LogicGate

      Re: WTF?

      The problem is that this is Germany, and if Germany is seen to condone any kind of nostalgia towards the Nazi era, then the rest of the world community will be all over them like a ton of bricks.

      Also, German law - written by the Allies after 45- take a very negative view towards Nazi memorabilia

      Museums are a different matter, but these to will not gloss over the stuff that happened.

      German schools spend a large part of history classes explaining what happened.

      On top of it all, the country is still scarred with the ruins of the war. It is easy to find stone buildings pockmarked by ordnance, and many cities clearly show where the old city core disappeared in flames.

      As a result, most Germans have a strong aversion against anything that has to do with the era.

      You will NOT see WW2 reenactors outside of very iffy circles.

      The man did not have the required paperwork, he collected Nazi weaponry...

      To expect a different outcome would have been naive.

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        Very good post.

        "As a result, most Germans have a strong aversion against anything that has to do with the era."

        As opposed to the British, who only know of Germany between 1933 and 1945. Tell them anything about Germany before the Nazis and they ... zzzz.

        And tell them anything about how Germany has recovered after the Second World War and they want to know .... zzzz.

        Ask the British anything about the Second World War and, well we won it! What more do you need to know? Brexit, brexit, brexit. Ra, ra, ra!

        (I added the brexit but to attract downvotes from the brexiters.)

        1. Irongut

          Re: WTF?

          > (I added the brexit but to attract downvotes from the brexiters.)

          Have a downvote from a Scottish remainer for knowing nothing about the British.

          You do seem to know a fair bit about the English but you forgot to mention 1966.

          1. GuildenNL

            Re: WTF?

            1966...Beatles? Govt sex scandel? Soviet Spy in M6?

            Nothing else to think of.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              I think he meant 1066, the year that the British (and a few very, very diluted Romans) lost the British Isles to a foreign invader for the final time. The place has been run by foreigners ever since.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: WTF?

                True. And 1812 was the last time the Brits had some fun in your neck-of-the-wood and yet we're too polite to ever mention it.* Which is strange given our penchant to bang on about particular past conflicts.

                *Ever so sorry to bring it up. Sorry about burning Washington.

                1. Aquatyger

                  Re: WTF?

                  Wasn't it the Canadians who burnt Washington? They do do seem pleased about it and do bring it up whenever the US threatens or makes plans to invade Canada.

                  1. Bitsminer Bronze badge

                    Re: WTF?

                    Nah, whenever we're bragging "we did it".

                    When the Americans want to complain "they did it".

              2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

                Re: WTF?

                1066, the year that the British (and a few very, very diluted Romans) lost the British Isles to a foreign invader for the final time

                That's a fact that I was taught at school, and have heard repeated many times....but what about 1688? I'm not sure what the textbook definition of "foreign invader" is, but I would thought that someone who comes from another country and deposes the incumbent monarch(s) must come pretty close.

                1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                  Re: WTF?

                  Hard to call somebody coming in with an invitation an 'invader'/

                  1. batfink Silver badge

                    Re: WTF?

                    It depends. In England they say William was invited. However I noticed when I was in Scotland last week that there it's referred to as an "invasion".

                    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                      Re: WTF?

                      The Irish have views on this point, too. Some of them are quite strongly held.

                    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                      Re: WTF?

                      batfink,

                      It depends. In England they say William was invited. However I noticed when I was in Scotland last week that there it's referred to as an "invasion".

                      It's a bit of both. So I think gives people an opportunity to be all revisionist in their history - and modern takes on revisionist history are often indistinguishable from trolling...

                      After all, he brought a massive army with him - and there was nearly a battle - although much of James II's troops had already buggered off at that point. So it never happened.

                      On the other hand, William didn't rule in his own right. He was joint head of state, his wife Mary II was jointly reigning, rather than just being his Queen. And Mary was the daughter of James II, but crucially protestant (like William). James being basically catholic was ignorable, as she was his heir, right up until the point he had a son - which was one of the triggers (probably the main trigger) of the people who invited William to invade.

                      Also, William had to agree to the Bill of Rights before Parliament would appoint him monarch. Which was much more than they'd got from Charles II to return as King after the civil war. Even though he was occupying the capital with his large army at the time, so he clearly didn't act like he'd won a war of conquest.

                      But I think it's become fashionable to call it an invasion, as a way at having a go at people you don't like.

                      And of course, calling it the "Glorious Revolution" is all part of the idea of Whig History - which is the old school of history where everything is described as this path of the inevitable path of English greatness - where the progress of English history leads to this great constitutional monarchy with a strong parliamentary, liberal state institutions (by the standards of the 18th/19th Century anyway), lovely delicious empire and free global trade. Plus massive fuck-off navy (and not to mention regularly trouncing the French of course...).

                      That school of history gets right up some people's noses, even though it's a couple of hundred years old - but still has influence on modern historical thinking. It also has the unfortunate aspect of being at least a somewhat accurate description of events - which I think really gets on the more left wing historians' tits...

                      1. ibmalone Silver badge

                        Re: WTF?

                        After all, he brought a massive army with him - and there was nearly a battle - although much of James II's troops had already buggered off at that point. So it never happened.

                        Minor correction, it did happen, just in Ireland. Part of a larger war between the French and the Dutch. But don't tell the English that.

                        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                          Re: WTF?

                          ibmalone,

                          Sort of true. But that was after James had been captured (to William's obvious embarassment) and sent (allowed to escape again) on his way to exile in France.

                          It wasn't until the next year he went back to Ireland and raised an army. The year after he was defeated at the Boyne and left.

                          Although as the Irish Parliament had refused to crown William and Mary and kept faith with James, you could call it a civil war. Or you could say that William was given the kingship of England and Scotland but conquered Ireland.

                      2. small and stupid

                        Re: WTF?

                        Not quite. Whig History gets up all historians noses, of all political persuasions, because it is wrong.

                        Historians may disagree all day long about "English greatness", but they willl unite to condemn the "the inevitable path" as fantasy.

                        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                          Re: WTF?

                          small and stupid,

                          Well the Marxist historians aren't so against the idea of an inevitable path of history. They just don't like that particular version. Their's is no less stupid of course.

                          But there are certainly some differences in what happened in say England and France that do seem to explain why their political systems evolved so differently. Obviously it's a bit bloody odd celebrating what a great system you have and how your people are free compared to those poor frenchies, subject to the tyranny of Kings un-restrained by Parliament. While at the same time your country runs a massive global empire, subjugating all those people under your tyranny, without representation.

                2. dizwell

                  Re: WTF?

                  Pfft. 1688, you say? What about 1485?!

                  Henry VII was Welsh (which makes him a foreigner as far as England is concerned!) and came with French troops and equipment (ditto). He also had Scots troops, which are especially foreign!

                3. Ken G

                  Re: WTF?

                  He only had 88,000 troops and 5 times as many ships as the Spanish armada, it's hard to refuse that "invitation"

              3. Julz Silver badge

                Re: WTF?

                Hum, I think the glorious revolution in 1688 classes as an invasion. As for being ruled by foreigners, isn't that the whole point of an invasion?

                Edit, Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese, just read your post making the same point. Great minds and all...

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: WTF?

              Suez? No, wait, that was 10 years earlier... So what DID happen in 1966, other than the Beatles, gov sex scandal and soviet spy in M(I) 6?!

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          "As opposed to the British, who only know of Germany between 1933 and 1945. Tell them anything about Germany before the Nazis and they ... zzzz."

          Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2. It's what you get when you have a decent education system.

          Oh; and have a downvote for writing a whole post that neatly falls somewhere between tripe and bollocks.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

            "It's what you get when you have a decent education system."

            "Decent" as compared to a "good" education system I guess?

            I'm a German but been living in England for almost two decades, and I have a son who passed through both the German and later the English education system. And frankly, compared with the education system of my birth country I can't help say that at least as the English education system is concerned, it's shockingly poor. Math and physics education is poor (a lot of stuff that every German 6th grader learns isn't taught over here unless you study math), computer education (ICT) is a joke (e.g., teaching pupils how to use PowerPoint to create a presentation, i.e. a level roughly equivalent as the ECDL), and even before BREXIT very little time was spent teaching about EU countries or the EU itself. Which is reflected by the English population which, on average, is woefully ignorant about anything that happens and happened in Europe, and that also includes the war so many harp about "they" won (interestingly, the Scots and the Irish don't generally show the same ignorance and appear to be much better educated).

            For a country which was a EU member for more than four decades and which helped to make it into what it is today the ignorance about what the EU is or how it works is actually quite embarrassing. The woeful general education system in England certainly deserves some blame for that.

            It also appears that I'm not exactly alone with my experience:

            https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/british-education-system-only-average-in-international-league-table-xlk5mx7sx

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

              Well said, sir.

            2. veti Silver badge

              Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

              I'm sorry to hear your (relatively recent) experience has been so poor. When I went through the English education system, almost 40 years ago now, a substantial part of history lessons over two years was spent learning about the development of the EEC, and much of the rest of the time about Europe in general.

              (All this was under that bleeding-heart liberal europhile Thatcher, you understand.)

              1. Tom 7 Silver badge

                Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                My history education in a top grammar school was mainly about civil war battles. But that was 50 years ago now. Fuck me I'm nearly falling asleep thinking of it.

              2. Cederic Silver badge

                Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                Sadly the introduction of GCSEs was the start of a severe and continued decline.

                They just cut things that had been O level, and there was a knock-on to the A levels as the first part of teaching those was introducing the former O level content that hadn't been covered at GCSE.

                Even back then though, we didn't cover the EEC in history. We didn't cover much European history at all, except as it related to conflicts with England or the UK, unless you go back to ancient Roman and Greek times.

                Which is fine. There's a lot of history out there, you can't cover it all. By the time you've done Sumer, Egypt, Greece and Rome there's the whole Norman invasion, Magna Carta, Crusades, 100 year war, 30 year war, the obligatory stint on Henry VIII, Empire, ending the slave trade and slavery, the industrial revolution, the small matter of a couple of world wars..

                Geography was no better. Learning what an escarpment was never seemed to fit comfortably with exploring the economic outputs of Australia. Maybe the EEC was taught at CSE/O Level/GCSE, I skipped both history and geography at that level as they just weren't adding value.

                1. Das Schaf

                  Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                  So true about GCSEs. Having spent seven years teaching Maths in comprehensive schools during a break from IT, I have direct experience of this. I could complete a 90 minute Higher GCSE paper in approximately 7 to 10 minutes, achieving 100% every time. A 90 minute O' level paper might take 45 minutes, and I would be confident of getting 90% plus (a brief study of the curriculum that the papers were based on would have helped, but was not readily available thirty years after!). I used to give the O'level past papers to the brighter students who found GCSE Maths completely straightforward and uninspiring. At least with O' level you had to apply critical thinking. Now get off my lawn!!!

                2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                  Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                  Even back then though, we didn't cover the EEC in history. We didn't cover much European history at all, except as it related to conflicts with England or the UK, unless you go back to ancient Roman and Greek times.

                  It's a mistake to think that everyone learned the same as you at school.

                  The English and Welsh education system is not uniform. The syllabus you cover is dependent upon the exam board your school picks, and the bits of it that your teacher chooses to teach. Or at least it used to be back in the early 90s, when I did A Level history - and although there have been changes since I think it's still true.

                  I happened to do papers from both the Oxford and Cambridge exam boards, and there were quite big differences. Plus my brother did mostly late Medieval and Early Modern (Tudor) history for his A Level.

                  If I remember right, Oxford was 1800-1914 European and British political and economic history with a bit of extra British social history. Obviously more detail on the British bits.

                  Whereas Cambridge went up to 1945 and had more political/diplomatic/military history and less economic and social.

                  1. Teiwaz

                    Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                    Yep.

                    My recollection from the GCSE from the late 1980's (1988 - first GCSE year) was that what you learnt was very dependant on what modules the school/teacher decided to study.

                    History, in my region, the two modules were German History 1918 to 1939 and the History of Energy (History of Medicine was another option). Similar to in English lit. we were started out on Animal Farm as one of the texts, but we got switched to something 'easier' as the class as a whole struggled.

                  2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

                    Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                    I was massively lucky doing O levels. We did "Modern History" which was defined as 1917 (Treaty of Versailles) to 1975. This therefore included the Depression, Wall street crash, Jarrow March, Rise of Hitler, "Piece of Paper" quick scurry through WW2, Yalta, post-war Britain, Suez, middle east, end of empire (including Ghandi) . I think a pretty good grounding in "why we are here".

                3. Michael Habel Silver badge

                  Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                  All this talk of the history of the EEC, and how bloody great they are....

                  Yet nobody understands the actual history, of it, and the "minds" behind it all... Hint, this Story is very apropos, to the aforementiond history. Its not as far fectched to call that lot the fouth-reich.

                  1. veti Silver badge

                    Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                    Really? I think I understand it at least as well as you do. I know what you're getting at with the "Fourth Reich" comment, and it's not completely ridiculous to cast the EU as a successor to the Holy Roman Empire (the "First Reich") - but it is downright silly to compare it with the Second or Third Reichs.

              3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
                Happy

                Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                a substantial part of history lessons over two years was spent learning about the development of the EEC

                But that's not bloody history! Modern History stops in 1914! Or at a push 1945. Everything after that is contemporary studies or politics studies or somesuch crap...

                Of course that means that we'll have to talk about "post-modern" history or some such shit as the philosphers already do, but that's a worry for another day...

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                Unfortunately, as a parent of two victims of current England's education (work in progress), I can't comment on science, because I'm shit in that field, but the general stuff about Europe, 'that' oversized island attached to the continental landmass of Great Britain, well, they teach them shit. Or rather: smash everything to pieces, shake long and well in a big bag, and then pull out random pieces and throw those at kids as 'interesting facts'. But hey, I'm definitely biased, a (...) foreigner m'self...

              5. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                Not everyone got to go to a grammar school. Or go private.

                I left school in 1985. With a B in both Lang. & Lit. 'O' Levels. We weren't even taught English beyond very basic sentence construction and rudimentary grammar.

                I had to self-learn a lot of what I would now consider basic English during Uni and my first job. I've met plenty of people in the same generation who experienced the same.

                History topics were: Elizabethan England, Roman Britain and the impact of the industrial revolution in the local area.

                1. veti Silver badge

                  Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                  Grammar or private schooling didn't enter into it. All this was at a comprehensive.

              6. Dave559 Silver badge

                Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

                @veti: "over two years was spent learning about the development of the EEC"

                You either had an unusually good school/syllabus, or an unusually good teacher (who recognised which things were important for pupils growing up in a modern world to really learn about, perhaps spending a little more time than scheduled on such matters?).

                I grew up in Scotland around the same time, and I always thought it bizarre that history was a whistle-stop tour of everything from the dinosaurs to the Renaissance (with a smidgen of 2nd WW in passing, in primary school (mainly Anderson shelters and shillings, nothing really about the whys and hows and what happeneds or any of the horrors of the war, perhaps understandably for young children)), but absolutely nothing at all about what had happened in the past few hundred years that really shaped modern Britain, Europe and the rest of the world.

                It seemed that if you wanted to know more about the 2nd WW or more recent geo-political history, you were expected to have parents and/or grandparents who were existing, willing, and able to explain such things to you.

                I think I learned more about the EEC (as it then was) from the Young Scot book which every schoolchild got from a certain age (12, I think?), and you got a new updated version each year if you renewed your Young Scot card for a fairly token fee.

                Even the book didn't go into very much detail, but it really was a mine of very useful information (the nearest thing a young person at that point in time had to an actual HHGTTG, essentially) about all aspects of life (legal rights, voting/politics, further/higher education, banking/housing/work, etc), and it's interesting to note that England didn't join the EURO<26 scheme (which Young Scot was a part of) until many years later (late 90s or possibly even early 2000s?).

                I have half a suspicion that that delay might have played at least a small part in ignorance about the EU for a large cohort of English people (and there are so many who seem to know nothing, other than the untruths that the reactionary tabloids feed them (I'm not saying that similar people don't also sadly exist in the other countries of the UK))?

            3. elaar

              Re: Most Brits have a fair idea of Germany before, during and after WW2.

              "It also appears that I'm not exactly alone with my experience:"

              We can all find stats to back up our opinion...

              PISA international research shows UK education better than German when it comes to reading and Maths. So whilst we must have brushed over EEC\EU history lessons, we're obviously making up for it in other areas.

              I'm not sure if the personal experiences of just yourself and your son are really enough to base an opinion on the education of an entire nation.

          2. andygrace

            Re: WTF?

            Like the fact Kaiser Wilhelm of WW1 fame was King George V's first cousin, both calling Queen Victoria "Grandma Saxe-Coburg-Gothe" and the only reason she wasn't made Queen of Hanover after William IV died was because they wouldn't allow a woman. Not so PC in those days.

            And that fact the debacle of ridiculous reparations after 1918 between the two powers who are actually members of the same family, directly caused the Weimar republic.

            The inability of Germany to pay that burden resulted in massive printing of currency, the rich getting richer but most of the population of Germany in abject poverty with the end result ... the Nazis using that fact to be voted in, then seizing absolute power and proceeding to wreck a good percentage of the 20th Century.

            1. EvilDrSmith

              Re: WTF?

              Reparations were country to country, not king-to-king (if, in part, because France had no king), so 'the same family' isn't really relevant, or (in the case of France, applying your logic) accurate.

              You also ignore the historical precedent of the German demand for reparations from France after the Franco-Prussian war (which were paid without crashing the French economy).

              Also, Hitler's rise to power was in the 1930's, the financial impact of reparations on Germany was more in the 1920's. The Wall Street Crash was likely more significant on the rise of Hitler

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

                Re: WTF?

                Particularly as the Germans were forgiven most of their war debts in the Dawes Plan in 1924.

                Also King George was pretty much irrelevant as a political force. The last of the serious royal power ebbed away through the 19th Century - the monarchy never recovered from George III's illness. Making the politicians much more important.

                Even Keiser Bill wasn't an absolute monarch. Though he was genuinely politically important and was often steering the ship. Had he been better at politics he could have had much more control of German politics. But he wasn't, and he didn't have politicians of the stature of Bismarck to help (at least not after he sacked him).

                Basically ignore any history documentary that starts off talking about WWI as a "cousins' war" or some such crap. There weren't many absolute monarchs left. And Nicholas II of Czar of all the Russias wasn't exactly running a tight ship.

                1. Michael Habel Silver badge

                  Re: WTF?

                  True that he was reportedly more interested in helping his disabled Son, as any good Father would. Alas he should have at least left someone to mind the Store. I'm not sure what the Military would have done with them had they had the chance, to try them in a Court. Alas the proto SJWs of thier day got to them first, so we may never know.

              2. Michael Habel Silver badge

                Re: WTF?

                The World wasn't much bigger back then either. I suspect seveal things were to blame for the banking collapse of the 1930s. The collapse of the Weimar Republic, fore one, the Govermental theft of Gold, as Legal Tender, and its hording deamed to be a gross offence, was likely yet another.

            2. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              Sounds a lot like quantive easing, and negative intrest rates, to me. I for one hope the bubble busrts again!

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: WTF?

          >>Ask the British anything about the Second World War and, well we won it! What more do you need to know? Brexit, brexit, brexit. Ra, ra, ra!

          Be fair. That is mostly, but no exclusively, English flagshaggers.

        4. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Re: WTF?

          Thank you for posting that. I am a Germanophile, speak German, read German books and, under normal circumstances, go there two or three times a year. It is a truly great country, but I'm so glad that it's not popular with the Brits and I hope it stays like that.

          For anyone interested in a more balanced view of Germany's contribution to the world, I thoroughly recommend 'The German Genius' by Peter Watson.

          I feel sorry for the guy with the tank, but as someone else pointed out, Germany is a wee bit touchy about the past.

        5. onemark03 Bronze badge

          Re: WTF?

          The way many Brits go on about Germany and WWII, you would think Britain had lost, not won.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: WTF?

            > The way many Brits go on about Germany and WWII, you would think Britain had lost, not won.

            Interesting you say that, a similar observation has been made about Brexiters + Brexit.

            Most of them seem far more angry than if they'd lost the referendum

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: WTF?

        I thought the politicians were Nazis and the military hardware was the blueprint for western designs since the war

        I understand the Germans wanting to put it all behind them as some people keep ranting on about it in order to do unpopular things but if there are sanctioned collected of this kind of thins in Germany then this seems a little unfair, certainly remove any live ammo but I would have thought having and restoring something for years is something that defines a collector

      3. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        It is a working tank, including the gun. Weapon laws are quite strict about that sort of thing. Nothing to do with the Nazis, it would be the same in many other countries in Europe. I am pretty sure it would not have been different had he owned a working Leopard II, a Churchill, or whatever.

        1. John Doe 12

          Re: WTF?

          You write: "It is a working tank, including the gun."

          The article states: "Though its guns were not operational, the tank could be driven......"

          Downvote for you I'm afraid for not reading the article ;-)

          1. Chairo

            Re: WTF?

            Well the tank's gun was disabled, but the 88 flak wasn't.

            On a side note, this is actually a British made Panther. It never fought for the Nazis.

            1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              That's the first mention I've seen about what the AA gun actually is. Not that it being a Krupp 88 would be surprising, but the new reports have been remarkably coy about it.

              (Mildly interesting datum about the Krupp 88mm high altitude antiaircraft gun.... Traverse, 360 degrees--no surprise there--elevation +90 degrees to -15 degrees. Yeah....it can shoot *below* it's own horizon level.)

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: WTF?

                (Mildly interesting datum about the Krupp 88mm high altitude antiaircraft gun.... Traverse, 360 degrees--no surprise there--elevation +90 degrees to -15 degrees. Yeah....it can shoot *below* it's own horizon level.)

                Extremely useful when it is emplaced on a mountain ridge (or top) and you wish to shoot at ground hogging (terrain following) aircraft somewhere down in the valley.

              2. martinusher Silver badge

                Re: WTF?

                The 88 might have started life as an AA gun but it very quickly found use as an improvised anti-tank gun and from that was further developed for offical anti-tank (and anti-just about anything else) use. It was an extremely effective weapon.

                (If you want to shoot one then you need to be a 'merkan.) (See https://youtu.be/X_bGczFQIOc )

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: WTF?

                  Correction ... you don't have to be a Yank to shoot one. All you have to do is come visit.

              3. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: WTF?

                I wouldn't want to face it in today's kit.

                It was THE best anti-tank gun of the war.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: WTF?

                  Was it?

                  It was great at blowing up medium tanks; it did a great job at dealing with Shermans and T34's. However the 88mm gun wouldn't penetrate a Tiger II's frontal armour.

                  Unlike the 17 pounder, which punched holes through it from literally a mile away, and the Soviet 85mm/100mm/122mm guns which blew away more than their fair share of the German heavy tanks.

                  1. Robert 22

                    Re: WTF?

                    There was an improved version of the 88 with a longer barrel and higher muzzle velocity (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.8_cm_Pak_43). This was used in he Tiger II tank and some specialized anti-tank vehicles (e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nashorn). It was an extremely powerful gun that could defeat the frontal armor of practically any tank existing at the time at distances exceeding a.kilometer.

              4. Stoneshop Silver badge
                Coat

                elevation +90 degrees

                Does the Betriebsanleitung have that section on appropriate use? "WARNUNG: NICHT GENAU SENKRECHT SCHIESSEN AN WINDSTILLEN TAGEN!"

            2. jake Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              "this is actually a British made Panther."

              No. It was made in Germany in 1943, and shipped to a collector in Surrey after the war. The current Gent bought it and had it shipped back. (Odd fact: There are actually civilians who make a living transporting civilian owned tanks around the world. Who knew?)

              "It never fought for the Nazis."

              Highly unlikely. At the end of the war, the Germans were using anything they could get their hands on to try to hold back the Allies. Including the (essentially) obsolete Panther. It probably fired its weapons in anger. Which (in my mind, anyway) makes it all that more collectible ... Not because of what it did, but as a reminder of why we shouldn't ever go there again.

              1. Chz

                Re: WTF?

                Obsolete? The second-best medium tank of the war, and the only one available in numbers.

                Yes, the T-54 entered service in 1947 and made *all* other tanks obsolete (the Centurion never came into its own until it mounted the 105mm) but the Panther was still quite a credible opponent at war's end.

                1. EvilDrSmith

                  Re: WTF?

                  Have an up-vote, though 'second-best' and 'numbers' are both debatable points.

                  The Panther had good front armour (subject to quality control problems leading to brittleness as the war went on) but quite weak side armour. It had reliability issues that were never sorted out. If I recall (i) the Panther had a slow turret traverse (particularly in relation to UK and US designs), which makes that weaker side armour more of a thing to worry about.

                  'Best' is always subjective, but in practice, the tank that you have in the battle is better than the supposedly better one that broke down on the way to the front (or because it ran out of fuel, or ...)

                  Both the T34 and the Sherman saw extensive post-war use (with the Sherman being much modified/upgraded), and both were produced in much greater numbers than the Panther.

                  The British Comet gets routinely over-looked (largely because the Centurion arrived only a few months after), but was mobile, well armed, adequately armoured and reliable; if I recall (ii), one British Armoured unit (published reminiscence I read years ago) tended to be very wary of getting into trouble until they received Comets, then went actively looking for trouble. Fewer Comets than Panthers though.

                  The Soviet T44 is almost unheard of, it seems (largely because the T54 arrived a couple of years later), and was basically a better T34. Again, fewer T44 than Panther.

                  But Panther most definitely not obsolete in 1945, agreed.

          2. Kinetic

            Re: WTF?

            Read the article again. It was corroded, but expert testimony indicated that it could be made operational in a matter of hours.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              > but expert testimony indicated that it could be made operational in a matter of hours.

              I suspect the experts at Armourgeddon could make their Chieftain's gun operational again in a matter of hours. However, as others have pointed out, there are significant risks to the operators associated with firing a gun refurbished in a hurry...

            2. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              I do belive that it said DAYS good, sir.... Though I guess 72 Hours could still be considerd a matter.

              1. JimC

                Re: WTF?

                I wonder about statements like that. After all I imagine it only took a few days to manufacture the gun in the first place. It feels like spin to me. I would be asking what facilities would be needed, machine tools and the like.

          3. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: WTF?

            the tank could be driven......

            The article is using the wrong tense.

            The guy had been driving around in it in 1978, but in 2015 it was sitting without tracks. And a trackless tank does not move anywhere under its own power, except maybe by running steel cables around something very solid and using the sprockets as winches. Which is rather cumbersome and with little range of movement.

      4. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: WTF?

        ...and yet, Hitler's "Kraft durch Freude Wagen" was very popular worldwide, for years after the War (under a different name, of course).

        Then again, Hugo Boss still makes very sharp looking clothing...

        Getting back to the subject at hand...he does seem to have gone a bit overboard, with the torpedo and ammunition cache. Not a good idea to push the envelope too far, lest your house of carefully acquired permits suddenly come crashing down.

        1. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          You mean those smelly cars that regually fail to pass there emmisions testing?

      5. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        German schools spend a large part of history classes explaining what happened.

        The general message nowadays being "Some horrible people called the Nazis came along and made Germans do bad things but it totally wasn't our fault because everybody in Germany was against them. We were victims too!". It's quite unsettling. Every museum has a section explaining how the community it records was vigorously anti-Nazi.

      6. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        German schools spend a large part of history classes explaining what happened.

        German schools spend a lot of time brainwashing students into beliving that Germans are pure evil. -tftfy

      7. KBeee Bronze badge

        Re: WTF?

        Germany takes Nazi symbols very seriously.

        If you've ever seen the film "Das Boot" you'll notice that the flag on the U-Boat is never shown flying, only drooping limply down so as not to show a Nazi symbol.

    4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      He didn't just collect military hardware.

      He also had 1500 rounds of ammunition, and largely enough firearms to use them.

      Not something I'd like to have in my village, even if held by an 84-year-old.

      Actually, especially not if held by an 84-year-old. Ancient grudges can run deep.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        I'd rather it was held by an 84 year old who has spent many decades not being angry enough to use any of it to it being held by a hot-headed 20-something with more muscles than brains.

        1500 rounds isn't a lot ... especially if 1200 rounds are in 9×19mm Parabellum, 290 rounds are in 7.92×57mm Mauser, leaving 10 rounds spread out among the rest of the kit. And if all were manufactured and packaged in a hurry by conscripts, slaves and POWs during the latter stages of the War, they were of suspect quality when new; Today they are probably unusable, if not outright dangerous to the user.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      Why was the defendant not classed as a collector? seems as though someone who has a lot of stuff because he is enthusiastic about them is pretty much the definition of a collector perhaps he should just give it himself and let them prove he isn't one already after the years of possession, and rebuilding.

      1. A. Coatsworth

        Re: WTF?

        I guess the magic word is "Papework". Germans love some red tape.

        Now, in the middle of the investigation, perhaps it was already too late to come back with the necessary approvals to be considered an official, or real, or whatever, collector.

        The outcome does sound too harsh for the old gentleman, but dura lex, sed lex.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          I would think it'd be politically correct to make a special exception for him to retain "ownership" of the collection, while finding a location to display it in a manor that is safe and educational for the general public. It's not like there are a lot of Panthers to be seen in Germany (or anywhere else!) anymore.

          Gut feeling is he pissed off a petty official somewhere, the poor bastard.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: WTF?

            I'm afraid the German mentality is quite different in this: Not only do they hate to be reminded of that specific time (there are still enough crazies who love to dwell in it around), but they also don't like the display of weapons (same reasons I guess), and last but not least, they tend to stick to their rules and procedures: Exceptions are legally simply not possible, you stick to the rules, period.

    6. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      Well, I do get your point.

      I'm trying the imagine what would happen if someone did the same with a working, weaponised and fireable Nazi tank, to clear the snow in a leafy Surrey neighbourhood.

      There's a certain level of military cache, where you have to ask, what is the worst thing that can happen, when a potentially ill pensioner with poor eyesight gets loose with a 34 wheel tank?

      I will say though. that unless there are extenuating circumstances, a 250k fine seems excessive, considering he displayed no antisocial, violent or problematic opinions.

      1. John Doe 12

        Re: WTF?

        The article states: "Though its guns were not operational, the tank could be driven......"

        Downvote for you as well at the other person higher up the thread I'm afraid for not reading the article ;-)

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          @John Doe 12 Have a downvote yourself for not reading the bit about how the tank's gun could have been made operational within a few days. That's close enough to 'working' to make it a big worry.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            "Could" have been made operational. Not "was" made operational. Nor even "showed signs of an attempt" of being made operational.

            The guy had the tank for decades. He showed no interest in firing the thing, nor making it fireable. In my mind this was a non-problem.

            Unless you think owning a Cricket Bat and some landscape nails should be prosecuted, because obviously you are intending on making a morningstar and using it on your neighbors.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: WTF?

              If he wasn't keeping the gun in working order he wasn't doing a great job of maintenance or preserving it. In my day that would have been a week on jankers.

            2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              "The guy had the tank for decades. He showed no interest in firing the thing, nor making it fireable. In my mind this was a non-problem."

              Until it gets stolen, or until he sells it to the nice Herr Baader und Frau Meinhoff who PROMISE they won't do anything naughty with it.

              Besides, you're a USAian; a country that historically sees anything that goes bang boom or crump as a non-problem. Good thing this hasn't ever gone wrong then.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: WTF?

              Yeah, but WHAT IF?! - thought some petty, German, bureaucrat (or a bunch of). WHAT IF he'd been only PRETENDING to be 84 years old?! (in fact, I remember when the story broke out, a good few years ago). WHAT IF he'd go crazy?! WHAT IF - somebody else'd got crazy?! WHAT IF those hidden-bundeswher-nazi-supporters came knocking on his front door to remove this tank and the rest and DRIVE AWAY?! Then, they could have, I dunno, fire at the BAOR (half-crumbling) barracks, begin WW4... ach, Mensch! - those terrifying possibilities are truly ENDLESS, we can't have any of that! So quick, get to work!!!! :/

            4. Newold
              Stop

              Re: WTF?

              jake: ""Could" have been made operational. Not "was" made operational. Nor even "showed signs of an attempt" of being made operational."

              Sorry, but it's just the strict german law. - "Not operational" may have been somthing minor the judge was considering. The big trouble comes from the fact that he illegally possessed "weapons of war", which is a major crime.

              If you don't have all necessary licences, you can possess "weapons of war" (and other Firearms) legally only, if they are made totally and unreversely unusable, which needs to meet detailed specifications (nummber and diameter of drillholes, cuts with a grinder, welding...). And their are additional regulations to be followed. - And the laws get stricter every few years, so today you need to obey to much more regulations, you even have to report the buying and selling of such useless pieces of rusty chunk.

              (I hate to live here in this overregulated bureaucratic germany, would like it more to be been born in Canada.)

          2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: WTF?

            With big guns and tank guns in collections they're supposed to be de-activated. Which means some combination of pouring concrete into them and sticking spikes through the breech.

            Similarly you shouldn't have machineguns that haven't been deactivated, unless you've got a firearms license - that you may not even be able to get for personal use.

        2. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          Semantics?

          Presumably the only barrier to getting it working is cleaning off surface rust within the cannon barrel. Add some KY jelly and he can fire off the spudgun to his heart's content.

          1. Bob Scrantzen

            Re: WTF?

            He'd have to have put some tracks on those 34 wheels too.

            https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-57965260

            1. Stoneshop Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: WTF?

              He seems to have had tracks fitted when he drove around in the snow in 1978, but apparently they were worn and ATU (the German Kwik-Fit) didn't carry replacements.

              1. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

                Re: WTF?

                I adore the idea that he might rock up at a local Kwik Fit and ask for an MOT.

            2. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              According to the BBC article the tank was removed in 2015, corroborated by this Times of Israel article: https://www.timesofisrael.com/german-pensioner-kept-wwii-tank-in-his-home/ dated 2015.

              It's just taken 6 years for the legal process...

              There is an interesting article here: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-nazi-tank-collector-on-trial-for-basement-cache/a-58735549

              It seems the tank is to be exported to the USA; where based on the discussion here, someone will fully restore the gun so that if necessary it can be parked (with menace) on the lawn of some petty bureaucrat...

          2. The Dogs Meevonks
            Joke

            Re: WTF?

            Careful, some one might come along and call you anti semantic

        3. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          John Doe: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-57965260

          "The defence argues that many of the weapons are no longer functional and that the tank was bought as scrap. They are considering accepting a lower fine of €50,000, Die Welt newspaper reported.

          Meanwhile, prosecutors have suggested that some of the weapons and ammunition could still be used."

      2. jrd

        Re: WTF?

        If he's allowed to sell his collection, then a 250K fine is reasonable. If the authorities are just going to confiscate it all, then the fine seems punitive.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          So you think a tax is appropriate, but not a fine?

          Any thoughts on what kind of percentage you think the government is entitled to, when it comes to a private sale? Be careful, slippery slope and all that ...

      3. Inkey
        Meh

        Re: WTF?

        Agreed

        someone did the same with a working, weaponised and fireable Nazi tank, to clear the snow in a leafy Surrey neighbourhood.

        Like if his great granson lifted the keys (do they even have em) drove over his love rival's car, while his love and rival were in it.

        People would have a shitfit ... start whinging how nothing was done. Live ammunition eh!

        Maybe the fine is harsh but it does belong in a museam.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          "Like if his great granson lifted the keys (do they even have em) drove over his love rival's car, while his love and rival were in it."

          There are large tractors, excavators, and etc. dotted around all over the countryside. People drive over the cars of their rivals how often, exactly?

          Instead of getting paranoid as prompted by your government, think for yourself for a change. Normal people don't cause such mayhem, not even if the local Don Juan is boinking the object of their affection.

          However, abnormal people might ... Shirley we should be addressing abnormal people, not the objects they might use to hurt other people?

          1. The Dogs Meevonks

            Re: WTF?

            Don't call me Shirley

            Unless it's the weekend :p

      4. jake Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        Well, I'm a "pensioner", and I have a couple of D8 Caterpillars ... There are plenty of large, tracked vehicles out there available to civilians. Yes, I've used them to clear roads in the "neighborhood" (landslides mostly, not a lot of snow in Sonoma and Mendocino counties). I've also used them to create firebreaks for CalFire and the CDF ...

        1. Sherrie Ludwig

          Re: WTF?

          and I have a couple of D8 Caterpillars

          Curiousity, how hard is it to nick a D8 Caterpillar? Is it a keyed start, and can it be hot-wired? Since there were questions raised about someone else getting hold of large tracked vehicles, and there are many left next to road repair overnight, why aren't joyriders all over the place?

          1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            > Is it a keyed start,

            Asking the wrong question.

            You want to know if it's a keyed start *and* if the keys are actually unique...

            A decade old, but, it used to be an issue: https://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/daveharvey/2010/05/one_key_fits_all_tractor_polic.html

            In 2003, JCB were (one of?) the first in the industry to announce they'd be using unique keys, rather than a one-key-for-all.

            I don't know about their dozers, but in 2019, Caterpillar were still selling common keyed padlocks. Amazon has this: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Replacement-SP8500-Key-Caterpillar-Excavators/dp/B0051OF2Y4 which suggests that there's some recent kit that uses a common key

    7. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      The guy collected not only a working tank but also other weapons and ammunition. The laws regulating the posession of weapons are much stricter in most countries than in the US (and wherever you live), where it (from your comment) seems to be perfectly normal to own military grade equipment, assault guns, hand grenades, mortars, anti-aircraft guns and working tanks.

      Here in Europe (in the countries I have lived in at least) you might be able to get permission to own a tank, provided the gun has been disabled properly (not the case here), and you have the paperwork, and you (most likely) apply for the paperwork before you actually take posession of it (also not the case here), and have no prior convictions (especially when it comes to illegal posession of weapons, especially when it comes to weapons of war - very definitely now no longer the case here). So another collector (and of course a museum) could actually buy and own the tank legally.

      Insinuating in the article that this was well known, and accepted until now, through the statement of the mayor recollecting that "he drove around it in [...] 1978" is misleading, to say the very least. This is more than 40 years ago. Older people (ok, those say 50 and above, so not antedeluvian) might remember it now that the subject is raised, but I very much doubt it was active knowledge. Like when the neighbours would talk about him "oh, you know, Johann (or Herrmann, or Otto) from next door, you know, the one who owns this tank..."

      Sure, people have all sorts of strange hobbies, collect weird stuff, but there are always legal limits. Those are set by the country you reside in, like it or not (and as I wrote above: it is likely that he could in fact have owned much of the stuff legally - had he obeyed the rules).

      1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        At least the tank and the AA gun are things you can't just casually walk around carrying....

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          I've been known to hitch my 10 Pound Parrott &/or 3" Ordinance Rifle up to the horses & cart them across the valley for target practice :-)

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: WTF?

        Just one point ... Hand grenades are illegal to own here in the US. Even practice ("dummy") grenades are a big no-no in civilian hands. Too much room for error in an object that has absolutely no use for civilians.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: WTF?

          "Too much room for error in an object that has absolutely no use for civilians."

          Could say that about most of the guns. If a person feels that they require some sort of weapon for protection, does that extend to assault rifles? (and besides, who the hell actually wants to live in a place where that sort of weaponry is considered normal?)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            Define "assault rifle" and I might be able to answer your question.

            To answer your second question, as one of the guys who played with fiber communications in the early days, I have been al over the world. I have been to most of the nations on Earth, and spent more than a couple days in all of them. There is, quite literally, no place on the entire Planet that I would prefer to live than right here, in Sonoma County, California, USA. And that is based on actual observation of conditions, not hearsay.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: WTF?

              “ There is, quite literally, no place on the entire Planet that I would prefer to live than right here, in Sonoma County, California, USA. And that is based on actual observation of conditions, not hearsay.”

              Yes, but you haven’t been shot. Not yet, at least.

              1. ricegf

                Re: WTF?

                Unless you decide to join a gang or otherwise commit suicide, your odds of being shot in the USA is much less than your odds of being stuck by lightning. Not to drag facts into an emotional discussion, of course.

                1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                  Re: WTF?

                  "your odds of being shot in the USA is much less than your odds of being stuck by lightning"

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_violence_in_the_United_States

                  "The rate of firearm deaths per 100,000 people rose from 10.3 per 100,000 in 1999 to 12 per 100,000 in 2017, with 109 people dying per day or about 14,542 homicides in total"

                  https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-victims

                  "Lightning kills an average of 49 people each year in the United States and hundreds more are injured."

                  I concentrated on deaths. If you look at deaths plus injuries, guns will look even worse compared to lightning strikes.

                  So you were out by a factor of about 300.

                  Also, many suicides would never happen if guns weren't around, so the 24,432 figure for suicides would be much lower.

                  Oh, fact checking... So bad for delusional people.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: WTF?

                Probability of getting shot at in Sonoma County?

                Far lower than quite a few cities in Europe. Unless you are a gang member in the Bay Area your probability of getting shot is exceptionally low.

                The big news story down 101 in Marin County was a gang related shooting in San Rafael. None locals. First time anything like that happened in the last 35 plus years.Yet go across the Richmond Bridge and the local gang members shoot each other almost on a daily basis.

                So just like London really. I can think of some parts of London where gang members shoot and stab each other on a regular basis. Yet other parts, perfectly safe.

                I also love the way people thrown around the term "assault weapon". Always the first indication that they have not a clue what they are talking about. Fully automatic and selective fire rifles are illegal for private ownership. Even the local police issued M4's are semi-automatics. Apart from the SWAT team issued weapons. Just because AR's might look kinda like military issue M16's/M4's does not make them "assault weapons".

                What turned me into a supporter of the Second Amendment was several decades of what turned out to be little more than lies from the "gun control" lobby. With the last few years of politics being just the icing on the cake. Nothing like a few decades of actually living in the US to turn a Brit into a supporter of gun rights. Mainly because of the type of people who want to take them away. Got nothing to do with crime, everything to do with power.

                What you will discover if you live in the US long enough is the truth of the old proverb - An armed people is a polite people.

                Just ask the Swiss. Where there actually is a genuine "assault weapon" in almost every home.

                1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: WTF?

                  I know it is no fun being a mod, but really, a comment section that reflects the politics of the SF Bay Guardian in the days of Tim Redmond. That reference is probable is lost on the SF mod who is new to the City.

                  So there is a comment from some guy who obviously knows little about guns and has no experience of living in an city with a high risk of getting mugged at gun point so I point out just why some people might consider themselves safer if they were armed. I wont repeat the part that probably triggered the mod rejection but honestly mod, do you pay the slightest attention to the local news. Who does most of the shooting and who mostly gets shot. Its not us folks out in the Avenues, thats for sure. And it been that way since the 1980's.

                  And its exactly the same up in Sonoma county.

                  So to the OP. Glad to hear you live somewhere that is ultra safe. But until you have lived somewhere that most definitely is not ultra safe you probably wont understand one key part of US gun culture. Self defense. Takes a while for foreigners to get hang of but once you do it makes a lot of sense. And makes for an exceptionally safe country. Outside a very few small areas in a few big cities the rest of the country is very safe. No matter what you see in the media.

                  So I see no need to get a MRAP anytime soon. My 30 year old BMW is enough up armored for local conditions. Although some parts of Oakland are getting very 1990's again. Can you make a Panther street legal I wonder. I cannot imagine it passing the smog test. But it would pass the collision test. Just like my BMW. Can take out large SUV's with barely a dent.

                  1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                    Re: WTF?

                    "So there is a comment from some guy who obviously knows little about guns and has no experience of living in an city with a high risk of getting mugged at gun point so I point out just why some people might consider themselves safer if they were armed."

                    How would that make you safer?

                    If you reach for the gun you'll just get shot. The robber has his gun out first, you see.

                    Much better to not have a gun.

                    If we had some stats on successful defending using a gun, during a robbery or home invasion, we'll know for sure how useless guns are. But I'm sure you know this deep down.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: WTF?

          Just one point ... Hand grenades are illegal to own here in the US. Even practice ("dummy") grenades are a big no-no in civilian hands. Too much room for error in an object that has absolutely no use for civilians.

          I counter your argument with one simple word. Fishing.

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: WTF?

            Why use a hand Granade, when a simple M80 is enough?

    8. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: WTF?

      The article mentions looking for stolen goods. Perhaps that was the straw that broke the camels back and moved him from harmless to menace.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: WTF?

      I sincerely hope they make a decent movie out of this mess, and pay him decent royalties!

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    read this elsewhere...

    The Gentleman seemed to accept the judgement, and two years to donate them? Seems an odd combination, you're guilty of amassing bad stuff, but two years to get rid of them...

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: read this elsewhere...

      It takes time to sell a near running condition Panther tank (with the correct paperwork for export and to show he complied with the court order) especially with a "live" gun. I bet there's some US collectors chomping at the bit to buy it though. They're not as fussy about people owning functional pieces of artillery and afaik a working 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 for a panther is a rare thing indeed. Most that survived have been chopped or welded shut in a way that pretty much makes re-activating them impossible.

      1. HammerOn1024

        Re: read this elsewhere...

        Over here we have folks with functional 105mm howitzers. It's rather fun to fire one off at the range! For instance, there's a M52 for sale right now by Sotherby's. The vehicle is currently pictured on their auction site and currently resides in CA.

        The ATF requires a $200/year license for the vehicle, a background check, and another $200 license/year/live round.

        Quite frankly, it's no big deal. Here's one in TX: https://youtu.be/A5s-3uJG_gY

        Happy hunting!

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: read this elsewhere...

        "Buyer pays shipping"

    2. chivo243 Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: read this elsewhere...

      I saw the original link again and had to do a double take... and revisit El Reg.

      Tanks but no tanks! German fined for WWII weapons arsenal

      https://apnews.com/article/oddities-europe-a3a9bfb2252ae575a539dd44729c49ab

      Me thinks another site beat El Reg to the headline? Or has one of El Reg writers started moonlighting?

  6. spireite Bronze badge
    Joke

    Could only run on Esso fuel....

    ....and have you noticed the amount of swearing the tank drivers have?

    They all have Turrets....

    1. The Dogs Meevonks

      Re: Could only run on Esso fuel....

      If I could add a gif to this post, it would a black and white one of a middle aged gentleman in 'black tie' evening wear, standing and applauding.

      Well punned sir....well punned indeed.

  7. Outski Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    Did I miss something?

    The Panther was hitched to other tanks and hauled out to be loaded onto a trailer.

    How many tanks did he have???

    1. PTW

      Re: Did I miss something?

      Suspect it wasn't actually "tanks" rather Armoured Recovery Vehicles [ARVs] which are based on a tank chassis. [the German ones are] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armoured_recovery_vehicle

    2. Wyrdness

      Re: Did I miss something?

      I'm left wondering how large is his basement?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Did I miss something?

        And how did he get it in and out?

        1. HammerOn1024

          Re: Did I miss something?

          Gibbs?

        2. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: Did I miss something?

          In and out is easy... it's a working tank

          But I suspect his basement opens via large garage doors to ground level at one side of his property to avoid regular building repairs.

          1. BOFH in Training

            Re: Did I miss something?

            Why will they need a bunch of soldiers and other vehicles to drag out the old tank if it was in working condition?

            I understand it didn't have tracks, so, can it still actually move on it's own power?

            1. Steven Raith

              Re: Did I miss something?

              I doubt the tank has moved more than twenty feet back and forward since he took out out snow-clearing, so while it may be running there's no guarantee it was fully and safely working.

              If the steering controls and throttles were, unbeknownst to them, not working properly, the first time you stick it in gear and dump the clutches, it could do a rapid 180 and take out the entire house. That's assuming that the tracks were safe, parts of the fuel system hadn't rotted away and couldn't handle full fuel pressure under load etc - none of which would likely be easily 'checkable' in a private basement without fairly serious risk.

              As such, it's massively safer to call in the local armed forces, use their modern tank recovery gear, winch it out, and not even try to take it out under it's own steam - that's for a museum workshop to do where they have the time and space to make sure everything is safe for use.

              'Running when parked' is never a guarantee that things haven't broken or degraded in the meantime - applies to anything with an engine, from a moped to a Panzer.

              A moped is less likely to kill you by accident though. Well, slightly less likely...

              Steven R

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Did I miss something?

                If the steering controls and throttles were, unbeknownst to them, not working properly, the first time you stick it in gear and dump the clutches, it could do a rapid 180 and take out the entire house.

                My God, imagine the Youtube views he could get for videoing that. :)

                Sorry, my sarcasm switch is stuck.

              2. jake Silver badge

                Re: Did I miss something?

                "a private basement"

                I rather get the impression that it's much larger than the average city dweller's coal/oil storage, water heater & root cellar sized hole in the ground.

              3. jake Silver badge

                Re: Did I miss something?

                I personally know more people who have been killed on a moped than when driving a tank, therefore ...

                Lies, damn lies, statistics ... all severely trounced by testimonials in popular culture.

            2. EvilDrSmith

              Re: Did I miss something?

              No tracks - no moving under it's own power.

              The transmission turns the drive sprockets (the big, slightly spike wheels at the front, which are some way above ground level).

              The drive sprockets engage the track, which moves the tank.

              The road wheels (the wheels along the side that are actually in contact with the ground, but should be sitting on the tracks) are unpowered, and just transfer the tank's weight to the tracks to the ground.

              No tracks: its a 45 ton unpowered cart, and it needs something of similar weight to tow it

            3. jrd

              Re: Did I miss something?

              No. The powered wheels don't touch the ground.

            4. jake Silver badge

              Re: Did I miss something?

              They weren't just moving the tank, they were removing most of the contents of his basement. Ever been in the shop/shed of a long-term tinkerer who knows how to weld and otherwise shape metal? I rather suspect those 20 soldiers would need a couple weeks to clear out my tractor shed ... and that's on a small hill-top, so it's all downhill!

    3. slimshady76

      Re: Did I miss something?

      I had the same confussion when reading that sentence. I take they hooked it to other tanks to take it ouf of his basement without turning it on. They were towing it.

    4. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Did I miss something?

      As above, they used the currently in service Leopard 2 based ARVs. Why they needed more than one I'm not sure though. Probably to spread the load and not tear the pavement to absolute bits. A panther is a bit on the heavy side and a Leopard ARV on full tilt will probably pull the bricks out of the street and break through normal asphalt like it was paper

      1. Outski Bronze badge

        Re: Did I miss something?

        Thanks, makes sense

  8. PTW
    Pint

    Shhh...

    "Don't mention the war"

    On a more serious note the judge does seem to have been a massive dick in this instance. The fine is well over the top, I'm with YAHAC above, on this, it smells bad.

    1. Azamino

      Re: Shhh...

      The Judge was clearly not a Cat person ....

      MHV reference

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Shhh...

        A Deere person, then? Poor thing.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Shhh...

      The judgement is lower than the amount the elderly person can likely sell the tank for (which will probably go for near or above a million Euros). So it basically amounts to "we can't let you profit off of Nazi war memorabilia TOO much". Which seems quite inline with German sentiment on the matter in my experience.

  9. teknopaul Silver badge

    84

    And I worry about my parent still driving a small car.

    I can imagine the discussions at Christmas.

    Come on dad! you are 84 don't you think it's time to stop operating machinery designed to kill?

    We caught young Karl explaining to his Teddy bear how to load the wizzbangs while Heidi was playing dominoes with a line of 30mm rounds.

    1. druck Silver badge

      Re: 84

      When I was about 5 or 6 I used to play dominoes with 9mm Luger rounds in my late Grandad's shed. I forgot all about it until 10 years later when my parents were clearing the house and found the Luger itself in the back of the wardrobe. Grandad was an air raid warden during the war and Grandma remembered he'd recovered the gun from a downed bomber, and kept it in case of invasion. But she had no idea it was still in the bedroom 40 years later, or there was a hundred odd rounds in the shed. My uncle was in the police, so we handed it over to him, he cleared the round in the chamber, and said it still cycled like new.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: 84

        "said it still cycled like new."

        You forgot to add "and his hands still smell of aging grease" ...

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: 84

      My Grandfather stopped driving on his 105th birthday, he died the following month. My Uncles drove well into their late 90s. My dad is getting there. None of them ever had any issues I plan on doing the same ... don't you?

  10. Fastitocalon

    Damn, I'm going to have to get rid of that Tiger tank in my basement.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Delivery

      I hope you are able to find a buyer who can afford the postage.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Delivery

        Wait, it doesn't qualify for Amazon Prime?

        :)

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Delivery

        Pretty much anyone who can afford to buy one can afford the postage.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Delivery

          God help you finding the right size box at IKEA, though.

          It'll be called TÅNK or something.

          1. OssianScotland

            Re: Delivery

            And have "Tamiya" written on the sides

  11. drand
    Mushroom

    KABOOM!

    I'm sure I'm less expert than the 'expert witness' quoted, but I sure as hell wouldn't want to be the one firing that gun if it had undergone just a few days' cleaning after so may decades of rusting away.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: KABOOM!

      It's the finest Krupp steel Germany had on offer (at the end of the war, with severly limited resources)! What could go wrong?

  12. Alan Ferris
    Alert

    Err ... If he's got 1500 rounds of ammunition as well as mortars, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns, I'd suggest that he has the ammo and the wherewithal to start a small war.

    Selling the tank to pay the fine seems a mild penalty to me, unless our European residents think it's ok to start a war. again

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      He actually got of lightly - it's not the tank per se but the fact that he has a load of illegal weapons and some of significant calibre. If he had licensed the collection correctly, had all of it correctly deactivated and not had a heap of live ammo it would probably have been ok ...

      The guy near me who had a collection of illegal weapons and ammo currently was given his own little room and is amusing the Queen ... and he has no collection or cash value for it either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I had to get rid of a weapons collection when my stepdad died, and when we cleared out the attic we had a crate full of ammo that should have never been there in the first place - this was a few months after the gun amnesty thing.

        Now I have a clearance so I don't fart about with this - I contacted the Met Police division that deals with guns and licenses straightaway, explained the situation and I cannot fault them for the way they treated this.

        They came in the day after, had a look and took the lot after I made pictures. They went through it all, organised a collector's license for me to hold on to what I could legally have and on returning this told me about a few fuether creative things they discovered (the good man was a bit of a rogue, that's why we got on so well :) ), like being the secretary of a gun club with just one member, the aforementioned secretary.

        On the latter they then said "let's say nothing but good about the dead" and just told me they didn't see the point of following up because (a) it wasn't my fault and (b) it's generally a tad impractical to get the dead in court. The also provided me with licensed contacts to sell the guns to.

        All in all they were very helpful, probably not in the least because it was evident I wasn't planning to keep a few spares to rob da 'hood later..

        I do have a friend who is range master at a shooting club in West London, but I travel a bit too much to risk going through security with traces of GSR on my hands - that never ends well :)

      2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Had the same problem when my BIL died. Luckily, my wife had a cousin who was licensed to have firearms and he took them all, except for a nasty little thing called a "Street Sweeper" (a semiautomatic shotgun with a folding stock, short barrel and drum magazine), which had been legal when he bought it, but was currently not legal to transfer.

        I took one look at it, thought "this has no possible use but in a firefight", and the wife called a school chum who had become one of the local plod, and handed it to him. Hopefully, it was destroyed as we requested.

        1. jake Silver badge

          "Hopefully, it was destroyed as we requested."

          It's probably hanging on the wall of his man cave ... Or hidden under the spud bin in the kitchen. My Grandma had a little 5-shot revolver with 100 rounds of ammo (.32 S&W long) stashed under hers, gawd/ess knows why, the rest of her guns were mixed in with Grandad's ... We found it about 10 years after she died, in it's original box, with receipt. It appears to have never been fired. I still have it, more as a historical curiosity than anything else.

          MeDearOldMum speculates that she bought it for her sister, who was living with a drunken bum at the time (late 1940s), but never gave it to her because said asshole managed to drive his car into a tree at a great rate of knots and kill himself about two weeks after the date on the receipt ...

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Had the same problem when my BIL died.

          Cleaning out my mom's house after she died, I found my stepdad had a "Saturday night Special" in the bottom of a drawer. (22 caliber easily concealed pistol of no great value, for those in areas with actual gun regulation). I called the local police, explained the situation, and asked if I could turn it in to be destroyed. I did (breaking the law on the way, since I have no firearms card to be transporting this).

          The officer who met me at the station looked at it briefly and said, "you could get $50 for this at a pawn shop, sure you want to do this?" I replied that if I found out whoever bought it committed a crime with it, orif a child found it unsecured and harmed themselves, I would hold myself to blame. "Besides, if more people did this, wouldn't it make your job a lot easier?" He admitted this was true.

          So, let's see how many downvotes from ammosexuals I can garner. Thanks in advance for the compliments.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Err ... If he's got 1500 rounds of ammunition as well as mortars, machine guns and anti-aircraft guns, I'd suggest that he has the ammo and the wherewithal to start a small war.

      Why on earth would anyone try to start a war using 70 year old ammunition, especially when brand new ammunition is free courtesy of various 'outlaw' states?

      > Selling the tank to pay the fine seems a mild penalty to me, unless our European residents think it's ok to start a war. again

      How many other people do you think have a WWII tank in their basements such that this needs to be a deterrent sentence?

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Free ?

        Where on Earth has ammunition ever been free ?

        The give you the weapons, but you pay for the ammo. It's the return business that makes fortunes.

        1. jake Silver badge

          When you are about to attempt insurrection in any given State, I rather suspect there is another State somewhere willing to underwrite the cost of the arms and ammunition. It's been how humans have operated since time immemorial, innit.

          Do not try this at home! You'll lose, and we'll all have a laugh at your expense.

    3. JoeCool

      The question is, is that ammo functional, and for those weapons ?

      If that's a Flak-88, the man has taste.

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again.

        I'm more fangirly about the 3.7" myself; though admittedly it weighed twice as much and was twice as expensive, and it was impossible to shoehorn into a tank (the Tortoise doesn't count).

        The 88 is undeniably iconic, though.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As a gun loving Canadian...

      As a fully licensed gun loving Canadian, 1500 rounds (assuming a rifle/handgun caliber) is a fun day at the range, not a war. I have way more than 1500 rounds of multiple calibers hanging around because I buy it in bulk when it is on sale. 1500 rounds sounds like a lot, but when a case of 12 gauge target shells (7.5 to 9 shot) comes with 250 shells for $89.99, it brings 1500 into perspective. I buy .223 a thousand at a time. .22...well that stuff is practically bought by weight. Literally. The local store sells it by "bucket".

      No mortars though. Different license than what I have.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: As a gun loving Canadian...

        Dude

        Learn to handload, save a pile o'loot ... and get more accurate at the same time. Win/win.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As a gun loving Canadian...

          I don't have that kind of time on my hands. To invest in the equipment, set it up, get practiced at using it, then sit there and "insert brass...pull lever" for hours. Although, that does sound like something which could be done with a few stepper motors, some printed brackets and an Arduino....no, stop. Don't need more projects.

  13. C-Clef

    Das ist der Weltkriegs-Panzer aus dem Keller in Holstein

    Here's a reference to the original article from July the 3rd 2015, in Welt.

    https://www.welt.de/regionales/hamburg/article143487782/Das-ist-der-Weltkriegs-Panzer-aus-dem-Keller-in-Holstein.html

    N.B. It has no tracks, hence, I suppose, the long time it took to remove from the cellar and load onto the transporter.

    He ain't driving it anywhere without tracks.

    How on earth has it taken so long to bring to court?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Das ist der Weltkriegs-Panzer aus dem Keller in Holstein

      So long as it rolls, nit having tracks actually makes recovery by towing easier. It probably took them half a day to assess whether the access ramp could take the weight of a Panther tank

      As for why it took so long, nothing moves more imperceptibly slowly than the cogs of government, yet inexorably they move.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Das ist der Weltkriegs-Panzer aus dem Keller in Holstein

        nothing moves more imperceptibly slowly than the cogs of government, yet inexorably they move.

        Truer words have rarely been spoken, and if you want to experience that to the full, go to Switzerland. They have that down to a fine art. If you go with the system, it all just works and you'll get plenty of help to boot. However, buck the system and it will slowly (but precisely) grind you to a fine pulp.

        1. autopoiesis

          Re: Das ist der Weltkriegs-Panzer aus dem Keller in Holstein

          Hmm, Swiss foot-dragging includes dealing with their own Mitholz ammo dump too.

          https://www.warhistoryonline.com/news/ammunition-dump.html

          Contains conventional boom-stuff equivalent to a small nuke, providing ~3.5kt is 'small' and that's the right figure in the first place.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Das ist der Weltkriegs-Panzer aus dem Keller in Holstein

            Oh yes, that is a bad one.

            Let's remove less than 50% of an arms cache and then forget about it until it is so deteriorated that we have to ship everyone out for 10 years lest they (and probably a significant chunk of the nearby mountains) get wiped out by an earth shattering kaboom.

            Unbelievable. I'm actually a bit amazed that something like that can happen over there because they're normally Germanically precise about things to a level that invites irritation. I never worked out how they ever managed to collaborate and join with the French or the Italians.

        2. Bob Scrantzen

          Re: Das ist der Weltkriegs-Panzer aus dem Keller in Holstein

          The Old Man was lucky.

          Some people have been known to get long jail sentences for doing the laundry and mowing the lawn

          https://www.google.com/search?q=switzerland+laundry+regulations+day

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Das ist der Weltkriegs-Panzer aus dem Keller in Holstein

            Unlikely.

            You'll get fined, but they won't send you to jail for this unless you're a persistent offender that has received a court order not to do this, and in that case you won't be jailed for the offence, but for contempt of court.

            That said, if the fines don't stop you need your head examined. First offences are generally treated lightly, but they can progress to eye watering levels.

  14. myhandler

    How come it's a "Panther"? They're called Panzers in any books and movies, whether English or German.

    ...has it been rewritten for the septic readership?

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Panzer is the german name for armoured vehicles and isboft used outside of Germany (like in hollywood) because it allows to ve accurate yet vague and call everything a Panzer without regard for actual type.

      The tank in question here is a Panzerkampfwagen V Panther (more commonly known simply as the Panther since a certain Adolf didn't like the roman numeral V)

      1. Vometia has insomnia. Again.

        I didn't know about that last bit. It explains the formerly slightly odd thing about going from Panzer Insert-Roman-Numerals-Here to big cats; though that seemed to have its own peculiar limitations: Panther! Tiger! Er... bigger tiger...

        1. Chairo

          "Panther! Tiger! Er... bigger tiger..."

          Next in line was Maus. The mouse. To be fair it was originally supposed to be the Mammoth. There were also plans for a Lion.

          1. Vometia has insomnia. Again.

            I was thinking of the Pz.7; but my German is terrible so its colloquial English names may have lost something in translation.

            It's hard to say where the Maus would've gone had it ever progressed beyond the prototype stage; it seemed more of a statement than anything as it was just a bit impractical. Still, not as much as the Ratte: I suspect they might've eventually built just one for bragging rights similar to their railway guns which would've been something to see, but it was pretty way out there.

            Dunno what would've been the actual progression; there's been a lot of speculation about where the "E" tanks might've gone, though the time might've been better spent sorting out the engines of the existing tanks. Not that there was anything wrong with Dr Maybach's V12, just that it was designed for a much lighter vehicle. I understand he strongly protested that it wasn't enough for the increased weight and wanted a V16 of the same design but was overruled on the basis it would increase the vehicle weight too much. Hmm, that was a bit of a case of me doing an "I'll counter the speculation with half-remembered factlets that I wasn't really paying attention to at the time anyway." :|

      2. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        a certain Adolf didn't like the roman numeral V

        Probably because it reminded him of a certain British gent, often wearing a homburg and smoking cigars, and a bit of a stumbling block for his ambitions.

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: a certain Adolf didn't like the roman numeral V

          I guess that dislike of the "V" extended to the alphabet, for he was lobbing V1s and V2s in the direction of that British gent

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Two different things.

      Panzer: generic name for tanks

      Panther (animal): one specific type of tank

      Basically it's a Panther Panzer :).

      1. Fr. Ted Crilly

        Er so what is a panzerschiff then...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Panzer = armour

          Schiff = ship

          The rest is left as an exercise for the reader :)

    3. myhandler

      Goodness, I was only asking a "how come"

      So many downvotes - I bet half those clickers didn't know the facts till they read the helpful explanation. Or perhaps it was my gratuitous side swipe at Yanks..

      Anyway, now I know it's a kampfenwagen I'll look at VW Campers in a new light

  15. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Weird Case

    On this side, I am not sure what the exact laws are to collect privately military hardware are. But I suspect there are some at various levels with rather odd exceptions. So I would expect another country to laws regulating this.

    The odd issue is the ammunition. Why anyone would keep live old ammunition around is dangerous. Stuff designed to make big or bigger boom requires safe handling and proper storage. It also may go bad on its own; the chemicals used are not the most stable around. If it went bad and went boom somehow there could a real mess. I would think this is more problematic than some geezer driving a tank.

    1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

      Re: Weird Case

      I read an account many years ago about a gentleman who had a restored, but with the guns disabled, Sherman tank, complete with rubber track covers, making it "street legal". He lived in Los Angeles. One day he decided to take it out for a drive, always driving scrupulously within the law. He noticed that he was collecting a following of police cars, but though nothing of, since he was fully licensed and driving properly.

      He came to an intersection and found the three ways out blocked by lines of police cars.

      A very obviously nervous cop, with his gun out and pointed at the tank, approached and told him to come out with his hands up. Which he did being very careful to show his empty hands first as he emerged from the turret.

      In the end, everything go sorted out (he had all the required paperwork on hand) and proceeded on his way.

      One might presume they asked him to let them know ahead of time if he planned any more road trips in his tank.

      1. tfewster Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Weird Case

        ...found the three ways out blocked by lines of police cars...

        - Not a problem for a tank!

        ...cop, with his gun out and pointed at the tank...

        - Not a problem for a tank!

        If you're going to try to assert your authoriteh, have the big guns ready and visible. Or, you could just try signalling the tank driver to stop, and escalate appropriately if needed.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: Weird Case

        "One might presume they asked him to let them know ahead of time if he planned any more road trips in his tank."

        I let the local cops know a day or so in advance when I'm going to be firing full-auto weapons, or one of the canon. Saves everybody a bunch of headaches when the inevitable complaints come rolling in. Only stands to reason.

      3. PRR

        Re: Weird Case

        > Sherman tank, ..."street legal". ..in Los Angeles. One day he decided to take it out for a drive, ....he was collecting a following of police cars

        Doesn't always go that way.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KpgkhngU8yE

        The American Tank Rampage: San Diego neighborhood terrorized by Army vet driving stolen tank in 1995

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shawn_Nelson_(criminal)

        "The tanks at the armory started with a push button and did not require an ignition key. ..... As ammunition was kept in another building, none of the vehicle's weapons could be loaded or used by Nelson.

        {if} tear gas were used, this might have stopped Nelson, but not the tank, and officers would not be able to enter the tank if it were still mobile with tear gas present. ...asking for help from the Marine Corps ...in the form of a Bell AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter, as the police force lacked the means for disabling a tank.

        _________________________

        There was also this, actually a bulldozer, with home-made armor.

        https://youtu.be/qlZh9-NQEyI?t=17

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_Heemeyer

        He had real gripes but an extreme way to voice them. They tried to box him with earthmovers (which can run as heavy as a bulldozer). He eventually got stranded in/on a store basement. He shot himself, apparently to plan.

      4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Weird Case

        There was a guy in the late 80s in central London, who bought an army surplus Scorpion light tank. Painted it bright yellow, and used to drive round town in it. As you do...

        1. Vometia has insomnia. Again.

          Re: Weird Case

          Scorpions are quite fun little things to drive, by all accounts. I'd love to have a go of one but I'd probably just crash it.

          Apparently they're pretty straightforward, just with a couple of gotchas like changing gear while steering, as the turning circle suddenly changes, and changing down (5-4?) can be quite "abrupt" causing bits of unwary people to impact unyielding metal (commander's teeth on the edge of the turret hatch is one I heard). I understand the main limiting factor is the tracks because they wear out quickly on hard surfaces and are very expensive to replace.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: Weird Case

            They’ll do 70mph on the road. But there’ll probably not be much road left after you’ve done it. Still 13 tonnes too, so not that much weight difference from a Panther.

            1. Vometia has insomnia. Again.

              Re: Weird Case

              I thought it was 7-ish for the Scorpion and ~45 for the Panther? But I'm guilty of relying on my memory which Is Not Reliable™.

              The Scorpion has (well, had, but not all were "upgraded" to the later diesel) the same engine as an E-type so at heart it's a Jaaaaaag.

              1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Weird Case

                Vometia has insomnia. Again.,

                Oh dear. You're totally correct. Well done to your memory and yah-boo-sucks to mine!

                I'd thought it was only the Tiger (and the lower production stuff like the Stalin) that got up to those kinds of weights. But nope, the Panther was 44 tonnes. And the Scorpion only 9. So tanks for the correction.

  16. KittenHuffer Silver badge

    Why didn't this thread ....

    .... START with Godwin's law, and then work backwards to a reasonable discussion of the article? Like some weird reverse timeline sci-fi script???

    I think I'm being affected cos I watched Tenet again last night! Or was that tomorrow night?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Why didn't this thread ....

      Godwin's law isn't a law, and is more properly known as Godwin's rule of Hitler analogies. For those of you who are unaware, it reads: "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

      This explanation brought to you by the number 7 and the letter V ... we now return you to your usual bickering over rules and laws that don't affect the vast majority of you.

  17. harmjschoonhoven
    Pint

    Keep an eye on the front gardens

    In the Netherlands and probably elsewhere several front gardens are adorned with MIGs and other military aircraft.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKBPimJblME

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8p3CHkVgzE

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOAgiJHaS0U

    Most are removed either because they still have machineguns (illegal) and/or conflict with municipal building regulations. https://www.rtvdrenthe.nl/nieuws/7417/MIG-Schoonloo-verkocht

    BTW, If you want to admire an Oerlikon FLAK while you enjoy your meal and a beer, go to the Zeughauskeller Restaurant in Zürich.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep an eye on the front gardens

      As far as I know there are also fun caches of explosives in entertaining places in Switzerland, that's why some tunnel fires are approached with extreme caution by their fire brigades.

      Not that they're easily accessible, of course, that would make it too easy to sabotage, but it strikes me as a good defence against invasion.

      Thanks for the tip, I'll have a look for it, possibly even as early as next week.

      1. Wellyboot Silver badge

        Re: Keep an eye on the front gardens

        Yes, I believe that the tunnels into Switzerland can be closed with extreme prejudice if desired by the locals.

        1. Joe W Silver badge

          Re: Keep an eye on the front gardens

          ... not only in Switzerland. Other countries had that as well, when it came to securing e.g. the Rhine river crossings, or important major streets. As far as I know much has been dismanteled after the end of the cold war. There were also strips of the Autobahn that could be used as airstrips, and quite likely other weird stuff.

          1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

            Re: Keep an eye on the front gardens

            Read the war autobiography of Adolf Galland, "The First and the Last". At the end of the war (after being busted from being the general in command of fighter forces to squadron leader for telling the truth to power), his squadron did use a chunk of autobahn for a airstrip.

            (The title reference is because he got his beginning combat experience in the Condor Legion.)

          2. Stork

            Re: Keep an eye on the front gardens

            Runways, the swedes did that too. Search for Viggen and you should find a cool video showing it

      2. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

        Re: Keep an eye on the front gardens

        There were reports in the 1990s about someone in France restoring an old stone wall. A cache of 75mm artillery rounds was discovered in a hole in the wall. They were left over from WW*1*.

      3. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        a good defence against invasion.

        Invading Switzerland would be an uphill battle.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Keep an eye on the front gardens

      Ah, neutral Switzerland. Supplying Oerlikons to both sides during WWII

  18. David 132 Silver badge
    Happy

    Are you right there, Father Ted?

    All these comments and I can’t believe no-one else has mentioned the first thing that came to my mind… the acquaintance of Father Ted who had an even more complete collection.

  19. Paul Herber Silver badge

    'the tank's restoration had been his "life's work." '

    It's a beautiful tank!

  20. Cybersaber

    I have to ask...

    Will he get booted from the World of Tanks community if he gets into an argument and posts photos?

  21. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Danny's last drive

    My mum just wrecked my car through a hedge. Technically, legally and financially her car, but still I had it booked for Saturday so inconsiderate. Unroadworthy, a complete mess, and I haven't even checked on the car.

    This poor guy is being forced to donate his tank, and my mum needs a vehicle that can drive through hedges. Can someone hook us up?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't mention the war.

    You started it!

  23. jason_derp Bronze badge

    Classified Ad: Need Collector for My Weapons Collection

    "...ordered to sell or donate the tank and flak cannon to a museum or collector within two years."

    It seems like the stuff already had a collector...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A tank in the basement?

    We keep our tank in the loft.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aa non firing tank is somehow illegal? That is the Nazi/communist's thinking at work in modern Germany.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      150,000th moderated comment

      FYI: Congrats – you are the 150,000th comment I've manually moderated in the ~10 years I've been at The Register. The comment has the ID 4309021, so about the 4.3m'th comment we've shared.

      When I started, we had to manually mod everything. Then automatic moderation was built, and still some had to be manually checked (mainly new and naughty users).

      Phew.

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 150,000th moderated comment

        Thanks for all your hard work! The comments section is a big part of why many of us read the Register, and being one of its guardians can't be an easy job.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          Ah, shucks

          No, thank you for reading and commenting!

          C.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
            Pint

            Re: Ah, shucks

            Surely that should be tanks for reading...

            But seriously this is a great community, with an excellent balance of allowing lots of leeway without descending into some online horror show. And therefore to be cherished and praised, and have glasses of beer raised to it.

          2. Stork

            Re: Ah, shucks

            You, together with the majority of commentards, are doing a great job. It’s at the same time more fun and more civilised than the vast majority of fora I have seen, also when people disagree

  26. Esme

    Rusty gun could be made operational? Really?!

    I am no expert (and would be interested to hear from those of you that are, on this), but wouldn't the rusty gun barrel weaken it and make it more likely to burst if fired? Especially given that it's the long-barrel version of the 75mm gun Panthers had.. And if the breech were rusty, I'd have thought that might impact how good a seal it can make. I wouldn't have thought ammunition would be usable after over 70 years, either. On the other hand, if someone were daft enough to try, I wouldnt like to be anywhere close by whether or not the barrel was pointing my way!

  27. arachnoid2 Bronze badge

    Ammunition could be remade if the basic brass shell was available.Bruce Crompton collects and sells all sort of miitaria from uniforms to field weapons to tanks he even gets blank shells made up for tanks.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66v5GW0XR8A

    Im sure the UK Tank Museum would be interested in his stuff https://tankmuseum.org/

  28. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    The thing that puzzles me is that he is allowed to sell or give the tank to a collector, who presumably is allowed to own it. So why isn't the current collector allowed to own it?

  29. TheProf Silver badge
    FAIL

    Swift justice

    He was seen driving it in 1978 and it's taken until 2021 for someone to do something about it?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Swift justice

      No-one took any notice until he tried to insure it with Churchill. Oh yes yes yes.

  30. Allonymous Coward

    What I want to know

    Did he have a sea mine as well?

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: What I want to know

      Oo arrr. Reck'n so. Haza licen' for this'un.

  31. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Collectors

    ...will be bringing their toys out to play

    Overlord Show

    Aug 13-15 2021

    https://www.overlordshow.co.uk/

    Capel Military Show

    4-5 September 2021

    https://www.capelmilitaryshow.com/

    They have a couple of 4" Naval Guns that they fire each day of the show at 1600

    No "War and Peace Revival" this year/postponed to next year

    https://warandpeacerevival.com/

  32. 9Rune5 Silver badge
    Coat

    Climate change

    "He was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978."

    I'd like to point out, in case Angela reads this, that thanks to the blessing of climate change -- THAT won't happen again. There was no need to put the poor old man in jail.

    Mine is the one with 'Mein Panther" in the pocket.

  33. russmichaels

    Someone clealry didn't think before writing that BS title.... how would he get a tank into the basement...

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      There was someone I knew who used to keep his motor bikes in the basement. Due to the local topology, if you went by one side of the house, there was a large door to the basement - from that location, the basement was at ground level

    2. Ben Tasker Silver badge

      Getting a tank into a basement is easy - at worst you just put a big hole in the floor above.

      Getting a tank *out* of a basement, on the other hand, is potentially much more challenging.

      Occasionally you see a news story about a bloke that's built a car/bike from scratch, often where his kitchen table used to be. They tend to have lost their wife along the way, only to find they're going to have to knock at least one one wall out of the house to get their creation out.

      Someone I know very briefly had a similar experience in his garage, but that's only because we spot welded the garage door shut to wind him up (he used to go in through a side door to work on it).

  34. KBeee Bronze badge
    Happy

    Tanks

    Not really similar, but it involves a tank.

    A bloke bought a plot of land and asked the council for permission to build a house on it. The council refused.

    So the bloke asked if he could put a tank on his plot. The council (thinking water tank) said "sure".

    So the bloke put a T-34 tank on his land with the gun pointing at the council offices.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandela_Way_T-34_Tank

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Tanks

      Been there, seen it. It's awesome!

  35. Mike Friedman

    If that's your life's work, then maybe you should've gotten a different life. Doing something useful.

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