German man hid 40-tonne World War II tank in basement
A 78-year-old German man hid a rare World War II heavy weapons collection, including a 40-tonne Nazi Panther tank, in his basement bunker.
Police in Heikendorf, northern Germany, found the tank along with a torpedo and other weapons and it took 20 soldiers and two military recovery vehicles nine hours to get them all out.
A few months ago, the owner of the tank told German media about a collection in a subterranean bunker on his property.
Police were acting on a tip-off last week when they raided the man’s house and found the Panther tank in a large basement hall, DW.Com reported.
The basement hid another military vehicle usually presented in a military museum: an 88 mm flak cannon.
The owner’s lawyer, Peter Gramsch, said he assumed the tank was damaged in the removal operation and that he would claim compensation for his client.
“The tank is demilitarised,” Gramsch said, alluding to a written statement held by the owner to that effect dated October 2005.
However, prosecutors are investigating the owner for a possible violation of the War Weapons Control Act.