Borgward truck during the World War II found at the bottom of the lake
In February 2018, enthusiasts found at the bottom of the Istra reservoir, in the Moscow region of Russia, the remains of a German Borgward truck from the World War II, which went under the ice in the winter of 1941.
This truck was produced in 1939 and had a gasoline engine produced at the Bremen plant. Found Borgward was repainted by Wehrmacht soldiers to disguise from green to gray. In general, the relic of the World War II found was not badly preserved, since the spring of 1942 the reservoir had gained more than 80% of its volume and the truck immediately disappeared under water. Perhaps immediately after the accident of the truck, local residents tried to unscrew and drag off part of the cab, the hood was also removed and the sofa seat was taken away.
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How Borgward truck was found
The fact to start the search of the German Borgward truck was the legend of a local resident who personally saw the truck standing on ice. After a short search (since the approximate place where the truck was located was determined almost immediately), we managed to find the exact location of the relic. At the time of discovery, the body was heavily silted to a depth of more than a meter; the water depth in this section of the reservoir was about 9 meters.
After the discovery of the relic of the war, work began to get rid of the layer of silt under which the truck had been for almost 75 years, and then to raise it with a pontoon to the surface, followed by towing to the shore. Forum user ww2 “abcd” thanks the divers and everyone who took part in the search and retrieval of the Borgward truck to the surface.
The battle path and the history of the disappearance of the truck
After heavy fighting near Moscow at the Kryukovo railway station, the command of the 11th Panzer Division realized that the withdrawal of troops to the borders of the Lama and Ruza rivers was inevitable.
On December 7, 1941, an urgent retreat of units began with an intermediate construction of defensive lines on the western bank of the Istra River and the Istra reservoir. By the way, units of the 5th Panzer Division in the south, 35 and 106 infantry divisions of the Wehrmacht from the north tried to hold the Istra defense line.
By December 10, the troops of the 16th Army managed to approach the reservoir, but the prepared defense, the deflated water level did not allow the troops to cross over on the move. These events are repeatedly reflected in military literature, as well as good documentaries with the interview of local residents, shot by Istra historians.
By December 15, 1941, the command of the 16th Army successfully crossed the northern part of the reservoir. A deep raid into the rear of the German army from the south was carried out by tankmen of the Red Army. The German units very accurately and quickly assessed the alignment of the situation and on the night of December 16, withdrew their troops from the bank of the Istra River.
The villages along the river were abandoned, and some of the retreating equipment fell through the ice and drowned during the night retreat, including this Borgward truck that divers and searchers managed to find.
Tactical signs and markings on the truck
The letters “Pi” on both sides of the Borgward truck indicate that the vehicle belonged to sappers, tactical markings on the front fenders of the rear side suggest that the truck belonged to the second auto company, a sapper battalion of the 11th Panzer Division.