Torn out of the swamp’s tight embrace found tank T-34
This is another story about how, after more than half a century, the tank saw sunlight. Having done a tremendous job, Kazakhstani journalist Sergei Borisov, now living in Moscow, was able to find out how the found soviet tank T-34 ended up at the bottom of the lake.
How the found tank disappeared and the fate of the crew
That’s how it was: During fierce battles on December 5, 1942 near the village of Zharki in the Novosokolniki district of the Pskov region, this tank, fighting with the Wehrmacht army, destroyed about 100 Nazi soldiers. In pursuit of the retreating enemy, the combat vehicle was hit. From the explosion, links of one of the caterpillars burst, and the tank, by inertia, brought onto the ice of the frozen Zharka lake. Thin ice could not stand the 26-ton machine, and it sank. The crew, fortunately, managed to leave the car.
The T-34 tank was found at a depth of 6 meters
The tank lay on the bottom of the lake until 1998, until it was found by search squads. In the autumn of the same year, a military relic was raised from a 6-meter depth. When the tank was dragged ashore, it was, in fact, a huge lump of mud. But as soon as its tower was cleaned a bit by pumps, the inscription “From the workers of Kazakhstan” clearly appeared on it.
As it turned out, the found T-34-76 tank belonged to the 7th tank regiment of the 34th mechanized brigade, which was part of the 3rd Shock Army under the command of General Galitsky, who arrived in this area of the Pskov region from the Kalinin Front. The commander of the machine and the entire tank platoon was the recent graduate of the school, Lieutenant Nasip Tukhvatchin, most likely a Tatar by nationality. After those battles on Lake Zharki, he burned several times in the tank, but remained alive, he met Victory Day in Sofia with the rank of lieutenant colonel.
The fate of the found T-34 after restoration
The found tank was later restored at a research institute of the Ministry of Defense and to this day it stands on Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow on an open area of armored vehicles of the Central Museum of the Great Patriotic War among other exhibits that passed through the fire of battles.