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Free T34 abandoned in remote location


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For those that are desperately seeking a really cheap T34, I took these photos in Somalia 21 years ago. I would be confident that this fairly complete vehicle is still there. Basically get to Biadoa, central Somalia. Once there head North and drive a few kilometers until you get to a right turn. Take this turn and drive until you reach the first village. It will be in the Village on your right, nestled amongst some grass huts. Its complete, but the tracks have been taken off and are laying beside it. Sure, you may have to negotiate with the Al Shebab terrorist group who maraud the area and if I recall correctly, the area was pretty heavily mined, so you may want to take a metal detector. But, this is probably the cheapest and best condition T34 that your going to find anywhere. I would be interested to know if anyone plans on taking a trip to collect it. Oh and by the way, you will note in the photos, that I have removed at least two of the antitank mines, so that will be two less you have to worry about. I would have grabbed it, but im more into British vehicles. haha

 

Regards, Tim

t34.jpg

T34 turret top.jpg

T34 somali guy.jpg

T34 Landrover.jpg

mines2.jpg

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The place is littered with abandoned armour. Obviously 30 years of war will do that. But this T34 has plagued me. I have no doubt it is still sitting there, happily preserving in the desert climate. I met the area district chief last year and I enquired with him about the prospect of a few enterprising chaps bringing in some aid supplies through the port of Mogadishu, trucking the aid to Biadoa, throwing the T34 onto the truck, dashing back to the port, loading it into the now empty cargo ship and sailing away with our T34. While he conceded that it was, in theory possible, he stated that we would 100% guaranteed we would be shot! Had it been 95% I reckon we might have given it a thought, but he was adament that my plans would fail. As the district chief, I took his advice. But rest assured, come the day that the Biadoa district finds political stability, I will be charging across the Horn of Africa with a T34 tank recovery crew. That tank has my name on it, I just have to live long enough to see the new dawn of Somalia. I wonder if it was a German Tiger tank sitting there if people would take the risk?

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Tim,

Thank you for sharing your pictures with us...Most importantly I am glad you made it back from satans land...

 

 

Im damn pleased to be back too. Although, Im sure my unhealthy obsession with military vehicle restoration has developed as a result of this deployment. Check out this youtube video a put together with a few of the photos that I took over there. I might interest you.

 

Also have a look at this Saracen that I restored as a Marijuana prevention program a few years ago.

 

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shannon.jpg

 

Here is a photo taken in a Blackhawk. Im the guy with the Kbar in my mouth, while Shannon McAlaney behind me, with the big smile, unfortunately never made it back. He was killed on the 2nd of April 1993 in the Market Area in down town Biadoa. RIP. The importance of Military Vehicle restoration is important so that tangible reminders of past conflicts can connect later generations with the sacrifices that were made by guys like Shannon. We should never forget that.

 

Tim,

Thank you for sharing your pictures with us...Most importantly I am glad you made it back from satans land...

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Im damn pleased to be back too. Although, Im sure my unhealthy obsession with military vehicle restoration has developed as a result of this deployment. Check out this youtube video a put together with a few of the photos that I took over there. I might interest you.

 

Also have a look at this Saracen that I restored as a Marijuana prevention program a few years ago.

 

 

Outstanding Tim...Thank you once again for sharing the amazing videos....Is your life settling down a bit now ?

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]89352[/ATTACH]

 

Here is a photo taken in a Blackhawk. Im the guy with the Kbar in my mouth, while Shannon McAlaney behind me, with the big smile, unfortunately never made it back. He was killed on the 2nd of April 1993 in the Market Area in down town Biadoa. RIP. The importance of Military Vehicle restoration is important so that tangible reminders of past conflicts can connect later generations with the sacrifices that were made by guys like Shannon. We should never forget that.

I feel the same way Tim about my Ferret...I have been looking about 14 months now for the past crew or any history of pictures of my 1954 Canadian Army Ferret MK1...54-82586...I would like to honor anyone that served with it...Once I find the history i will paint it in the colors of it in the 50's...I hope some day to show it at car shows here in the USA and have an information board by it so all may see about it's history...

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Thanks guys! Im sure we have all sat inside our vehicles, alone, at one time or another and felt their presence. Finding that one guy at a show, or who happens to walk past your vehicle in the street and say, hey, I know this vehicle, is an amazing thing. Owning these vehicles, you soon realise who the genuine ones are too. A few years ago a guy pointed out some really minor changes to my Ferret and he stated that he knew what unit it came from, because he was with that unit when he saw the rear brake line protectors welded to the hull. I asked him if he wanted to jump into the drivers seat and take it for a spin, he looked at me quite seriously and said that he had done his time in them and politely declined the offer. I realised at that point that he was the real deal.

 

Regards, Tim

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Outstanding Tim...Thank you once again for sharing the amazing videos....Is your life settling down a bit now ?

 

Im now work in a remote Aboriginal community in Far North Queensland and am loving it. I am fortunate enough to hunt each week and work in paradise. As you can see from the Saracen restoration video, I dont miss an opportunity to drag the community into my restoration projects. Any excuse to get some tools on an old war machine! I plan to restore a WW1 Thornycroft truck with the support of the community this year. I will hopefully be posting on that soon. Maybe something tracked after that!

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........ he had done his time in them and politely declined the offer. I realised at that point that he was the real deal.

 

Regards, Tim

:)

Reminds me of an ex RAF fella I met many years ago ..Wing Commander Robert Milward who was an absolute gentleman...

during his career he'd flown everything a fella could wish for.......real boys own stuff...

.........Spitfires , Hurricanes ......4 engine heavy bomber conversion in 1943 on Stirlings and then onto Halifaxs and the holy grail of Lancasters .....he'd finally retired in the early 70s and apart from going on holiday... had never flown in a plane since.....

I said

"I'd have thought a fella like you would have a little light aircraft of some sorts parked up at Staverton (our local field) to play in?"

He eyed me steadily and said this

"My boy.....every single minute ..of every single hour, of the many thousands of hours in my log? I was paid to fly . Flying is a very expensive business ....and I've done enough and am certainly never going to pay myself to fly anything ever again "

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For those that are desperately seeking a really cheap T34, I took these photos in Somalia 21 years ago. I would be confident that this fairly complete vehicle is still there. Basically get to Biadoa, central Somalia. Once there head North and drive a few kilometers until you get to a right turn. Take this turn and drive until you reach the first village. It will be in the Village on your right, nestled amongst some grass huts. Its complete, but the tracks have been taken off and are laying beside it. Sure, you may have to negotiate with the Al Shebab terrorist group who maraud the area and if I recall correctly, the area was pretty heavily mined, so you may want to take a metal detector. But, this is probably the cheapest and best condition T34 that your going to find anywhere. I would be interested to know if anyone plans on taking a trip to collect it. Oh and by the way, you will note in the photos, that I have removed at least two of the antitank mines, so that will be two less you have to worry about. I would have grabbed it, but im more into British vehicles. haha

 

Regards, Tim

 

Tim,

In your opinion who do you think was the last to have control and drive this T34 ? Was it a designated Army or terrorists that won it in battle...What was the story if any ?

Thanks,

Joe in USA about 1 hour outside the terrorist city of Chicago

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That's a good question. The Russians occupied the Somalia Ethiopia region in the 70s where this T34 now sits. I would have thought that the Russians would have used T54/55s around that time, and their were plenty of examples of those lying about. Somalia was occupied by the Italians during the second war and up until the late 60's. Now, the Italians did have some T34s that they used in the war, and maybe this one was one of those T34s and was brought out with the Italians to assist with the post war military defence. The tracks were laying besides the hull and had been laying there for some years. The local villagers were using it as a pill box. The local terrorists were operating Toyota tray backs with anti aircraft guns. The T34 would have proved too slow in the hit and run tactics that they were using. Unfortunately this T34 had very little markings to indicate its military pedigree. Perhaps the desert sand and wind had long since sand blasted them away.

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That's a good question. The Russians occupied the Somalia Ethiopia region in the 70s where this T34 now sits. I would have thought that the Russians would have used T54/55s around that time, and their were plenty of examples of those lying about. Somalia was occupied by the Italians during the second war and up until the late 60's. Now, the Italians did have some T34s that they used in the war, and maybe this one was one of those T34s and was brought out with the Italians to assist with the post war military defence. The tracks were laying besides the hull and had been laying there for some years. The local villagers were using it as a pill box. The local terrorists were operating Toyota tray backs with anti aircraft guns. The T34 would have proved too slow in the hit and run tactics that they were using. Unfortunately this T34 had very little markings to indicate its military pedigree. Perhaps the desert sand and wind had long since sand blasted them away.
Really interesting...Seems like you could write a very interesting book about your adventures...

It is well known about the new generation of young terrorists in that Country....Again very glad you got out when you did....A person can only temp fate so many times in life....

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That's a good question. The Russians occupied the Somalia Ethiopia region in the 70s where this T34 now sits. I would have thought that the Russians would have used T54/55s around that time, and their were plenty of examples of those lying about. Somalia was occupied by the Italians during the second war and up until the late 60's. Now, the Italians did have some T34s that they used in the war, and maybe this one was one of those T34s and was brought out with the Italians to assist with the post war military defence. The tracks were laying besides the hull and had been laying there for some years. The local villagers were using it as a pill box. The local terrorists were operating Toyota tray backs with anti aircraft guns. The T34 would have proved too slow in the hit and run tactics that they were using. Unfortunately this T34 had very little markings to indicate its military pedigree. Perhaps the desert sand and wind had long since sand blasted them away.

 

Here is something really interesting for great backyard mechanics like yourself..Go on Youtube and enter ARMY TANKS STUCK IN MUD...There are a few that people pull out of ponds after 60 plus years of being under water and mud then get the tanks going !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Really great mechanics.

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Here is another interesting recovered T34 found in a bog. It seems that quite a few of these are found in ponds and up side down. Im guessing that during the winter of 1944 they probably ventured out onto ice and the ice subsequently cracked and canterlevered, resulting in them flipping upside down. Hopefully the crew were able to escape when they sunk. These tanks have been preserved incredibly well.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
That's a good question. The Russians occupied the Somalia Ethiopia region in the 70s where this T34 now sits. I would have thought that the Russians would have used T54/55s around that time, and their were plenty of examples of those lying about. Somalia was occupied by the Italians during the second war and up until the late 60's. Now, the Italians did have some T34s that they used in the war, and maybe this one was one of those T34s and was brought out with the Italians to assist with the post war military defence.

 

The Russians would have been using the T-62 & T72 by that time frame and yes, T55s were still in service. Did not know that the Italians had/used the T34 (learn something new everyday). I'd imagine that if the Soviets were there back in the 1970s probably proping up a sympathetic regime & or fighting a counter insurgency, then that T34 could have been doled out as part of a Military aid package? Older armor like that is Ok for Infantry support against an enemy who doesn't have armor or aviation of their own. I think they (The Russians) gave the Afghan Army some T34s as well back in the 1980s when they were there.

 

Matt

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Somalia was occupied by the Italians during the second war and up until the late 60's. Now, the Italians did have some T34s that they used in the war, and maybe this one was one of those T34s and was brought out with the Italians to assist with the post war military defence. T

 

The Italian occupation of Somalia was brought to an end in 1940 if I do not recall entirely wrong. Or in other words: The Italians have lost Somalia again before the T34 even entered service with the Red Army.

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