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Old 22nd October 2019, 13:03   #1
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Default Abandoned war / military equipment in India

Tale of world war II era Sherman DD Amphibious combat tanks "rusting in peace"

Recently I was in Belgaum, Karnataka during weekend.

Lazy Sunday morning decided to go for a walk with relative who is a localite. Headed towards Mandoli, situated outside the city. I was told a couple of World War II era war tanks can be spotted on the way. We took a detour from the main road.

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6217.jpg

There were these 2 tanks, piece of history, totally neglected, rusting in peace without any protection. There is no display board or any info why these two are here.

About the place which is drunkards paradise the less said, the better. Litter of all kind around here.

About the tanks:
Came to know these are Sherman M type of tanks (mostly Duplex Drive, better known as DD), manufactured during 1944. Many key parts (gun mounts, periscopes etc) are missing from this. Only the structure is intact.

https://www.militaryfactory.com/armo...p?armor_id=911

Why these are here?:
As per the locals, these are part of 1961 Operation Vijay, war against Portuguese to liberate Goa. May be during the war or after the war they are damaged, could not find a further shelter and lying here ever since.

Some Photos:

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6146.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6141.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6184.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6157.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6229.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6232.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6153.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6171.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6203.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6233.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6139.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6181.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6163.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6235.jpg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6236.jpg

~o~o~o~

One of the tanker's turrets has this number.

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6194.jpg

Googled it to find out the below links:

Sherman 75mm turret types

Quote:
The M4 Sherman had many variations in hull and turret design during its production run. The earliest turret had the "low bustle", while the later ones had the "high bustle".
http://the.shadock.free.fr/sherman_m...ret_types.html

http://www.theshermantank.com/about/...-tank-turrets/

https://www.militaryfactory.com/armo...p?armor_id=911

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6231.jpg

These pieces of art welding joints looks like ornaments!

~o~o~o~

Location is beautiful and has all the potential to become a good picnic spot if maintained well.

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6166.jpg

Sahyadri mountain range visible from distance

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6213.jpg

~o~o~o~

Experts please shed more light on these neglected war equipment. Mods, could not find a similar thread so creating a new one. Please merge if such a thread exists.

I am sure there are many such pieces of history across India. Please share here if you find any.

Last edited by Nempuguru : 22nd October 2019 at 17:46.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 08:07   #2
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 23rd October 2019, 09:57   #3
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Default re: Abandoned war / military equipment in India

That's an excellent find, thanks for sharing. Initially I was curious what has world war II tank to do in India since I had only knew of a few air-borne shelling reported off erstwhile Madras state.

The place is charming may be due to Monsoon or it is a lake bed. Where exactly is this ?
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Old 23rd October 2019, 11:01   #4
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Thank you "Thermodynamics".

All thanks to my relative who is a good friend of mine! He guided me and provided info.

This place is within military area, shooting range is also nearby. But no restriction as such to the public for viewing. No one is guarding either. Avoid going here during late evening or night time.

Someone has mapped the location. Here is the link:

https://goo.gl/maps/XE8EjeM5NApdf5Wr7

Nothing much to see apart from these two tankers. Location is scenic due to rain may be. Lush green fields with wild flowers, some resemble flowers of Kaas plateau.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
That's an excellent find, thanks for sharing. Initially I was curious what has world war II tank to do in India since I had only knew of a few air-borne shelling reported off erstwhile Madras state.

The place is charming may be due to Monsoon or it is a lake bed. Where exactly is this ?
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Old 23rd October 2019, 11:11   #5
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What a setting!!! A bit of CG and this can be brought to life virtually atleast!! This is a gem finding to any World War aficionado! (my son is one in the list!!)

Is this place easily accessible? or is it in some prohibited area?
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Old 23rd October 2019, 11:18   #6
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Default Re: Abandoned war / military equipment in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nempuguru View Post
Tale of world war II era Sherman DD Amphibious combat tanks "rusting in peace"

Recently I was in Belgaum, Karnataka during weekend.
I made a detour on one of my Goa trips last year just to take a picture of my car with the tank
Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_20180429_1304136.jpg
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Old 23rd October 2019, 12:36   #7
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Default Re: Abandoned war / military equipment in India

Great find there, Nempuguru. Thanks for sharing.

As a popular Kannada saying goes, “hittala gida maddalla (ಹಿತ್ತಲ ಗಿಡ ಮದ್ದಲ್ಲ)”, which literally means, one tends not to see value in things that are easily available.

I stayed at Rani Chennamma Nagar II stage, which is stone-throw away from this road, for close to 10 years and never did mind to give a look at this ammunition. Perhaps, I was too busy minding my own business with friends. Today, when my family has relocated, I feel humiliated for having missed such a great piece of history.

Last edited by King_pin09 : 23rd October 2019 at 12:37.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 15:16   #8
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Default Re: Abandoned war / military equipment in India

Lovely thread. Typically the Armed Forces either use them to adorn their campuses/cantonments, or donate such equipment to museums or educational institutions.

Fascinating to know about such pieces of history, which they are. I believe India used Sherman tanks in WWII and they remained in service till the 60s.

If there is any enterprising Twitter warrior here, perhaps they could tag ADGPI (Indian Army's twitter handle) to resurrect these pieces of history.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 16:25   #9
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This is my backyard .
Abandoned war / military equipment in India-f39e94b2e2f846a6b559839b9fbd6114.jpeg

Abandoned war / military equipment in India-fb1e7536212e4537a341a2919709eee0.jpeg

Last edited by aah78 : 23rd October 2019 at 18:02. Reason: Pictures inserted in-line.
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Old 23rd October 2019, 20:05   #10
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Default Re: Abandoned war / military equipment in India

Thanks for sharing Nempuguru.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
I made a detour on one of my Goa trips last year just to take a picture of my car with the tank
Attachment 1926108
You can say, the picture of your Tank with the Tank
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Old 23rd October 2019, 20:53   #11
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Default Re: Abandoned war / military equipment in India

Wow must say the tanks have "aged well". The M4 was an icon of the war. Quite inferior to its contemporaries. Generally not a match for the Panzer IV Ausf G. And not even near the Tiger / King Tigers. Countless even perished to the Stug 3 assault guns in fact.

Interesting to note that the Indian Army used amphibious versions for the Goa campaign. Perhaps for swift small river crossings should the need arise in that small campaign of course. Must have broken down during the operation. By that time the M4s were starting to become too old. Perhaps these were deemed not worthy of salvage. Still - very uncommon for the army to just leave their equipment at a place and go, especially not at a front line of any sorts.

The running tracks & road wheels (including the rubberized rim & suspension!) are actually very good in shape! So is the overall chassis. Its as if it will start rolling if an engine and transmission to the sprockets is installed! Always an aura of unknown history about these relics. Good find. Next Goa trip - I'm sure taking a detour to this place to snap a few pictures.
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Old 24th October 2019, 10:06   #12
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Thanks for the useful insights" Reinhard". If this is in some western countries, by now place would have been a war memorial or major attraction.

Concerned authorities must take all the actions to preserve these for future generations.

I was searching for technical details (kind of VIN or spec sheet) inside these tanks. But could not find any other than some random numbers!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
Interesting to note that the Indian Army used amphibious versions for the Goa campaign. Perhaps for swift small river crossings should the need arise in that small campaign of course. Must have broken down during the operation. By that time the M4s were starting to become too old. Perhaps these were deemed not worthy of salvage. Still - very uncommon for the army to just leave their equipment at a place and go, especially not at a front line of any sorts.
Abandoned war / military equipment in India-img_6162.jpg

Last edited by Nempuguru : 24th October 2019 at 10:26.
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Old 24th October 2019, 11:02   #13
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My first thought - that's a lot of scrap metal. It's amazing that no enterprising person has scrapped it, yet. Either that's a testament to the tanks' build quality that no part could be sawed off or the people of Belgaum have scruples. :-)
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Old 24th October 2019, 18:51   #14
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Great find.

Wish the tank itself was just cleaned up and put up with the story against it so that this could be a great spot as you said. Not sure how long will it go just like this. All this is some tank.
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Old 24th October 2019, 19:25   #15
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Thankfully, there is a vintage tank museum in Ahmednagar which has several vintage tanks. Since it is maintained by Army, the tanks are well preserved.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cavalr...um,_Ahmednagar
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