Armor: January 31, 2000

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The US Army was able to buy two WWII-era M36 tank destroyers from the Bosnian Croats (for $14,000 each) and haul them back to the US for display at the Patton Museum at Fort Knox and the Armor Museum at Fort Hood. These are thought to be the only M36s intact in the US. The M36 tank destroyer was the most powerful tank cannon vehicle in the US Army in WWII, and was the vehicle called up when a stubborn Panther or Tiger refused to give way. After the War, the US gave hundreds of them to the Yugoslavs in a bid to keep them out of the Warsaw Pact. The Yugoslavs, it appears, did not throw anything away. The vehicle taken to the Patton museum had been knocked out in combat (by a HEAT round through the final drive) at some point, repaired, and was in full operating condition when purchased. Examination of the vehicles showed that their original gasoline engines had been replaced by the engines from T55 tanks. --Stephen V Cole

 


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