And on a Sunny Day to boot (It was raining, and dark when I was there).
Photo: Sent in by a dedicated reader, you might think this would appear to be a regional piccie rather than Hungary. I'll just say it's one of the most 'interesting' places to visit in Europe.
I suspect, alas, young men are dying in ancient tanks like this in what one leader deems a 'special military operation' going on right now to the east of Hungary. However, this particular example is unlikely to see further action, at least one hopes so. But where might it be?
Answers via the messaging system or an email if you would. Should this prove too tough for all you sleuths out there, I will add another clue next week. However, it transpires that this tank was involved in fighting in Hungary.
KT86 - that's the Disappearing Banks - has created a fair bit of interest. I'll give you a couple more days and aim to draw the incredibly blesssed winner on Monday.
Till then, have a great weekend!
UPDATE - Submissions and results!
Apologies for my tardiness with these results. I got very busy. GT87 was (understandably) more difficult than most Testers for most readers, and brought in a variety of answers, most, more or less, in the right direction.
First punt was from Mike Glover, writing from Athens, if I recall correctly.
Hi Kester, I think this may be in Kyiv. Mike
Short and sweet, but since Mike lived there for some years, he should know his stuff. I wonder ….
David Kirkby posited that it might be in Budapest.
Kester There used to be a tank displayed on the main road out to the airport, beyond the football stadium, on a ramp like this but I don’t recall the church behind it.
I confess that's a new one on me, David. I can't remember this, but I'll believe you.
Ian Wraight thought it was a Soviet era T34.
A T34 tank - a Russian WWII memorial - somewhere in southern Russia/USSR? judging by the dome? Battle ready I doubt ; but has it been recommissioned by now? Russians always very good at producing death traps for their innocent youth; there are surely some that would think it a shame to let it go to waste.
They might be short of tanks, Ian, but I don't think they have turned to this one yet, even though, I suppose they could 'wangle' it (as you will see), but I could be wrong.
Hubert “Poiroit” Warsmann emerged from a period of Tester hibernation to declare:
KT 87 This is a somewhat unusual view of the Memorial of Glory in Tiraspol, Moldova
The display tank itself is a bit of interesting trivia for tank geeks. It is a T34-85, an evolution of the iconic T34, that became necessary after facing improved German armour in the guise of first Panzer IV, mounted with the fearsome 7.5 cm KwK high velocity gun and then the Tiger 1.
(Hubert, effectively a confessing tank geek, actually sent in a tank thesis for a PhD, which is continued at the end of this post.)
Anglican Father Frank Hegedus also had a stab.
GT87 Kedves Kester... Are you sure that is in Hungary...? I say it is located in Tiraspol in Transnistria, in Moldova......by way of the Soviet Union...
Atya Frank, I'm absolutely sure it is NOT Hungary, I hope I didn't imply otherwise. KesterTesters (and GuesterTesters) normally come from what is normally referred to central-eastern Europe (CEE) and south-eastern Europe (SEE).
Tom Chilton swept in, rather aggressively to denounce me.
The answer is Tiraspol in Transnistria. This KT is too easy, IMO. I googled "tamk (sic) next to orthodox church" and got the answer. I think you should avoid KTs that can be solved easily by googling. You oughta try googling KTs before posting 'em. So there!
Well, that put me in my place. But decent sports don't google all the answers, surely. That's cheating, morally speaking. And you don't HAVE to google, Mr C.
Next was from Zsolt Maroti, who pitched in with:
Szia Kester Tiraspol, Transnistria - the Tank Monument in 25 October Street. (Memorial of Glory) Wikipedia says the tank was transported from Hungary. Zs
See later, Zsolt!
Finally, Gina-Maria Tondolo, flush with some international success, was also somewhat dismissive.
Der europäische VC des Jahres kommt aus Wien Haaa – totally obvious. Tiraspol!! Right? Been there. I know my turf!
(The first bit refers to a VC, a venture capital company from Vienna being awarded the Europea VC of the year. You can guess where Gina is headquartered. )
So, yes, it is in Tiraspol, the 'capital' of the sort-of-breakaway sliver of Moldova that is 'policed' by Russian troops left over after the declaration of Moldovan independence after the break up of the Soviet Union – probably the most interesting and most forgotten part of Europe – Moldova itself does is not placed too highly on the package holiday rankings, of course.
So, five slips of paper went into the red Zwack Unicum cap (I've misplaced the EU-approved black woolly draw hat – just in the season when I will need it, of course).
And, to add to the totally neutral, independent nature of the draw, my better half pulled the winning entry out of the cap, which was … drum roll please … none other than number 1 (yet again, I can't believe it) – Hubert “Poirot” Warsmann.
I suppose Hubert deserves this award, given the in-depth answer he provided (continued from above) and the connection to Hungary.
A new T-43 model was developed and a few prototypes built. These proved disappointing and the project was shelved in favor of an upgrade of the T-34. Main changes were a new 85mm gun derived from a soviet AA gun, an enlarged turret accommodating 3 personnel thus freeing the tank commander from gunnery duty (a major weakness of the original T-34 design) and improved armour.
The tank on display in Tiraspol served with the 7th Guards Mechanized Corps, a unit of the Ukrainian front that fought in Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.However this tank probably only joined the Corps in January 1945 when it received its first T34-85 arrived.
It was damaged at Lake Balaton during operation Konrad 3 and returned to the USSR in the spring of 1945. Konrad 3 was the last and most successful German attempt at breaking the siege of Budapest. The offensive set off from Szekesféhervar and took soviet troops by surprise. This was a major Soviet intelligence failure. The Danube was reached in one day, 400km2 were reclaimed in four days and after nine days of intense combat, the Soviet troops had lost two thirds of their tanks, to mostly Panther tanks of the 3rd and 5th SS Panzer Divisions, well supported by the Luftwaffe.
On 27 January, the Soviets mobilised 12 infantry divisions and armour to attack Konrad troops near Dunapentele. Once Guderian reported the news of this attack to Hitler, an order to desist was given. PS I should have written Konrad 3 started from near Szekesféhervar as the city was no longer controlled by the Axis at the time and it was one of the first objectives of the operation.
Wow! Well, thank you for all that, Hubert. Well done and very interesting. And since you have won, along with the inevitable global celebrity status, the right to buy me two beers, I hope we have the chance to meet up in the festive season!
Congratulations to all who entered and those who correctly identified the location – and to Steven F who provided me with the pic.
RIGHT: Here's another from the same semi-independent statelet capital of Tiraspol …..I'll have to ask again what the slogan means, but I think I can spot the Russian for 'cosmos' or 'cosmonaut' - and I think the first word might be perv.... something, which could mean first - all above the image of the happy, healthy, smiling face.
Whatever, how about KesterTester88 – which still remains open for entries, folks!