Military historians in Poland are struggling to salvage a rare British tank that has lain at the bottom of a Polish river since January 1945.
The Valentine Mk X tank is believed to have fallen through ice covering a tributary of the River Warta in western Poland as it rolled towards Berlin as part of the Soviet Red Army’s massive assault on German defences in the east.
Around 2,000 Valentines were delivered to the USSR as part of Western military aid to Moscow, of which there was only one survivor until the discovery of the tank in Poland.
“We’re having difficulties getting the machine out,” said Jacek Kopczynski, a collector of historic military vehicles. “Divers are using high-pressure water jets to try and free the tank, which is apparently in a very good condition.”
Reports that the Valentine has survived its watery sojourn with little decay has excited historians.
“If it’s true then it would be a world sensation,” commented Janusz Zbit, a military historian. “After three years of restoration it might be even able to drive it again, which would make it the only surviving Valentine Mk X to have seen combat.”
To help free the tank from its muddy embrace the salvage crew has called in an excavator, and are also contemplating calling on the fire brigade, if all else fails.
The Valentine saw heavy action the North African campaign, and although lacking the necessary firepower to give German tank crews serious cause for concern it developed a reputation as a well armoured and reliable tank.
PS: Pacquiao lost the fight. I have regrets too, dear Filipinos who read my blog…