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Post Info TOPIC: Another FT17 found in Afghanistan.


Commander in Chief

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Another FT17 found in Afghanistan.
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It's apparently been claimed by the Polish Army, as one of theirs, having been knicked by the Russians & then given to the Afghans.



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Legend

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Adam - have you got a source for this story? It is most interesting.

It's believed that all the Afghan FTs were of Polish origin - although it's never become clear exactly how many there are. There was a rumour that one was to be restored and put on display in Afghanistan. The one in your photo doesn't seem to have been restored but is in much better condition than the ones found in 2003. Can you throw any more light? How recent is the picture? What are the script and emblem behind it? What is the building? Is it an Afghan military establishment?

Tell us all you can!



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Commander in Chief

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Not much more to add, the photo's from this thread.
http://odkrywca.pl/pokaz_watek.php?id=709819#1492152
It's probably the same one as shown here.

http://technowinki.onet.pl/inne/multimedia/ft-17-najstarszy-polski-czolg-odnaleziony-w-afgani,5266819,12868878,foto-male.html#photo12868878
The location is a mystery, other than it's in Afghanisatn.


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Legend

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That photo is a bit of an old favourite, and appears alongside the photos of the FTs when they were found in the scrapyard in 2003, so it must predate that. Unfortunately, I can't read Polish without an online dictionary, but what I've managed to glean is that the Poles are certain that it's one of theirs.

All I can throw in is this photograph of "the Presidential Palace" in Kabul, dated November 2003. Afghanistan had a President from 1973 to 92, so, in the light of the revelation about the Taliban scrap metal business, the tank must have been moved at some time after 1992. In the photo of the FT on the plinth, some sort of gun or carriage is visible behind it, on top of the wall. In the photo below something similar can be seen either side of the gate. I don't really know if anything can be deduced from all this; I'm just wondering if someone else might spot a clue or a connection. I don't think the new photograph is of a new find.

Any Polish speakers able to help?

 

Afghanpalace.JPG



-- Edited by James H on Thursday 4th of October 2012 07:49:32 PM

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Legend

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The arty piece in your photo, James, is mounted at a much lower height than the one behind the tank - which appears to be atop a sturdy stone gate post - so it can't be the same location.

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Legend

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I understand that, TCT. I'm just rounding up all the info I can get hold of - which, for obvious reasons, is pretty scarce when it comes to Afghanistan. I just thought someone might spot something or have a flash of inspiration. Maybe the guns were re-sited because they weren't worth scrapping. Perhaps there were several plinths, at more than one arch - the one in my pic looks a bit like the one the FT is on. Or maybe it's a complete red herring.

For what it's worth, Wikipedia says, "(the Musée des Blindés at Saumur) owns three FTs, two of them are in running condition. One of them is coming from the Patton Museum.The third is in static display and comes from Afghanistan. It is one of 4 known FTs that were in this country before 2003, two of them went to the Patton Museum in Fort Knox, the 4th one is still preserved in Kaboul."I am not at all sure that there isn't some duplication in that statement. Unfortunately, I can't at the moment trace the author to ask for a source for the claim.



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Commander in Chief

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The list on "Surviving Panzers" http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_FT-17.pdf is probably the source for Wiki.
Saumur has one from Afghanistan, two went to the Patton Museum and this is (probably) the one preserved in-situ.
http://www.4600n200e.com/4436.html
Info here, nearly at the bottom of the page. (A stack of A7V pictures higher up, btw.)
#1

#2

#3

#4

The painted barracks' entrance should be easy to identify.

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Legend

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Ah. I'd forgotten that. Pardon My French belongs to a good friend of Landships, but I can't remember who it is.

That's a better photo of the arch, with the artillery piece more visible. Ta.



-- Edited by James H on Friday 5th of October 2012 01:08:28 PM

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PDA


Legend

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James H wrote:

... Pardon My French belongs to a good friend of Landships, but I can't remember who it is...


wuestehu



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Legend

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That's the rascal, PDA. I now realise that I have been leading everyone arround in circles, since in an earlier thread I've quoted his figures for Afghan FTs. I do apologise. Nowadays I can't even remember what it is that I've forgotten. Anyway, a friend of mine worked for an NGO in Afghanistan, and is still in touch with former colleagues there. She's going to see if anyone can I.d. the locations, which might be a help. It seems the gent with the firearm is a Pashtun, which might help a bit with the timing. Hope to supply more info soon. First things first: my brilliant friend tells me that the symbol behind the FT in the first pic is that of the Afghan National Army, which was formed in 2001. However, she is of the view that the ANA wouldn't have had any premises or equipment to speak of until 2003. This is brainstorming, but the two FTs found in the desert appear to have been very rusty, whereas the one in the new photo is in much better condition. So maybe there were 3 or more, after all.

-- Edited by James H on Sunday 7th of October 2012 11:33:30 AM

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Major

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The president of Afghanistan has already given this tank - I wonder when it will be in Poland .... .....

 

It turned out that one of the Polish tanks located in Afghanistan. Captured by the Russians went there as a gift to the then ruler of the Soviets in Afghanistan - says Jerzy Smolinski, an adviser to the President of Poland



More above :)
Andy

http://www.se.pl/wydarzenia/kraj/prezydent-bronislaw-komorowski-odzyska-bezcenna-pamiatke_282830.html



-- Edited by bigtank on Friday 12th of October 2012 08:11:00 PM

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Skype  bigtank51


Legend

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Very grateful to friend and friends of friend. The mountain visible in the shot of FT with rosebushes is Koh-e Asma, familiarly known as "T.V. Mountain", which is surrounded by Kabul. It's been suggested that the camouflaged archway is in eastern Afghanistan, maybe Jalalabad, but enquiries continue.

Now here's an interesting site: http://wikimapia.org/#lat=34.5534283&lon=69.3141042&z=15&l=0&m=b   A bit of clicking on it produces pleasing results.

More news as we get it.



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Commander in Chief

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It's on its way to Poland & restoration.
http://www.mfa.gov.pl/en/news/historic_tank_to_return_to_poland_from_afghanistan?searchCategory=Text&search=true

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Legend

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Brilliant, Adam. Thanks. Great new pictures. Gives us an excellent view of the location. If the vehicle has been moved only in the last few days, it might still be possible to pick it out on the Wikimapia map.

 

P.S. Here's another article. They've mostly got the name of ther Tank correct in this one: http://polska-zbrojna.pl/home/articleshow/5270?t=FT-17-w-bazie-Bagram-gotowy-do-powrotu-



-- Edited by James H on Monday 22nd of October 2012 11:18:30 AM

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Legend

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The Polish Deputy Foreign Minister, Boguslaw Winid, has provided a brief history. Acc to him, there are 49 surviving FTs. Four ended up in Afghanistan, and evidence suggests they are survivors of the Russo-Polish War of 1919-21.

Polish FTs were deployed early in the War, during a retreat around the town of Rivne. They were low on fuel and encircled, and were abandoned near the railway station. Mr. Winid even gives a date: July 5th 1920. The Bolsheviks then took them into captivity. The Poles later gained the upper hand, and eventually won the War

It then appears that 4 FTs were presented to Afghanistan by what was then the the Soviet Union, in 1923. What happened in the next 80 years is uncertain. At present there's no info on whether they were used in any role. The suggestion that they were used in action during the Soviet invasion nearly 60 years later seems extremely implausible. And we can discount the theory that they were captured from GB in 1919.

Mr. Winid continues: Two of the Afghan Renaults were offered to the Americans in 2003, and one to the French four years later. [If true, then that explains how one got to Saumur]  The fourth was previously stored at the premises of the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

The idea that theses 4 vehicles are the ex-Polish is not absolutely confirmed, but is based on the informed opinion of Charles Lemons of the Fort Knox Museum, who supervised the restoration of two FTs and who was kind enough to share some of his findings on Landships a while ago. He was unable to find any serial numbers that would have confirmed the origins, but noted a modification that was carried out by the Polish Army after receipt of the FTs from France. The final FT will be restored and, presumably, examined for clues in Poznan.

So we are quite a bit further forward now. We need to fill in the gap between 1923 and 2003. We know the Taliban moved two FTs to the vehicle dump between 1996 and 2003, but we don't know exactly what happened to the other two. It would be a big help to i.d. and date the photos of the camouflaged arch and the Pashtun gent.


If you google "Bagram Renault FT 17" or words to that effect, a whole stack of references comes up.

Some excellent wide shots of the vehicle dump with FT, here:   http://img.odkrywca.pl/forum_pics/picsforum26/1_copy942.jpg

and here: http://img.odkrywca.pl/forum_pics/picsforum26/2_copy387.jpg

Also suggestion that the FT in the arch photo might be the same one currently being sent to Poland: http://img.odkrywca.pl/forum_pics/picsforum26/beztytuu_copy298.jpg



-- Edited by James H on Monday 22nd of October 2012 02:55:19 PM

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Sergeant

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I have some pictures of italian cv35 tankettes recovered in Kabul in 2002 (I'll have them scanned for you), the fact is that I did some research to know how they found their way there, and I got to this clue: In the late '40s and early '50s Spain (as the only fascist state surviving on earth) was a pariah state, desperately in need of foreign exchange and with very few partners for trading. Oddly enough, for a country that cherised the greatness of "Reconquista", it managed to make friends with the governments of several moslem states, including Iraq and Syria, and entered in trading agreements to sell surplus civil war weapons. As a neutral state at that time, Afghanistan could have been another of Spain's trading partners, which apart from a huge stock of cv35 tankettes, also had a stock of polish Ft17s bought in 1937 for use in the Republic's North Army Tank Regiment, most of them captured intact after a brief battle around Reinosa.

Best regards!

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Commander in Chief

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There's quite a few relics in Afghanistan.
4 complete & 2 wrecked CV35s http://www.massimocorner.com/afv/Surviving_Italian_Light_Tanks.pdf, a Lancia 1ZM has been recovered to the museum in Dresden and a couple of Indian Pattern Carrier wrecks have been seen in photos of the famous Kabul scrapyard.
Interesting to hear that the CV35s came from Franco's Spain, there are a few in Iraq still.

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Sergeant

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Actually, the Iraqi cv35s were sold by Italy prior to WWII and used against the British in 1941.
BTW, the Lancia 1ZM, was also employed in the Spanish Civil War.

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Legend

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My friend's friend is Afghan and worked for an international agency there for several years. He visited most military establishments in Kabul, and says he doesn't think the camouflaged archway is in Kabul. Possibly in Jalalabad or elsewhere in eastern Afghanistan. That's what I 'm told.



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