(NEWSER) – It took 20 soldiers almost nine hours to remove a
World War II "Panther" tank from a pensioner's cellar in a wealthy community in northern Germany — and that's in spite of the fact that the German army sent in modern recovery tanks to help confiscate the vintage 1943 vehicle, reports the BBC.
Prosecutors in the coastal region of Kiel, tipped off by Berlin prosecutors who'd recently searched the 78-year-old man's villa for stolen Nazi art, aren't divulging much yet, but a police rep did say that a torpedo and anti-aircraft gun had been removed and other weaponry had been found as well, reports the Local.
Alexander Orth — mayor of the town of
Heikendorf, where the man lives — wasn't surprised by the discovery because the elderly man "was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978," adding that "some people like steam trains, others like tanks." And because the tank can no longer fire weapons, the pensioner's lawyer tells the German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung, via the Local, that the man hasn't actually broken any laws. Prosecutors, meanwhile, are investigating whether possession of the tank, torpedo, anti-aircraft gun, and other weapons violates Germany's War Weapons Control Act. Orth, meanwhile, did concede: "I took this to be the eccentricity of an old man, but it looks like there's more to it than that." (Check out what officials found in this Austrian bunker.)