An 84-year-old German sentenced to 10 months in prison and a fine of 250,000 euros for keeping a tank in his garage, which he used as a snowplow

Sometimes it is difficult to understand why there are people who make certain decisions… unless it is a crude excuse that is difficult to believe.

This incredible story began in 2015, when the Kiel police in Germany received a tip: someone was hiding a Nazi-era military arsenal in their garage.

The police organized a raid and found… a huge Panther model tank from World War II, weighing 40,000 kilos.

The owner, a now 84-year-old German citizen whose name has been kept secret, argued that he had bought it in the UK “for scrap“, and was using it as a snowplow.

In Germany (and most other countries) civilians can only keep war material if they have a license. Which was not the case.

The man argued that the tank was not even operational, because it did not have the caterpillar tracks on the wheels. But then, how could he use it as a snowplow, if it didn’t work?

Because it couldn’t roll, it took 20 soldiers nine hours to get the 40-ton tank out of the garage .


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It was not the only war material they found. Also in the garage was an 3.5-inch anti-aircraft gun, a torpedo, a mortar, machine guns, assault rifles, machine pistols and more than 1,000 cartridges, Interesting Engineering describes.

Six years later ( it seems that justice is also slow in Germany), the trial has been held, which has lasted 4 months.

The arguments of the German citizen have not convinced the judge, or almost anyone, so has been sentenced to 10 months in prison and a fine of 250,000 euros, for possessing war material.

The tank has not been seized, but you have two years to sell it to a licensed person, or donate it to a museum.

If we listen to what this man said at trial, and bought the tank in the United Kingdom, a big question remains: how could a 40-ton tank get into the country across the border without anyone noticing?