Tank Day at Lesany shows vehicles of the Cold War

Autor: Oldřich Holeček

Tanks of the Warsaw Pact and NATO faced each other again. But fortunately, only during dynamic show within the 7th Tank Day.

The leitmotive of the Tank Day, which was held on 29 August 2009 south of Prague, and which was visited by distinguised guests including Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Vlastimil Picek, was the Cold War, that is the period from 1948 till 1989.

„Regardless of great anniversaries, which usually the Tank Days are devoted to, this year the Cold War has won, and the reason is just prosaic - the General Staff of Greece gave us recently three tanks; American M-48 and M-60 and a Geman Leopard 1. These tanks formed the backbone of NATO armed forces in the 50s and 60s years of the last century,“ Lieutenant Colonel Eduard Stehlik from the Military History Institute explained.

Not only the three brand new acquisitions have been presented to visitors in dynamic shows, but also their rivals from the time of the Cold War - tanks IS-3, T-34, T-54, T-55 or T-72.

„That is not to say that NATO tanks were markedly better or worse than machines of the Warsaw Pact. In weapons, the rule which always governs is that one party hunted the other. And we must not forget the fact that not only the best quality equipment wins but first of all well trained personnel can assure the victory - so that I think that we all can be happy that the clash did not happen,“ Stehlik added.

The Tank Day did not offer only historical machines to visitors. For the very first time, the Czech public could see a wheeled armoured vehicle Pandur II in action. The vehicle is being put to operational use in the Czech military this autumn.