The Tank That Survived A Nuclear Bomb ...

... and went on to serve another 23 years

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The Tank That Survived A Nuclear Bomb ...

#1  Postby Calilasseia » Aug 14, 2019 1:44 pm

One of the more remarkable accounts I've alighted upon recently, is that of a Centurion main battle tank, Army Registration Number 169041. This tank was tranferred to the service of the Australian Army, and then, in 1953, selected to be a test vehicle in a nuclear test. The tank was transported to the Emu Field test site, and positioned less than 500 metres from a steel tower, atop which was mounted a 10 kt nuclear device. The tank was loaded with a full complement of ammunition, fuel, the engine started, and mannequins placed in the crew positions. The tank was then left in place, and the nuclear device detonated.

The tank, remarkably, survived the blast with peripheral damage. Later tests indicated that any crew inside the tank would have been killed by the shock eave, but the tank was still largely operational, the engine only having stopped because it ran out of fuel. Even more remarkably, the tank was then driven to an Australian Army base, decontaminated, and returned to service. It continued in service with the Australian Army, including service in Vietnam in 1969. During said service, the tank was hit by an RPG, which wounded crew members, but the tank remained battleworthy, and continued operating in the battlefield. In total, 169041 served 15 months of combat duty in an operational war zone 16 years after being used for a nuclear test, and was eventually retired, to become the 'gate guardian' outside Roberston Barracks, NT. It remains there to this day, and is known, appropriately, as the Atomic Tank.

A brief video account of this tank can be viewed here. An article on this tank can be read here, and another article can be read here.

If you want something constructed, find the people who made this tank, if you want it to last. :)
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Re: The Tank That Survived A Nuclear Bomb ...

#2  Postby Keep It Real » Aug 14, 2019 1:52 pm

"Survived" has a very anthropomorphic tone by my mind today...surely only living things can survive? Never thought about it before...mustn't anthropomorphise tanks...actually no, forget that, what was I thinking:

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Re: The Tank That Survived A Nuclear Bomb ...

#3  Postby Hermit » Aug 14, 2019 10:04 pm

Keep It Real wrote:"Survived" has a very anthropomorphic tone...

Not necessarily if you go by the first definition of the word I encountered: "continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship". Maybe talk of a tank's surviving a nuclear blast evokes a feeling in you that someone claims it is alive. To me it just means that its functions withstood the blast's destructive forces. That is more than can be said of the scrolls in the Alexandrian library, almost none of which survived the fire.
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