Tanks For The Kunst

Exporting tanks? No problem. But don’t try importing them without official authorization.

Tank

Not even if they are kind of sort of “demilitarized” and all you want to do is paint them for peace or whatever. Now the guy who imported them for artist Harald Glööckler is going to have to go to jail or something. Or maybe not. Glööckler is the work of art on the right, by the way.

Zwei Panzer und Harald Glööckler – Was eigentlich ein Kunstobjekt in einem Garten werden sollte, kommt nun vor Gericht. Angeklagt: Ein 49-Jähriger.

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German Of The Day: Unfassbar

That means unfathomable or mind-boggling. And, well, actually, it isn’t.

Unfathomable

Not at all. It is in fact not in the least unfathomable that of the 244 Leopard II tanks the Bundeswehr has at its disposal (244 tanks for an entire army?) only 95 of them are acutally, well, disposable. That’s, uh – let me do the math here – less than half.

What was I saying the other day about Germany living in a parallel universe (comments)? Do you believe me now?

Please note: These are also the same tanks that are Exportschlager. Another German word. This one meaning export hits. See how it all fits together (not)?

“Das ist unfassbar.”

 

Germans Worried American Tanks Could Be Dangerous

The “risky roadshow” now rolling across Germany toward Poland could be, I dunno, an “embodiment of the United States’ commitment to deterring aggression and defending our European Allies and partners” or something.

Tanks

And who could possibly want that?

Some 3,500 troops from the 4th Infantry Division in Fort Carson, Colorado, will join up with the equipment, which includes 87 tanks and 144 Bradley fighting vehicles, over the next two weeks… The new forces will gather first in Poland, then fan out across seven countries from Estonia to Bulgaria. A headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany.

Bedrohliche Musik, Bilder bewaffneter Milizionäre in der Ukraine, Karten eines sich nach Westen ausbreitenden Russlands: Die US-Armee in Europa hat auf ihrer Website ein Video über ihre Operation “Atlantic Resolve” (“Atlantische Entschlossenheit”) veröffentlicht: Die Botschaft: Nach der Besetzung der Krim und der Destabilisierung der Ostukraine könnte Russlands nächstes Opfer ein EU-Land sein, weshalb die US-Armee Europa zur Hilfe eilt.

But Can I Keep My Torpedo?

As you may know, German authorities are really touchy when it comes to gun control. Sort of. But it doesn’t just stop there. They totally freak out and call the Bundeswehr if they find out that you have a tank in your cellar. Skeleton in the closet? OK. But a tank in the cellar? No way.

Like take a chill pill already, officer. It wasn’t even loaded.

Tank

Police searched a villa in a wealthy suburb of Kiel on Wednesday and found a Second World War tank, a torpedo and other weaponry in the cellar. On Thursday they were still working on removing the tank.

“He was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978.”

Just Out Of Cold War Storage

Demothball: to remove (naval or military equipment) from storage or reserve, usually for active duty; reactivate.

Leopard 2

Germany plans to bring 100 mothballed tanks back into service in what is widely seen as a response to rising tensions with Russia over Ukraine.

Die im Zuge der Neuausrichtung der Bundeswehr festgelegte Obergrenze von 225 Kampfpanzern Leopard 2 soll auf 320 erhöht werden.

Tanks For Nothing, Vlad

The end of the Cold War didn’t necessarily mean the end of war between big countries, and Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine undermines the notion that a quiet Europe is forever free from war. And modern warfare means tanks. Germany recently bolstered their current arsenal of tanks by buying and upgrading 20 Leopard 2A7 tanks acquired from the Netherlands, though originally from Canada.

Tanks

Upgrading old tanks is fairly routine and accounts for the dangers of the present. Developing a new advanced tank, instead, is a bet on the future. In August, German company Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMW), makers of the current versions of the Leopard tank, merged with French defense company Nexter. Speaking to the merger, KMW CEO mentioned the idea of a Leopard 3 tank, noting that France has a strategic perspective that stretches decades into the future. In October, when the budget committee of Germany’s parliament put together their draft of a 2015 spending bill, the proposal to develop a new tank was quietly noted, and then debated in an independent German armed forces journal.

German Tanks Finally Doing Something Useful

They have rolled in to occupy the city of Düsseldorf.

Tanks

I mean they have rolled in to occupy themselves with Umweltschäden (ecological damage) in the city of Düsseldorf.

This damage was caused by a big honking storm that slammed Germany the other day. And this means war or something.

„Hier sieht‘s aus, wie nach dem Krieg.“

A Sound Panzer?

What will they tank of next?

The Sound Tank (or “Sound Panzer,” as Nowak refers to it in the video) is a reconfigured mini-dump truck that Nowak was able to transform into a colossal mobile soundsystem. Nowak designed the bass-bumping vehicle’s giant speaker wall with a hydraulic system, enabling him to raise it upright and point the 13 loudspeakers and three 18-inch subwoofers at any target.

Someone fired a gun next to Nowak’s ear as a young child, and as a result the artist lost the ability to hear high frequencies with his right ear. “That experience brought home to me the extent to which sound can shape reality,” Nowak muses in the video.

PS: For those interested in old school NSA stuff, there are some good shots of what is left of the old Teufelsberg facility in the video, too.