World War II Tank Found in German Man’s Basement

German police have discovered a tank, a torpedo and other illegal weaponry dating back to the Second World War in the basement of a villa in the wealthy town of Heikendorf. 

Prosecutors from Kiel, of which Heikendorf is a suburb, ordered the search, suspecting the owner of the house was breaking a law against possessing weapons of war. 

The Kiel officials were alerted to the weapons hoard by Berlin prosecutors, who searched the villa only a month prior looking for stolen Nazi art, The Local reported. 

In total, a 45-ton 1943 Panther tank, a maritime torpedo missile, as well as a host of unspecified other weapons, were confiscated from the man's villa. 

While the weapons stash was found on Wednesday, police were still working Thursday to move the tank off the property. 

Although it certainly caused a commotion, many old-time residents of Heikendorf were unsurprised by the discovery of the tank, with Mayor Alexander Orth noting the villa's owner "was chugging around in that thing during the snow catastrophe in 1978."

The owner, meanwhile has claimed, according to The Suddeutsche Zeitung, that because the tank is no longer able to fire weapons, possession of it does not break any laws. 

It remains to be seen if prosecutors will attempt to charge the man with owning weapons of war or with violating the law against collecting or trading Nazi memorabilia, which would be more of a stretch to prove. 


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