14 Photos of the Remnants of War Prove that Nature Always Prevails

Nature will always be stronger than man.

There are two things that are certain in life: death and taxes. It is tempting to add one more certainty to Benjamin Franklin’s list – the fact that Earth will survive for longer than humanity. Or, at least, longer than taxes.

Our planet was around long before us, and it’s very likely that it will endure past our demise as well. However, we are the most invasive species on Earth, and we are changing our home to an enormous degree.

The scale of our conflicts has changed throughout the centuries, escalating at a lightning-fast pace. We started with clubs and slingshots, went through cannons and tanks, and ended up with the newest technology like atomic bombs or biological and chemical warfare. And these new weapons affect nature on a level we’ve never witnessed before.

German armor captured by the Allies, Normandy, France
German armor captured by the Allies, Normandy, France

‘I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.’ – Albert Einstein.

Wars of the twentieth century were especially noteworthy in terms of changing the environment. Like all conflicts before them, these battles also ended, and life went on. However, the effects of war haven’t disappeared completely.

Some might not be visible, like pollution, radiation, or lesser-known aftereffects like Agent Orange, but the remnants of wars can still be found across our planet, mainly in isolated areas.

“Baker Shot,” part of Operation Crossroads, a nuclear test by the United States at Bikini Atoll in 1946.
“Baker Shot,” part of Operation Crossroads, a nuclear test by the United States at Bikini Atoll in 1946.

After each war ended, a question was raised: what to do with all the equipment that was no longer needed?

Sometimes, the cost of transportation was too high to bother removing it far from the battlefield. Consequently, thousands of tanks, planes, and helicopters were simply dumped into the sea.

Countless tanks were just scrapped and turned into razor blades; a few lucky ones were disarmed and sold for agricultural purposes. Some notable examples can still be found in museums or private collections… and that’s all.

For example, one of the most produced aircraft of World War II — the Ilyushin Il-2 — was built in great quantities with over 36,000 machines being produced, yet only two survive to this day.

Below are a selection of photographs that show mighty tanks and other vehicles from various wars in action, followed by a picture of the same vehicle as it can be found today.

#1

Soviet heavy IS-2 tank in Berlin, 1945.
Soviet heavy IS-2 tank in Berlin, 1945.

 

Photo: Ivan Dementievsky
Photo: Ivan Dementievsky

Place: Shikotan Island, Russia
Vehicle
: IS-2, produced between 1943-45 by the USSR
Total number produced: 3,854

#2

A Sherman tank of the 50th Royal Tank Regiment near Caldari, Italy, 1943.
A Sherman tank of the 50th Royal Tank Regiment near Caldari, Italy, 1943.

 

Photo: Groman / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: Groman / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Place: Northern France
Vehicle
: M4 Sherman, produced between 1942-45 by the US
Total number produced: 49,234

#3

Type 95 Ha-Go tanks in New Britain following the Japanese surrender.
Type 95 Ha-Go tanks in New Britain following the Japanese surrender.

 

Photo: montereydiver / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: montereydiver / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Place: San Francisco Maru, Truk Lagoon, Pacific
Vehicle
: Type 95 Ha-Go light tank, produced between 1936-43 by Japan
Total number produced: 2,300

#4

A pair of North Korean T-34-85, Korea, 1950.
A pair of North Korean T-34-85, Korea, 1950.

 

Photo: Nicholas Dickson / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: Nicholas Dickson / CC BY-SA 2.0

Place: Outside of Massoud’s tomb in Afghanistan
Vehicle
: T-34-85, produced in 1944-57 by the USSR
Total number produced: ~80,000

#5

Soviet BT-7 tanks on Khalkhyn Gol, Mongolia, 1939.
Soviet BT-7 tanks on Khalkhyn Gol, Mongolia, 1939.

 

Place: Unknown
Vehicle
: BT-7, produced in 1935-40 by the USSR
Total number produced: ~2,700-5,300

#6

Brazilian M41s in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, April 1968.
Brazilian M41s in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, April 1968.

 

Photo: Dave59 / CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo: Dave59 / CC BY-SA 3.0

Place: Cambodia
Vehicle
: M-41 Walker Bulldog, produced in 1951-54 by the US
Total number produced: 5,467

#7

M42 Duster used for security along Route 9 in 1968
M42 Duster used for security along Route 9 in 1968

 

Photo: ierdnall / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: ierdnall / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Place: Aqaba, Red Sea
Vehicle
: M-42 Duster, produced in 1952-60 by the US
Total number produced: ~3,700

#8

Soviet IS-3 Heavy Tanks pass the saluting base on the Charlottenburg Chaussee in Berlin during the Four Nations VJ Day parade.
Soviet IS-3 Heavy Tanks pass the saluting base on the Charlottenburg Chaussee in Berlin during the Four Nations VJ Day parade.

 

Photo: Yury Maksimov
Photo: Yury Maksimov

Place: Shikotan Island, Russia
Vehicle
: IS-3, produced in 1945-47 by the USSR
Total number produced: 2,311

#9

Czechoslovakian ISU-152, 1952
Czechoslovakian ISU-152, 1952

 

Place: Unknown
Vehicle
: ISU-152, produced in 1943-59 by the USSR
Total number produced: 4,365

#10

An Achilles 17pdr Self-propelled anti-tank gun crossing the River Savio on a Churchill ARK which was driven into the river, October 24, 1944.
An Achilles 17pdr Self-propelled anti-tank gun crossing the River Savio on a Churchill ARK which was driven into the river, October 24, 1944.

 

M10 Achilles
M10 Achilles

Place: Unknown
Vehicle
: ISU-152, produced in 1944-45 by the UK as a variation of M10 TD
Total number produced: 1,100

#11

B-24s in Consolidated-Vultee Plant, Fort Worth, Texas, 1943
B-24s in Consolidated-Vultee Plant, Fort Worth, Texas, 1943

 

B24 Liberator
B24 Liberator

Place: Atka Island in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska
Vehicle
: B-24 Liberator, produced in 1940-45 by the US
Total number produced: ~18,500

#12

U.S. Army Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain transports and Waco CG-4A gliders lined up for “Operation Varsity” on March 24, 1945.
U.S. Army Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain transports and Waco CG-4A gliders lined up for “Operation Varsity” on March 24, 1945.

 

C-47
C-47

Place: Mediterranean Sea
Vehicle
: C-47, produced in 1942-45 by the US
Total number produced: 10,174

#13

Vought F4U-1 Corsair on Bougainville, Solomon Islands, in April 1944.
Vought F4U-1 Corsair on Bougainville, Solomon Islands, in April 1944.

 

F4U Corsair
F4U Corsair

Place: Unknown
Vehicle
: Vought F4U Corsair, produced in 1942-53 by the US
Total number produced: 12,571

#14

SBD-5 production at El Segundo, 1943
SBD-5 production at El Segundo, 1943

Read another story from us: B-24 “Hot Stuff” – The Forgotten Bomber That Broke the Memphis Belle’s Record First

SBD Dauntless
SBD Dauntless

Place: Papua-New Guinea
Vehicle
: Douglas SBD Dauntless, produced in 1940-44 by the US
Total number produced: 5,936