Man Turns in Soviet Tank During Amnesty Program

A pink tank quickly became the star of the Czech weapons amnesty program. (Photo Credit: PolicieCZ / Twitter)

When police in the Czech Republic used a tank in their ad to promote weapons amnesty, they didn’t realize someone would take it so seriously.

The Czech weapons amnesty program is designed to help people who own weapons but not the required paperwork to bring those weapons in and have the police help them obtain the proper documentation so they can keep those weapons legally. Weapons that are known to have been used in a crime are not eligible for the program.

The Czech weapons amnesty brings in some unexpected items

An unnamed man brought in a Soviet-era T-34 medium tank, painted pink, and an SD-100 self-propelled artillery platform.

The man believed that he had obtained the weapons legally but was unsure whether they had been properly deactivated.

Police inspected both weapons and found that they had been rendered harmless, but the methods used to deactivate them were not entirely in keeping with current law. The owner was allowed time to fix those issues so that he could keep the weapons.


No explanation was given as to why this particular tank had been painted pink.

These tanks were once very popular

The Soviet T-34 is an iconic weapon from World War II. It had a key part in turning back the Nazi invasion of Russia. The German’s nicknamed it the “wunderwaffe” or “wonder weapon,” due to its armor and firepower. There were 35,647 built.

When the Soviets unveiled the T-34 in 1941, they caught the German army off guard. The Germans were becoming overconfident as they moved further into Russia. The T-34’s wide treads made it more maneuverable in the snow and mud. The sloped, thick armor, speed, efficient gun, reliability, and ease of maintenance made them superior on the battlefield. It influenced the development of future main battle tanks.

The T-34/85 brought in to the police is a more recent, upgraded version of the original T-34. It featured an improved gun which was necessary as the Germans adapted their tanks to counter the T-34.

Increased armor on the enemy tanks meant that the Red Army needed a more powerful gun on their own tanks. In total, 22,559 of them were produced. It proved itself to be an improvement over the older models.

Finished t-34 tank leaving the factory in the Urals, 1944.
Finished t-34 tank leaving the factory in the Urals, 1944. (Photo Credit: Sovfoto/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The Soviets continued producing the T-34/85 after the war. When newer, improved tanks began to arrive, the older T-34/85s were sent to Soviet allies and satellite countries. Many emerging countries purchased the tanks for their own armies.

Between 1952 and 1958, 3,185 of the tanks were built in Czechoslovakia. Some of these are still in use in countries in Africa.

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The SD-100 is the Czech-produced version of the Soviet SU-100 self-propelled artillery platform. The Czech Republic was licensed to produce these weapons by the Soviets in the 1950s. The SD-100 features a 100mm gun.

The Czechs produced 771 of the SD-100s between 1953 and 1957. As they phased out the guns after the 1960s, they sold them to other countries. Egypt and Syria used them in the Suez, Six Day, and Yom Kippur Wars.

The Czech weapons amnesty program began in January and is scheduled to last until the end of July.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE