25 images of tank wrecks of WWII

Images of tanks from Normandy to Russia. History seems to have a fasination with tanks, for the crews it was like being in a tracked crematorium. Some years ago I struck up a conversation in a fuel station with British WWII vet. he was in the REME and job was to recover damaged and destroyed tanks from the battlefield. The stories of what he saw and had to do has stayed with me since.

A Sherman tank passes wrecked German horse-drawn transport on the road to Arras, 1 September 1944.
U.S. Marines run past the ruins of a ”Sherman” tank during their daily physical training exercises. They wre participating as members of the multinational peacekeeping force in Lebanon. The tank was probably a Sherman Firefly used by militias in Lebanon.


Tanks, perhaps wrecks, at Porto Farina, Tunisia, in May 1943. The identity of the tanks is unclear. Nearest to the camera is an dismantled SOMUA S35, with its hull armour and suspension armour removed, behind it a British Valentine Mk III tank. In the background are two French-made SOMUA S35s. SOMUA S35s were at the time used by the 19e Groupement Blindé Français, an allied unit, which contradicts the original caption. However, as every usable vehicle was commandeered by the (at that moment) victorious troops, it is unknown who operated these tanks. Original caption: “Allied soldiers inspect the wreckage of one of the tanks of the German Tenth and Fifteenth Panzer Divisions. Photo made at Porto Farina where the Nazis were trapped.”

The ruins of Cassino, May 1944: a wrecked Sherman tank and Bailey bridge in the foreground, with Monastery Ridge and Castle Hill in the background. View of Cassino after heavy bombardment showing a knocked out Sherman tank by a Bailey bridge in the foreground with Monastery Ridge and Castle Hill in the background.

A Sherman tank passes a wrecked German Mk IV near Cagny during Operation ‘Goodwood’, 18 July 1944.

A wrecked Stuart tank on the southern road between Batavia and Bandoeng. This vehicle formed part of a relief column that went to the assistance of a supply convoy ambushed by Indonesian nationalists. The relief column was itself attacked and the road considered too dangerous for further use. This led to the operation by the 36th Brigade to clear the northern road of Indonesian nationalist fighters.

A GMC 353 passes a knocked out Panzer
Lined up in front of a wrecked German tank and displaying a captured swastika, is a group of USA infantrymen who were left behind to “mop-up” in Chambois, France, last stronghold of the Nazis in the Falaise Gap area.
Wrecked Sherman tanks and carriers being broken up at a British salvage dump in Normandy, 1 August 1944.

Knocked out Allied tanks assembled in a field near Caen prior to being stripped of material that can be reused. The wrecks would then be scrapped.

The aftermath of an attack by Hawker Typhoons of No. 121 Wing on German armoured vehicles which had massed at Roncey, south-east of Coutances, Normandy, to counter-attack American forces on 29 July 1944. The wrecked vehicles include a PzKpfw IV tank and two SdKfz 251 half-track armoured personnel carriers. The graves of some of the occupants can be seen on the left.

The British Army in North Africa 1942. Wrecked Italian M13 or M14 tank

Troops and a civilian examine an abandoned German Mk IV tank with its gun protruding into a wrecked shop front in the village of Putanges, 20 August 1944.

Destroyed tanks of the soviet 19th tank division near Vojnitsa-Lutsk highway.

Panther knocked out in the Ukraine

Destroyed Panther

German military equipment destroyed in Stalingrad

Wrecked German Tiger tanks in the rubble of Villers Bocage after the British had captured the town, 5 August 1944.

British Crusader tank passes a burning German Panzer IV tank during Operation Crusader

Panthers Knocked-out Normandy

M4 sherman tank, burning in Neumarkt, Germany 1945

Destroyed tanks on Mont Ormel (Hill 262). Left is a Sherman, right foreground is an SdKfz 251, behind it is a Panther

A lorry-mounted 2-pdr anti-tank gun passes a destroyed German PzKpfw tank in the Western Desert, 2 June 1942.

The remains of a knocked-out German PzKpfw IV tank, blown up by sappers to prevent it being recovered by the enemy, 2 November 1942.