Duchy - Tank Graveyard in Poland, October 2019

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Jul 25, 2017
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49410319568_e751d18641_b.jpgDuchy by Tobi_urbex #04

The starting point of our 2019 Poland road trip was this marshy landscape far away from any big city. It was our first morning in the country. After a long drive from Berlin, we pitched our tents in complete darkness and in the middle of nowhere. Just to wake up to this view.

49410999642_b685816b44_b.jpgDuchy by Tobi_urbex #01 by Broken Window Theory, auf Flickr

Two eerie wrecks of tanks. Dumped here a very long time ago. We called them ghosts because when we woke up, they were appearing in wafts of mist. And right next to them: An iconic but unfortunately completely stripped tramcar produced by Tatra. This one was hiding in fog clouds and morning dew as well.

49410321983_0667d50bd8_b.jpgDuchy #04

Nature has conquered this shell already years ago. But how did it end up here? After all, there are no rail tracks for miles. Instead, there is rutted terrain all the way. Huge vehicles are trenching the ground. Although this is a remote area, it is still very active... This is not a usual vehicle graveyard. They were targets! Because this all is part of an extensive military base.

49410798331_cec79ecd9f_b.jpgDuchy #02

Where dead silence is dominating today – apart from the echoing firing practices of course – there was a pleasant buzz of activity one hundred years ago. Back then, a Prussian settlement was located here. This region of Poland was part of the German Empire. In the beginning of the 20th century, the government purchased the terrain and the surrounding area. All the villages in the proximity were razed to the ground, so a huge and modern military compound could be located here. Since the end of World War Two, the Polish army has been using the premises. We think those decommissioned vehicles were brought here for exercises and used as targets. Maybe even for shooting practices.

49410795866_d88f461a64_b.jpgDuchy by Tobi_urbex #07

The wheeled vehicle is an OT-64 SKOT armored personnal carrier.Was a joint development from Czechoslovakia and Poland back in the '60s -early '70s. This might be a SKOT-2AP variant - it had a 14,5mm heavy machinegun and basically it is an anti aircraft vehicle. The turret can elevate almost 90°high to track aircrafts.The tanks are T-54/55s.

49410797516_9d9441c1ed_b.jpgDuchy by Tobi_urbex #02

This was not the first tank graveyard we were sleeping on. We were a bit experienced, so to say. Two years earlier, we were camping on this former military training ground in Germany. We had a good time and now we were hoping that it would be as easy and safe as back then. But we were still infiltrating military grounds and this did not go unnoticed. Long story short: After a while, a military patrol spotted us. Considering the amount of video equipment consisting of several cameras, microphones, and a drone, they needed to call in their military police. They were interrogating us and examining our footage. After two hours or so, they came to the conclusion that we were no spies. What a surprise! But fortunately, they let us go unpunished. But to be sure that we leave the restricted site, they escorted us to the closest city. The duty officer in his truck behind us and the MP in front of us leading the way. We ended up in some kind of military city and we could not resist to jump out of the car right away and film some more army vehicles. This time on public grounds though.

49410793691_3c4a8877f9_b.jpgDuchy by Tobi_urbex #05

Do you want to see more of the tank graveyard? Then you should watch our adventure report on YouTube. In this video we are also exploring an abandoned but untouched prison:


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