Bulgaria Starts Selling off WWII Tank Parts

SOFIA, March 19, 2008 – Bulgaria began to auction off parts of some of its World War II tanks on Wednesday, with bids already topping 14,000 euros for some of the parts, the defence ministry said Wednesday.

    Bidding started for parts of the 140 Soviet T-34 tanks that were used to guard the country’s border with Turkey during the Cold War era, the ministry said.

    Real attention however is on dozens of Nazi German Panzer tanks and tank destroyers, which are to come under the hammer later in the year.

    A bid of 14,000 euros ($22,000 dollars) was received for a gun turret of one of the Soviet tanks, with the total results of the auction to be released at a later date.

    The 41 German tanks are scheduled to go on sale in May.

    Most of Bulgaria’s tanks have been smelted down, with 2,500 Soviet-era models destroyed between 2006 and 2007.

    But Bulgaria had intentionally half-buried others on its frontier with Turkey, a member of the rival North Atlantic Treaty Organisation opposed to the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.

    They were to act as a Cold War line of defence should NATO forces attack.

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