Gdansk

The Tank

  Al. Zwycięstwa, Gdańsk ,   No District         more than a year ago
As you head up Victory Avenue (Al. Zwycięstwa) towards Wrzeszcz from Gdańsk old town, you may notice a small green tank sitting on a plinthe to your right. This Russian made T-34 celebrates the 'liberation' of Gdańsk in May 1945. According to local information, this is tank #121 which was under the command of Lieutenant Julian Miazga and was the first to enter Gdynia on March 27th 1945 as part of the Soviet/Polish offensive on the city.

However alternative reports claim that Miazga's tank was destroyed in Redłowo just outside of Gdynia and the tank you see before you was in fact one of the other tanks which survived the battle and not the symbolic 121 belonging to Miazga. In a further twist, a local group protested in 2000, on the 55th anniversary of the liberation, that the tank was inappropriate and tabled a petition questioning the legitimacy of honouring an event which to them represented the passing of the city from one occupier to another. The petition appears to have fallen on deaf ears, particularly from the local government, and the tank still stands today. Regular paint jobs are required to cover up the frequent graffiti that it attracts.

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