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Rare tank Wreck in Antarctica


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So I found a picture of a wreck of a US M2A2 + a tracktor on the same chassis still lying around in Antarctica. They were taken there by the 1939-1941 Byrd expedition.....  did they envision fighting tank battles there ?

Anyway, I guess these must be a rare relics


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According to the expedition records they worked well on the few patches of bare rock/gravel in the summer but were worthless on snow and ice due to the high ground pressure and lack of traction on these surfaces.

From what I can find on these two vehicles, the M2A2 was sent as a tractor, not a fighting tank, but the only real modification was the removal of its turrets. Other mods were done at the base's workshop. Note that this was a quasi military expedition send as a response to the German Schwabenland expedition, so I would not be surprised that testing a real combat tank was part of the expeditions programme. (due to its semi-military nature no extensive account of the expedition has been published yet, a fact now used by "hollow earth" and "flat earth" conspiracy theorists 🙂  )

The vehicle in the background is a T3E4 carrier.

they also took along this monstrosity: The "Antartic snow cruiser" a complete mobile base on wheels.... which was completely useless (it was fitted with oversized tires for swamp vehicles of all things which ofc had no grip on the snow/ice) and could only make any progress when driven in reverse, the thing was rediscoverd intact almost 20 years later buried in meters of snow but has not been found since.....  Its main use seems to have been that they could measure the depth of accululation of snow on the spot whre it was abandoned when rediscovered later....

Snow cruiser 2.jpg

Edited by Inhapi
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  • 2 weeks later...

The silly thing is that that gear wasn't tested prior to sending to the Antarctic. 

I suspect that the hard lessons of the Alaska highway construction and post WWII work in the Arctic was more wise. 

Letourneau seems to have been better at this. The practical work in construction seems to have been a boon for them. 


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