Austria has cleared the last of 50 buried 105-mm. tank turrets, installed in 1983 as an anti-invasion line of defense in one of its eastern provinces.
The turrets, peeking out just above the ground with the bunker in which they were mounted hidden below the surface, were meant to engage hostile armor at a range of out to 2,000 meters, the Austrian defense ministry says.
The last turret is hoisted from its base where it has been for a quarter of a century. Photo: Austrian armed forces
In addition to the 50 tank turrets, the line of defense also included the preparations for some 300 anti-tank roadblocks.
The 13.5-metric-ton turret is carefully moved down the steep incline of the hill in which it was positioned. Photo: Austrian armed forces
Each turret position was crewed by seven troops. In the 1980s, the ministry claims, the line of defense was one of Austria's best-kept military secrets. (In the present day, with advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance sensors and precision-guided munitions, the line would probably not have survived longer than the first hour of a war).
The line was deactivated after the end of the Cold War.