German Tank Graveyard in Rockensußra


Thanks to Pootch for this one.

In the middle of the German Thüringen region – specifically, in Rockensußra, there is a tank graveyard, where old German tanks (or, in this case, IFV’s) go to rest, until they are dismantled. A couple of photos were made by Thomas Peter, a photographer for Reuters. The company operating this place is Battle Tank Dismantling GmbH Koch, the only NATO-certified tank dismantling plant in Europe. It was founded in 1991 and dismantles old armor ever since.

Here, German decommissioned Marder IFV’s await their fate.


The vehicle scrapping began after the German unification, when the army numbers were reduced by various treaties. The vehicles are dismantled here thoroughly.




By mid 2012, 16000 vehicles were successfully dismantled here, amongst them were 880 Leopard 1 tanks, 203 T-72 tanks and over 1000 Marders. Many parts are returned to the original armor manufacturers, the quality scrap metal is highly sought after by steelworks for further processing.









46 thoughts on “German Tank Graveyard in Rockensußra

  1. Nice, and sad
    would love to go there and take 1 or 2 or more of those tanks, sad to see them cut into pieces

    • I think it’s more sad that these were ever designed and manufactured.

  2. Most amazing and most saddest job tanker could imagine.

    Seeing, feeling those tanks there and knowing they have to be scrapped. I hope they go into better place and are made to be Leo 2′s.

    • Developing countries need schools and hospitals, not modern tanks and military. What would they pay with, anyways? Our money, from our development aid.

      • How about the Military School of the developing countries, at least 3 can be use for train new soldiers. Some soldiers experience Claustrophobic or fear of having no escape and small space/room, and also fear of dying in small space/room like tanks.

        • Selling the hulls might not be such bad idea: The lighter and less advanced models would make excelent tractors or emergency transports, which is what such countries need.

          • Tractors also make excellent tractors without being horribly fuel inefficient – which any tracked vehicle is.

      • +1 for that one HAHAHA
        and what if we just dont give em guns gunpowder and bullets>?

  3. too bad they’re not selling some of them as demilitarized surplus to collectors…I bet there’s a lot of tank fanatics with tons of money who would jump at the chance to save some of those.

    • In Germany it’s difficult to sell any kind of weapon to anyone. Even if you if it’s an unarmed AFV because it would be possible to rearm it.

      There’s also always a big discussion when tanks, ships or other war machines are to be sold to other countries that may use them against their neighbors or even their own people. For example AFVs to Turkey as they may use them against the Kurds. Or any kind of weapon (recently Leopard 2) to Saudi Arabia…

      Ther German parliament always has to agree to such a trade.

  4. @picture 3
    How the fuck does it stand on 4 small shells and doesn’t brake?

  5. would be nice if they would sell some of them to private owners so some examples could survive

      • We’ll join tank forces, Bulgaria and Serbia and few more banana countries, and all together we will be able to compete with our current arsenal against German rubbish :) :) :)

  6. Good to see war machines being dismantled instead of used for their main purpose.

    • Or left to rust in forest/fields/abandoned cities.

      Recycle them into much deadlier things like modern tanks or hammers (as seen by the link above)!

  7. These were probably among some of the Marders offered to Greece when we were in talks with Russia to acquire BMP-3s to replace our obsolete M113s back in the mid-late 00s. Luckily, they weren’t even considered. They were outdated and being German surplus they were sure to need lots of retrofitting and repairs, like experience with a batch of Leo1A5s showed. Plus they lacked the capability to float over rivers, a requirement for APC/IFV operations here.

    Sadly, the BMP-3 deal fell through due to EU and NATO interventionism, like other projects (the South Stream passage that would be a boon for the tired local economy is under similar problems).

    • Greece is getting billions of Euros from the other EU countries. I think it is quite understandable that they want to see this money reinvested into the EU and not into Russia…

      • It’s one thing for EU authorities to want to see EU-funded projects contributing back to the EU. It’s another thing for the EU to meddle in another country’s geopolitical and defence decisions. Especially when the EU cannot guarantee the safety of its members with an actually operational and deployable force.

        In any case, it’s not like the EU funds everything, even less arms purchases.

        • I understand your position, but do also understand that the other EU members had to cough up the money and a lot of times that meant that the Defencebudgets were cut, so for me as an ex-military man it at the very least feels “sour” when we send money to another member country of which we know on forehand a lot will not be paid back and is thus, for us, effectively lost. Then that country continous spending quite some on Defence, while the countries supporting this nation have to save money leading to Defence cuts their.

          Sure, it’s all about political choices where you want to save money, but looking at the Greek military I’m quite surprised how they build that up, while there were so many other critical issues that desperately needed fixing.

          Ah well, I loved Greece when I went there on vacation. Nice people, nice surroundings, nice climate. I pray you guys get your economy working properly again, people get jobs again and fix that disfunctioning government and root out curruption and the political problems. Goodluck.

          • The invasion of Cyprus was a relatively recent thing leading to the death of thousands and the displacement of hundreds of thousands by the invading Turkish forces. There is a reason why Greece strives to have a strong military as there’s no certainty that Turkey won’t try to attack east Thrace or take some of the Aegean islands for its own some time in the future.

  8. Made me kinda sad to see all those “dead” MARDER I A3. Drove this thing for over 7 years, and it brought me in one piece through AFGH (okay it wasnt actually the A3 but its “bigger” Brother) The Talib feard him for several good reasons. It was a good tank but yeah outdated, but all the new stuff gets fucked in this dusty shit whole.
    Still have a Love/hate relationship to it. Each time i got in one, i bumped some limbs, head and other stuff after one Week in it, i looked like i went for a brawl with a rottweiler =D

  9. Maybe if we all donate to SilentStalker, he could save one of these beasts and make a FTR project or something that we can all watch the process of the tank getting rebuilt. I think that would be cool(if unlikely)