Villagers in Kachin State’s Hpakant Township discovered an American-made WWII-era tank in a river on Sept. 16 and dug it out with a backhoe.
Photos of the tank have circulated online, prompting some playful debate among nerds as to what exact model it is and how it ended up in Kachin State. Members of one tank enthusiast group on Facebook have identified it as an M3A3 Light Tank, also known as a Stuart, which was used by both Chinese Nationalist and British-Indian forces to fight the Japanese during WWII.
Myanmar scholar Thant Myint-U and his followers have also weighed in on the tank’s provenance and potential link to a cranky American general nicknamed “Vinegar Joe”.
M3 Stuart Tank found yesterday in Tanai, Kachin State – could have belonged to American or more likely Chinese Kuomintang forces under command of “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell and lost in 1944 during fighting in the Hukawng Valley) https://t.co/46QmwMQQcC… pic.twitter.com/ZXRdcTSSkQ
— Thant Myint-U (@thantmyintu) September 25, 2018
On Sunday, the villagers who found the tank delivered it to a local military battalion. What will happen to it next remains unknown.