Legendary equipment from World War II — returned to life in the Urals

The 52K was an 85-mm anti-aircraft gun. Used extensively during the Great Patriotic War, it was transferred or sold abroad post-war to equip other countries' armed forces.

The 52K was an 85-mm anti-aircraft gun. Used extensively during the Great Patriotic War, it was transferred or sold abroad post-war to equip other countries' armed forces.

Tatyana Andreeva
Every year on May 9, World War II veterans ride through the central avenue of the small Ural town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma in a column of combat vehicles from the 1940s.

Every year on May 9, the small Ural town of Verkhnyaya Pyshma (1,100 miles from Moscow) holds a ceremonial procession unlike any other in the world. World War II veterans ride through the central avenue in a column of combat vehicles from the 1940s, in which as young men and women they smashed the fascist invaders.
All the "revived symbols" are from the unique local museum of military equipment, which puts wartime rarities back in motion. The museum's collection began with two cannons, while today it contains more than 150 rare exhibits of combat vehicles and retro motor cars from past wars.
This unique collection was gathered bit by bit. Part of it was found by search teams out on the battlefield, but part was donated by private collectors. To restore the combat vehicles as accurately as possible, experts peruse archive drawings from 70 years ago.
The Verkhnyaya Pyshma Museum of Military Hardware is considered one of the largest in Russia. Part of the exhibition is located outdoors and open to everyone.
Every year the museum's assortment is replenished by new kinds of military equipment. Each restoration prolongs the life of these rare exhibits by at least 20-25 years.
The museum houses tanks whose existence is known only to a narrow circle of specialists: for example, the small amphibious Soviet T-38 (pictured). There are only three T-38 tanks in the world, and only the one in Verkhnyaya Pyshma is operational. It was put into military service in 1936 and used until the end of the Great Patriotic War.
The legendary T-34 is one of the main symbols of Victory, and the most popular and recognizable medium tank of WWII. The tank on display at the museum was knocked out during the battle of Smolensk. A search party pulled it out of a swamp after the war.
The BT-7 light cruiser tank (1937 model) could move on wheels as well as caterpillar tracks, and its top speed of 70 km/h was a record for that time.
Alongside the specimens of domestic hardware, the Verkhnyaya Pyshma museum also contains some unique Western vehicles that were lend-leased to the Soviet Union. The legendary Willys MB jeep was the most common motor vehicle of WWII. In 1940, the U.S. Army needed a light four-wheel drive for scouting missions. Of the 20 companies that participated in the tender, the low cost price of the Willys was the deciding factor: one vehicle needed just $740 to produce.
The Studebaker amphibious crawler was also supplied to the Soviet Union under a lend-lease. The U.S. amphibian was specially made so that the anti-Hitler coalition could land on the French coast.
The legendary "Katyusha" was a barrel-less multiple rocket launcher for rapid volley fire. This secret weapon deployed by Soviet troops stunned the enemy, and the rocket shell made a powerful whistle as it hurtled through the air at up to 355 meters per second.
The T-60 tank was actively involved in the Great Patriotic War. A small number of surviving T-60s were used for scouting, hauling, and training purposes.
The BA-64 was the Soviets' first serially produced four-wheel drive armored car, which entered military service during the war.
The 52K was an 85-mm anti-aircraft gun. Used extensively during the Great Patriotic War, it was transferred or sold abroad post-war to equip other countries' armed forces.

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