Each with own armor

         Who wants a tank or an armored (military) car? Create it. Today it is much simpler than in the time of Leonardo da Vinci, considered the inventor of this fighting machine. Even during the First World War, when the first prototype of the „Little Willie” tank (September 6, 1915) and other British „land ships”, as W. Churchill called them, appeared, it was more complicated. Yes, the apogee of this car was at the Second World War. Its mass production and use on the battlefields was the pride of a small group but the horror for the simple majority. Respectively, no one dreamed of having such a death machine in the house or the yard.

         The further we move away from bloody history, the less frightening this element of military technique becomes. Children play with armored toys, collectors collect them, artists create them in different shapes and sizes, and tourists use them as a source of information and fun. In the Republic of Moldova we have 10 such places: in Ciniseuti, Balti, Cornesti, Leuseni, Cahul, Comrat, Chisinau, Tiraspol, Cosnita and Pohrebea. Some tanks (today monuments) were involved in World War II; others were produced in the Soviet Union, informed Sergiu Cataraga, head of the Military Museum.

         The eleventh armored car, which I recently discovered, doesn’t stand on a pedestal, a hilltop and doesn’t look imposingly from above at passers-by and nearby residents. It sits quietly by the lake, away from the national road and very friendly with the children, who want to control it for a short time. However, it doesn’t forget its basic mission – to guard the open-air museum of Ion Adomnitei from Cucuruzeni commune: „It is a scout car, with a capacity of 6 people; it had three guns, suitable for water. It was created in the 50s, with Gas engine – 51. The car can be restored; it has everything it needs. Where did I get it? .. It stayed in the Ivancea camp, and I brought it here with the administration consent.”

         The military attraction of the museum also includes a bunker full of weapons, accessories for specialized equipment, personal objects used by the military from different periods. Do you know the names: Mauser 98k created by the Germans in 1800, Mosin 3 rifle – linear, PPSh, German Schmeisser from 1940 (MP 40), Maxim and Dikteariov machine guns? These, but also maps and military documents, bombs, machine gun stores for German motorcycles, military knives, anti-tank mines and other types, tank shells, mine detectors, alarm lanterns, radio and radiation measuring stations, uniforms and military medals, axes used by Stephen the Great, ancient arrows and swords from around 1400: „These swords cut the wire. They made from three kinds of metal; melt, knead like bread and make the desired shape. Once, one of the swords broke in two, I welded it and when I was working on the area to remove the rust, believe me, the stone on the angle cutter shattered, but the white weapon kept entire.”

         A treasure for people, which come here from the farthest corners of the world, are the documents with the name: „I have a list of soldiers who died in the fight for Cucuruzeni in 1944. I received it from a military leader before his death, and it’s unique. I remember one day a family from Kharkov came looking for a relative. After searching through all the relevant institutions in the capital, they found him here. I showed them the burial place. He died at the military hospital from Cucuruzenii de sus, and his name is on the fraternal monument.”

         The Ion Budulai Museum is not a strictly military one. It includes tens of thousands of objects with different destinations and antiquity. He has been collecting them for 18 years and has in-depth information about each of them. He got primarily military knowledge in the army: „I did my military service in Czechoslovakia. I was a driver on the ZSU-23 Shilka anti-aircraft gun. I took my role as a soldier seriously and tried to find out everything I saw or heard and even more. The army years are not forgotten!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GC2mu7gmu0

         Gheorghe Taranu from Sadaclia, Basarabeasca, didn’t forget the army years either. Moreover, through his painting talent, he created a T-84 on his garage gate. The tank impresses with its dimensions – about 2m high and 3m long, but especially through the pipe that follows you: „I found out that some people are betting on this optical illusion; others, following the pipe, stumbled or forgot to take the right way. Most people find the opportunity to take pictures with this tank. With the same success, they can admire other murals in my yard and house. I did it all to make life more colorful, happier, more optimistic. And my tank is probably the most peaceful and friendly armored transport.”

         „Taranu’s tank” appeared in 2016 and corresponded to the natural characteristics, confirmed his brother, who is a professional tanker: „I searched the internet for a more handsome and this Ukrainian tank, developed based on the Soviet T- 80, seemed the most appropriate. I made the diagrams and opted for the 3D version to looks alive. In three days, my tank triumphed at the garage gate. The appreciation of my wife, brother and others gave me the confidence that I had made a successful choice.”

         This painting is the only one with a military theme, although there have been several requests. The basic theme approached on gates, and walls remain nature. Thus, Sadaclia village became a permanent open-air exhibition with paintings by Gheorghe Țaranu. Even he has a not at all fun service – senior forensic expert at the South Directorate of the Forensic Technical Center and forensic expertise of the General Inspectorate of Police: „For me, painting is a relaxation. While I’m drawing, I listen to music, the news from the local radio stations, and the work goes smoothly. All ten children, as many as my parents had, each has an aptitude, and from the six brothers, four have a military career, so no one stays and waits for heavenly manna.”

         After the discussion with these two and keeping in memory the armored Master Emeritus, Andrei Mudrea, I confirmed once again that tracked armored vehicles are a source of inspiration for a particular category of people, and for the rest of us – a reason to know them and to admire their works or collections. Of course, the big and uninterrupted desire for all of us is to be shielded only by beautiful and positive creations.

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