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Israeli Tank Backslides As Crew Is Suspected Of Falling Asleep

An IDF tank crew is fixing the tread on a Merkava Mk III main battle tank (not connected to this incident)
Copyright: Staselnik [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

A serious incident is being reported this morning by Israeli news sources. A Merkava main battle tank participating in training exercises in Southern Israel slid backwards a distance of 600 meters (1,800 ft, 600 yards), in the process crossing a civilian roadway. The incident happened when the company commander, an officer, left the tank for 20 minutes having ordered the crew to wait for him with the parking brake engaged. Upon his return, the officer could not find the tank where he left it and after a brief search the tank was discovered more than half a kilometer downhill, across a civilian roadway. The assumption is that the crew fell asleep and did not notice that the tank was in motion. IDF training exercises are notorious for sleep deprivation as it simulates battle conditions. IDF spokesperson released a statement saying that “while no injuries or equipment damage occurred, this is an unusual incident that will be fully investigated”.

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