The town of Sögel in Lower Saxony, Germany, is not a big place. There are a couple of hotels, a lovely 18th-century hunting lodge, a hospital, and a few cafés. And four miles outside of town there are two dozen Leopard I and M47 Patton Tanks, just rusting away in a field.
The tanks are lined up in very strict and regimented rows, but there is little indication why they are there. There is a sign post that reads (in German) “Meppen Shooting Range,” although Meppen is 15 miles away from Sögel. The sign also says that unauthorized entry is forbidden, with a vague mention of prosecution, but the tanks are just hanging out, without any barrier between them and strollers wandering the countryside.
Information about the tanks is scarce, but the field does appear to be an active military zone, one that is still in use on occasion. There is some indication that they are used for target practice for helicopter pilots, and military exercises do take place. But it all seems pretty hush-hush, at least as hush-hush as 24 tanks can be, sitting in a wide-open field.
Update as of March 2022: You can no longer get up close to the tanks. They are fenced in and signs warning you of live ammunition and that trespassers will be prosecuted.
Know Before You Go
Warning: Note that it is an active military zone, and warning signs may be posted. Generally the field is unoccupied, but at times there are military exercises that take place here, in which case the the roads are blocked. It is best to exercise caution at all times, but it is visible from the road (especially with good binoculars).