While nature often reclaims even the most ravaged realms of our planet fairly quickly, the remains of the Eritrean War for Independence from Ethiopia are, nevertheless, still strongly evident across the landscapes of Eritrea. This is perhaps not surprising, however, for a war in which well over 200,000 civilians and combatants were killed or injured.
Trenches and blast damage can still be seen, of course, but what is the most evident leftover from the vicious thirty-year conflict are destroyed and abandoned military vehicles strewn across the countryside. The abandonment of the vehicles is entirely understandable as, in the heat of combat, troops cannot be bothered with recovering a vehicle that has been disabled or destroyed by military action. And so, they simply strip what they can from it and move on. However, what is different in Eritrea is that after the war was over, only a small portion of these vehicles were moved to scrapyards and most remain where they were initially abandoned.
Thus, we are presented with something of a living museum by such scenes – one which requires little imagination to interpret. We can tell where engagements took place and even make educated guesses, based upon the number of vehicles and their circumstances, as to how each battle unfolded.
It is a treasure for military historians. Or scrap dealers…
This is outside of Keren. Those are the remains of an armored personnel carrier (APC) in the foreground and a tank in the background:
The remains of a military truck out in the desert:
A cluster of destroyed military vehicles outside Asmara:
A tank and armored personnel carrier pushed off of the road and left to rust away following a major battle at this site on the way to Asmara: