There are some great legends that attach to cars and then there are legends that are so moronically stupid you wonder how anyone can honestly believe them. Somehow it seems like the moronic legends are the ones that keep getting repeated ad-nauseum. Take for instance the worn out Tatra canard, recently repeated with gusto by Rupert Hawksley of the Telegraph.co.uk
"The car that destroyed Nazis"
You can read this dross if you want, but why waste your time? It's simply another rehash of the idiotic - and unsubstantiated - claims that, to quote: "More high-ranking Nazi officers were killed in Tatra manufactured cars than in active combat."
I mean, really? More Nazis killed driving Tatras than in active combat? More? In car accidents? In Tatras? Than in the war? That being the war that killed somewhere between four and five million German servicemen? The claim is patently stupid on its face. As a writer, can you honestly write such b*llshit and not burst out laughing?
Then again, Hawksley is just repeating fiction author Steve Cole's claim. Hawksley quotes Cole:
"These high-ranking Nazi officers drove this car fast but unfortunately the handling was rubbish, so at a sharp turn they would lose control, spin out and wrap themselves round a tree killing the driver more often than not. The Allies referred to the Tatra cars as their secret weapon against the Nazis.
More high-ranking Nazi officers were killed in car crashes in the Tatra 77 [and 87] than were killed in active combat. It goes to show that being too flash doesn't get you anywhere and will leave you dead."
Working to bring down the system from within. Hans Ledwinka explains the technical details of his Nazi killing machine to a delighted Adolf Hitler.
Of course, neither Cole and Hawksley actually care about the truth of the story. It's simply a flashy story that grabs them attention. Everything they've said shows only that they know NOTHING about Tatras, except what they've read on the Internet.
Sure, the story has been around for ages but that doesn't make it true. In fact, I'm going to call B*LLSHIT on the whole 'Czech secret weapon' myth. It's b*llshit. No one ever called the Tatra the 'Czech secret weapon.' The Czech's actual secret weapon was the trucks, half tracks and tanks they built for the German army - and there was scarcely anything secret about that.
Maybe one German officer crashed a Tatra - once - probably while drunk, as officers in an occupied territory are wont to do. It's certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. Maybe someone higher up the chain of command said "our officers shouldn't be getting drunk and driving about in high powered cars!" All quite common sense really. But there was no shocking Nazi death toll and no order that Nazis were not to drive Tatras and the Allies never called the Tatra the 'Czech secret weapon.' No, as Kermit the Frog sang in the Rainbow Connection, "Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it, and look what it's done, so far."
A German officer prepares to commit suicide in his Tatra T87.
If someone out there does have evidence to the contrary - and I mean actual evidence - by all means, bring it forward. But I doubt it. The story is based on NO facts whatsoever, but lazy Internet sourced journalism and the desire for some catchy angle mean that stupid stories like this just keep rolling on, getting more outrageous and stupider and stupider with each telling.
And to lighten the mood a little.....