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Were there tanks on the National Mall in DC on September 11, 2001?
December 2, 2012 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Were there tanks on the National Mall in DC on September 11, 2001?

In discussions about 9/11 on Metafilter, I sometimes see assertions that there were tanks on the Mall on that day. I was there for hours during the attacks and did not see any but I had pressing concerns and was certainly not everywhere. I do not recall seeing any news reports featuring tanks. Were there vehicles with continuous tracks on the Mall itself, as opposed to armored military vehicles with tires? Perhaps at the Capitol or at the White House?
posted by Morrigan to Society & Culture (16 answers total)
 
This National Park Service publication (PDF link) describes the activities on the National Mall and elsewhere in DC on Sept. 11. It makes no reference to tanks or armored vehicles on the Mall, just that park rangers were tasked with evacuating and securing the monuments.
posted by cabingirl at 3:52 PM on December 2, 2012


I don't recall any tanks, but I didn't have a direct view of the mall, and I didn't stay downtown past noon.
posted by cgs06 at 4:01 PM on December 2, 2012


No, unless they were well hidden.
posted by leafwoman at 4:16 PM on December 2, 2012


I worked a couple of blocks away from the White House then, and didn't see any tanks. Drove out of the city sometime in the early afternoon, I think, and saw a few police vehicles sitting at cross streets, but nothing that looked like tanks or even any four-wheeled vehicles with any sort of heavy armor.
posted by PussKillian at 4:25 PM on December 2, 2012


I don't remember any tanks. Lots of police cars and other emergency vehicles and that one super annoying Cessna overhead later (and the fighter jets that first scrambled there, I think) but I don't remember any tanks. I'm not even sure where they would have gotten tanks from that quickly, traffic gridlocked really fast and there aren't generally tanks on hand in DC as far as I know?
posted by jetlagaddict at 4:48 PM on December 2, 2012


No, I was downtown until about 6pm that day, and actually walked up near the mall to get to a friend's place from work and there definitely weren't any tanks. I did see a lot of marked and unmarked police cars and other government vehicles throughout the day - by evening, there were very few cars on the road, but I did see police cars parked alongside major roads/highways. Never any military vehicles - just heard jets flying above.
posted by echo0720 at 6:11 PM on December 2, 2012


Sorry, but no. Lots of police/emergency vehicles of all descriptions all over the place, but no tanks or other military vehicles.
posted by easily confused at 6:57 PM on December 2, 2012


What? No. Just lots and lots of people walking home.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 9:00 PM on December 2, 2012


There were military vehicles (with tires) in various places in DC at that time, though it may not have been the day of the attacks. I saw them myself, but that was the next day. The day of, I only saw lots of people walking and heard helicopters and jets overhead, but I wasn't near the National Mall. I could see how, if you don't know how else to describe a rather largish military vehicle that doesn't normally drive around your city because you don't know what it is (I didn't know!), you would call it a "tank."
posted by citron at 9:35 PM on December 2, 2012


There were military vehicles, like hummvees and other wheeled vehicles, but no tanks as far as I saw.
posted by gemmy at 10:03 PM on December 2, 2012


I saw tanks with my own two eyes. My office looked out onto the Taft bell tower and northwest (Senate side) corner of the Capitol.

I could not see the Mall itself, but there were tanks crossing the parks in the area between the Capitol building and Louisiana Avenue NW.

I'm not even sure where they would have gotten tanks from that quickly, traffic gridlocked really fast and there aren't generally tanks on hand in DC as far as I know?

It is my belief that they came out of the Senate parking garages under Lower Senate Park as there is a large garage doors leading from the tunnels on the wall at New Jersey and C st. NW seen here.

Also, just to add, I know the difference in a tank and an armored personnel carrier and did at that time.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:59 AM on December 3, 2012


10th regiment- what kind of tanks did you see? Can you link to a picture?
posted by procrastination at 6:03 AM on December 3, 2012


I believe they were Abrams tanks. They were too squat and squarish to be M60s.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 6:42 AM on December 3, 2012


Mobile AA, I can see, but tanks? Tanks near the president's house is an indication of a coup d'etat, and even W's administration wasn't that tone-deaf.
posted by Sunburnt at 1:47 PM on December 3, 2012


I only saw them around the Capitol area, so if there was a coup that day it was by the man with the goat book not against him. I think the historical record rather agrees with that too, no?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:40 PM on December 3, 2012


I have to say that this fascinates me, and I wish I could find pictures. I have seen nothing about this on Google; this question seems to be the top hit for most of the searches I do on the topic.
posted by procrastination at 1:44 PM on December 5, 2012


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