“Of the 403,272 tank soldiers (including a small number of women) who were trained by the Red Army in the war, 310,000 would die. Even the most optimistic troops knew what would happen when a tank was shelled. The white-hot flash of the explosion would almost certainly ignite the tank crew’s fuel and ammunition. At best, the crew—or those at least who had not been decapitated or dismembered by the shell itself—would have no more than ninety seconds to climb out of their cabin. Much of that time would be swallowed up as they struggled to open the heavy, sometimes red-hot, hatch, which might have jammed after the impact anyway. The battlefield was no haven, but it was safer than the armored coffin that would now begin to blaze, its metal components to melt. This was not simply “boiling up.” The tank would also torch the atmosphere around it. By then, there could be no hope for the men inside. Not unusually, their bodies were so badly burned that the remains were inseparable. “Have you burned yet?” was a question tank men often asked each other when they met for the first time. A dark joke from this stage in the war has a politruk informing a young man that almost every tank man in his group has died that day. “I’m sorry,” the young man replies. “I’ll make sure that I burn tomorrow.”. Tanks Quotes from BrainyQuote, an extensive collection of quotations by famous authors, celebrities, and newsmakers. "One may as well dam for water tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.". Twenty years ago, on June 5, 1989, following weeks of huge protests in Beijing and a crackdown that resulted in the deaths of hundreds, a lone man stepped in front of a column of tanks rumbling past Tiananmen Square.:; The moment instantly became a symbol of the protests as well as a symbol against oppression worldwide an anonymous act of defiance seared into our collective consciousnesses..