Albania – tanks for the memories…

Hoxha had always been paranoid about foreign invasion (street signs were prohibited lest they prove useful to an invading army), and his paranoia only increased after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. He desperately needed some method of repelling would-be attackers. Huge numbers of tanks would have been good, but Albania did not have the money to buy them, let alone the resources to make them> then he came up with a brilliant idea – cement tanks! Well, actually dome-shaped cement bunkers or ‘pill-boxes’, with the interiors modelled on a tank and slits at the front through which the soldiers could fire on the enemy. Some 750,000 of these were built, taking up an astonishing
I love self-published zines. Sure, a lot of them are poorly-written, narcissistic and a waste of time. And this is a change from mainstream ‘official’ media how? I reckon the signal-to-noise ratio is much better with zines. It certainly is with “Bizarrism” number 11. Pieces on ‘the Fridge Man of Glebe’, a senile surgeon, ‘the garrotted sherlockina’ and the proverbial much much more. I shall talk about tulip mania (the subject of a fascinating book review here) later, but for now, this about a bizarre ‘communist’dictator who had the good sense to die in 1985…

10% of Albania’s arable land and reducing the country’s ability to grow its own food. If an invasion came, Albanian soldiers were to remain in these bunkers, surviving on grass if need be, until overwhelmed. As it happened, the bunkers did have one use – young Albanians who still lived at home found them excellent places to have sex in…

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Below the surface...
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