Tank Museum (Gratuitous Tiger Tank pic)

Like most average people, I visited the huge bovington tank museum on my birthday.:
http://www.tankmuseum.org/ (warning: its in England)
Like anyone who has played a lot of company of heroes, I was naturally attracted to photographing my fave units from the game. Stupidly, I forgot to get a picture of the King Tiger. I did get to sit in the gunners seat of a Challenger II tank, and even fondle a depleted uranium tank shell. Holy fuck they are heavy.

Even if you arent the biggest WW2 or military history buff, the museum is absolutely awesome. It’s huge, very well laid out with loads of decent displays, the staff are mostly volunteers, and many are clearly ex tank crews.

Here’s one of those British treyarch tanks with the cutaway section of glider

The good old hetzer (wow, they really are small)

A German Goliath remote control tank thingy. I confess I’d suspected that game developers had made these up, but no!

Tiger 131, with dorky indie game developer to show scale. This is the first Tiger ever to be captured intact, and you can just see under the gun barrel the point where a British shell had jammed the turret and presumably forced them to abandon it. Theres a good video playing next to it where they interview the crews of tanks that fought against it, with a guy saying he had never heard of the tiger, and when they arrived on the battlefield they passed 25 wrecked allied tanks as they approached the enemy position. His reaction was “well this isn’t fair”, which strikes me as approvingly British.


Seeing those up close & personal must have been great.

Seeing that tiger brings back memories of BF1942 ;-)

What puts it in perspective is seeing tiny little things like the bren gun carrier or the matilda tank close to a King Tiger. God knows what went through the minds of people when they saw what they were up against.

The weirdest thing was sitting in a Challenger II and being shown all the computerised kit and equipment in there, having just clambered around in a WW1 MK I tank with pigeons in it used for messaging. To think that the technology moved so amazingly fast over that time is just awesome.

I’d love to visit a tank museum, and Bovington is pretty much at the top of my list.

That said, this one near Moscow also looks really, really interesting.

Your game geekiness betray you:

Tetrarch light tank.

Also, Bovington is on my “to do before I die list”.

I was there when I was 12. It was fucking awesome (that was when I also got to tour a British destroyer just returned from the Falklands and was there to welcome the troops back home - a very weird time to be in England.

I went to the Tank Museum as part of my cadets group. Fantastic. Especially when I stood behind a Challenger II as it did a live-firing exercise.

That thing is LOUD.

Very cool, thanks for sharing the pics. Closest I got in England was the Imperial War Museum, which had a few WW2 era tanks in it.

Near DC, the US Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, is pretty neat. Though it’s certainly no tank version of where the US Air & Space Museum used to store surplus airplanes, at the Paul Garber facility. That place was insane…hangers full of fully and partially restored aircraft…all sorts of different and crazy things. Most of the things have been moved to the Udvar-Hazy extension (which is highly recommended to visit if you come to DC on a vacation and you’re a war or aviation nerd).

Seeing this thread brought back some memories, and some furious googling. Finally found the place I remember going to as a kid: http://www.tankland.com/index.html

I think a weekend trip is now in order.

Also fun to do at the Aberdeen base while you are driving around pretending to be lost finding the museum is stick your face into various windows and see what you see. I saw tank bays where they were repairing M1A1 Abrams tanks, random tanks sitting around, a … I forget what it’s called, but a anti-aircraft Humvee with the AA missiles on it, and other restored tanks outside the actual museum, like the ones they have on the median as you are driving around (I saw at least a Priest and a General Lee out there). In the building of the Ordinance Museum they also have shittons of small arms. The tank field is really cool, but you have to think those things are just rusting away in the elements. I’d like to go see Bovington and the one in Russia someday.

On the other hand, you’d need a pretty big building to put one of those huge German railroad artillery pieces in.


Oooh, nice find, I concur. Now trying to convince my girlfriend that it will be fun.

PS. Also, Cliffski, those are really cool pics, thanks for sharing, it would be awesome to see that stuff in person to get a true sense of scale.

I went briefly two years ago, but only the WW1 bit was open. it is MUCH better now, they spent £16 million on doing it up (as I recall), and they have a huge display area and so many tanks even I was feeling tanked out by the end.

Some more:

last two:

Well, it was really awesome back then (but then at 12 any room full of tanks - plural - would be awesome) and definitely not just WWI - but with a £16mill makeover it’s going on my list again… but it’s just not the kinda thing I think the family will join me in.
Anything girly nearby?
I’m sure we saw Canterbury cathedral the same day…

I took my younger son (who has a huge fascination with all things military) to the Armed Forces Military Museum outside Tampa on our trip to the beach this summer. While not quite on the scale of the British tank museum above, it did have a large number of restored vehicles of all types, most operational. They also had a huge collection of artifacts from several periods in modern military history, and they had a mock up of a WWI trench you could walk through that was really cool. I highly recommend it for anyone in the Tampa area interested in military history.

Awesome stuff. And Tankland looks sweet- I never knew about it and it is but 30 minutes from where I live.

Now I want to see tanks…and finally hit up http://www.marchfield.org/

Wow, this has me wanting to dig up some photos of an African tank graveyard I explored once in the 90s.

Nice pics Cliffski, thanks. It’s kinda funny how many of Bovington tanks I’ve seen on the Discovery channel.