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Tanks for the memories!


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"The Tank Museum" at Bovington, Dorset, UK, is generally regarded as having the world's finest collection of historic armoured vehicles of all nations. Many of the exhibits are unique in that they are the only remaining examples anywhere in the world. For example, the "tank" as we know it was invented here and so "Little Willie", the world's first functioning tank, is fittingly preserved here...as is the world's only running Tiger 1. A recent re-development has meant that all the exhibits are now housed indoors, unlike Aberdeen PG in the US where many prize exhibits are exposed to the elements and are sadly slowly deteriorating with the passage of time.

 

My visit to the museum was a package entitled "The Tank Experience", a private, whole day visit which included a guided tour of the exhibits, a behind-the-scenes look at current workshop projects, riding in various tanks and, the highlight, driving them around the ranges! The following pictures will, I hope, convey the flavour of the day. Obviously, as a British museum, many of the exhibits are of British origin. However, as this is a US forum I've included largely American vehicles, though some will be in British markings. Captions will be added as necessary for additional info.

 

Arrival!

 

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A rusty M4 hull. Nothing is wasted. Such hulls are cannibalised for spare parts.

 

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Corpsmancollector

Fantastic stuff Ian, how was it driving around in one of those mean machines?! (I'm sure there will be pictures in due course)

 

I visited Bovington last June for their annual 'Tankfest' which is an amazing event. It's great to see old WWII armour flying around the viewing arena and kicking up dust in the June heat!

 

Will

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A British Mark 1. I went inside this one. It must have been a nightmare experience being a crewman! Exposed engine...the heat...the fumes..the noise...plus being shot at!

 

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Achilles Tank Destroyer. A US M-10 re-armed with a British 17 pounder...the equivalent to the German 88mm.

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