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OT: Best European (main land) tank museum?


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Hi,

It's a bit off-topic, but can anyone make some recommendations or know which tank (preferably the main ww2 armoured verhicles) museum is the best on the European main land?

I've found sofar a nice one and close by in Muenster Germany, but it's not very large and only has some ww2 tanks. Another one, a long 900 km drive ;), seems to have a lot of armoured vehicles, i.e. Musee de Blindee Saumur in France.

Has anybody recently visited the Saumur museum? Is it a good ww2 tank museum or are there other ones that are better and have more vehicles on display?

Would love to hear your opinions ;)

Thanks,

Mark

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Saumur is fantastic, went there a couple of times when i was living in Normandy, although it was a bit of a drive (about 9 hours round trip i think). Normandy itself has a number of AFV's scattered through the various museums and country side. The best though is Kubinka, although I think you still need to book in advance as it is attached to a real Russian military base in current operation - also you are not allowed to take photos. In the UK there is Bovington.

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Slapaho,

Good to hear Saumur is worth the trip. I live in the northern part of the Netherlands, so just to get there will mean a 900 km drive ;)

At Kubinka they really have some extraordinary stuff I see, but a quick trip to Moscow is a bit too much right now.

Besides that Wiki mentions: "As of August 2007, the Museum website states that it is closed to foreign visitors: "Attention, please! The museum is the military subject and temporary closed for the foreign visitors till the special command".

If this is true, I think I will head for Saumur then...

Thanks,

Mark

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Hi Gcoat,

a few tanks you also can find in Luxemburg and Belgium, but often they are not connected to a museum and just part of the "landscape". :)

http://www.pegww2.net/Pages/Museum_museums.htm

Along the route of the "Battle of the Bulge" you can find quite a lot. From different types of Sherman`s and american Tank Hunters to a few Panther`s, german Tank Hunters and a very well conserved King Tiger in La Gleize. A small collection is availabe at the Bastogne Historical centre (can be found on the link above), and, if I recall it right, a Pershing and an M10 in La Roche en Ardennes.

An SU-122 (among others) can be found at the Poteau museum, which is located where the actual ambush happened.

And a very fine museum regarding the "Battle of the Bulge" you can find in Diekirch/ Luxemburg ("National Museum of Military History" also avaivable on the page above).

But, unfortunately they aren`t located at one place, you have to fight your way through the Ardennes. :) ...which can also be an impression. If you use the road which was used by Kampfgruppe Peiper and at that time probably was more like a path or trail, you get an idea of how weird the thought of sending King Tigers through that area really was.

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DeLaVega

Thanks for the 'url', I didn't have that one ;)

Yep, I've travelled a few times through the Ardennes (last time on a bike 'Luik - Bastenaken - Luik') and saw the big one in La Gleize. Also seen Bastogne and Overloon, but that was a long time ago.

Luckily for us, Hitler was still in command and there was an east front as well otherwise we'd now be speaking German over here ;)

Mark

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Gcoat, do you know the "Wehrtechnische Sammlung" (talking of speaking German smile.gif )in Koblenz? It is not to far out from the Ardennes. You can consider it an offical German Army Museum, therefore it is not only covering WWII - there is tons of earlier and later stuff too.

They have e.g. a flamethrower tank PzIII, a Panther, a StuG III... the last time I have been there they had a JgdPzI also. Lots of rifles, machine guns and artillery pieces.

Depending on your field of interest...maybe it is worth a trip.

Uwe

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Uwe,

Nein, kenne Ich nicht ;)

Hmm, I see Koblenz is not very far from Munster and must say, that Panther G is looking very, very nice indeed.

I'm having some doubts about going to Saumur right now. Maybe a trip to Germany will be a nice alternative.

Thanks,

Mark

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I went to both Koblenz and Munster while visiting Germany about ten years ago (hard to believe it has been that long!), and they are both excellent museums, with excellent vehicles. If you are already in Deutschland there's no reason to avoid them. I also visited the "Museum" at Sinsheim, and while they have a lot of rare exibits, I was rather disappointed by the carnivalesque atmosphere of the place. It seemed almost cartoonish. Some of the mannequins in the displays had masscarra and lipstick on them...that sort of thing. Silly.

For me Munster was the best of the bunch.

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Zamo is right.

Sinsheim is a travesty show. Some technically doubtful restaurations with sometimes grotesque paint jobs from hell.

For example: Vehicles found in Europe with about 30 percent real paint still intact "restored" and painted as African theatre vehicles and totally destroying the historical relation.

Best to be avoided.

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In the USA...the best place to see all of the main AFV's is the army test proving grounds, in Aberdeen Maryland. I have some great photos...taken way back in the early 90's but don't have the time or knowledge to put them up somewhere right now. Maybe in the future I'll put them on my website...but I'm having trouble getting the picts that are there up properly.

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Originally posted by Gcoat:

Slapaho,

Good to hear Saumur is worth the trip. I live in the northern part of the Netherlands, so just to get there will mean a 900 km drive ;)

At Kubinka they really have some extraordinary stuff I see, but a quick trip to Moscow is a bit too much right now.

Besides that Wiki mentions: "As of August 2007, the Museum website states that it is closed to foreign visitors: "Attention, please! The museum is the military subject and temporary closed for the foreign visitors till the special command".

I think it is open, but the Kubinka homepage FAQ tells that foreigners need to get a special permission to enter.

http://www.tankmuseum.ru/inf.html

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Hi,

I decided to head for Munster and after a very speedy drive (Holland sucks in this respect and German autobahn definitely rulez ;) arrived in Munster. Okay, some problems in Oldenburg when going east due to some annoying maintenance, but other than that a very nice drive.

Munster museum is not very big, but once inside, you won't be disappointed. They have a nice ww2 collection of some very nice German tanks.

It was a long time I saw some serious stuff like this and was really surprised by the size of the Pz. IV and Panther. I was really surprised and highly impressed by the Panther. Really, when you're that close to such a thing, it's really a terrifying tank.

The others they had on display were also great to see (L70, Pz. 1-3, Jagdpanther, Koenigstiger, Sturmgeschuetz, Hummel, Wespe), but of all the Panther impressed me most. It's simply a very large tank (a lot bigger than I imagined) and really an awesome machine close to perfection (in my book).

Because of the ww2 tanks they have on display I can really recommend the Munster museum. They only miss one major tank: Tiger. They have an exotic Sturmtiger, but personally I'd rather seen they display a normal Tiger; that way, the line up of major tanks would have been almost complete.

Must say, still think (and always did) the 'dark side' had the best looking stuff...

Anyway, thanks for all the advice ;)

Mark

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