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Posted on Feb 24, 2004 in Stuff We Like

Bovington Tank Museum

Armchair General

Here we see "Roach" strolling alongside a Panther. This particular machine was produced after the war as part of a limited production run by the British who had captured the factory. They ordered some to be made using the existing facilities for evaluation purposes, so although it is a genuine Panther, it never saw action and it is basically a post-war model. The same is true of the previously mentioned Jagdpanther which was also assembled in the same factory under orders of the British Army. Unfortunately, the Panther is a bit cramped by surrounding exhibits and I wasn’t able to get any other really worthy pictures.

This photo of a Panzer IV was taken by "Roach". This one isn’t running, so it’s just a static display.


Although the museum does have a Panzer III on display, it is mostly in pieces, has no tracks and isn’t much to look at in its current state. I believe there is a econd Panzer III owned by the Museum that is undergoing restoration. None of the pictures I took of the displayed model were worth showing here.

Moving on from the German armour, we now have a picture of what was apparently "The First Lend-Lease Sherman" to arrive in the UK from the States. This is a very early model – note the additional TWO Machine guns on the front, operated by the driver, making a total of 4 machine guns, if you include the one on the turret. Apparently these extra guns were found to be more trouble than they were worth, so later production runs didn’t have them. This Tank never saw action, it was given a name (!) and put on display in London to publicise the bond with the USA.

A T34/85. Having come up against these in various PC games set in WWII, I have a very healthy respect for them! Although I’ve never been too sure of the wisdom of strapping spare fuel canisters to the side. Then again, if it’s going to get hit, it’s probably not going to survive anyway, but imagine if there were Infantrymen running alongside in support and that fuel went everywhere?

This is a modified Sherman with inflatable skirt as it would have been used on D-Day. I believe the technical name for this is a "DD Sherman", with the DD standing for Duplex Drive.

Around the front of this exhibit is a sign (not shown) telling visitors that this is the ONLY intact DD Sherman in the world. Which kind of makes you wonder why they went and cut an observation hole in the side?

A close-up of the DD Sherman.

This is a Sherman Firefly, a modified Sherman with a massive British tank-destroying gun jemmied into the turret. Now, I hate Sherman Tanks, I think they look wimpy, but even I was impressed by this model. I believe it was a Sherman Firefly that eventually managed to destroy the Tiger I being commanded by Tank ace Michael Wittman.

A very fine example of a British Cromwell. I like the turret on this one. And look, there’s "Roach" again.

This is an American M10 Tank Destroyer. "Roach" once used one of these to great effect against me in a game of "Combat Mission: Afrika Korps" and destroyed one of my Tiger Tanks. Since then, I’ve hated the site of them. This one appears to have had some snow camouflage paint or whitewash rather hastily applied to it.

And this is all that remains of a Sturmmorser Tiger. I just can’t stay away from the German stuff for very long can I?

The Sturmmorser Tiger was basically a modified Tiger I chassis with this enormous gun placed on the front, which fired rocket-propelled shells at the enemy. The small holes around the barrel were for expelling the exhaust gases when the "gun" fired. It was a highly destructive weapon, although the few machines built never apparently saw much action, being unable to find targets worthy enough! After the war, a Sturmmorser Tiger was shipped back to England for evaluation and eventually, the chassis was scrapped (used as target practice perhaps?). The main weapon was retained and is all that’s left.

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1 Comment

  1. those look nice