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Posted on Feb 24, 2004 in Stuff We Like

Bovington Tank Museum

Armchair General

WORLD WAR II

The next hall has many, many examples of Tanks and AFVs from WWII. The Museum has these split into several smaller areas defined by the area of the war that the vehicles saw action. So, vehicles from North Africa will be found alongside each other, and in another area are vehicles that saw action in Europe and the Eastern Front.

Along with displays explaining the origin of the war and detailing some of the battles that were fought, you will find scattered around this hall examples of a Sherman Firefly, Cromwell, German Halftrack, Matilda, Universal Carrier, a huge Russian KV1 and various Armoured Cars.

This is a Panzer I, which can be found in the North Africa section. Rather amusingly, they have this sat right next to the Tiger Tank, almost as if to emphasise the fact that in the space of just a few years, German armour evolved from the tiny Panzers I and II into the Tiger and King Tiger.

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And here is a picture of a rather cute Panzer II. Strange to think that this was relied upon so heavily by the Germans in their initial Blitzkrieg attacks when it’s so small and has such limited firepower. I suppose the answer lay in how they were used, not the relative firepower vs. Allied Tanks of the same period.

This is a German Hetzer ? a rather nice compact little Tank Destroyer. It’s very short and I would imagine quite nippy. I imagine it could turn very quickly as well ? these must have been quite an asset on the battlefield.

And here is a larger cousin of the Hetzer ? a Jagdpanther. Big isn’t it?

But even the Jagdpanther isn’t as big as this ? yes it’s a King Tiger, albeit one with the non-standard "Porsche" turret. It’s very impressive ? the front armour is just one huge slab of metal and the gun is absolutely enormous. I measured the track width at about two feet on each side ? can you imagine this thing coming towards you?

I like taking "barrel" shots! This picture was not as easy to take as you might think ? the tip of the barrel must have been about 8 feet off the ground.

Here is a picture of yours truly stroking the King Tiger, desiring it, lusting after it. I wanted to drive it home. Sadly, it’s not running and I wouldn’t have been allowed anyway. Not even for the weekend. Photo by "Roach".

Here is a picture showing some detail of the engine deck at the rear of the King Tiger.

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1 Comment

  1. those look nice

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