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Bovington Tank Museum

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Coordinates: 50°41′43″N 2°14′37″W / 50.695194°N 2.243611°W / 50.695194; -2.243611
The Tank Museum
Bovingtonpano.jpg
The redeveloped museum, with control tower for the adjoining events area
Dorset UK location map
Red pog.svg
Location of The Tank Museum within Dorset
Established 1947
Location Bovington, Dorset
United Kingdom
Type Military Museum
Public transit access Wool railway station
Website www.tankmuseum.org

The Tank Museum (previously; The Bovington Tank Museum) is a collection of armoured fighting vehicles in the United Kingdom that traces the history of the tank. With almost 300 vehicles on exhibition from 26 countries it is the second-largest collection of tanks and armoured fighting vehicles in the world.[Note 1] It includes the only working example of a German Tiger I tank and a British First World War Mark I, the world's oldest surviving combat tank.

It is the museum of the Royal Tank Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps and a registered charity.

The collection is held at Bovington Camp in Dorset in South West England. It is about 1 mile (1.6 km) north of the village of Wool and 12 miles (19 km) west of the major port of Poole. The camp trains all sections of the British Army in tracked-vehicle driving as well as repairing and maintaining the vehicles in its workshops.

History Edit

Panther Tank, Bovington

A German Panther tank in the WWII hall

In 1916 the British War Office established the Bovington camp as a tank crew training facility. At that time the Army was introducing tanks into the First World War in an attempt to break the stagnation of trench warfare. In 1919 the tanks returned to Bovington from France. Many of them were fit only for scrap. However, a small number of the least damaged vehicles were put to one side so that tank crews and designers could have an idea of the tank's early heritage.

M4 Sherman in Bovington Tank Museum

M4 Sherman on the move at a display at the museum

In 1923 the writer Rudyard Kipling visited Bovington and recommended a museum should be set up. The collection grew greatly after the Second World War, as many Allied and captured Axis tanks were added. In 1947 it was opened to the general public. The Tank Museum has continued to expand and today it is primarily seen as a means of educating and entertaining the general public, with the exhibition being geared in this direction. Many of the tanks are in complete working order and can be seen in action throughout summer months in special displays.

Exhibition halls Edit

WW1 Tank Mark V, Bovington

British Mark V. It saw action at the Battle of Amiens in August 1918.

Rolls Royce 1920 Mk1 1 Bovington

Rolls Royce 1920 Mk 1

The exhibition is currently split into five sections: the World War I Hall, the Inter War Hall, the World War II Hall, the Tamiya Hall and the British Steel Hall. Expansion work to provide an additional 5,000 square metres (54,000 sq ft) of space and modernised facilities is going on through 2008.[1]

World War I Hall

Contains the whole British tank development from Little Willie to the Mark VIII "Liberty", plus an example of the British Mark V, one of the few World War I tanks still in working order. Also featured is an illustration of the life of the soldier and writer T. E. Lawrence, who lived at nearby Clouds Hill cottage and served in the Tanks Corps at Bovington for a short time.

Inter War Hall

Highlights the rapid progress made in tank design and vehicle armour during the period leading up to World War II.

World War II Hall
Jagdtiger 1 Bovington

Jagdtiger

Is the biggest section, with tanks from most nations involved in the conflict. It includes a German Tiger I tank bearing turret number 131. It was captured in Tunisia in April 1943 and has been fully restored to running condition by the workshops at Bovington. It is the only Tiger I left that is capable of running under its own power. It also has the last surviving DD Tank with its canvas screen, and the only one still in working order.[citation needed]

Tamiya Hall
T-55AD 1 Bovington

Iraqi T-55

Sponsored by the scale-model manufacturer. It features post war Main Battle Tanks (MBT) such as the British Centurion, the American M60 and the Russian T-72.

British Steel Hall

Highlights the Chobham armour used in the Gulf War against Iraq and pays tribute to the Centurion tank which, during its 46 year career (1945–1991), proved to be one of the best British tanks ever produced.

GalleryEdit

See alsoEdit

Tank museums
Other

NotesEdit

  1. The Musée des Blindés in France has a collection of 880 armoured vehicles. Although that collection includes fewer tanks than Bovington.

ReferencesEdit

External links Edit

Template:Military museums

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