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XB-70A

Général Estienne tank museum of Saumur

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Posted (edited)

It seems that there is an important number of tank and armored vehicles lovers there so it makes me think to share my pictures of the Saumur tank museum where I went in 2013. That museum was particularly interesting with their operational Pz VI ausf. B and also their Schneider CA1 (now the oldest operative tank in the world as it's from 1916).

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My only regret now is to haven't took much more pictures of some vehicles and all the others I missed...

Some of them also really are of a bad quality (:sealed:) as I used a 2006 small camera at the time.

 

--- The 1918-1940 French tanks exposition.

 

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Saint-Chamond WW1 tank.

 

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Renault FT "Female" tank with its 8 mm Hotchkiss machine-gun and a "Male" 37 mm cannon exposed in front.

 

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Renault B1 Bis heavy tank. With its 75 mm anti-fortification cannon, its turret 47 mm anti-tank and an impressive armor it is still considered by many as the best tank of at the beginning of the War. Alas, its crew of 4 was unable to keep a good efficiency with its poor internal conception and a bad repartition of the task. The tank commander was alone in its turret, having to give orders, aim the cannon, fire and reload it. It's easy to imagine what a mess it quickly became. Without forgetting that only the leader tank got a radio onboard for a link to the commanding officer, the others still having to use flags and hand signs to communicate between each others.

 

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Somua S35.

 

--- Germany and Axis 1939-45 collection.

 

 

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Panzerkampftwagen VI Ausf. B Tiger II a.k.a "King Tiger" (Konigstiger). This last nickname became legendary with the time but alas was never used by the Germans. The unit present here is one of the very last still operational. The museum crew is keeping it in a perfect shape for its yearly demonstration. You can even enjoy a traditional oil leak!

 

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15 cm Panzerwerfer 42 auf Selbstfahrlafette Sd.Kfz.4/1 based on an Opel Maultier ("Mule") with another 6 tube 15 cm Nebelwerfer. This vehicle variant was mostly used by Waffen-SS units.

 

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One legendary Sd.Kfz. 251 in its 251/7 Pionierpanzerwagen variant. One famous 7.5 cm Pak 40 cannon is visible just behind.

 

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Panzerkampfwagen V Panther.

 

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Shamely this is my sole picture of the Sd. Kfz. 2 Kettenkrad. Easy to see here why so many guys killed themselves while driving it at more than 80 km/h.

 

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Sd. Kfz. 135 Marder I tank destroyer.

 

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Sd. Kfz. 124 Wespe 10.5 cm self-propelled artillery vehicle.

 

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5 cm Pak 38 (L/60).

 

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Panzerkampfwagen III ausf. H and what I could get of its turret.

 

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Panzerkampfwagen II ausf. C and its Panzer III bigger brother to compare their size.

 

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2 cm Flugabwehrkanone 30. One of the poorest light AA cannon of the conflict in this variant of 1930.

 

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Panzerkampfwagen VI ausf. E Tiger and its Totenkopf officer model.

 

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2 cm Flakvierling 38. Despite the lack of "punch" of its 20 mm round against the specialized and armored ground attack aircraft it still was a nightmare for the Allied crew at low altitude.

 

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The impressive 155 mm self-propelled artillery vehicle Sturmpanzer 43 a.k.a Stupa by the German troops. Like the "King Tiger" it is know more well know under the nickname of Brummbär (Grouch)... which again is a nickname from the Allied forces. This one got hit in 1944 by four different shot of 75/76.2 mm shells that created an intern detonation, initiating its 155 mm munitions and blowing the casemate away. Impressively it was recovered by another crew which return it to an operational status for the rest of the war.

 

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Panzerfeldhaubitze 18M auf Geschützwagen III/IV (Sf) Hummel self-propelled 155 mm howitzer.

 

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Fiat Carro Armato M15/42 from the legendary 132nd Armoured Division Ariete which fought in northern Africa. Impressive to imagine how these guys were courageous to keep on fighting in these tanks from another age.

 

 

--- The Curiosity Room

 

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Colonial helmet.

 

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Rocket Propelled Grenades.

 

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Panzerfaust 30 and 60.

 

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Multiple 105 mm shell of fin stabilized kinetic energy penetrator.

 

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Stabilized shell (actually a wind tunnel model) and a U.S 106 mm recoilless round at the right.

 

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40 mm Armour-Piercing Fin-Stabilized Discarding Sabot - Tracer.

 

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A belt of 20 mm rounds from one French AMX-30B2 Main Battle Tank co-axial cannon.

 

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127 mm rounds.

 

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One 105 mm M1 High-Explosive shell. A HEAT shell is on the upper left and another rocket assisted HEAT round is on the right.

 

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Euromissile HOT 1 (Haut subsonique Optiquement Téléguidé/High Subsonic Optical Remote-Guided) anti-tank missile.

 

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Crazy configurations of Aérospatiale ENTAC (ENgin Téléguidé Anti-Char) anti-tank missiles.

 

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Leichter Ladungsträger Goliath remote controlled demolition vehicle.

 

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Humber Hornet with a dual Malkara anti-tank missile launcher.

 

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Volkswagen Typ 128 Schwimmwagen.

 

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Another APFSDS shot.

 

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Euromissile Roland surface-to-air missile.

 

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Original poster of the awesome movie The Beast (La Bete de Guerre in France).

 

I was about to keep on posting the others pictures but just discovered that all the work I made this morning to replace them on Imgur were not saved... so I will remake it tonight and post them tomorrow. There is the Warsaw Pact room, Allied Room, French Room and the last room of other nations with some beautiful pieces (including my favorite MBT).

Edited by XB-70A

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Posted (edited)

I (finally) replace all the pictures correctly to share them.

So we were leaving the curiosity room when we get that :

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A pleasant way to welcome you in...

 

--- The Warsaw Pact

 

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A legendary Trabant from the Land Forces of the National People's Army (German Democratic Republic). 2 strokes engine, bad mix and blue fumes. Just look at the typical oil leak.

 

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A dismantled Uralvagonzavod T-72 main battle tank. Really interesting to look at, but I was a bit disapointed to haven't find any completed model in the room. But a surprise was waiting for me outside...

 

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Morozov Design Bureau T-54 with a view to some other pieces : 2S1, PT-76 and a M-77.

 

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Uralvagonzavod T-55 MBT from the Iraqi Republican Guard.

 

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Uralvagonzavod T-62 of the Iraqi Army. This unit was captured by the French Army forces during the Operation Daguet (part of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm) in 1990-91.

 

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Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant BMP-1 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Just like the two precedent MBTs this BMP-1 was captured during the Coallition intervention in 1990-91.

 

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Recapitulation of the Warsaw Pact global armored forces at the end of the Cold War :

- Poland : 15 Divisions - 3000 Tanks

- G.D.R. : 6 Divisions - 1500 Tanks

- Czechoslovakia : 10 Divisons - 2600 Tanks

- Hungary : 15 Divisions - 1800 Tanks

- Bulgaria : 13 Divisions - 2500 Tanks

- Romania : 14 Divisions - 2800 Tanks

- U.S.S.R. : 220 Divisions - 55300 Tanks.

 

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Just some flags of the Eastern Republics.

 

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The Legendary T-34/85 originally conceived by Morozov Design Bureau. A BRDM-2 amphibious patrol vehicle is visible on the left while a BTR-152 armored personnel carrier is on the right.

 

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Tovarna avtomobilov Maribor BOV-3 air-defense vehicle from the Serbian Army. Equipped of three M55 20 mm cannon this unit was captured by the French forces during their intervention in Bosnia (ex-Yugoslavia) in 1996. Just behind can be seen a Multiple Launch Rocket System M-77 Oganj (Fire) of the Serbian Army captured at the same occasion.

 

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One ex-Soviet Red Army Kharkov Tractor Plant 2S1 Gvozdika (Carnation) 122 mm self-propelled howitzer. For logical reasons it is stricly forbidden to jump on any of the museum vehicles but the pilot hatch was open... and I was not able to resist the attraction to go inside ! The picture of the pilot view is not really good but I have to jump out of here as fast as possible to not get caught :D

 

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Volgograd Tractor Plant PT-76 amphibious light tank of the Soviet Navy. The Oganj is partly visible behind. I still can not understant why I didn't take any pictures of it as the MLRS are some of my favorites combat vehicle... such an idiot.

 

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Just a picture of the event of 16 - 17 June 1953 when a worker uprising in Eastern Germany led to the intervention of 16 Soviet Army armored and infantry divisions in East Berlin to repel the rebellion. This guy is trowing rocks to T34/85s.

 

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One airborn Lastkraftwagen, nicknamed Kraka (Kraftkarren). Weighting just 735 kg the vehicle was adopted by the Federal German Army as soon as it was produced in 1974. It is presented here with a driver in chemical warfare readiness, some oxygen supply bottle and what seems to be filters reload cartridges.

 

The next room will be about some WW2 Allied vehicles and a small room dedicated to some generals.

Edited by XB-70A

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Posted (edited)

So we leave the room of the Warsaw Pact and ex-Yugoslavian vehicles for the...

 

--- Generals and Engines Room

 

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U.S General George Smith Patton Junior

 

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Soviet Marshal Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov

 

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German Generaloberst Heinz Guderian

 

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German Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel

 

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Marshal of France Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque

 

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From left to right : French Divisional general Henri de Vernejoul and Army corps general Jean Touzet du Vigier

 

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Marshal of France Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (the Willys MB is one of his official)

 

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Panhard E.B.R. (Engin Blindé de Reconnaissance). This armoured recon car is the official one which carried the French president and Brigade general Charles de Gaulle at his state funeral of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises.

 

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Various decorations, from the left to the right :

*Top

- Unknow medal of the City of Amsterdam

Distinguished Service Medal (U.S. Army)

Croix de guerre 1914–1918 avec trois palmes (France)

Order of Saint Stanislaus (Russian Empire)

Order of Poland Restored (Polonia Restituta) (Poland)

* Bottom

Order of the Crown pre-1932 (Romania)

National Order of the Legion of Honor (Grand Officier) (France)

Most Honorable Order of the Bath (Knight Grand Cross) (United-Kingdom)

 

 

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Hispano-Suiza HS-110, multi fuel 680 hp engine of the AMX-30.

 

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Wright R-975 Whirlwind, nine-cylinders radial rule 380 hp engine of the M4-M4A1 Sherman.

 

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V-55 12-cylinder 580 hp diesel engine of the T-62. It was based on the famous T-34s 500 hp V-2.

 

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Continental AV1790, 810 hp fuel engine of the M47 Patton.

 

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General Motors 6046, 2x6 cylinders 375 hp fuel engine of the M4A2 Sherman.

 

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Maybach HL230 P30, 690 hp V12 fuel engine of the Panzer VI ausf. B Tiger II.

 

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Kharkiv model V-2-34, 500 hp (38.8L) diesel V12 from a T-34.

 

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The legendary M45 Quadmount of 12.7 mm/ .50 Caliber.

Edited by XB-70A

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Alot of pictures! Awesome museum. I have been to a museum like this, but with not just tanks, but pretty much everything about WW2, from a little flag thing to V-2. Too bad i did not take any pictures! Hahahahaha!

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Posted (edited)
On 12/04/2017 at 4:17 AM, NSEP said:

Alot of pictures! Awesome museum. I have been to a museum like this, but with not just tanks, but pretty much everything about WW2, from a little flag thing to V-2. Too bad i did not take any pictures! Hahahahaha!

It was a really nice one indeed, the collection being pretty various and "accessible", I mean nothing to separate us from the exposed vehicle, we could even touch them at any moment.

I would like to see one V2 as well, one V1 replica was one a launching ramp in one of the Normandy museum I went years ago but it doesn't have the same aura as a ballistic missile.

 

Now the next room is dedicated the small...

 

--- Allied 1939-45 collection

 

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Vulcan Foundry Infantry Tank Matilda Mark II. It's impossible to me to know which variant it was precisely as it had a Mediterranean camo'.

 

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A15 Cruiser Tank Crusader III, AA Mark II with its twin turret mounted 20 mm Oerlikon cannons.

 

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Vickers-Armstrongs Infantry Tank Valentine Mk II from the Northern Africa campaign.

 

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The famous British Daimler Dingo Scout Car.

 

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One Leyland A34 Cruiser Tank Comet Mark I commanded by Dwight D. Eisenhower. I know it's stupid to take such kind of pictures...

 

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Vauxhall A22 Infantry Tank Churchill Mark IV with a portrait picture of Charles de Gaulle. It seems like it was hit by a 8.8 cm round which has no problems to pierce its frontal armor. It's even more impressive as that is the front machine gun emplacement which got an additional layer of armor... the round may have been fired from a pretty close position.

 

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SU-100 Soviet Tank Destroyer with additional portraits of Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin in the back. Just like with the rest of the Red Army armored vehicle the lack of comfort and the ridiculous living volume in that Destroyer is impressive.

 

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Clement Voroshilov KV-1 Heavy Tank exposed with a broken track in a Stalingrad scenery.

 

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One Morozov Design Bureau T-34/76, the famous Tank of the Victory.

 

I don't have any other pictures of this room, alas...

Edited by XB-70A
Thanks to "Kokoro" for signaling me the Valentine/Matilda mistake

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As a huge fan of military history, I'm loving all the photos. As someone with a slower internet connection, seeing them all at once is screwing up my PC. Any chance you could put them in spoilers?

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3 hours ago, Dman979 said:

As a huge fan of military history, I'm loving all the photos. As someone with a slower internet connection, seeing them all at once is screwing up my PC. Any chance you could put them in spoilers?

Of course. Or I could try to keep just one picture of each model and place all the others of it in a spoiler?

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After these Vets' of the WWII the next step is...

 

--- The Post-War French tanks and vehicles collection

 

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One GIAT AMX Leclerc main battle tank, this one being named Duroc (probably in the name the general Géraud Duroc). Like the T-72 years before the French engineer opted for a 3-crew tank equipped with an automatic loader for its 120 mm rounds. Hopefully this one proved to be more reliable than its Soviet counterpart once on the theater. It arrived alas to late to be tested during Desert Storm and was firstly deployed along the UN forces in ex-Yugoslavia.

 

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The GIAT AMX-40 MBT prototype, with another AMX-30 and a GIAT AMX-10P amphibious infantry fighting vehicle further.

 

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The GIAT AMX-30 EBD. The sign in front says "It is unique in the world". This particular variant was actually deployed during the Operation Daguet (Desert Shield/Storm) in 1991 as an armored minesweeper vehicle to neutralise the Iraqi mines and controlled from about 2000 m with the control box visible on the third picture. The rolling mines jumper actually was from East-German origin!

 

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Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux AMX-13 T75, equipped with four SS.11 anti-tank missiles to completed its tiny and limited 75 mm main gun (actually a modernization of the famous 7.5 cm Kampfwagenkanone 42 L/70 from the Panther). This variant was pretty well employed by the I.D.F during the Six-Days War. Sorry for these bad exposed shots...

 

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The monstrous Atelier de Construction d'Issy-les-Moulineaux AMX-50 heavy tank. This gigantic machine was a part of these famous heavy tanks conceived in the 50's like the U.S M-103, the British Conqueror or the Soviet T-10. The size and mass were the only solution with the technology of the time to fix a 120/122 mm anti-tank gun on a "moveable" (if we can say that...) and protected platform.

 

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The ARL-44 heavy tank prototype. Conceived during the 2nd World War it was not completed before 1949 and was already outdated at this time. Sorry for such a bad shot of it, it is my only one.

 

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My second favorite piece of the museum. The impressive Aérospatiale AMX-30 Pluton (Pluto, Roman god of the Hells), short range nuclear ballistic missile Tractor-Erector-Launcher. Based on the main battle tank platform the Pluton was a part of what was called in France the "Final Warning" before the deployment of the main French nuclear force by the Redoutable-classe SSBNs, the S3 IRBMs and the air-carried bombs or missiles from the Air Force and the Navy.

The most worrying fact about this 10 to 25 kt tactical weapon is that its range did not exceed more than 120 km at the best, which means that I case of deployment and launch, the target would have been located in an Allied State, most likely the West-Germany at this time.

 

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One Cadillac 75 mm Howitzer Motor Carriage M8 Scott. This one was deployed by the French Army during the Indochina War.

 

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Roebling LVT-4 Alligator, this Landing Vehicle Tracked is another veteran of the Indochina Campaign of 1946-54.

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Posted (edited)

Still some pictures to share, here is the before last room of the museum.

 

--- The International Room

 

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Spoiler

 

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MANTAK Merkava I (Chariot) Main Battle Tank. What a beautiful beast. It was the first time I was seeing one of them as I was totally ignoring at this time that we got one in France. That monster is impressive to see in real, just like the Mil Mi-24 attack helicopter it got some kind of aggressive and affraying shape, just like if it was studied for the psychologic war... conceived on the lessons of the October 73 War (a.k.a the Yom Kippur War or the Ramadan War). While their Centurion and Super Sherman were rushing to the Egyptians and Syrians positions the Israelis lost a lot of them due to the Arabs tanks buried under and behind the dunes, just having their main gun overflowing the sand. The Merkava was brilliantly studied to be use in the same way as a mobile anti-tank/infantry gun or to rush to their enemy position while providing additional protection to its crew by placing the main engine in front instead of the back. The whole block then acted as a supplement armor while the crew can quickly evacuate from behind without exposing themselve over the turret.

I took a picture of the small panel dedicated to the General Israel Tal who participated to its development with an English and Hebrew translation. I don't know if the model exposed beside the Merkava is its own as it holds an I.M.I Galil assault rifle which only enter in service during the 70's.

 

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DAF YP-408 6x8 Armoured Personal Carrier. That one was used by the Royal Netherland Army during their intervention with the others NATO or Europeans nations in ex-Yugoslavia. Alas I don't have any pictures of it without me in the turret (yep, I'm the idiot trying to shot down a small de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth from a "Tintin" comic).

 

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Detroit Arsenal M26A1 Pershing heavy tank. A legend of the Korean War where it distinguished himself while it arrived too late in the Second World War to really show its performances.

 

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 Cadillac M41A2 Walker Bulldog light tank. If the previous was well know in Korea the M41 distinguished itself during the Vietnam conflict as a regular light tank of the South-Vietnamese troop and some U.S sections. While it was a pretty well conceived vehicle in the 50's, it already was outdated in the 60-70's. Its protection was ineffective against any projectiles of more than 12.7-14.5 mm and its main 76 mm gun was unable to penetrate the T-54/55 MBT of the Northern troops. But its main default probably was its propulsion by a gasoline engine. Any shot well placed in the engine compartment was enough to transform it into a deadly torch in seconds.

But the ARVN and the U.S found many ways to operate it at its best in the jungle or the destroyed cities where its small size became an advantage while its 500 hp engine gave it enough power to be used as a hit-and-run gun. It also was well know for the mess its powerful exhaust tubes were making, spewing out flames and fumes.

 

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Detroit Arsenal M47 Patton "Danne Marie" medium tank. Second member of the famous Patton medium tanks family.

 

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Chrysler M48A1 Patton main battle tank with its so distinctive 90 mm gun muzzle brake. Another legend of the Vietnamese conflict.

 

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Detroit Arsenal M60A2 Patton main battle tank. With its 105 mm gun this last member of the Patton family had a particular aura. What a beautiful beast !

 

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Here it was, my favorite of all and the reason why we went here at the beginning, the monstrous Royal Ordnance Factory FV 214 Conqueror Mk.I Heavy Tank. It was the first time I was seeing one for real and the sensation of smallness I got in front of it was impressive... just like if I was about to be rush by it. It was the perfect way to understand why the "Brits" deployed it in West Germany to use it as a mobile anti-tank gun system. Just like its others coeval of the time like the monstrous M-103 or the IS-3 its mechanic robustness was bad at the best and shabby at the worst with the poor Rolls-Royce Meteor having to propulse the 64 tons with its 810 hp. Way more than what it was conceived for during the WW2 while its transmission was most of the time unable to hold out for more than a 1000 km.

But still the fact is that it gives an impression of monstrosity and invulnerability. I placed the picture of my dad and I to compare the size of it (while I'm making 1 m 95/76.7 in).

 

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Resting next to the Conqueror was one of the legendary Royal Ordnance Factory Centurion Mk. 3 main battle tank with its 84 mm Ordnance QF 20 pounder.

 

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Leyland Motors FV 4201 Chieftain Mk.9 main battle tank. This beautiful piece was affected to the 4th Infantry Brigade of the British Army of the Rhine during their 1976-93 affectation to West Berlin where the picture was taken during their 17 June 1983 parade on the "Straße des 17. June" Berlin street.

With its L11A5 120 mm main gun it proved to be one of the best battle tanks (if not The best) when it entered into service in the mid-60's. Its deployment by the Islamic Republic of Iran against the Iraqis soviet battle tank quickly proved how well its main gun was conceived while its armor was able to stop most of the Iraqis rounds in its frontal section at the common distance of engagement. Its Leyland L60 six-cylinders two-strokes main engine alas was its "Achilles' heel" being a little weak with its 750 hp while the vehicle mass was of 55 tons in fight condition. But its biggest problem was the terrible David Brown TN12 transmission which use to brake pretty easily with a rookie pilot.

But it stays an interesting and beautiful piece of engineering for its time while the Iranians clearly proved that it could be an excellent fighting vehicle if it was used logically.

 

 

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Bofor AB Stridsvagn 103B main battle tank of the Swedish Army (Armén). While being turretless the museum insisted on the fact that it was designated as a main battle tank and not a tank destroyer. The most impressive thing, to me, is its main gun elevation not being regulated by cylinders/pistons but by its hydropneumatic suspension!

Sorry about this terrible picture but it was my only one, alas :sealed:

 

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Engesa EE-9 Cascavel (Rattlesnake) armoured reconnaissance car of the Brazilian Army with its 90 mm EC90 turret gun.

 

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Eidgenössische Panzer 61 main battle tank of the Swiss Armed Forces with its 105 mm L7 gun from the Centurion.

 

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Cadillac M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier. Conceived as a better substitute to the legendary M113 armoured personnel carrier, the M114 never was able to surpass its ancestor which became a legend in Vietnam and quickly was abandoned by the U.S Army in the 70's while the M113 was modernized and adapted to the futur conflicts.

 

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Spoiler

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Global view of the room.

 

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My only shot of their Leopard 1 main battle tank, the worst being that I didn't take any pictures of the Leopard 2 MBT next to it ;.;

I swear I don't have anything against the Germans.

 

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To win The Peace.

It is necessary to show its strength to not have to use it.

That sign is the one telling you goodbye at the main exit.

The next and least post will be about their external (but still interesting) collection.

Edited by XB-70A
Orthography and syntax

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On ‎2017‎-‎04‎-‎12 at 4:13 PM, XB-70A said:

 

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Another Matilda II from the Northern Africa campaign (could be a Scorpion variant).

Valentine.

This tank is annoying me and causing me headaches at the moment.  A few weeks ago i got a message on steam asking me to do more company of heroes 2 repaints.  The valentine is the one I am stuck on.

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12 minutes ago, Kokoro said:

Valentine

NOOOOooooo... how could I have been stupid enough to make it :blush: ?! I'm tapping the descriptions on memory since the beginning, it will teach me...

I actually had a stop at it, looking at its thin caterpillar and desert camo then didn't know why I identified it as a Matilda with its 2-pounder turret... so dumb. The worst being that there is a sign just in front with its name on it, but I didn't read it (super logic of course). 

25 minutes ago, Kokoro said:

This tank is annoying me and causing me headaches at the moment.  A few weeks ago i got a message on steam asking me to do more company of heroes 2 repaints.  The valentine is the one I am stuck on.

I never played it for now (even if I would like to) but to know there is this infantry tank is interesting me more.

Anyway thank you for the mistake flash, I'm correcting it now.

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Posted (edited)

So here comes the last part of the topic :

 

--- The outside collection

 

As wrote before I was disappointed by the absence of any Soviet T-72 MBT in the exposed collection, but the surprise actually was present here and it was more than a simple T-72.

The rest of the collection is constituted of different vehicle in different conditions, some very good and others rusting due to lack of time or funds, while the last are playing the role of monuments.

 

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M4A3(76)W Sherman medium tank with its 76 mm M1 upgrade of the U.S Army. That picture with me on unfortunately is the only one I have...

 

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Spoiler

 

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GIAT AMX-30R Roland anti-aircraft tank equipped with a dual Euromissile Roland short-range surface to air missile. This vehicle was formally assigned to the 401e Régiment d'Artillerie (401st Artillery Regiment) of the French Army.

(I would love it to crush and run over the Renault Kangoo utility van in front)

 

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Spoiler

 

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GIAT AMX-30 Au F1, 155 mm self-propelled artillery vehicle. Studied in the 70's under a request of the French Army for a new self-propelled howitzer to replace the now archaic AMX-13 "155 AMF3", the AMX-30 155 mm SPG still is today one of the best vehicle of its category. The evolution of the conflicts unfortunately cancel its Au F3 modernization program of new numeric systems and longer gun for the development of the Camion Equipé d'un Système d'ARtillerie (Truck equipped with an artillery system) or CAESAR which received the last generation 155 mm/52 calibers (instead of 39) howitzer developed for the Au F3.

This unit was deployed by the French Army under the United Nations in ex-Yugoslavia during the 90's. I was, alas, unable to know for which operation as the museum was already closed at this time.

I was pretty interested before by the 85 units that France sold to Saddam Hussein in the 80's replace some of it SPGs destroyed by the Iranians but nearly nothing is know about them to this day, the archives being destroyed or lost (the same story happen for the modified Dassault Falcon 50 sold to them before the Super Etendard and able to lock and fire Exocet missiles)... :

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Some of the Iraqis units during one of the military parades on the Great Celebrations square of Bagdad with one of the Hands of Victory in the back.

 

 

The AMX-13 collection :

 

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AMX-13VTT (Véhicule Transport de Troupes/Armoured Personnel Carrier). It makes me a strange feeling to see one of them for the first time as one of my grandfather was a Sherman and AMX-13VTT pilot during the Algerian conflict were he went for about 6 years. A part of his life he never talk about to us, just like a lot of our still living veterans...

 

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AMX-13 DCA 30 self propelled anti-aircraft gun equipped with a dual Hispano-Suiza HS 831.A (30 mm) and a retractable Doppler locking radar codenamed Œil Noir (Black Eye). DCA here means Defense Contre Avion (Anti-Aircraft Defense). Less than a 100 units were produced and only affected to some French Army artillery regiments.

 

 

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Spoiler

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AMX-13 PDP (Poseur De Pont) Modèle 51, bridge-layer tank.

 

 

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AMX-13 Modèle 55 Dépannage (literally Fixing) recovery and towing version. It was replaced by the AMX-30 EGI between the 70-80's.

 

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AMX 13 obusier de 155 mm auto-mouvant Modèle F3 (also know as 155 F3), self propelled howitzer. Its limited range of about 20 km and the lack of any protection to its crew led to the AMX-30 Au F1 development program.

 

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AMX-13 Obusier de 105 mm automoteur Modèle 1950 (105 AU 50) self-propelled howitzer in its AMX 105B rotating turret variant.

 

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AMX-13VCI (Véhicule de Combat d'Infanterie/Infantry Fighting Vehicle) armoured personnel carrier. The VCI was the last VTT version, able to be equipped with a 20 mm cannon to engage its counterparts of the time. Some armies are still using them today.

 

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Spoiler

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AMX-13 canon de 75 Modèle 1951 (75 mm gun, 1951 model) light tank of the Israel Defense Force in a perfect condition. The small tank proved its valor during the Six Days War in 1967, the result being that some nations are still using them 50 years later.

 

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Another Au F1 155 mm SPG in its standard French Army camouflage.

 

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GIAT AMX-30C2 Main Battle Tank prototype. This model was studied by incorporating a 105 mm rifled gun instead of the original 105 smooth bore. When the AMX-30 was conceived the great fashion of that time was about the tube fired AT missiles and much more the new HEAT shells which need a smooth tube to be fired from as the rotation of the rifled one was cancelling the correct plasma creation of the last ones at the impact (on the other hand the lack of rotation were making them, the AP and other HE round pretty imprecise at long range). They were so powerful that most of the European nations just stop to care about the shielding of their tanks as even 30 cm of metal could not stop a 105 mm HEAT round. In such a situation the different engineers decided to place just enough armor on their vehicles to stop 20-30 mm shots and no more, the Arrow had just defeated the Armor.

Not for long as the reactive armor appears around ten years later and again ranked the guns and their famous HEAT to an equal place. The result was the launch of different modernization programs all around the world to adapt some new rifled tubes to the platforms to let them fire some new APFSDS shots with their kinetic energy penetrator .

But the biggest problem now was the fact that those vehicle were much more a kind of tank destroyer as a HEAT hit would have destroyed them immediately and a standard 105 or 120/125mm AP rounds would have make their turrets flew away.

The AMX-30 paid the price of it just like its German counterpart, the Leopard 1. The C2 actually arrived too late as the Leclerc MBT already was in development at this time.

Just like the B2 on which it was based the C2 was equipped with a co-axial 20 mm cannon to engage the light vehicles and infantry instead of using HE 105 mm rounds, according more place in the turret for additional HEAT rounds.

 

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Spoiler

 

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Here it is!!! But no, it's not just a simple T-72 like the other, it's an Asad Babil, the Lion of Babylon! This local modification and upgrade of the T-72 by the Iraqis was launched during the Iran-Iraq war as Hussein complained to the USSR about its T-72s losses against the Iranian Chieftains and other MBTs. Its demand of new T-72s but equipped like the one of the Red Army with a modern electronic being refused the Iraqis engineers developed an hybrid based on a standard T-72. A new laminated armor and grills to counter the 105 HEAT rounds were added while different Europeans and Chinese systems were installed to replace the main gun sights and communications systems. Night and thermal vision were also added.

In a local standard logic the Lions were nearly totally attributed to the Republican Guards regiments... while most of the other fighting armoured regiments were equipped with standard T-72, T-62 and different T-54/55 from everywhere. The worst probably being that the Asad Babil were deployed in the desert as some kind of self propelled artillery to use their 125 mm HE rounds... being easily targeted from the sky.

The only exception of this terrible mistake probably was their use by the 3rd Armored Division Salah al-Din (Saladin) as a front fist during the Koweit invasion of 1990. Then most of the Division's Lions were destroyed during Desert Storm.

Our size on the last picture is a good way to distinguish how squat the T-72 family is. The poor three guys inside must had to live a torture after staying here more than an hour...

This one is a trophy of the Division Daguet, captured during their operation aside the Coalition in 1991.

 

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Back to the past with this Chrysler M4A4 Sherman medium tank nicknamed Corse (Corsica) of the Free French Army. I wasn't able to find where it was affected, alas.

 

 

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United Defense Industries M109A1 155 mm self-propelled howitzer. We are pretty far from the Paladin last generation :)

 

 

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Spoiler

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GIAT AMX-30 EGI (Engin Blindé du Génie) Armoured recovery vehicle of the French Army.

 

 

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Spoiler

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Cadillac M5A1 Stuart light tank of the U.S Army.

 

 

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Already the time to leave... here is the museum main entrance, each nations from the left to right :

The Netherlands, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdoms, the European Union, the United States of America, Israel, Canada, the Russian Federation.

Edited by XB-70A
Forget the spoilers

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