Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Friday, May 24, 2013

[WoT] The Tank Museum

The Tank Museum in Bovington (UK) is one of the coolest tank museums I have ever visited - and I have seen quite a few! It's enormous! I was only able to spend about four hours in the museum, and I assure you I could easily have spent an entire weekend in there, basking in the beautiful steel creatures. I took over 300 photos, including some in their private storage sheds, and I will share some of the juiciest ones here. Even more impressive, about a third of these tanks are still running and occasionally get taken out for a spin around the block!

Let's start with our favorite era, World War II... naturally, there are loads of British tanks. Of course, part of this is because the museum is located next to the Royal Armoured Corps headquarters and training base. As one of the staff there put it, whatever they can't find a use for goes into the museum. There are also a bunch of German tanks, shipped to the UK during the war for research and testing. Plus some American tanks that we left behind as just too expensive to ship back to the US. Occasional odd Soviet, French, Italian, and even Japanese tanks can also be found here. Here's a look at some of them (keeping in mind that you're only getting a small taste of the museum!).

Warning: Lots of scrolling below!

First off, the British - after all, it's their museum!

Mk IIA Light Tank
Valentine - note the target on the turret!
Black Prince - lots of tiny wheels!
Centurion Mk I
Covenanter - lots of bolts!

Crusader in desert camo - obviously a "Wallet Warrior"!
Sherman Firefly (British upgrade with 17 pdr gun)
TOG - and you probably thought we made it up!
Tortoise - this one hasn't moved in years, just like the ones I see in WoT!
This oddity consists of a tracked metal garden shed and a piece of naval artillery!

One for the French...

Char S35 Somua, with handy window for traveling in style...

And now the Germans - quite a selection!

Jagdtiger - yes, it's as big as it looks!
Panther, built by the British Army in a captured German factory at the end of the war!
Jagdpanther, also made by the British Army in the same captured German factory!
StuG III with logs (for fascine and for extra camouflage and protection)
Luchs (PzKpfw IIL) - one of only two left in the world!
A more ordinary PzKpfw II
Hetzer gonna Hetz!
PzKpfw VIE Tiger - and it runs! (They wouldn't let me drive it though!)
King Tiger with Porsche turret (this one is an original mockup with fake armor and no engine)
Another King Tiger, this one a production model with Zimmerit
Leopard (no, not the WWII scout, the postwar MBT!)

Where does this one go?

T-26 captured by the Finns (that's a Finnish swastika, not a German one!)

The Yankees seem to have left some of their equipment behind!

M24 Chaffee, named after famous American general Adno Chaffee
M3 Lee - the tank destroyer known as a tank
M22 Locust - it's so cute, I wanted to put it in my pocket!
M10 Wolverine with a coat of whitewash
This is the oldest known surviving Sherman - it's an original M4A1 (training model) sent with the first batch of Lend-Lease vehicles. Note the extra ports in the front for fixed machineguns.
M5A1 Stuart (I wonder why they didn't camo the turret?)
Patton (the tank, not the general!)
 A couple of Soviet tanks, probably re-captured from the Germans during the War!

KV-1 sponsored by the Leningrad Women's Front (although the "Za" should be in front of "Leningrad" - I think the artist thought it was an alphanumeric 3A!).
Meanwhile, the warehouses out back are still full of even more dusty tanks (not part of the normal tour - special for Wargaming staff!).

Yes, a halftrack Land Rover - the only one of its kind!
Interesting goodies from all over the world. Recognize any of them?
A turret's-eye view of another warehouse full of armor
What would the article be without a plug for the home team?

The Wargaming.Net Education Centre - guess who sponsors this?  :-)
In the Education Centre, students can try on hot wool tanker uniforms. Fun!
I think the body armor and brain bucket are more fun than the stuffy uniforms!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this small tour. Like I said, I have plenty more pictures, if you're interested!  :-)


  1. Ooooh Sherman FIrefly, cant wait for that to come in game.

  2. Going to be paying a visit there in July :)

  3. Overlord, you know I'm a tank spotter extraordinare, so some comments..

    "StuG III with logs (for fascine and for extra camouflage and protection)"

    That Stug is another Finnish one (you can see all the Late war Finnish modifications). The logs were entirely for stopping Soviet AT rifles. The Finns found Skirts easy to damage, and so replaced them.

    "This oddity consists of a tracked metal garden shed and a piece of naval artillery!"

    Piece of land arty, I think it was developed from a BL 7.2-inch howitzer.

    "Valentine - note the target on the turret!"
    **mutter** Tac markings, 9th Tank, C Squadron, Senior armoured regiment of what ever regiment that is.

    "Where does this one go?"
    In the British section, seeing as the T-26 was a copy of the Vickers 6 ton! :P

    "M24 Chaffee, named after famous American general Adno Chaffee"
    In British colours (yes we used a few) that's from the Recce squadron, 3rd most senior regiment of an unknown armoured unit.

    How about a T4 Chaffee Premium for the British? :)

    You ever going to get down to Duxford (my local Museum, where I used to play with tanks)? Air planes by the bucket load and even quite a few tanks!

    1. The logs aren't in the same place as skirts, but I did mention protection... AT rifles were 14.5mm, not very effective against the hull and superstructure, but if you could get a shot between the roadwheels you had a chance at them (at least, according to a Soviet COL who commanded an AT company in WW2 I spoke with quite some time ago, pointing out the weak spots in the PzKpfw III hull and chassis). Good catch on the Finnish upgrades - I hadn't even noticed them on my whirlwind tour.

      The staff at the museum told me it was a naval gun, so I took them at their word. Couldn't tell myself.

      The target comment was a joke! :P

      LOL! Finnish tank, Soviet tank, British tank... right-o!

      The British Chaffee, great idea! All of the Shermans there are also British-owned via Lend-Lease, but still generally considered American tanks (except the Firefly, had to put that in the British section).

      Next time I am in the UK I'll have to give Duxford a visit. :)

    2. I spotted the humour, and apologies for mistaking you for Overlord!

      The Finns also added extra armour plates to the lower hull of a Stug III, in between the road wheels. You can just make out the Aft one on your picture. They're a right pain to model at 15mm, I can tell you.

      The 183mm might have been a naval gun, I just seem to recall reading it was developed from the 7.2 BL. Of course vague memories and all tat so they might be right.

      And I'll keep dreaming of a Firefly (like most of the other Brit players I know). Its gotta arrive sometime before the servers eventually close.

      Ok the mystery hangar photo, starting on the left row, at the back and working forward.

      Luchs, M46 Patton
      T-55, T62, FV432, Leopard A3
      T72, Saracen, Panhard EBR.

    3. Not going to close servers anytime soon.

    4. I know that Overlord, Should have thought about the comment before hand, to stop people panicking.
      I was talking in five, in ten, in twenty years or later. One day (and hopefully it will be some time off) the game will close. Its inevitable.

    5. We will add some more tanks (Firefly?!) until then. :)

    6. You know the Firefly is a money maker right?

      Every Bloke I know who plays this game has said they'll be picking up a firefly on the day of release. To us Brits it holds the same spot as the T-34 does to Russians.

      Little nudge to SerB to get it in a bit faster?

      Even if the tree stops at the Firefly, we won't mind. (plus you already have all the tanks needed to get to the Firefly modelled!)

    7. Listy, that's why I stick to 1/35 scale! The armor plates between the roadwheels are definitely valuable against AT rifles. The COL I spoke with had fought in Belarus and Ukraine and had plenty of experience with PTRD and PTRS and particularly "vehicle sniping" in the rubble of ruined cities. Almost sounds like fun... ;)

    8. I used to do 1/35. But I'm a wargamer as well as a modeller. Granted I have done 1/35 scale Modern wargaming in my back garden before, but 15mm is much easier.
      My most recent project is The Anglo/Iraq war from 1941. Loads of Rolls Royce armoured cars.
      (and that's partly why I keep banging on about World of Armoured Cars... go on you know you want to make it.)

      As to ATR stuff, I think the Finns had a slightly more relaxing pass time. They employed 20mm Lahti's to shoot down soviet aircraft. I think the logic was "Ah so the IL-2 is a flying tank is it? well we have an Anti-tank rifle!"

    9. Me too, for wargaming I do 28mm. And yes, I would love to have some armored cars in the game - fast, light, weak, maneuverable; they would out light tank the light tanks!

      Yeah, the Lahti is unusual, and brilliant. Much better than the Soviet AT rifles (and the German ones, what a joke!).

    10. "How about a T4 Chaffee Premium for the British? :)"

      Amen to that, Listy. Never did like the fugly turret on the American Chaffee so a premium version will be so much better. Wouldn't mind if its French either as they also used it in Indochina.

    11. 28mm? Is this heroic or true scales? What period as well?

      As to the Armoured cars thing, I actually meant a stand alone game of nothing but armoured cars. Its allot more balanced as nearly all AC's produced in the 30's-60's had roughly similar armour. Enough to stop small arms and shrapnel.

      So the armament means that no matter the tier difference you're likely to be able to penetrate with your weapons.

      Plus often the first stages of a battle were two Armorued car recce formations bumping into each other.

      Although the Germans didn't produce that many Armoured cars, they did use other nations, so you could easily have German, Czech and the excellent Dutch designs on one side.

      Britain would be the obvious candidate as OPFOR, as they had the most AC designs of the allies.

      If you want more countries involved then include half-tracks. Ever wondered what would happen if you pointed a M16 at a BA-64? now you can find out!

    12. Wolcott:
      Yeah the dog ugly top turret is about 50% the reason why I hardly play my M24 Chaffee. I don't think I could get drunk enough to chat up a girl that looked that bad, and you should see some of the hippocrocgorilla's I've chatted up when really plastered.

      The rest is the stupidly useless chassis and the punishing repair costs.

    13. the 'shed on tracks' is the FV 4005, its a prototype tank destroyer essentially the test model of what we know in game as the FV252 (183) it has a turret mounted 183mm gun (not fully rotatable) with........wait for it........A 4 SHOT AUTOLOADER!!!!!!!!! I am in no way surprised that the autoloader did not make it in the game (unlike the 8 shot clip the T-25 is supposed to have)

  4. Jagdtiger - yes, it's as big as it looks!

    Imo not really. It look rather mid sized unlike the model in game. Historically accurate size FTW!!!

    1. Guess it's hard to tell with no real scale there to measure it by.

  5. And the M10 is actually a British Achillies with the 17 pounder. You can tell by the Muzzle brake. ;P

    1. Go figure - something else we should have in the game! I vote for a Lend-Lease line for the British tree - M24 Chaffee, Sherman Firefly, Achilles, and anything else we can squeeze in there! :)

    2. Not keeping up my hopes of seeing any of them this year. Waited ages already while SerB is still prioritizing prototype tanks.

  6. Looks like that Finnish T-26 belongs as a lend-lease to the Pan-European tree!

  7. ChrisK, I read somewhere that Russians send Brits some KV and other tanks for testing. So maybe this is one of those vehicles.

  8. This is awesome, great pics!

  9. I remember meeting you and the team there a couple of years ago now... it is the most fantastic of places... a must see for those who havent been.... how about another meeting get together?

    Can we have a social meet that is in the northern part of the country next time (aimed at Challenger ;)

    1. I was in Bovington back in 2011. Was never invited to go there again since. Enjoyed the place a lot.

  10. Jagdtiger with gray base color? Is this historical?
    I read that all german vehicles after 1943 were yellow/sand as base color?

    1. The Bovington Jagdtiger was overall dark yellow when it was captured, there are several pictures of it at the time. The scheme might have originated in the mind of some GI when he was told to repaint the Aberdeen Jagdtiger at some point in the dim and distant past. Tamiya then decided to include this in their painting instructions for the old kit, which Bovvy have evidently used for their JT. It certainly has not appeared in any pictures of wartime Jagdtigers, to my knowledge anyway.

    2. And from the looks of that Jagdtger, it also has "Porsche" suspension (Ferdinand/Elefant like wheels and suspension, with eight roadwheels (this one is damaged, so it has even less), instead of nine interleaved roadwheels and torsion bars of standard Königstiger or Jagdtiger suspension... the drive sprocket and the idler wheel stayed the same, though).
      I hope we will see this one in WoT, too. Maybe as a switchable visual feature :)

  11. This StuG not only has logs on its sides. but also.. cement on frontal armor, for extra protection.

    1. Zimmerit - an interesting German solution to a defense against a weapon (magnetic hand-helt AT mines) that only they had produced (the Hafthohlladung), on the assumption that other nations would copy their idea. Turned out to mostly have been wasted time, but its cool factor is certainly appreciated by scale modelers around the world!

    2. well, AFAIK its not zimmerit (it was kind of paste with waves), but just concrete used to improve armor.

    3. And the same concrete is on madguards?

    4. After watching photo more closely and comparing with other photograph of that vehicle I think that there is both concrete and zimmerit. Concrete is on superstructure (it is like a bunker on tracks), but in front lower armor (and on mudguards) is zimmerit.

    5. Overlord, that modified Stug have to be one of the first premiums in the European Tree :). With that kind of "composite armor" it can be easily tier VI premium.

    6. well, maybe it is zimmerit on lower armor and mudguards (I didn't noticed it before, lol) but on superstructure we have definetly concrete :)

  12. Awesome images. Thank you for sharing Overlord.
    Looking forward visiting Bovington next year.

  13. And here I realize again that I am tanksexual O_o

  14. The first pic in the warehouse is of an armoured car w/an amx13 turret.


    It's called a Panhard EBR, the only difference is the turret being a FL-10.


    CO, The Blues & Royals (TBR-NA serv)

    1. Spot on! And it has the spare set of drop-down wheels for extra off-road capability. Really odd looking up close.

  15. Hey Ovi,

    Is there any discussion at WG Head Office about allowing players to submit their own modded skins (via a proper process with conditions that have to be met) then having 1-2 of these skins per nation added depending on community votes every couple of months (after WG has screened out the bad and inappropriate ones))

    I know and I'm sure you know that there are a lot of talented skinners out there that make great camos. I'm sure a waiver on submission would stop any legal issues. That way the community could contribute back to WoT because lets face it, some of the ingame ones are pretty lacklustre, yes I've seen the new camo's coming in 0.8.6 (great work, this is long overdue) but they all seem to be variations on the same base design with a different colour scheme.

    I'm not sure how much WG makes from selling gold camo's (probably not much) and it probably doesn't justify this feature but it's an idea, I know it's why myself and my clan mates don't buy a lot of camo because the selection is poor and we don't want to have the same ones on all of our tanks.

    Thank you from New Zealand and the SEA server,


  16. Nice, especially if we talk about Tiger.
    Check this:

    Its virtual tour of polish pancer museum in Poznan Poland.
    Almost all vehicles run and are in good condition.
    I recommend it :)

  17. Wonderful picture with wonderful comments - Thank you!

  18. wow, this was a great post

    looking forward to going there for a weekend myself, after the new section is opened

  19. Maybe WG can add the British army build Panther and Jagdpather as Brit premuim tanks.