Purpose of this blog

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

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Destruction of History

US Residents, please read this to save your history.

I did have a nice article planed out for today, however, a story broke in the week that I felt needed more coverage, so we’re doing that today. For those of you who saw my Facebook post, scroll down a bit there’s some history stuff in there as well, although we have some more information. The details around this story come off social media, as for some reason the Organisations involved don’t want to publicly announce they’re being tits, so there may be other factors to this story.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s begin.

Here we have a very nicely preserved MBT-70, at TACOM and the Centre for Military History. As far as I can tell at the time of this picture there were five MBT-0 still in existence. Two German versions, two complete US versions and a wrecked hulk rusting away somewhere. This particular one was owned by the US Army and stored at TACOM. Here’s what was left of her a couple of weeks ago:

Although it’s likely that the turret is gone as well now. That’s right, they’ve scrapped her. Chopped her up into tiny pieces and melted her down. Why? No one seems to know. It’s even more curious that at least one other collection was offering to buy/home her. If you wanted the space move it to the other museum! But no, apparently its much better to destroy it. Sorry, are you afraid someone will be robbing the local bank with it?

But wait, there’s more! The “Centre of Military History” apparently has destroyed rather a lot of items of late. Either by scrapping, or dispatching vehicles to be hard targets on ranges. That I can find mention of are assorted rare M60 sub variants and a perfectly preserved, all original parts Sherman were all sent to the target range and are now, likely to be somewhat less pristine. In the latest round of scrapping apparently the following items were destroyed by the Centre for Military History.

  • A large calibre gun or arty piece
  • A “Spahpanzer”, possibly a Luchs?
  • A M109
  • A Swedish APC
  • Some 4x4 mobility vehicle with what I guess is a 106mm Recoilless rifle on the back.

Now to be fair, not all of these exhibits are rare, although the M60 variants were. They included the only two M60A1E2 in the world. Luckily a few individuals managed to save one of the doomed tanks, the other was destroyed.

So what can we do about it? If you’re outside of the US, not a thing. If you’re in the US however, you can start making a noise! I would suggest writing to your state representatives. A quick letter takes you a few minutes or so. Apparently Robert Sampson (senator for Connecticut), has been written to by one guy, and he's unhappy. SO the ball is rolling, lets see if we can get more going!

Hopefully if enough people kick up a stink then we can prevent any other rare tanks being destroyed. At the moment the damage to history has been limited, but who knows what irreplaceable exhibits will be next?

The US doesn’t have a monopoly on doing this. Though, here are a series of pictures from 1922 which show the Imperial War Museum scrapping a MkV tank, Medium B Whippet, A7V, FT17 and most horrifically a MkI Gun carrier, the last in the world at that time.

If you wish to see more pictures from the set, the IWM website has them.

Even more recently, in the mid to late 1990’s Bovington scrapped the prototype FV221 Caernarvon, which had been hand built as a component tester. It is entirely possible they didn’t realise what they had at the time, as the chassis had been used for a variety of roles over its life time, and it is likely that they thought it just a FV214 Conqueror chassis when they disposed of it. The life story of that particular hull starts as the prototype FV221. Then she becomes a test bed for a gas turbine for a few years. Once again, she is modified into a dynamo vehicle for use at Bovy. Later she has a driver training cab fitted, and is then used as the commentary box on the old Bovington Arena, until the new arena was built, at which point she was scrapped

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