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Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset
 

The Royal Tank Regiment & Royal Armoured Corps Tank Museum houses the world's largest and finest collection of Armoured Fighting Vehicles with over 300 vehicles from 29 nations making up its collections. From the very first tank to the modern British Challenger, many of the vehicles are unique and cannot be seen anyhere else in the world. In April this year a major exhibition in the new display hall was opened, the "Tank Story" is a key element in the museum's 16m redevelopment and tells the story of the tank from its inception in World War One to the present day. Please click on the image above to go to the museum website.

 

Outside the museum a replica of the Royal Tank Regiment Memorial Statue which stands on the corner of Whitehall Court and Whitehall Place in London. The statue depicts the crew of a World War 2 Comet tank, the statue was sculpted by Vivien Mallock and based on a miniature maquette of a five-man Comet tank crew crafted by George Henry Paulin, and shows the unique comradeship which exists among the men who fight in tanks. The Comet had a five man crew which consisted of a: Commander, Gunner, Loader, Hull Machine Gunner and Driver, The statue was unveiled by the regiment's Colonel in Chief Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on 13 June 2000.

 

Near the statue is a Memorial to those serving in the Household Cavalry and the Royal Armoured Corps who have died on operations since 1945.

 

After some success of the Mark I tank on the Somme, the C-in-C of the British Expeditionary Force Sir Douglas Haig ordered 1,000 more tanks for 1917. The new Mark IV tank was much the same as the Mark I but with thicker armour, an improved fuel supply and modified sponsons with shorter guns. The new tanks went into action for the first time in the summer of 1917 and were the mainstay of the Tank Corps at Cambrai in November.

 

"Your Country Needs You" a recruiting sergeant awaiting some customers.

 

Stores arrive and the wounded evacuated.

 

The images below speak for themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

the ultimate price was paid by many soldiers.

 

 

 

 

 

A British tank breaches German lines.

 

 

 

The Mark V, a tank for wider trenches. After the Germans realised the threat tanks could be they made their trenches wider to trap them, one answer was to build longer tanks and the Mark V was stretched by six feet. "Ol Faithful" above has been adapted with hydraulic lifting gear so that it could carry and lay a bridge and undertake mine clearing or demolition tasks.

 

The Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost chassis was used in the new type of armoured car built after World War I, the design was heavily influenced by the Admiralty 1914 turreted pattern originally ordered by Winston Churchill. The 1920 Pattern differed from the wartime cars only in detail, although the 1924 Pattern had a redesigned hull and a new turret with a cupola for the commander. These cars were used up until 1940-41 and saw action in the early North African campaign. The car above was built in the Derby Works and armoured at Woolwich Arsenal in 1920.


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