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Bovington Tank Museum, Dorset

Three giants of the Second World War. Nearest the camera the Jagdpanther with its formidable 88mm gun and sloped armour. At the far end the King Tiger and sandwiched in the middle America's answer to the Tiger, the Pershing tank with its 90 mm gun. The first supplies of this new tank arrived in Europe in early 1945.


Stencilling on the side of the Pershing tank


A formidable opponent the King Tiger was a massive tank which first appeared in 1944. Designed to carry the new and bigger 88mm gun with sloped armour it first saw action against British forces in Normandy in June 1944, but was to suffer many mechanical failures typical of new and untried tanks and eventually their impact on the war was minimal.


From the biggest to one of the smallest tanks, the American Locust light tank that could be carried into battle in a glider.


The winged Pegasus insignia of the British Airborne Forces. The insignia was designed by English novelist Daphne du Maurier, the wife of General Frederick "Boy" Browning who commanded the British Airborne Forces during the war.


Often called the Bren Gun Carrier it became one of the most familiar vehicles of the Second World War. The design goes back to pre-war years and was originally conceived as a light weapons carrier for infantry units, but it was found to have so many different uses that it ultimately served with nearly every branch of the British and Commonwealth armies during the war.


A German Hanomag and Bussing-NAG armoured personnel carrier. The version above is an armoured ambulance manufactured in Czechoslovakia in 1941 and capable of carrying eight seated casualties or 2 stretcher cases and 4 seated casualties.




The DUKW was one of the most famous military vehicles of the Second World War. It was basically a six-wheel drive lorry converted to amphibious operation in 1942. The DUKW was used extensively by British and American forces from the landings in Sicily onwards. The fact that it could carry supplies from ships anchored off shore and transport them well inland to supply dumps was a great advantage as it reduced time and manpower. If you wonder what the acronym DUKW stands for it's simply a product code. D= 1942, U = Utility (Amphibious), K= all wheel drive, W= twin rear axles. On the right is a mine clearing Flail Tank. Mines by their very nature are a serious menace on the battlefield and difficult and dangerous to clear. Of all the systems tried to clear them, from ploughs, explosives and even jet engines the most effective has generally been the flail.

A bronze bust of Hermann Goering found in Berlin at the end of World War Two and donated to the museum by the 1st Royal Tank Regiment.



A Chinese copy of a Russian T55 used by the 5th Iraqi Mechanised Division. The Iraqis modified these obsolete tanks but despite their efforts to improve them they fared badly when facing the British Challenger tanks in the two Gulf Wars. I hope I've remembered the details correctly as I've misplaced my notes about this tank.


The Centurion was developed during World War II as a cruiser tank, the MK 2s entering service after the end of the war. Centurion is regarded as one of the best British tank designs of all time. During its long sevice the design underwent many modifications and in one form or another saw action in wars from Korea to Vietnam and the Gulf.

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