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Loire Valley Chateaux - Saumur

tank museum Saumur

 

Something you would not immediately associate with the 'garden of France' that is the Loire Valley is a large collection of military hardware...but here it is! The 'Tank Museum' in Saumur is located near the town centre and is well signposted from the visitor information centre making it easy to find.

 

The museum has the worlds largest collection - with some 200 exhibits ranging from the 1st World war to contemporary battle tanks on display at any one time. They are able to change their display annually having over 800 examples at their disposal.

 

german_tanks_saumur

 

 

The museum is very well organised, with each 'hall' covering a different period or country. Every display has a three-language (French, English & German) information-panel next to it with interesting background information and the main characteristics of the item on show Why is it here? The French cavalry school has been in Saumur since 1768 and of course cavalry regiments have long since abandoned the horse in favour of horse power, so we now have the location for the French tank school. The collection was started by gathering deserted post war tanks from the battlefields for study programmes and took off from there...but it's not all tanks. There is the parachuted 'car in a box' , the 'scooter with bazooka' plus displays of ancillary vehicles...and equipment

 

 

     

       

 

 

What they have here is the perfect attraction for boys large and small and although you cannot clamber about the displays there is a small selection for the kids...young and old and who wouldn't want to sit up front and poke their head up through the hatch

 

 

Probably the most famous tank of WWII, the American 'Sherman M4' tank is featured and it remains for the French, a symbol of their liberation.

 

sherman_tank_saumur

 

There is a modest cafe with a vending machine and a shop selling military related items - the women might have to spend longer in here than they would like but at least it offers some refuge

                                   

Open every day except Christmas Day and New Year's Day. October to April 10am to 5pm, May to September 9.30am to 5.30pm

 

External links:

 

 

http://www.euro-t-guide.com       Lot of good photographs here.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org                The museum on Wikipedia

 

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"Author: Jim Craig"

 

 

 

 

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