Monday, November 9, 2009

MyWorld Tuesday: Panzermuseum

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A while ago my boyfriend and I visited the Panzermuseum in Munster. I'm interested in WWI and II and the Panzermuseum has quite a few exhibits that are unique in Germany and very rare. One of my earliest memories is of three huge tanks driving down the street in front of our house (there was a Belgian barracks in the vicinity) and I've been fascinated by tanks ever since. I'm glad that I have to go to a museum to see them, though!

This is a mock-up of the first tank the Germans built, the A7V. It's the only model that's to scale anywhere and to see a real one, you have to go to Australia.
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After WWI, Germany was forbidden to own any tanks, but an exception was made for the police in the Weimarer Republik who used about a hundred of these massive armoured vehicles, a Daimler DZVR 21. It's the only surviving exemplar and was found by accident in a junkyard.
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I would be scared as hell if I saw it coming towards me and I can only guess how scary it must have been in the 1920s with people much less used to cars in general. The whole thing is almost three meters high.
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a 8,8 cm Flak, Fliegerabwehrkanone/anti-aircraft gun. It was used in WWII, but more often against tanks than against aircrafts and with such success that both the British and the US army used 8,8s that had been captured.
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a detail of the controls
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a Russian T34 - really huge.
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an amphibious vehicle made by Volkswagen called Schwimmwagen
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a Sturmtiger, a tank used as a rocket launcher. 18 were built, 2 can be still be seen (the other one in the Russian tank museum in Kubinka)
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a Sherman tank - the soldiers named that one Battling Bitch
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a Koenigstiger (Royal Tiger), the biggest tank ever built by the Germans in WWII, but it was a failure. It was heavy (too heavy for many bridges) and it used enormous amounts of fuel, not a good idea in 1944 - many Koenigstiger were abandoned because they simply had run out of fuel during a retreat. The arms were impressive, but all your guns won't help if your engine overheats which very often happened with the Koenigstiger.
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a contemporary German tank, a Leopard, equipped for driving underwater
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a Keiler (wild boar), a mine clearing vehicle. The mine flail is extended to the front of the vehicle and detonates any mines in the path of the tank. Here's a video of a Keiler, the quality isn't so good, but you can see how it works

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a Biber, a tank used to build a bridge

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a Nissenhuette - after many cities and towns in Germany were destroyed, a lot of people lived in such huts.
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17 comments:

Carver said...

This was an interesting post. I also would be frightened to see the tank coming at me.

Postcards from Wildwood said...

Very interesting to see the Nissenhuette - helps to bring all those tanks back to real people and real life during the war. My favourite is the Schwimmwagen - but it's too sweet a name for an army vehicle.

Reader Wil said...

That mine flail looks a very handy device. Can't it be used in Afghanistan? There are so many soldiers killed by mines.
There are very rare tanks, which I have never seen before. Interesting post! Thanks for sharing. Thanks for your visit too!

koala said...

Wow, how did it get to Australia? I like your interests, we share them, though I'm not as much into the mechanical side.

Sylvia K said...

Oh, yes! a very interesting post indeed! Brought back lots of memories of WW2! I also love the name Schwimmwagen!! definitely too sweet a name for an army vehicle!!
Thanks for the great captures and history!

Have a great weekend!

Sylvia

Marie Höglund said...

All these machines give me the creeps though you post lovely shots.

Martha Z said...

A very intersting and informative post. I'll have to show it to Hubby.
The buildings are like what we called "Quonset huts" and the surplus ones were still in use when I was a child.

Snap said...

My husband is a WW1 history buff. He'll enjoy your post!

Stine in Ontario said...

This is such an interesting post, well timed for Remembrance Day (November 11) in Canada. Seems like there have been and always will be wars, I'm afraid.

Sistertex said...

Pretty cool... I used to live in Germany. Nice post, very informative. Thanks for sharing your world with us.

SandyCarlson said...

Amazing. The technology and the history.

allhorsestuff said...

I am soo bringiong my man back to visit later///great photos and story!
KK

Arija said...

Wonderful place for small boys and their fathers.
Sorry, I was too close to war hardware while the second one was on, and now, just shy away in horror.

Pat said...

Fascinating tanks and other military vehicles! I too would be scared to see that huge tank coming at me.

Dina said...

So much can be learned from your post.
Thanks for including the Nissenhuette (which I never heard about).

bettyl said...

Quite an interesting post! Thanks for all the info.

Reader Wil said...

Thank you Jedidiah, for your answer. Weapons are always made to threaten or to destroy. I am a memeber of several peace movements, so you'll understand how I think about weaponry. The only people who benifit from the armsindustry are the producers.