Tanks For The Memory
July 14, 2017 10:41 AM   Subscribe

The Tank Museum at Bovington Camp in Dorset, England, is the largest collection of tanks in the world. They have the only running Tiger I in the world (which had a starring role in Fury), and the world's oldest surviving tank, the First World War Mark I. They The have an annual TankFest where they show off their tanks operating outdoors. Their YouTube channel is full of fun: Top Five Tanks with Lindybeige, Top Five Tanks with Stuntman Jim Dowdall, and David Fletcher's Tank Chats.
posted by Bee'sWing (25 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Please note
posted by Artw at 10:45 AM on July 14, 2017 [11 favorites]

Oh, and I have photos on my utterly ancient website! No monkey attack that day, mind.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on July 14, 2017

TIL there were male and female Mark I tanks.
posted by natteringnabob at 11:06 AM on July 14, 2017

Please note

The US version: Oooh, oooh, let's go to the surprise! Pick the surprise! We can even camp! (reddit/funny, direct link to image)

More related: Life as a tankboy, Written by: Richard D James, July 1995, Details Magazine

Q: What car do you drive?

A: What I drive is a black and green camouflaged Fenet Armoured Scout Car Mark Two

SAB – Do you get any government trouble for that?

Aphex — Not yet. I haven’t got cat wheel tracks. It’s got massive wheels, so you can drive it on the road. Normal tanks you can’t drive on the road, because they churn the road up.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:08 AM on July 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

I'm sure he's upgraded to a nuclear submarine or something these days.
posted by Artw at 11:09 AM on July 14, 2017

Oh my god
posted by zzazazz at 11:10 AM on July 14, 2017

Possibly also of interest: The German Tank Museum, in Munster, Germany, which has a really great range of tanks, in part because Germany sat on both sides of the Cold War. And they have the Mark I's German counterpart, Wotan.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on July 14, 2017

Don't forget Jingles!

(Paul Charlton aka TheMightyJingles is a veteran of the Royal Navy and well known YouTube personality from the World of Tanks / World of Warships gaming community. The company that runs those games frequently does community events at Bovington Tank Museum and thus Jingles is there too. His humorous but understated British speaking style makes him one of the few video game livestreamers who is actually soothing to listen to as opposed to sounding like a yappy dog barking at an intruder.)
posted by Wretch729 at 11:22 AM on July 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

You can flip through the Tiger manual here.

Description of page 69: "Tells about each crewman using a different range to fire at a 2 meter high banner of Elvira."

posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:40 AM on July 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

TIL there were male and female Mark I tanks.

Well, of course. Where do you think all those other tanks came from?
posted by Gelatin at 11:54 AM on July 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

More for you tank aficionados: here are some photos from a tour of the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation in Northern California.
posted by twsf at 11:58 AM on July 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's haaard to fire at Elvira.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:08 PM on July 14, 2017

NEW for Spring 2017!

And here I am still in my North African Vickers knickers from Summer 2015.
posted by Kabanos at 12:09 PM on July 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

From the Tank Museum's video about the Sherman:

The British answer to attacking aeroplanes was to shut the lid, keep your head down, and hope the plane flew away. The Americans were about trying to shoot it down, but that's typical.

I'm not sure what the freighting is in the "typical" remark, but I found it hilarious.
posted by Ickster at 12:10 PM on July 14, 2017

Meet the stars of your favourite sci-fi adventures at The Tank Museum.
Meet the Dorset Storm Troopers, watch the epic battle between the Daleks and the U.N.I.T. soldiers, and enjoy sci-fi themed talks and tours, market stalls, and props around the Museum.

I really need to go to this place.
posted by Kabanos at 12:10 PM on July 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Off on a walk, came upon a VFW meeting house that had a retired tank out in front, just tiny, I mean being locked in an enclosed steel box on treads is bad enough but in a small box where you're probably sitting on the engine casing and maybe can't even stretch your arms let alone stand up. And setting off small bombs inside (the shells) inches from your nose. Really can not imagine.
posted by sammyo at 12:20 PM on July 14, 2017

Street view. American Legion, apologies.
posted by sammyo at 12:22 PM on July 14, 2017

That's a M5A1 Stuart Tank. I noticed this at a WWII museum recently. I don't see how anyone could fit into a Jeep, much less drive it. Tankers were chosen for being small though.
posted by Bee'sWing at 12:29 PM on July 14, 2017

I thought at first they didn't have the T-34, and I thought "What kind of lame-ass tank museum is this?"... but then I found it.
posted by languagehat at 2:13 PM on July 14, 2017

posted by Flashman at 3:53 PM on July 14, 2017

Every day I roll into the office, I pass the NYS Military Museum in Saratoga, which has a Sherman parked out front.
posted by mikelieman at 7:01 PM on July 14, 2017

I went there when I was a kid. Too young to appreciate it, and I wish I had gone back before I left England. We went a number of times to Lulworth Cove several times when I was young and we passed the Tank Museum on the way.

The cliffs above Lulworth cove are a tank firing range, and you can hike to see a few other bays and the like across there, with plenty of "keep on the marked paths, unexploded ordnance" signs everywhere. As a kid, I was deeply impressed that they were accurate enough to be able to make sure they missed all the paths and walkways when firing. It never occurred to me that it just meant they swept and checked the paths and a bit either side before they reopened the trails to the public after testing.
posted by Brockles at 12:34 PM on July 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I live near here. The Tank Museum's great, even if you go in (like me) not really interested in that stuff. TankFest is bonkers and sells out early every year.

In the 80s you could still pick up old shrapnel fragments along the edges of some of the range walk paths around Lulworth Cove, but I think they got a lot more strict about removing it. None of it was recent stuff, I think what you could find was decades old.

In WW2 the Army took over and closed the village of Tyneham nearby for training, which is worth a FPP in itself probably. It's now a ghost village you can visit but there's a lot of controversy about families still wanting to move back. Understandable, as it's a beautiful location. The other year I watched some idiot carry an old tank shell on his shoulder up from the beach by the village, to take home in his car. I had no phone signal but fortunately someone had already spotted him and the Army were there in no time to relieve him of it and read out a few laws to him.
posted by dowcrag at 1:44 AM on July 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Dowcrag, that reminds me of this visually stunning record album (could be aurally stunning as well, I don't know) about Tyneham.
posted by gamera at 3:00 PM on July 16, 2017

Never heard of that, but the artwork is lovely. The style reminds me of a local artist I saw during Dorset Art Weeks a few years back, but buggered if I can remember who they were.

It's certainly true that you wouldn't know that Tyneham House exists today as remains. What they didn't shoot to bits they literally gave away to other country house owners, and planted a copse around the remains to hide them. But you can find the remains on Google maps easily enough. Quite why the MOD is so keen to keep people away from that bit of the village I don't know, but I suspect it's due to unexploded ordnance. That's the thought that kept us out as teenagers.
posted by dowcrag at 4:11 AM on July 17, 2017 [1 favorite]

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