Musée des Blindés - Saumur - France

Address:Route de Fontevraud 1043, Saumur (See map)
Telephone: +33 (0)2-41530699

Shop: shop present
Restaurant/refreshments: refreshments
Size of the museum/site: large
Year of visit: 2003
Overall rating:

Description: Tanks everywhere!!! Tanks at the front-yard when you drive into the car-park, tanks at the entrance hall when you enter the museum, tanks in the main exhibition-halls, tanks in the extended halls, tanks with machine-guns and tanks with mega-guns, tanks that have won complete battles and tanks that failed horribly, green tanks, grey tanks, black tanks, etc., etc. They've got it all here, from the early experimental tanks of the First World War to the high-tech monsters of today.

The museum is superbly organised, with each hall covering a different time-period or a different country. Every gun or vehicle on display has a three-language (French, English & German) information-panel next to it with interesting background information and the main features and characteristics of the item in question. There is a nice corner with climbable tanks and vehicles for children (and adults who are young at heart of course... Go on, have a go! Climb that gun and make a shooting-noise... you know you want to!!).

In addition to the more 'common seen' WWII tanks like the Sherman and the Sturmgeschütz, the museum has several rare tanks on display. Like the French Saint Chamond from 1916, the German Bergepanther, or the Pluton Nuclear Missile Launcher from the nineteen-seventies.

If you're a tank-enthusiast this museum is a must-see, and if you're not a tank-enthusiast... Don't worry, you'll become one right here!! By the way, you might want to check out the General George C. Marshall Museum in Zwijndrecht (Netherlands), the Bovington Tank Museum in Bovington (Great Britain) and the Panzer Museum in Munster (Germany), because they cover the same topic and are equally good.

Early French tank: Saint Chamond from 1916.

Overview of the "German Hall" with various tanks and vehicles like the Kettenkrad and King Tiger (Königstiger).

Bergepanther (Sd.Kfz.179), built in Germany in 1944. It was used for performing several engineering tasks.

A seldom seen Panzer II. This model formed a major part of the German invasion force that occupied France in 1940.

Heavily hit Jagdpanzer IV. Look at the unexploded shell still sticking in the armour!

The Soviet hall with in the middle the famous T72.

Czech built RM70T Rocket launcher used by the Warsaw-pact countries.

Diorama involving a Soviet tank-destroyer and a KV1 heavy tank.

The French Leclerc, generally considered to be the best tank available in the world today. The tank is mounted with a 120mm canon.

French Pluton from 1972. This dangerous vehicle can fire a nucleair missile.