May 9, 2010

Panzers! - May 09 (Part II)

Leaving the Saumur castle, we went over the hill and round the bend to find an interesting museum - at least to me - a "Musée des Blindés". The museum is huge and all indoors - imagine a large, immense aircraft hangar.  What's a blindé? I prefer to call them what all "good" tanks should be called - panzers! In the hope of finding a Panther or a Tiger, I convinced M that we should enter.

Inside we found tanks - panzers - from all the nationalities that fought in the first and second world wars. The museum even included the more current "panzers" used by France, Germany and Russia. But my main interest was the German WW2 panzers....

I found a Panther. It was just as big as I imagined it ... and it looked gorgeous!


Right next to the Panther, we found a Tiger ... smaller than the Panther but just as lethal if not more so. The Tiger design gave the Wehrmacht its first tank mounting the 88mm gun and was specifically produced to counter the mighty Soviet T34.
And surprise, we encountered a King Tiger - the most powerful panzer during WWII. With its huge 88mm gun and almost impenetrable armor, this was truely a behemoth of steel and destruction. A beautiful beast to behold.... 

There were so many more ... here M is waiting next to a later version Pkw Mark IV. Strange, I can even read M's mind... "Can we go now?"  

Hidden between a Hummel and a Wespe, we found a Jagdpanzer V - a panzer hunter - based on the same chasis as the Panther but with the 88mm gun.  

A short distance away, the formidable Soviet T34 - the tank that halted the German advance and pushed the adversary off the Russian steppes.     

M always finds those things I overlook... Here M found a German tracked motorcycle. "Should we trade the Gold Wing for this one?" she asked...

"... or how about this wartime BMW?"

 Just before we left, M found a new friend ... but he didn't talk much.

~ OK