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About

ABOUT THE TANK MUSEUM

The Tank Museum at Bovington in Dorset brings the story of tanks and tank crews to life.

With over 300 tanks from 26 nations, The Tank Museum holds the finest and most historically significant collection of fighting armour in the world. These range from the world’s first ever tank, Little Willie, through to the British Army’s current Main Battle Tank, Challenger 2.

Eight powerful exhibitions tell the story of armoured warfare spanning over 100 years of history. As you explore the Museum’s seven large halls, you come face with face to face with tanks and hear incredible true stories from the last century.  The Tank Museum is an independent Museum and registered Charity.

HISTORY

Bovington is the ‘home of the tank’. 

In October 1916 Bovington was appointed as the new ‘home’ of the Heavy Branch Machine Gun Corps, the title of the first unit to use tanks.  It was here that the pioneers of armoured warfare were trained and it remains home to The Royal Armoured Corps today.

Following the First World War, hundreds of redundant tanks were shipped back to Bovington to await the attention of the scrap man. It is believed that Rudyard Kipling suggested the foundation of The Tank Museum following a visit to Bovington. He petitioned the War Office, and in 1923 one of each vehicle type was set aside. The fruits of this foresight form the basis of our collection today, but The Tank Museum wasn’t officially opened to the public until the 1950’s.

The Tank Museum’s experienced curatorial staff are leaders in their field. They are frequently called upon to advise and support other institutions with historical vehicle collections around the world.  Their expertise is frequently sought by the media in factual entertainment programmes, and recently in the production of the Hollywood production ‘Fury’ starring Brad Pitt.

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