The Tank Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

The Tank Museum

Dorset, England, UK

Harry Sherrin

14 Sep 2021
Image Credit: Geni / CC

About The Tank Museum

The Tank Museum near Bovington, Dorset, is home to roughly 300 military machines, including the world’s oldest surviving combat tank. Featuring moving exhibitions and live displays, The Tank Museum is an interactive and educational experience covering the history of armoured warfare.

History of The Tank Museum

After World War One, a number of British tanks were returned from France to Bovington Camp in Dorset, England. Those that were still in working condition were set aside for military training purposes.

Then, in 1923, the famed writer Rudyard Kipling visited Bovington and suggested its collection of damaged vehicles should be put on display for the public. Initially, a shed was constructed to house the tanks, which opened to visitors in 1947.

Ever since, the museum has been expanding and improving its collection of tanks.

The Tank Museum today

These days, Bovington’s Tank Museum boasts a collection of some 300 military machines. Its exhibits trace the history of the tank from its inception right through to the 21st century, touching on World War One, World War Two and the Iraq War.

Visitors to The Tank Museum can expect to see the world’s only working German Tiger I, as well as an American M60 and the world’s oldest surviving combat tank, known as Little Willie.

On certain days, The Tank Museum will put on live displays of tanks and military machines in action.

The Tank Museum also hosts TANKFEST, a four-day annual event featuring live tank displays, historical reenactments, exhibits, lectures and much more.

Getting to The Tank Museum

The Tank Museum is in south Dorset, England, near Wareham. The museum is signposted by the brown tourist signs when approaching from Dorchester, Blandford, Weymouth and Poole.

The Tank Museum is about a 30 minute drive from these locations, about 45 minutes from Bournemouth and Salisbury and about an hour from Southampton and Yeovil.

There is plenty of free parking on site.

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