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Friday, 31 August 2018

Le Musée des Blindés de Saumur

The Le Musée des Blindés de Saumur (http://www.museedesblindes.fr/) was easy to find, being well sign posted from the local roads. There’s lots of free parking within the museum’s grounds and it’s reasonably accessible for wheelchairs/buggies etc.
Entry fee was 8.50 Euro with an additional 5 Euro charge to take photographs (how old-fashioned!). There was also an option to buy a combined ticket for the nearby Museum of French Cavalry for 12 Euro.
Cutaway Chaffee at the Museum entrance
The Museum was split into 12 Galleries and, on entry, you are provided with a printed colour leaflet which gives the museum’s history and a map. Signage throughout is in French, English & German and whilst brief, is probably sufficient for the casual visitor.

The 12 Galleries consisted of; -

The Great War (Examples of St Chamond, Schneider, FT17 Command etc.)

Germany in WW2 (2 x Panthers, Tiger 1 & 2, Pzkfw II-IVs, Jagdpanther, Bergpanther, Jagdpanzer IV, Hetzer, Hummel, Wespe, Marder I-III etc…)
The WW2 German Gallery

Tiger II

One of 3 Panthers



Damaged Hummel

88mm Anti-Tank Gun

WW2 German Gallery - rear view of Tiger I, Panther etc.

Pak40 75mm Anti-Tank Gun
Italy WW2 (M11/39, Autoblinda armoured car & Sermovente)

France WW2 (Char B, Hotchkiss H35, Renault AMR35 etc..)

Char B
Warsaw Pact 1945-present (T54, T55, T72 cutaway, BMP1, SU122, BTR70, MTLB BRDM 2 etc…)
Warsaw Pact Gallery

Iraqi T55

An immaculate SU122 "Carnation" SPG
Allied Armour WW2 - Primarily British & USA (M3 Lee, M4 Sherman, M10, Stuart, M8 etc.. Comet, Cromwell, Churchill, Matilda, Valentine etc..)
Staghound Armoured Car

M10 Tank Destroyer with interesting damage to hull side!

Allies WW2 Gallery
France 1945-present (Indo-China vehicles – DUKW, Buffalo, M3 Half-tracks, AMR, AML & AMX10 Armoured cars, AMX 30, AMX 30B2, LeClerc, AMX 13, AMX50, AML 44 etc..)
Leclerc Mock Up

French Para Vespa with Recoilless Rifle!

EBR 75 Armoured Car

Interesting list of vehicles used in Indo-China by the French Forces in the 1950's

Selection of more modern armoured cars


 “Celebrity Corner” – Waxwork military Celebrities displayed on appropriate vehicles! Monty, Rommel, LeClerc, De Gaulle etc)
Monty in his Bren Carrier!
Engines & Transmissions – from Tiger 2, LeClerc etc.)
The ultra slim engine (13" height I believe) from a EBR75 Armoured Car
Rest of the World 1945-present (Merkava Mk1, Conqueror, Centurion, Chieftain, M47, M48, M60, Leopard 1, Leopard 2 prototype, and many APCs…)
An incredible example of a MkI Merkava

Modern Rest of the World Gallery

Viewed from elevated viewing gallery, which also housed the model collection
Scale model cabinets and viewing gallery.

Outside – various individual AFVs (Easy 8 Sherman, Roland Missiles on AMX 30) scrap/spares area ( Sherman DD for restoration and another Panther) & AMX collection (Every variant of the AMX13 + some Gulf War exhibits)
Iraqi T72

A DD Sherman with incorrect 76mm Turret
As well as all the AFVs there were a few soft skins and many towed artillery/anti-tank guns. Additionally, there are random displays of cutaway munitions explaining things like the Monroe (hollow-charge) effect and how Anti-tank wire guided missiles work.

Many of the vehicles are in running condition and appear regularly at military shows (St Chamond, Tiger 2, Panther & Char B for example).

Whilst there was a large, well-stocked shop (Large selection of Heller Models, paints etc.) there is no café. There was, however several vending machines that all needed Euro coins to buy anything from them.

There is also a kid’s play area with a DAF APC that they can climb on. Also there are several APCs in the Rest of the World 1945-present area that can be entered.

This is a fantastic museum for the AFV enthusiast. Visibility and accessibility is good. The exhibits are in good order and painted in authentic schemes. There are so many unique exhibits (AMX50, ARL 44, Merkava Mk1 etc.) you won’t know what to do with yourself!!

Allow at least 3 hours to get the most from it, longer if you can afford it. If you’re like me you’ll find yourself back in the German WW2 armour gallery again, and again…….it’s amazing.

Really can’t recommend it enough if you find yourself in the area.


  1. Thanks Tim for this report !
    We spend every year so many hours since 1976, We were 12 years old... in this museum and since 10 years a tournement make Us so happy to go back here !

    See here some pictures with players between the tanks : https://lempereurzoom13.blogspot.com/2010/06/tournoi-de-saumur.html

    Next tournement is the october 6 & 7th
    Come to play for Art de la Guerre, FoG Renaissance, MeG & Flame of War

  2. Excellent museum! Congratulations on the nice spent time

  3. You made us nostalgic with your report on the Saumur tank museum ... that's what it is!

  4. Thanks for the comments guys. And thanks for the invite in October. If I'm in the area, I will certainly come along!