The world's largest collection of tanks - in Dorset!

Living History

The world's largest collection of tanks - in Dorset!

The Tank Museum in Bovington Camp, Dorset, is home to the largest collection of tanks - and the third largest collection of armoured vehicles - in the world. It notably includes the only working example of a German Tiger I tank, and the British World-War-One-made Mark I - the world's oldest surviving combat tank.

The origins of the museum stem from writer Rudyard Kipling, who recommended a museum should be established after he visited Bovington in 1923, and viewed damaged tanks that had been salvaged from the First World War. A shed was built to keep the collection, although it was not opened to the public until 1947. The museum was modernised by George Forty - who was appointed Director in 1982.

The museum contains seven exhibition halls. The World War I Hall (Tank Men) explores the history of those who operated the very first tanks. The Inter War Hall (War Horse to Horsepower) follows the rise of the tank, and the role played by cavalry on the Western Front. The World War II Hall is the biggest room, with tanks from most nations involved in the conflict on display. Battlegroup Afghanistan showcases tanks from men of the Royal Armoured Corps involved in warfare in this country. Tank Factory features mock production lines, and Tank Story Hall follows the story of the tank, from its invention in 1915, through the 20th century, and into the future. Finally, the Vehicle Conservation Centre exhibits view vehicles that have been previously unseen by the public.

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