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Backstage visit to Ft Benning Tank Collection

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by Dave55, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    I had a very lucky visit to Ft Benning this week. I went to see the new Infantry Museum and while there I asked one of the volunteer workers if she had any information about when the tank collection that had been moved from Ft Knox would be available to the public. She initially got a little annoyed and said that they get asked that every day and that it was all in a storage area on the base and not open to the public. The Infantry Museum is outside the gate. But she was very nice and said if I was interested I could ask at the restoration director’s office, which was across the lobby. A very nice lady let me in and said that the director was over at the shop and called him on the phone. When she hung up she said, “He said send him over.” She then gave me directions to the area and said to make sure to call her if I had any trouble.

    When I got over there, it turns out that not only had the Ft Knox collection been moved there but also almost all of the tanks from Aberdeen Proving Grounds. The artillery from Aberdeen went to Ft Sill.

    I met Len and Frank who are the two directors of restoration, who couldn’t have been nicer. They spoke to me briefly before getting back to work. They were very busy and had about six soldiers working for them doing both restoration work and general grunt work of moving around and arranging a couple of hundred tanks out in the yard

    They then turned me lose and I was on my own to roam around. Absolutely great visit and I can’t thank them enough.

    It might take me a while to post all the pictures.
     

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  2. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member Patron  

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    what a great opportunity ! I live 35 miles away and would love to see the tanks. Did they give an opening date?

    Gaines
     
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    They didn't give a date but I think it won't be anytime soon. I only saw Len and Frank and one other fellow working plus the handful of soldiers and there are hundreds of vehicles parked cheek to cheek out in the yard. At least many of them are now covered up with tarps. Len told me that there is a lot of work to do on the Aberdeen vehicles. He said that when they were parked on display in Maryland that most were left in gear with the parking brake set. The hatches were then welded shut and they were left out in the rain for 50 years.

    He said this one had 500 gallons of water in it. It filled up until it reached the bottom of the drivers hatch

    Can you or anyone else identify it? I can't. Looks like a mid thirties US tank with Christie suspension to me
     

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  4. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    More of a Tiger
     

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  5. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Some WWI stuff. I can't identify the models
     

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  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    More WWI
     

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  7. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    An M2 and some ammo
     

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  8. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    A White half-track, a .50 on top of a locker and some type of big range finder next to the half-track
     

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  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Demag D7, I think
     

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  10. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    More of the D7

    Note the wheel stops. :)

    Frank told me they found them inside the vehicle when it came down from Ft Knox so they decided to put them to use
     

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  11. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Maybach and twin Cadillac engines. I know they were used in the Chaffee but don't know if they had other applications too
    The civilian ones of that era were around 345 cubic inches (each).

    I think the gray one is a Maybach only because it is gray, has three air cleaners and was near a Tiger and a Panther
     

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  12. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    The Caddy engines and another shot of the Maybach
     

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  13. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    A cut-away King Tiger
     

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  14. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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    Nice one, Dave.
    Great to see many of these old dears finally getting under cover and getting a bit of attention.
     
  15. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    A StuG III.
     

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  16. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Some sort of penetration test
     

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  17. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Marder II and a Hellcat
     

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    TD-Tommy776 likes this.
  18. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    KwK 37 (I think).

    Someone there told me this one had been removed from a Mk IV when it was upgunned and mounted on this pedestal mount for point defense.

    Also the Jagdtiger from Aberdeen and some low slung tank that I couldn't identify or get around
     

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  19. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Sd.KFZ 251
     

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  20. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

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    Periscope on the 251, Pershing facing a Tiger, a Dodge Weapons Carrier, and a Sherman
     

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