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Monday, July 22, 2013

European Hardware

This post will be a little thin on words, but heavy on pictures.  I recently got a chance to vacation in England and France, so I dragged my wife all over the countryside looking for any rusted out tank I could find.  Below are the results of that journey.

The Croc!  One of my all time favorites.  This one was sitting outside the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth.

The next series is from the Bovington Tank Museum -- this is the King of tank museums.  Behold!

The only fully operational Tiger in the world.  'UGE!  I'm about 6'5".  BIG TANK.

This is the inside of a Jadgpanther -- they had a little ramp so you could look inside the engine and crew compartments.

This KV-1S is 'uge!  Apparently, it is an example given to the Brits by the Russians during the war to demonstrate their modern tank designs.  The Brits added the whitewash and the lettering later.

The Luchs was SO tiny.  I could not believe how small this thing was.  The only thing that shocked me more was the Dingo.

The two pics above of the henschel turreted King Tiger was purely for reference.  I liked the numbers and also wanted to see the specific tools and such on the side.

Crew compartment of the Sdkfz 251/C.

This Hetzer was just sittin' there, Hetzin!  Also a TINY vehicle.

Luke left his Early War army here, apparently.

AHHH, the Achilles in winter whitewash.  LOVE it.

The TOG.  Enormous.  This is the heaviest tank in the whole museum.  My wife is 5'7".

This was just parked outside.  I love me a Churchill!

This Panther is interesting -- apparently, the US captured a factory late in the war and had the employees make a last on to learn the process and engineering involved.  Neat!

Yet another Croc.  The Allies must have just left these behind as they advanced so rapidly across Europe.  Probably didn't need the flamethrower anymore.

Polish Cromwell for Anatoli!

Finnish StuG.  Note the logs and additional concrete armor.

I was a little surprised at how small the Panzer IV appears.  It might be that after looking at the Panthers and Tigers, this was a little dwarfed.  Anyway, I expected it to be a little larger.

So, in northern France, there are apparently just random pieces of equipment all over the place.  I stopped and took pictures outside of museums, on the side of the road, and in front of garages.

Mulberrys still around at Gold Beach, Arromanches.

Below, see the gun emplacements we explored between Gold and Omaha.  These things were amazing and the only place where the guns are largely still around.

Below, see some of the graves of 29th guys in the American Cemetery in Colleville.

Omaha Beach today.  Though not the same as 70 years ago, this is the reason we fought for it, right?  So the people could enjoy a nice warm summer day in peace and freedom.

Craters like these are all over Pointe du Hoc.

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