Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Musee Des Blindes, France

I promised some photos from my recent visit to the French Musee Des Blindes (Tank Museum) at Saumur in the Loire Valley, here are a few of the 80 odd that I took. First a brief tale of the museum itself. Please excuse any poor facts, but I'm translating the french guidebook, as the english version is reprinting. thankfully the museum signage has english translations.

The museum is very close to the French Army Cavalry School, and the basis of the collection was started by a Colonel Aubry and built on by the Mistere de la Defense from 1965. It now houses some 850 vehicles with 250 operational, often taking part in local and national commemorations. there is a website -  http://www.musee-des-blindes.assoc.fr/

The museum extends over 10 large rooms, and these are
1914-18 war
Campaign of France 1940
German Room WW2
Room of Heroes - (Rommel, Patton, Kuthozov, Monty, Leclerc, and of course De Gaulle)
Room of Curiosities (including a 'training tank' with road wheels)
Allies of WW2
French post war room (including Indochina)
Room of engines
Modern Room

All in all a good three hours viewing, an enthusiast could be there all day. It is very underused, with only 7 visitors during our stay (including the three of us) and this on an Easter saturday.

The foyer, with a life size paper soldier on the wall. Unfortunately they've missed an opportunity here, as we didn't find any on sale.

Schneider CA61 from WW1.

A view of about half the German WW2 room

Voiture Pliable. Designed for airborne use, a very light 4 man vehicle that folds up into a packing case. and can be set up in 'several minutes'.

Part of the Warsaw Pact room

View of the WW2 Allies room.

AMX 30B - If I've got this right this vehicle is the only one of its kind. Developed by the French during the Iraq war for mine clearance, it is radio controlled.

I only regret that I couldnt get a picture of the anti-tank Vespa. A scooter fitted with a 75mm canon. You don't see many of those on model battlefields!

So that is just a taster. I hope you agree that it is well worth a visit. The Chateaux and wines of the area are great as well.


  1. Hi Joppy

    Nice to see that you've visited the Musee Des Blindes. It is one of the place that my travelling group would hope to visit at some point.

    Where did you stay during your visit and is there anything else of interest in the immediate area.

    Being a Scotsman the main requirements are Bed, Breakfast and Beer with the occasional good meal.


    1. Thanks. Definitely worth a trip, especially if you have an interest in armoured vehicles. We went in caravans so can't quote on accomodation, but the area around Saumur has assorted chateaux to visit, and my companions were more interested in the various wine co-operatives, where they could taste the various types before buying (by the trolleyload in one case!)I would suggest the appropriate green michelin guide as a starter point, and a line dropped to a local tourist information office helps.

  2. Thanks for sharing joppy, an amazing museum, pity it is so under utilized. The wineries add 'that' extra dimension to a trip to the area. ;-)

    Love to see more of your photo's, the vespa sounds errr exciting?