Having finally finished the upload, the full set of pictures I have from my visit are here. I identiefied most of them by filename, but some I wasn’t able to either remember or dig out from the web. I managed to trip over the collection of Bernard Zee, a Bay Area resident, who has taken a ton of pictures of Littlefield’s tanks as well as the Bovington museum in England.
As our tour guide explained, the Americans were about to introduce some tank contributions to the war in Europe. They showed an early Lee to them (or perhaps just blueprints), and the British were pissed. Adding tanks with a mere 37mm gun was suicide, stupid, and useless. They insisted on the 75mm gun being available on the tank.
Apparently the solution involved adding the gun in the chassis as opposed to on a turret, so the tank had both main weapons. And as we know now, the Brits were right.
While I knew this was a scout tank and therefore small, it’s size really stuck with me. It’s maybe a tad bigger than an SUV! Smaller height than a Hummer !
Apparently this was meant to be an airdropped tank, with parachutists. In reality it had a bad record, only being employed in the Netherlands in 1945. It wasn’t Arnhem aka “A Bridge to far”, but some other operation.
Note just how big this tank is. Probably about 10′ at the height. After wandering around this bad boy I was seriously impressed with the engineering used to create it. It must have been pretty deadly. Contrast that with the real-life description of the IS-3 which is “Meh”, partly because it wasn’t used until the Six-Day war, and partly because it looks so….. drab….. in person. Both of these tanks were expected to meet in any post-WWII hostilities.
This is a beautifully restored vehicle with an eccentric paint job. I have no idea why the Brits would paint it this way. In a Warhammer-esque style frame of reference, I love it.
Did you know this existed ? I sure didn’t. Seems like the World of Tanks developers should have picked this for their Tier 1 vehicle. It was a training vehicle only, manufactured with the restriction placed after WWI that Germany could not have any tanks. Some set of machine guns are placed in the turret instead.
The collection, sadly, does not have a Loltracker or a T1 Cunningham.
I walked into the collection and this is probably the first tank I see. It seems like a Jagdpanzer 4 minus its gun. I think that’s what’s going on with it, because the similarities are too high otherwise.
Outside of the main buildings, on the drive in, I did see what I think is a real Jagdpanzer 4 sitting in a parking area, minus its gun.
It certainly looked scary compared to the historical tanks it would face.
But I’m making this post too long. Plenty more to see in the Flickr set if you’re interested.