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11
Latrun Armour Museum

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Just a one hour drive from Tel Aviv in the direction of Jerusalem is the Israeli Armour museum at Latrun. The museum is mostly comprised of an open air exhibition, a small indoor exhibition, and a souvenir shop. I did not count the tanks, but there must be more than a hundred. Most of the exhibition is supported in both Hebrew and the English language. Free entrance and free tours with English speaking army guides are available on most days. For anyone travelling in the region it is well worth a visit.

The exhibition contains some very interesting AFV’s. Almost all of the tanks from the Middle East wars are included in the open air exhibition, these also include among others;

Jesper has kindly offered to send higher resolution pictures of subjects to anyone who send him a personal message. Hotchkiss tank captured by the Germans and given the German Eagle stamp on the armour. This stamp is still faintly visible; ironically this tank was later used in the initial battles to secure the Israeli state.

Panzer IV modified with among other things a new MG post at the turret cupola, and was used by the Egyptians and captured by Israel.

T-54 APC used by Lebanese forces and captured by Israel. This version is a T-54 tank rebuilt to be used as an APC by removing the turret and adding armoured shields.

Numerous Israeli rebuild "funnies". Among them the Sherman "monster" moving target. A modified Sherman with extra armour plates on the hull used as a moving target. Despite the armour I would not want to be the driver in this tank when the bullets start to hit.

I highly recommended the Latrun Armour Museum if you are in the region and list it as a "must see" for anyone interested in Middle Eastern armour and the many unique Israeli conversions.
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About the Author

About Jesper (SGTJKJ)
FROM: KOBENHAVN, DENMARK

I am mainly interested in 1/35 armor and 1/48 aircraft, but sometimes build miniatures for strategy games. http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a347/ravenwing1/standard2/9OPnw-_zpslrary4qg.gif~original


Comments

Jesper, Thanks, some nice photos and really gives a sense of the size of the museum. Jake
NOV 28, 2010 - 03:37 PM
The entrance to the museum looks new (I was there in 2001). The story I got on the Hotchkiss is that it was guarded by the British under the mandate. The Haganah sent two women to distract the British guards and stole the tank. Was the Wall of Tears memorial still there? It is a wall of armor which was cut from damaged or destroyed tanks, each piece with the hole punched into it. Ted
NOV 29, 2010 - 04:38 PM
Dear Jesper, I am glad that you had a good trip and that you enjoyed your visit in the Latrun collection. The H39 Hotchkiss had indeed an interesting service circle. The Panzer and Stug 3 were in use by the syrians (not Egyptians) and captured during the 6 day war in june 67 on the Golan Heights. The entrance to the site is not for free. Thank you for your article and photos. Lt. Col (res) Michael Mass Curator of the Latrun Tank collection
NOV 30, 2010 - 08:10 AM
Thanks for the comments, guys. Glad you liked the photos. Ted, there is a big wall with the names of all those killed in the service of the tank forces, but not made from scrap armour. However, I might have missed the other memorial. Thanks for the additional info on the panzer and the StuG III, Michael. I guess I owe some money then, as I did not pay to get in. Anyway, thanks for setting it straight.
DEC 03, 2010 - 10:52 PM
Hello Jasper, Guess you had a great visit. Michael
DEC 04, 2010 - 05:06 AM