Museums

Here is a list of some European museums with military vehicles from WW2 in their collection. Most of them I visited myself. If you are looking for information on military museums in Western Europ I refer to the War Museums website.


Europe

THE NETHERLANDS

Airborne Museum, Oosterbeek: This is a fine museum situated in the former HQ of the British Airborne Division during the battle for Arnhem (September 1944). The museum has one jeep on display. It is placed in a diorama in the cellar. The jeep has markings as used by the British Airborne Division. Also in the museums collection is a rare Airborne bulldozer.

Nationaal Oorlogs en Verzetsmuseum, Overloon: The national war and resistance museum of the Netherlands has a considerable collection of military vehicles. Most of the vehicles are situated in the open air. Many of the vehicles are remains of the battle. Many of them are damaged by shells. The museum has at least one jeep on display. It is placed behind glass in a diorama. The museum does also have a Russian T-34 in working condition.

Museum 1939-1945 Uithuizen: situated in an old farm, this museum is devoted to the history of the Second World War. The museum does have a lot of vehicles on display. Among the vehicles on exhibition are: Shermantank, Dodge WC-54 Ambulance, Dodge Weaponcarrier, Brencarrier, german staffcar, a FWD truck and a jeep. The collection does also show many vehicle parts like: a Rolls Royce bomber engine, a GMC engine and a Sherman transfercase. Due to reorganization the Museum 1939-1945 has permanently closed its Uithuizen location to the public by October 31 2003.
 

Legermuseum, Delft: the National Army Museum has a jeep which belonged to His Royal Highness prince Bernardh of the Netherlands. This vehicle is on permanent display. It  has been part of an interesting temporary exhibition in the museum. This exhibition covered 4WD vehicles used by the Dutch army from 1940 'till the present day.

Museum Bevrijdende Vleugels, Best: museum housed in a former military complex. The museum tells the story of WW2 in global and Operation Market Garden and the actions of the 101th AB division in special. The museum has many WW2 vehicles: tanks (Shermans/ T-34/ Hetzer), artillery and more common MV's like Dodges, GMC's, motorcycles and jeeps. One of the jeeps is placed in a diorama representing a liberated Dutch village in September 1944. This jeep is dressed as a Red Cross jeep used by the 101st Airborne Division.


FRANCE:

The Memorial, Caen, Normandy: Huge museum concerning WW2, has some WW2 vehicles including a jeep. The jeep has identification marks of the 82th US Airborne Division. This vehicle is probably a Hotchkiss!! Condition good, canvas top and axe lacking. Other vehicles on display are a Sherman and a Panther tank, Weasel, Stalin rocket launcher and Hawker Typhoon. Entry to the museum is quite expensive, but certainly worth it. The museum's library has a section devoted to military transportation, among the volumes are several on jeeps.

Musee des blindes, Saumur : This is a great collection of mainly armored vehicles. It is owned by the French army, cavalry. The collection contains vehicles from all over the world, most of them are in top/working condition. Here one can follow the development of the tank. Once a year some of the vehicles participate in an open air event. Check out there great website.


LUXEMBOURG:

Musee National d'Histoire Militaire, Diekirch: One of the finest WW2 museums I visited, concerns mainly the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944), has a collection of restored WW2 vehicles including two jeeps. The first jeep is a Willys MB with .50 cal machine gun and radio set. They also have a Ford GPW on display. Other vehicles on display: M4 Highspeed tractor, Halftrack, Command car. All in excellent roadworthy condition.


Germany:

Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung Koblenz: interesting technical collection of the German army. Inlcudes rare WW2 tanks (Panther, Stug) and artillery. Also many infantry weapons.


BELGIUM:

Bastogne Historical Centre, Bastogne: museum founded by Guy Franz Arend and dedicated to the battle for Bastogne (December 1944): has a jeep on display in a diorama. The jeep has identification marks of the 101st US Airborne Division. The diorama shows General Mc Auliffe in the jeep, the one who replied "Nuts" to a German request for a US surrender. Also on display: Dodge ambulance, German kettenrad, Halftrack. Outside the museum a (post-war) Hetzer and two Shermans.

Victory Memorial Museum, near Arlons: the most extensive WW2 vehicle collection I 've ever seen (over 200 vehicles, many of them rare). This museum, which unfortunately has shut its doors in 1996, had several jeeps on display including a replica of Patton's jeep, an armoured jeep, a GPA and a standard jeep. Do you like WW2 military vehicles?? ...You should have seen this! Some vehicles were shown in one of the 5 dioramas, also a good movie: "Africa to Berlin" featuring the vehicles was shown. This museum was owned by Guy Franz Arend, the same guy who started the Bastogne Historical Centre. The collection has been sold to an American. All vehicles will be shipped to the USA and be displayed in a new museum Indiana.

Musee de la Bataille des Ardennes, La Roche-en-Ardennes: private collection mainly devoted to Battle of the Bulge 1944, situated in an old garage building. This museum has some vehicles including a Dodge weaponcarrier and two jeeps: one of them is a slat grill.

Musee December 1944, La Gleize: nice museum, concerns Battle of the Bulge 1944, has among others one jeep on display, camouflaged with white paint. This reconnaissance vehicle is equipped with armour plates, has US (82th Airborne Division) identification. Outside the museum a Mark 2 Konigstiger tank, left after the battle. Very impressive.

Ardennes Poteau-'44 Museum, Poteau, Belgium: This collection of WW2 militaria and relics was opened in the summer of 1998. It is housed in an old custom-house. During the Battle of the Bulge heavy fighting took place in and near the house. The collection has some fine restored vehicles and cannons.  Among the vehicles in the collection are: a Willys MB jeep, a Dodge WC51, a Weasel, a Harley Davidson WLA, a British BSA M20 motorbike with sidecar and a BMW R75 with sidecar. Also in the vehiclecollection are an American IHC M5 and a Czech OT-810; which has been 're-germanized'! Visitors are offered battlefield tours with these vehicles!!!
Outside the museum are a Czech 105mm Howitzer, that had the German designation "10,5cm le.Fh 14/19(t)" in WWII and a Sherman tank with an 105 mm cannon. This Sherman was used as a training target by the Dutch army but has been thoroughly restored since it was acquired by the museum. The museum also aquired and an American M2A1 105mm Howitzer and a M5 13-ton Highspeed tractor which is due for restauration.


MALTA

The national war museum of Malta is situated in one of the fortificatons of the harbour of Valetta. The museum tells the story of Malta during World War Two. The museum has a Willys MB jeep on exhibition. The jeep is called Husky. Click here to see a photo of Husky provided by Tibor Farkas from Hungary.


UNITED KNGDOM

Imperial War Museum: Duxford: Who doesn't know the Imperial War Museum? Among the vehicles on display are Fieldmarshall Montgomery's caravans. See also the impression of my 2001 trip to Duxford.

RAF Museum, Hendon: Besides all the great aircrafts the RAF museum does have some military "land vehicles" on display.One of them is a Ford GPW. Click here to see a photo of the jeep.

Museum of Army Transport, Beverley : The museum originates from two Army training establishments which started collecting vehicles in the 1950's. The museum has many World War Two vehicles in the collection. Like for example: a VW Kubelwagen, a jeep, a Diamond T tanktransporter, a Bedford 15 cwt and a Bedford OY. You can find over a hundred vehicles in the collection. I recommend you visit the museums website for more information.

Tank museum, Bovington:  If you want to learn more about the history of the tank, you should visit this museum. The museum is famous for its collection of armoured vehicles from World War One until the present day. Take a look at the museums website and convince yourself of all it has to offer: exhibitions, events, documentation etc..

Cobbaton Combat Collection, Devon:  This collection of items from the 39/45 war ranges from tanks to songsheets.The collection has over 50 military vehicles and artillery pieces, and literally thousands of smaller items from 1939/45. Mostly British and Canadian, the vehicles and  equipment are packed in two  Romney buildings. Vehicles are restored from derelict condition, not to look pristine, but like vehicles just back from the front line.


SWITZERLAND:

Panzermuseum Thun: Museum with a huge collection of WW2 and postwar tanks and armoured fighting vehicles. Including many German pieces.