Visits to Musée des Blindés – Part III

This is the final part (III) of my visits to Musée des Blindés blog posts. Looking for the other posts? Here: Part I and Part II. We move on from the infamous German WWII hall (Salle Allemande Seconde Guerre Mondiale) to the Salle Italienne and the remaining halls.

Salle Italienne

Carro Armato M15/42

Despite its 47 mm gun this tank may be compared with the German Panzer I and Panzer II. It was soon out of date because of its feeble armor plating and because of its lack of mechanical reliability. However it was to stand on duty in the Italian armored division until the end of the war.

Armament 47 mm L/40 gun and four 8 mm Breda 38 machine guns
Armor 42 mm
Crew 4
Weight 14 tons
Power 192 hp
Speed 40 km/h
Range 200 km

Semovente 75/18 M42

Being inspired by the principle of the German assault gun, the Italians put a 75 mm howitzer on the chassis of the infantry supporting tank M13/40. It was also used as an anti-tank weapon.

Armament 75 mm L/18 gun and one 8 mm Breda 38 machine gun
Armor 42 mm
Crew 3
Weight 15.7 tons
Power 125 hp
Speed 32 km/h
Range 160 km

The OTO Melara Modello 56 is an Italian-made 105 mm pack howitzer built and developed by OTO Melara. It fires the standard US type M1 ammunition. Muzzle velocity is 416 m/s and the maximum firing range is 11,100 m.
The Obice 75/18 Modello 35 is a field artillery howitzer with a muzzle velocity of 425 m/s and a maximum range of 9,565 m.

Exposition Temporaire: L’Atelier en Campagne

In this room an allied repair station is displayed with a Sherman M32 Armored Recovery Vehicle, a Jeep, a GMC Lot 7 and a Ward LaFrance M1A1 Serie 5 among other vehicles.

Salle des Curiosités

The Salle des Curiosités mainly consists of various prototypes which were never adopted by their armies and various curiosities. One of these curiosities is the ACMA TAP or Vespa cannon. This mode of transport is equipped with a 75 mm recoilless gun. Maximum speed is 60 km/h. When the scooter is placed in its working position, acting as a carriage, the slope of the tube can be adjusted. It was exclusively aimed for the airborne troops.

For special purposes such as the destruction of infantry positions or enemy armor the German company Borgward produced numbers of small remotely controlled tracked vehicles which were used to carry demolition charges to heavily defended positions or minefields. Controlled through a 1,500 meter cable attached to the rear the Goliath (Sd.Kfz. 302) was carrying a load of 83 kg of high explosives. 2,650 of these were produced using the electric motor. A later version was issued with a less expensive motorcycle petrol engine.

The Volkswagen Schwimmwagen (Kfz. 1/20) personnel reconnaissance car was designed to replace the sidecar motorcycles of the Wehrmacht in their reconnaissance role. Produced in great numbers (14,625) this light vehicle served its purpose in all combat theaters from Africa to the Russian steppes. It could ford rivers thanks to a small propeller mounted on the rear and directed with its front wheels. The other amphibian vehicle called the Trippelwagen was designed by the engineer Hans Trippel and was built in 1935. It is propelled by a 6-cylinder 2,5 liters engine which equipped the Opel Kapitan. A distinctive feature of this vehicle is that it is constant 4-wheel drive.

Salle Pacte de Varsovie

In the Salle Pacte de Varsovie exhibits from the Soviet Union era are on display. Especially the T-series tanks stand out in this hall like the T-34/85, T-54, T-54/55, T-62 and T-72.

Salle Les Alliés Seconde Guerre Mondiale

In the Salle Les Alliés Seconde Guerre Mondiale the following exhibits are on display. I will go into more detail when I find more time.

Salle France Contemporaine & museum surroundings

In the Salle France Contemporaine and outside the museum the following exhibits among others are on display:

Salle Monde Contemporain

In the Salle Monde Contemporain the following exhibits among others are on display:

This concludes the final part III of the visits to Musée des Blindés blog posts. I hope it makes you plan a trip to this amazing museum and the Carrousel de Saumur.

Leave a Reply