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Museé Des Blindés, Saumur, Anjou, Maine-et-Loire, France

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Location Category ID: 6200
Added to Database: May 2008
Last Edited: 13 September 2009
Address: 1043 Route de Fontevraud, 49400 Saumur
Telephone: 02 41 83 69 95
Email: museedesblindes [at] wanadoo.fr (Replace [at] with @)
Opening Times: 1000-1700 Mon-Fri, 1100-1800 Sat-Sun-Holidays, January-April, October-December
1000-1800 May-June, September, School holidays
0930-1830 July-August
Official Website: Le Musée des Blindés
Other Links: 5 Star
Le Chapy
Latitude, Longitude: 47.24376975 , -0.07226944
Location Accuracy: 6
Tanks Previously Here: 1: Panzerkampfwagen IV Tank - Musée Août 1944, Falaise, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France (Seen between 1982 and 1994 but gone by 1999)
2: Panzerkampfwagen IV Tank - Auto und Technik Museum, Sinsheim, Rhine Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Until early 1990s)
3: Hummel Self-Propelled Howitzer - BWB Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung, Koblenz, Koblenz District, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Until 1984/5)
4: Sturmpanzer IV Brummbär Assault Gun - Panzermuseum, Munster, Soltau-Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony, Germany (1940s - 1990s)
5: Panther Tank - 501-503 RCC, Mourmelon-le-Grand, North East France, France (Seen between 1982 and 2001)
6: Panther Tank - Royal Tank Museum, Aqaba, Aqaba Governorate, Jordan (Until 2010)
7: Panther Tank - Musée Août 1944, Falaise, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, France (Seen in 1982 and 1984 but gone by 1995)
8: Panther Tank - Auto und Technik Museum, Sinsheim, Rhine Neckar-Kreis, Baden-Württemberg, Germany (Until about 1980)
9: Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer - BWB Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung, Koblenz, Koblenz District, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany (Until 1984/85)
10: AMX-13/75 Light Tank - The Tank Museum - Public Areas, Bovington, Dorset, South West England, Britain (Until April 1969)
11: ARL-44 Heavy Tank - 501-503 RCC, Mourmelon-le-Grand, North East France, France (At least 1982-1992)


The French Armoured Corps and Cavalry School is located in the town of Saumur, which is about 46km south-east of Angers, on the south bank of the River Loire. In 1965 an Armoured Vehicle Documentation Centre (Centre de Documentation des Engins Blindés, C.D.E.B.) was created in the School, to be responsible for collecting, restoring and preserving prototype and production armoured vehicles. This was achieved largely through the work of one man, the late Colonel Aubry. The many armoured vehicles that have since been collected by the AVDC have for many years been on display as the Saumur Armour Museum; Colonel Aubry was its first director. Most of these vehicles were housed in three main buildings; the General Patton Hall, the General Estienne Hall and the Rommel Hall (the Rommel Hall was closed to the general public). These buildings were military hangars on loan from the Armoured Corps and Cavalry School, but provision had been made for the construction of special museum buildings in plans for the modernisation of the School. Some years ago, therefore, a new building was acquired on the outskirts of Saumur, just outside the School, and this was used to display about forty of the vehicles in the collection. It was opened on 30 May 1987 and featured a video room, a souvenir and book shop and various rooms exhibiting armaments, optics, transmissions, and dioramas. This building was named Bossut Hall and was the only one open to the public at the time. In 1993 the museum moved to a larger building, the General Estienne hall, at its current location.
The Saumur collection of vehicles is spread over various areas of the School, such as the maintenance hangars. These vehicles are generally awaiting restoration or maintenance, which are carried out by the School. Some of the vehicles in running order are kept in a covered French Army area at another location in Saumur. This area is not open to members of the public. As well as armoured vehicles the Armour Museum has many tank guns, mantlets, engines and turrets on display and in storage. Photography is not allowed inside any of the buildings.The Saumur Museum is very proud of its collection of operational vehicles which take part in frequent displays and commemorations. It has more such vehicles than any other museum in the world despite the fact that it is one of the youngest major armoured vehicle museums. The Museum puts a high priority on returning vehicles to running order and then maintaining them. It is also prepared to run these vehicles quite often in public displays, unlike other museums which are loath to risk such vehicles breaking down, with all the attendant repair work and spare part acquisition that entails.
The museum is able to restore and maintain its operational vehicles because of its farsighted policy of collecting and storing huge amounts of spare parts for its vehicles just in case they should one day be needed. The main store for the Museum’s spare parts and equipment is at Chanzy, near Mans, which has reached capacity. It holds 200 vehicles and about 1000 tonnes of spare parts. Many of the vehicles are tracked and include several examples of M4 Sherman 105mm Tanks and M24 Chaffee and AMX-13 Light Tanks (one of these M24s is experimental and has been fitted with a new gun and mantlet and other fittings).

Location Images - Photographs and NavPix (click to expand or browse)

June 1994

External vehicles
1: External vehicles

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 136
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 364
Has Priority: 0
    

 

Storage hangar
2: Storage hangar

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 137
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 159
Has Priority: 0
    

 

EBR armoured cars in storage
3: EBR armoured cars in storage

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 138
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 163
Has Priority: 0
    



Storage hangar
4: Storage hangar

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 139
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 174
Has Priority: 0
    



Spare parts
5: Spare parts

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 140
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 179
Has Priority: 0
    



Spare tracks
6: Spare tracks

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 141
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 160
Has Priority: 0
    



Mantlets
7: Mantlets

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 142
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 142
Has Priority: 0
    



Carrier chassis
8: Carrier chassis

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 143
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 180
Has Priority: 0
    



M113 APC
9: M113 APC

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 144
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 210
Has Priority: 0
    



AMX-10 APC
10: AMX-10 APC

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 145
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 153
Has Priority: 0
    



Soviet and Chinese APCs
11: Soviet and Chinese APCs

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 146
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 147
Has Priority: 0
    



Hotchkiss SP1.V / SPz 2-2 Ambulance
12: Hotchkiss SP1.V / SPz 2-2 Ambulance

Taken: 15 June 1994
Contributor: J. Vollert Collection
Location Photo ID: 147
Added: 13 September 2009
Views: 657
Has Priority: 0
    



November 1992

Bossut Hall
13: Bossut Hall

Taken: 17 November 1992
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 83
Added: 19 July 2009
Views: 198
Has Priority: 0
    



 

US vehicles outside Bossut Hall
14: US vehicles outside Bossut Hall

Taken: 17 November 1992
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 84
Added: 19 July 2009
Views: 173
Has Priority: 0
    



 

French vehicles outside Bossut Hall
15: French vehicles outside Bossut Hall

Taken: 17 November 1992
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 85
Added: 19 July 2009
Views: 207
Has Priority: 0
    



Axis vehicles in Bossut Hall
16: Axis vehicles in Bossut Hall

Taken: 17 November 1992
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 133
Added: 5 September 2009
Views: 154
Has Priority: 0
    



External storage (beside Rommel Hall)
17: External storage (beside Rommel Hall)

Taken: 17 November 1992
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 134
Added: 5 September 2009
Views: 156
Has Priority: 0
    



External storage area (waste ground) after all vehicles cleared away
18: External storage area (waste ground) after all vehicles ...

Taken: 17 November 1992
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 135
Added: 5 September 2009
Views: 143
Has Priority: 0
    



July 1984

Main Entrance
19: Main Entrance

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 119
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 151
Has Priority: 0
    



 

External display area
20: External display area

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 120
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 147
Has Priority: 0
    



 

Schützenpanzer SPz 12-3 / HS-30 armoured personnel carrier
21: Schützenpanzer SPz 12-3 / HS-30 armoured personnel ...

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 121
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 2777
Has Priority: 0
    



Fouga VP90 Carrier
22: Fouga VP90 Carrier

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 122
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 1233
Has Priority: 0
    



Lorraine carrier
23: Lorraine carrier

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 123
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 251
Has Priority: 0
    



Reserve storage area
24: Reserve storage area

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 124
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 219
Has Priority: 0
    



Carrousel
25: Carrousel

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 125
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 154
Has Priority: 0
    



Carrousel
26: Carrousel

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 126
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 146
Has Priority: 0
    



Carrousel
27: Carrousel

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 127
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 125
Has Priority: 0
    



AMX-30 in service beside museum
28: AMX-30 in service beside museum

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 128
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 135
Has Priority: 0
    



Turretless AMX-30 outside hangar beside museum
29: Turretless AMX-30 outside hangar beside museum

Taken: 24 July 1984
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 129
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 139
Has Priority: 0
    

    



August 1982

Rommel Hall
30: Rommel Hall

Taken: 1 August 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 116
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 166
Has Priority: 0
    



 

Main Entrance
31: Main Entrance

Taken: 1 August 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 117
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 144
Has Priority: 0
    



 

Reserve storage area
32: Reserve storage area

Taken: 1 August 1982
Contributor: T. Larkum
Location Photo ID: 118
Added: 30 August 2009
Views: 217
Has Priority: 0