Australian Armour and Artillery Museum facts for kids
|Type||Armour & Artillery Museum|
|Key holdings||Military Vehicles and Artillery|
|Collection size||103 AFVs, 193 total exhibits.|
|Visitors||Open to the public|
|Nearest car park||Car park on site|
The Australian Armour and Artillery Museum is a privately owned museum dedicated to tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery from the Second World War and post war periods. It was officially opened in 2014, in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
The museum has purchased a number of vehicles and items for display from overseas, including some items from the Littlefield Collection when it was downsized. It is the largest collection of military vehicles in Australia, and the only major collection of vehicles in Australia apart from the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Memorial and Army Tank Museum at Puckapunyal. It is one of the largest private collections of artillery and AFVs in the world.
The museum houses vehicles from a number of overseas manufacturers, including vehicles from Russia, German, Japan, the UK, the US and Czechoslovakia.
The museum houses artillery dating back to World War I and vehicles from World War II and the post war period. All up the collection owns more than 100 vehicles, with more than 190 exhibits on display. A number are also in various stages of restoration and transit. The collection features a range of armoured vehicles including German, US, Australian, British and Russian examples.
US vehicles in the collection include both an early model and later model Stuart, M47 Patton, M48 Patton, M110 self-propelled gun, M3 Lee, M3 Grant, Sherman M4A1, White half-track, Staghound, M52 105mm SPG, LVT4 landing vehicle, M114 Command and Reconnaissance vehicle, M577A1 Command Vehicle (ex Australian Army), M113A1 (ex Australian army), White M3 half-track, Staghound Anti-Aircraft variant, M3 Grant "local farm conversion", M36 Jackson, M7 Priest and M41 Walker Bulldog.
The collection houses two rare Sentinel tanks (AC1 and AC4), Dingo scout car, Local Pattern 2 Carrier, 2 Pdr Attack Carrier Yeramba self-propelled 25 pounder, LP4 Armoured Car, M113 fire support vehicle, S1 (American) Scout car and a 2-pounder Portee on a Blitz truck.
Archer, Saladin (two), Chieftain, Humber Armoured Car, Matilda II, WWII British artillery tractor, Sherman Firefly, Churchill Mk VII, Churchill Flail, Churchill AVRE, Centurion, Valentine tank, Saracen, Ferret Mk 2, Fox, FV433 Abbot SPG, Sabre, Bar Mine Layer, Matilda II with Mk3 No.1 Bulldozer blade.
Soviet artillery tractor, BMP1, T-55, T26, T34/85, T60, T70, T72, BTR152, SU76, SU100, Pion 2S7 203mm SPG, BTR60 Command version, ATL Artillery Tractor, SA-2 (Surface to Air Missile) and a 2S1 Gvozdika
Panzer 38(t), Jagdpanzer 38(t), Tiger 1 (replica from the film "Fury), Hummel (vehicle), Leopard 1, Kanonenjagdpanzer, Panzer IV Ausf D,Panzer 4 Auf E, Panzer IV Ausf G, Kettenkraftrad(Sd.Kfz. 2), Sd.kfz 251/1 Ausf D and a Sd.Kfz. 250/3 Ausf A, Sd.Kfz. 250/3 Ausf B, Sturmgeschütz III, Beobachtungpanzer Artillery Observation Vehicle, and Sd.Kfz. 251/9c., Sd.Kfz. 250, Sd.Kfz. 251/22, Sd.kfz. 11/1 and a Sd.Kfz 250/8. Panzer IV G . Both a Panzer V 'Panther tank' and a Stug IV are owned by the collection, but undergoing restoration and not on display.
Other vehicles from other countries include a Canadian Ram Kangaroo, Czech OT810, Canadian Lynx, French Panhard AML, Ford Gun Tractor with Australian Limber and British 25 pdr, and Czech Praga with 30mm AA gun
Vehicles not on display
Additionally, there are a number of vehicles owned by the museum, but not currently on display. Mostly these are still being prepared in workshops, either on site or overseas, or they are in transit to the Museum. Some of these include a Panther A, Cromwell Medium Tank, ISU152 and close to another 25 additional planned exhibits
Each year to celebrate the Museums birthday, the Museum hosts a two day event called AusArmourfest. AusArmourfest gives people the opportunity to go for rides in some of the operational vehicles. In past years some of the vehicles have included the Hetzer, T72, Panzer IV G, Leopard, Kettenkrad, Sabre and many more.
Donation of Australian Tank From Wargaming Inc
The museum hosts two rare Australian Cruiser tanks (two of six left in the world), an AC1 Sentinel and a hybrid AC1 with an AC3 turret, presented as an AC4. The AC1 Sentinel was purchased and given to the museum by Wargaming Inc, producer of the World of Tanks tank game. The Sentinel was in the United States at the Littlefield Collection when that collection sold off many of its vehicles, and Wargaming Inc desired to purchase it and return it to its original home. As part of the purchase, it allowed access to the tank by Wargaming, so that they could study it and replicate it accurately for their game.
Shooting gallery and workshop
The Museum site also includes a 50-metre shooting gallery and a repair/restoration workshop where the vehicles which are in a state of deterioration can be restored. The workshop has a number of staff and can modify and build vehicles. As of 2015, the site has expanded to house more vehicles.
Tiger 1 replica
In 2016, the museum workshop undertook construction of a Tiger 1 replica. This utilised a highly accurate, partially constructed Tiger 1 that was originally constructed for the movie Fury, which in itself was an accurate replica of Tiger 131. The reconstruction utilised that upper portion of the Tiger, and also referenced original tiger parts the museum had purchased to make the whole tank. The bottom chassis was strengthened to be able to run, the first time the museum had produced its own tank from scratch. The Tiger reproduction uses a Scania truck engine. The running gear is T55 (Track,support arms and torsion bars) M110 Road wheels and the drive/ steering component is from a T62, but it is outwardly a running, almost completely accurate Tiger 1, except that the front drive sprocket (which due to the T62 T/case sits 200mm too high) and T55 Track. It was completed in November 2016, and is the only reproduction tank of this scale to be completed in Australia.
Australian Armour and Artillery Museum Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.