When I was younger I had a strong interest in the second world war, but after becoming infatuated with history again by reading a lot of books on the subject, I decided i should visit Bovington Tank Museum once (or twice) more, the last time I went was when I was around 12 so its been quite some time!
So what spurred me in to going recently was Tiger 131, if any of you have seen the film Fury, the tanks they used in the film are from this museum, the German one which Brad’s tank does battle with (and destroys) is a PzKpfw VI Tiger Tank. (forgetting the movie now) that tank is the only one left on the planet which still runs and drives, it has come to be known as ‘Tiger 131’ for its turret number, and was captured by the British in Tunisia in 1943.
This came about during a battle with Churchill Tanks, a shell hit its turret ring disabling it from rotating, another hit an open hatch, wounding the crew and leading them to abandon the tank. It was inspected in Tunis by King George VI and Winston Churchill, before being sent back the the UK and displayed around the country as a trophy to help boost wartime morale, eventually it was handed to the museum, and in 1990 they started work to fully restore it to the working condition you see in these photograph’s.
The museum holds a special day every year where they take it outside and drive it around in a display with a selection of other tanks from that era, one of which is the Sherman named ‘Fury’ from the film.
If you have any interest in history, or just want something to do then i would definitely recommend visiting Bovington, the museum is very good, and they have a lot on display!