The Musée des Blindes, or Tank Museum, at Saumur is one of the major collections of tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles in the world. It has an impressive collection of WW2 tanks and in January 2015 I had the chance to finally spend some time looking round this collection. For someone brought up on Airfix and Tamiya kits it is quite something being able to spend time up close and personnel with these vehicles while as an adult knowing the history, often dark history, behind them.
One of the vehicles I was keen to see was the Panther V, a tank that has always fascinated me. It was technically highly advanced but like so many pieces of German armour from this period, somewhat over engineered. Nevertheless when you stand alongside it, the Panther is a massive tank and the site of a section of these heading towards your position would have not been a happy prospect to say the least. This is one of the great things about exploring WW2 history in this way – you can read about Panthers, make models of Panthers but until you’ve seen one it is hard to understand tanks like these.