Tank museum history

The history and background of the tank museum and its exhibits

During the Russian Civil War and the British/ American/ French/ German Intervention in Russia the Red Army captured several French and British tanks. Two Renault tanks was taken by Lenin’s order to the Sormovski factory as a model for the Soviet first tanks to be built.

In 31 August 1920 the first Soviet built tank, a 7 ton vehicle with 8-16mm thick armor was produced. During the 1920’s the Red Army purchased many foreign examples of tanks to use as models for future domestic production.

The tanks collection , which met in 1931, has long been a part of  a polygon (military testing area), a special secret institution laboratories for the study of armor (NIII BTVT),

In 1938 all old soviet tanks were placed into the special area — «museum»

During the World War Two the Red Army captured a lot of German tanks for the testing by a soviet cannons and learn all engines and details. After  the Soviet- Japan War 1945 (as well as before WWII the local conflicts) in Manchukuo (North China), the Red Army captured also several Japanese tanks.

Also, during World War II the USSR received American & British tanks under Lend-Lease. The bulk of foreign tanks (Italy, French, Hungary…) in the collection was captured during World War II. Others were obtained by exchange with the British Armor Museum or were given by Soviet allies and clients from items they captured in Viet-Nam, Korea, Cuba, Middle East Wars, etc.

September 10, 1972, the tank crew Day, this large  tank collection  was opened as the «Tank Museum». (About the people who have contributed to this business it will be written  latter).

танковый музей в Кубинке

Tank museum,Kubinka 1945-197X before the pavilions building

The initiator of the tank museum building  in Kubinka was a soviet Armored Forces Marshal Babajanyan.

The Museum of the Armored Vehicles and Equipment has one of the largest collections of armored vehicles in the world. Vehicles from 11 foreign countries are represented. The 290 items range from 3-5 ton light tanks and armored cars to a super-heavy, 180 ton monster. There are 40 self-propelled guns from 57 to 600 caliber, 30 armored cars, 10 reconnaissance and command vehicles, and a variety of technical and engineer support vehicles.

Since 1992, the museum, while still a structural division of the Research Institute (polygon), opened its doors to visiting all the citizens of Russia.

In 1995, the museum was transformed into the «Military-Historical Museum of the armored vehicles and equepment» and became an independent (from polygon) organizational, the staff units and the separate entrance tomseum (not trough the polygon like before)

In 2000, thanks to the  museun volunteers  activitie, the  guides, the experts and historians, all armored vehicles to restore the original coloring and tactical insignias, resulting in artifacts appear in accordance with the standards of the leading museums of the world. The museum was formed a team of the AV repairmen volunteers.

Since 2003, some of the museum WWII exhibits restored to the running condition. Exhibits start to be leased at the commercial rates or contractual with Mosfilm studios for a filming, the festivals or the  shows. Short time the tanks in action (riding)  for the $$$ service  was officially opened as   «photographing in the  uniforms with a AV as backgroun». Later, commercial riding tanks is prohibited by order of the GABTU (tank HQ)

Since the summer of 2003, the holiday dates celebration does include the military-historical reconstruction of the fragments of the Great Patriotic War (re-enactement). After the tragedy in 2006 with the loss of human life in the T-IV due to violation of a few years the safety of the military-historical reconstruction of the museum is prohibited. Full-scale reconstruction rebuilt in 2015

January 2012 — museum was renamed into «The Central Museum of the armored vehicles and equepment »

Первые русские танки, проект Лебеденко

Russian Imperial Army, the first tanks (experimental), Lebedenko project

  • Russian Imperial Army — the auto, trucks and the Armored Cars
  • The first tanks of Russian Empire
  • Foreign tanks of World War I
  • Russian Civil War, the White Army tanks, AV  and the military units
  • Russian Civil war, the Red Army of Comrade Trotsky armored forces
  • ABTU, GABTU & Centrobron
  • Tank testing area (Kubinka) » Polygon» —  NIII38
  • Older tanks and the creation of a tank museum at Polygon
  • The first Soviet pre-WWII war trophies
  • Lend-Lease and AV supplies of the  «allies»  durig WWII
  • Third Reich —  Nazi GermanyTrophies 1941-1945
  • Militarist Japan Trophies 1945
  • The Cold War. Trophies of the local wars
  • «Perestroika» and inter-museum exchanges
  • WWII Battlefields relic hunting. The new exhibits
  • Tank museum chiefs, guides and the veterans of  the armored forces
  • Status of the tank museum, the change of names, reorganizations