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American Military Museum - Tanks & Ground Vehicles 

Visited 7-28-13

Artillery/Naval,
etc. displays
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WWII Tank & Ground Vehicle Displays at the American Military Museum

Photos taken by WW2HQ staff. Only displays from the World War II period are covered in this article.

The American Military Museum in El Monte, CA, is a Non-Profit Educational Organization. All of the displays are outdoors on a dirt/gravel parking area with paths between the rows.


Buildings for repairs shops and storage are located in an adjacent, fenced area which is not open to the public. The large number of tanks and vehicles are lined up side by side in a limited space.


The day we visited, a high school student was working on the Stuart tank. The proprietor told us that the local high school military club does volunteer work at the museum.


There are no display signs, however, a notebook , which includes descriptions of each display, is available to visitor. The docent was friendly and knowledgeable about the collection, and military vehicle restoration. He was happy to talk with us and answer our questions.


The museum has a number of tanks and ground vehicles, including a few very rare pieces. Many of the vehicles have been used in movies or TV series and some can be rented for photo shoots.


There is a very nice selection of Sherman tank variants on display and it was interesting to see the variants side by side to to make visual comparisons.One of these is the scarce M4A3E8 Easy Eight, 105mm Howitzer version, which was a very valued tank by army divisions in Western Europe because the howitzer was much more effective in attacking enemy fortifications and pillboxes than the standard 75 mm Sherman tank gun. Approximately one of every ten Sherman tanks built was equipped with the 105mm howitzer 1. Another variant on display is the Super Sherman (Easy Eight with a 76 mm gun). Nearly 1 out of 7 Sherman tanks produced mounted this type of gun1. The revised turret for this tank was necessary because the bulk and recoil of the larger 76mm gun.


The Marmon-Herrington M-H CTL-3 combat car on display, is one of five vehicles delivered to the USMC in 1937. It is actually a light tank, however, in 1920, Congress decided that the tanks would go only to the infantry units.


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The U.S. Cavalry and U.S. Marines had to make up a new name for tanks to avoid violating the Defense Act of 1920- the term combat car was no longer used after 1940. The machine guns are missing from this particular display.


Due to vandalism, the museum's Schwimmwagen and Kugglewagon are no longer on display at the museum.



Notes:

1 Terry Gander, Tanks in Detail. Hersham, Surrey: Ian Allen Publishing Ltd., 2003, p. 25.



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