...a visit by Stefan Blaubar
This feature has taken me a long while to get together since Stefan kindly sent the photos through, though by doing it a bit at a time, we have hundreds of photos which have noew been resized etc and loaded, and there are some great details in here that you can find at this huge German museum at Sindsheim. Something there for everyone from the looks of it. As well as the military vehicles and equipment, aircraft, trains, civilian airliners (Concord and Koncordski!), cars, race cars and much more. Well worth a visit from the looks of things. Thanks to Stefan for sharing his visit with us. Robin
Located between Mannheim and Stuttgart besides the A6, the museum is accessible very easily. The Autobahn has no speed limits in the area, so your approach could be fast and interesting for people from abroad, not used to high speeds. As I was on my way back from Leipzig, I had driven 2.5 hours, or some 470km before I arrived at around 10 am. The museum is open 365 days every year from 9 am to 6 pm. The entry fee is EUR 15 for the museum only and EUR 20 including an IMAX show.
The museum is split into 2 massive buildings covering 30,000m² alone, and in total there are above 3000 exhibits. The military section of the museum is located within and behind the main entry. Upon entry of the museum you will need to make your way through an array of 1950-1970s cars and fun-planes in order to reach the entry of the army display. All info panels, movies, displays are bilingual, in German and English!
The BR52 standing high above all other exhibits to its front marks the entry to the part of the museum, all of you would fancy. The marked round trip leads you along radio equipment of the US armed forces during WW2 to your left, on the right hand side is a mixed diorama in 1:1scale of about 50x30 meters, displaying various Pak, artillery and howitzer guns, as well as many small scenes of soldiers and mortar teams with special trailers and Kettenkraeder, Bren Carriers and two Ferrets. The Jagdpanther, Panzer IV Ausf. G and the 10.5cm Flak 38 are positioned around the scene. This is a quite nice feature, as vehicles are not simply standing side by side, but are rather displayed in battle formation or as if in action.
Above all these scenes, throne various aircraft, like the He 111, Ju-88 and the Me Bf 109 A-8. You will also find the M4A1 Shermans and a T-34-85 right here underneath the Ju-52. There are many TV’s and info panels, which display videos and extra information in two languages, German and English. On the sides and the centre of the military display are vehicles displayed in loose order, standing not exactly side by side, but rather in disorderly manner! In between you will once a while find small 1:1scale diorama display. All vehicles are behind a wire fence, so touching or going close to them is not possible, only on some limited exhibits like this Tiger I parts. These are from a knocked out Tiger and show the sheer thickness of the frontal armour. I am 1.90cm tall and my hands are big, yet still thearmour is thicker.
Towards the back is a scenery with the Möbelwagen and a mobile German anti-aircraft battery repair shop. It displays everything, from generators and hammers, to blow torches and spare parts. You will also find many Opel Blitz trucks, an L 4500S and other transport vehicles here, as well as the Flakvierling a StuH 4, the Hummel and a Panther. The Panther traverses its turret, moves the gun and has high quality gun, engine and MG sounds. For EUR 1 you can push a button and listen to the sounds of Panther-war. On the way out of the great hall, covering about 13,000m², you will pass by many Sonderanhaenger, the Hetzers, Weasels, Kenntenkräder and a selection of various WW2 motorbikes, tractors, bulldozers, jeeps and more trucks of various nations.
Outside, behind the building, is a path of approximately 100m length, stashed with vehicles (I would guess 15 on either side) to either side, ranging from WW2 recovery M4 tanks, to M40 artillery pieces and modern T72, BMT’s and Leopard 2 tanks. A few pieces of battleship guns and two German railway guns are also on display.
In general, there are more German war machines from the WW2 era, but more international tanks and support vehicles from the post-war era.
Sad but true, this marks the end of the military section, but wait: You have missed the second hall with 17,000m² and there are still 300 vintage cars, 22 very impressive locomotives, 150 tractors, 200 motorbikes, 100 racing and sports cars (I have not gone through this) and the world record car “The Blue Flame” (highest recorded speed of 1001 km/h to be seen. But that is still not all. After 7 hours I yet had to see the Concorde, the beautiful Tupolev TU-144 and about 20 more aircraft, all of which are on the two roofs and you can go inside. In some of them, like the 747 cockpit for example, you can even sit on the pilot’s seat. The Canadair CL-215 waterbomber was my last highlight and I had to exit the museum as time and ran out and I still had a2hr ride home ahead.
A last note, there is the partner museum in Speyer, a few minutes’ drive from Sinsheim, covering aeronautics, ships, submarines and military dated pre WW2.
See the Sinheim Museum website for more details
|Auto & Technik Museum Sinsheim...|
...a visit by Stefan Blaubar By Robin Buckland
by Robin Buckland
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