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The Aberdeen museum is moving to Fort Lee
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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Location: Normandy, France
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:16 pm
Post subject: The Aberdeen museum is moving to Fort Lee

Here I found some informations about the Aberdeen museum being moved to Fort Lee.
Who can confirm this information?


I hope they will be able to move the Ferdinant and the Jagdtiger.. they will maybe have some fun with it..

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:44 pm
Post subject: Re: The Aberdeen museum is moving to Fort Lee

Pierre-Olivier, thanks for posting the link, I hadnt seen that article yet. Below is a link to the best summary I have come across of the situation, we've been discussing it for some time actually.


Here's a link to some pics I took of where the museum might be located:


The Wall Street Journal
May 25, 2006; Page D8
Aberdeen, Md.
When the Base Realignment and Closure Commission announces that your military base has to close, it's usually greeted as bad news. Jobs will be lost, families uprooted; the environmental cleanup costs can be enormous. But in the case of the Aberdeen Proving Ground, home to the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum (www.ordmusfound.org), it's a blessing in disguise.
Opened in 1925, the museum was initially supplied with weapons from around the world that were tested at the proving ground. Once established, the museum was able to build an impressive collection of U.S., allied and enemy weapons.
Some of the many tanks the museum has on display.
Its shortcoming is that the museum is squeezed into an undersized building on a post more often associated with developing new weapons than preserving old ones. As a result, museum curator Jack Atwater, who has a doctorate in history from Duke and has been here for 17 years, can display only 5% of the collection he oversees. That's a shame, because he has much to show the museum's visitors, who number about 35,000 a year.
Even if you've never been to the base, the museum is easy to find. It's the small building in the middle of a field surrounded by about three dozen tanks, cannons and artillery pieces. Such as the 500-ton coastal defense gun. It and other 100-ton objects will be a logistical nightmare to move. They are too heavy for the interstate, so Mr. Atwater will either move them by rail or float them by barge to the proposed new museum site at Fort Lee outside Petersburg, Va. There's also the 280mm "Atomic Cannon," a Cold War weapon that was designed to fire tactical (that means close-range) nuclear warheads at the Soviets as they theoretically advanced from Eastern Europe into Germany.
In the tank department, which makes up the bulk of the large items on display, there's the 30-ton 1917 Mark IV, one of the first tanks ever made (and one of only three left in the world). The World War I British tank had a top speed of 3.75 miles an hour and traveled two miles on a gallon of gas. There's also a World War II-vintage Sherman tank. As the placard notes: "The M4 was the principal U.S. combat tank in all combat zones for most of WW II. Though undergunned (75mm) and under armored compared to German tanks, the Shermans prevailed by their numerical superiority (estimated 50,000)."
The Atomic Cannon, a Cold War weapon that was designed to protect Germany from a Soviet invasion.
While this collection is mostly made up of U.S. weapons, many of our former enemies are well represented. There's a 1943 German Panzerkampfwagen V Panther, "considered the best of the German WW II tanks," the museum tells us. "It had superior firepower and mobility over allied tanks of the same period."
The fact that many of these pieces have been sitting in a field for decades presents a problem.
"No one's ever thought to do regular maintenance on them," Mr. Atwater said during a recent tour. "Most of these pieces, many of them the only ones of their kind left in the world, are literally rotting where they sit."
So Mr. Atwater has set up a workshop nearby where many of the tanks and other large pieces -- he has 240 of them -- are going through an extensive rehabilitation process. He also uses the shop to refabricate new additions to the museum that come to him in less than pristine condition.
Recently, a Russian T-55 tank was sitting outside the shop, ready to go back on display. Typical of the problems Mr. Atwater must remedy, it had layers and layers of lead-based paint. Mr. Atwater's armor artisans pull these mechanized monsters into a special booth and blast them with water pressurized to 43,000 pounds per square inch. That removes the paint (and could remove your leg, Mr. Atwater says with a chuckle), exposing bare metal. It is then flash-dried and repainted in historically accurate colors and paint schemes. Mr. Atwater's crew also has to remove the radium-coated dials and drain the oil, which often contains polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, a family of 209 chemical compounds that were used in industry until they were found to be highly toxic.
"My watch emits more radiation, but the environmental weenies tell me they're a hazard," the former Marine says of the glow-in-the-dark dials.
The T-55 looks like it just came off the production line, ready to hold off the Germans at Stalingrad. It's in marked contrast to a World War II British Vickers reconnaissance vehicle that just came to the shop. The floorboards are rotted out; there's a big hole in the front that exposes the cockpit. When Mr. Atwater's men are done, it'll look as good as new.
Our next stop is one of three large storage warehouses. This is where Mr. Atwater keeps the pieces that have been rehabbed but he doesn't have room to display. The collection is impressive and includes Pershing's staff car from World War I, as well as a VW-made Nazi SS staff car used in North Africa in World War II. It has a propeller on the back that's flipped up. Mr. Atwater flips it down and shows how it can engage a power takeoff drive -- like on modern-day tractors -- that drives the propeller so that the car can go through shallow rivers.
"The SS got the cool stuff," he says.
Also stored here are row upon row of inert hand grenades, fuses and shells. Some of the material is educational, such as a cut-away of a World War II German "potato masher" grenade that shows how it was constructed and used.
"I simply don't have the room to display this stuff," Mr. Atwater said.
That will all change when the museum moves to its new digs at Fort Lee. The expanded museum is expected to have room to display almost everything in the collection. The move is slated for 2009, but having worked for the government for more than two decades, Mr. Atwater thinks it will be later than that.
For now, the public will have to be satisfied with the cramped space and open field that do a very good job of giving visitors a good cross-section of some of the military's biggest -- and most lethal -- weapons.
Mr. Yost is a writer in Lake Elmo, Minn.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:59 pm
Post subject: Re: The Aberdeen museum is moving to Fort Lee

Sorry Neil, I didn't see that there was a topic about that before.. However, it's a good thing that the entire Aberdeen AFV collection will be in a safe place, and be able to be restored..

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:09 pm
Post subject: Re: The Aberdeen museum is moving to Fort Lee

Ferdinand shouldn't be a problem It's sitting where it was unloaded from a rail car years ago and can be put right back on one Smile

The article is pretty good. My only complaint is that it is DR. Atwater not Mr. Atwater. He also under estimated the number of exhibits outside the Museum building.

The 16" Coast Defense Gun and Anzio Annie will be problems due to their size. Some other artefacts will be a problem because of their condition, they are very fragile after sitting outside for years (especially some of the rockets and missles they have)

My fear is that when they get the actual costs the bean counters will decide they don't need the entire collection and do something stupid with it or that the move will get half way completed and the funding dry up and things get left in some 'temporary' storage and we won't be any better off than we are now but in a different location.

Bob Smart (bsmart@xecu.net)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2006 1:13 pm
Post subject: Re: The Aberdeen museum is moving to Fort Lee

My fear is similar, except I'm not sure Fort Lee has the same kind of storage space as APG does. My fear is that come 10 years from now part of the collection will be at the new museum at Fort Lee, some of it will still be sitting outside the old museum at APG, and some more items will still be "behind the fence" at APG...

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