United States Army Ordnance Museum Aberdeen
Muzeum Aberdeen Proving Ground w USA posiada wspaniałą kolekcję pojazdów wojskowych, wiele z nich przetrwało tylko w tym muzeum.
Książkę tą można traktować jako niezależny przewodnik po muzeum. Jest więc dosknałą pozycją dla osób, które zamierzają odwiedzić to muzeum, ale przede wszystkim dla tych, którzy nie moga się tam wybrać.
One of the best known and largest military museums of the world is undoubtedly the U.S. Army Ordnance Museum located in Aberdeen, Maryland U.S.A. The collection exhibited by the museum may only be equaled by the French Saumur, the German Munster, the British Bovington and the Russian Kubinka museums. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Aberdeen is of great interest to all military enthusiasts.
The museum is located inside the Aberdeen Proving Ground, a United States Army facility that historically played a very important role as a military test site. America’s involvement in the First World War led to an urgent need for more areas available for testing munitions. The Sandy Hook Proving Ground at Fort Hancock, in New Jersey, became insufficient and impossible to expand, mostly due to the location near the densely populated city of New York.
An alternate location was chosen by Colonel Colden L. Ruges, the Commanding Officer of Sandy Hook. The newly selected area lay in the vicinity of the town of Aberdeen in the state of Maryland. The acquisition of nearly 70,000 acres by the U.S. Government took place in October of 1917 after a proclamation by President W. Wilson. The new facility was to be used for trials with field artillery, anti-aircraft artillery, railroad guns and ammunition. The first ammunition testing took place in January 1918. Before the Aberdeen Proving Ground was fully organized, the First World War came to an end.
In the period between the wars, testing of armament continued, while research and development of new weapons, with the emphasis on ammunition, and gradually became the prominent activity. The base was expanded with new installations, such as Philips Army Air Field, additional research facilities including the Ballistic Research Laboratory and a hospital were established. Around the same time, the Ordnance Museum was created in it’s final form and opened to the public. It was not a typical museum. The intent was to collect various types of armament, mostly of foreign origin, and make it available for testing and analysis. The primary scope was to evaluate engineering solutions and technical advancements.
During WWII, further growth of the Aberdeen Proving Ground took place. The area was significantly expanded. The number of personnel was enlarged to about 33,000 military and civilian employees. The extent of activities was not limited to armament trials. Research into new weapons, military techniques and the methods of their application was also widely conducted. It was at Aberdeen that the Bazooka anti-tank weapon was developed, as well as the first EINAC computer.
As the war ended, the Aberdeen Proving Ground reverted to it’s role of weapons research and analysis centre. At the beginning of the 50’s, some of the terrain was used to create a training facility. The Ordnance School and the Replacement Training Centre were made subordinate to the newly-created Ordnance Training Command.
The museum’s mission is to preserve various military weapons and equipment in order to document the history of the U.S. Ordnance Corps. At first, the collection of the museum was limited to equipment dating back to the time of the First World War. However, the location of the museum in the research and development centre allowed for the expansion of it’s collection with additional pieces that underwent testing and evaluation. It was mainly, but not only, American equipment. After WWII, the subsequent wars in Korea and Vietnam, and finally the Persian Gulf conflicts, the collection was further enhanced by enemy equipment captured during these campaigns. This make for a truly exceptional collection.
The Aberdeen Proving Ground Museum has an amazing collection of military vehicles and guns, from all around the world. Tanks and other armored vehicles represent almost the complete history of such equipment, and the indoor displays show U.S. guns and equipment from all eras of the U.S. Army.
This new book, second in the MMP/Stratus “Military Collections of the World” series, illustrates and describes all the major exhibits of this unique museum. The other book in the series has been reviewed elsewhere on this site. The title was “Polish Aviation Museum Cracow”.
The book has 233 color photos of AFV’s and guns displayed out doors at the museum and 41 photos of things in the in door displays.
I have personally visited the museum twice in years past and can highly recommend a visit to it if at all possible.
This book should be both a useful guide for those visiting the collection, and a valuable reference for those unable to make the trip. This book should appeal to military vehicle enthusiasts, modelers and historians.
Reviewer: Scott Van Aken
Throughout the world there are some that are considered a must see among enthusiasts. The US Army Ordnance museum at Aberdeen Maryland is on that list. Aberdeen was a testing facility and so all new US army tanks and guns as well as those from other nations (either donated or captured) were put through their paces here. The result of this is a superlative museum, much of which is outside and so in the ravages of the elements.
This is the second of Stratus' "Military Collections of the World" series and like the previous edition, is chock full of full color photos of the various displays at Aberdeen. There is an indoor museum there that is basically dedicated to small arms, though there are some larger pieces contained inside as well.
However, the bulk of the collection is outside and you'll see everything from light tanks to rail guns on display. Some of it is in fairly good condition, while other pieces are sadly rusting away.
The book starts off with AFVs and here you will see a wide variety of US, German, British, and Soviet armor. There is also a goodly selection of artillery on display. Everything from small 37mm anti-tank guns to anti-aircraft guns of all sorts and the big siege mortars and rail guns. This is followed by a small section on ground to air missiles. All of these images are superbly photographed so that we can see the details of these subjects.
If you are unable to make the journey to visit this superb collection, then a book like this will take you there. I understand that the base is due for closure and the collection will be either stored or disseminated to other places, making this book even more timely. It is a book that is serious eye candy and one that I can quite easily recommend to the enthusiast and casual reader alike.
By Chris Banyai-Riepl
One of the most impressive collections of military vehicles and weaponry is collected at the Aberdeen Proving Ground, where the United States Army Ordnance Museum is located. Everything from World War One helmets to the huge German Leopold rail gun can be found here. If your interest lies with armor subjects, this is one place that should not be passed up. For those who cannot visit, though, there is this latest book from Stratus, which provides a short photo chronicle of the vehicles on display.
The book is split into four sections. The first two provide a short history of the museum and a glimpse at the indoor exhibits. The meat of the book, though, is with the AFVs and artillery. The AFV section presents 81 subjects, while the artillery section covers 61 different subjects. With that many different individual items, and only 128 pages, this is not comprehensive coverage of the various subjects, but there is at least one photo of each piece. The Aberdeen museum has subjects covering the entire twentieth century, so there is undoubtedly something there for everyone, and this general overview will just make the desire for a personal visit to the museum all the more tempting.
Reviewed by: Gary Telecsan, IPMS# 34779
This is the second book in the MMP Stratus “Military Collections of the World” series. It begins with a short, 9 page illustrated history of the Aberdeen Proving Ground and the Museum, and the rest of the book is dedicated to a photo documentation of the museum’s exhibits.
The first 9 pages show the Museum’s inside exhibits, uniforms, small arms, small artillery pieces and one or two smaller vehicles, and the rest of the book shows the portion of the collection stored outside. There are at least two views of each vehicle or field piece, and some commentary, in English, about the vehicle displayed.
Often the exhibit’s provenance is given, and some comments about its condition. I found the book engrossing as I had no idea that Aberdeen’s collection was so varied. The photos are of good quality, and will be of use to the modeler, though they do not provide the level of coverage which the super-detailers amongst us crave.
Amazon.com customer review 2011-04-09
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but should be 5 or 6 times bigger, February 17, 2011
By John Matlock "Gunny" (Winnemucca, NV) The museum at Aberdeen is quite possibly the most complete, best displayed museum dedicated to ground warfare equipment in the United States. The museum, like the book, is divided into three sections: indoor exhibits, artillery and armored fighting vehicles. The book is very well done, primarily showing color photographs of the exhibits they have. You have to remember that Aberdeen was, and still is, a testing ground for Army equipment. As a result samples of everything we have built, bought, used by our allies or captured from our enemies eventually makes it to Aberdeen. Here are German 88's captured in North Africa, Japanese Type 95 Ha-go tank captured in the Aleutian Islands, Russian tanks from Korea, Kuwait, and the middle east - and that's just touching the exhibits.
The one complaint I have about the book is that it is only 128 pages. Even with two photographs on each page (and the photographs are very well done), it shows only a small fraction of the exhibits they have. For instance there only a half dozen or so sub-machine guns shown. They have a wall of sub-machine gun exhibits, an entire book this size would be needed for just sub-machine guns. Then another book would barely cover their machine guns, another on rifles, another on pistols, etc. The book does a superb job on the tanks exhibited in the field behind the main museum building. The photographs are excellent, as is the printing. But the "Mile of Tanks" in the middle of the divided highway approaching the museum are left out.
Clearly if you can't make it to the museum itself this book will give you a pretty good feel for the essence of the museum.If nothing else, it is going to tempt you to go visit.
IPMS UK Magazine 01/2011 2011-04-09
Review by: Bill Curtis
The Aberdeen Proving Ground in the USA has an amazing collection of military vehicles and guns, from all around the world. Tanks and other armoured vehicles represent almost the complete history of such equipment, and the indoor displays show US guns and equipment from all eras of the US Army. This new book, second in the MMP/Stratus ‘Military Collections of the World’ series, illustrates and describes all the major exhibits at this unique museum. Both a useful guide for those visiting the collection and a valuable reference for those unable to make the trip, this book should appeal to military vehicle enthusiasts, modellers and historians.
The quality of the book is very good, consisting of 128 pages printed on glossy paper with a profusion of photographs most of which are printed two to a page. The table of contents is as follows:
• US Army Ordnance Museum Aberdeen History
• Inside exhibits
I really enjoyed this book as the history of the museum was new to me. The picture format of the book is very good with at least one photograph for each item. T
he museum has announced plans to move most of its collection to a massive, all-indoor museum at Fort Lee, south of Richmond, Virginia, in 2011 and many tanks and artillery pieces have been removed from their displays. At the time of writing I have not been able to find out what has been moved. This will make this book a history of what was there but I feel it worth getting for the pictures and history of a fantastic museum.