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Museum Review: National War and Resistance Museum, Overloon


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The_Chieftain #1 Posted Sep 30 2011 - 23:35

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Museum Website

Google Map

Chances are that a lot of you won’t have heard of Overloon before the announcement of the MVP event, or the fact that I mentioned it in my Arnhem article.






Posted Image

This little town in SouthEastern Netherlands was the site of the largest tank battle fought on Dutch soil, sixty-seven years ago this week. The US 7th Armored had a crack at the attack, and ended up having to be replaced in the line by the British 3rd ID and 11th Armoured who themselves got rather beat up before carrying the day.




Posted Image


A museum was originally built at the location in 1946, then it was decided to make it the National War and Resistance Museum. At the turn of the century the facility was greatly expanded, with lots of the outdoor exhibits moved indoors, and then a large private collection was added, requiring even more construction. Nowadays the museum is actually two musea co-located: The War and Resistance Museum and the Marshall Museum. The entire grounds is named “Liberty Park.” It’s a touch over two hours’ drive from Amsterdam, and an hour and a half or so from Cologne. Motorways will get you to within ten kilometers, then a quiet drive through the suburbs.

One parks a few hundred yards from the museum entrance, just wander up the trail. Feel free to meander a little bit, there are one or two oddities scattered around the park, including this Bailey Bridge, one of the few around which is fully constructed to take the weight of a tank, and a number of monuments and other artwork.





Posted Image

Exactly why an IS-2 is to be found by the museum entrance is not explained, but it is there none-the-less. The museum entrance is visible in the background, and is an excellent example of architectural subtlety. There is little clue as to the sheer size of the facility as you approach.





Posted Image

Upon entering and paying the 8Euro fee, you are faced with a choice of going straight ahead to a jeep (well, command car), or look to your left at a Panther, and a number of other tanks behind it. Gee, which way to go? Panther isn’t in the best possible condition, sitting as it is without tracks for now. Actually, pretty much none of the tanks behind it are in great shape, given that the reason they were left in Overloon to begin with was that they were knocked out. The M4 in the back is a particular case in point, with the turret knocked off its race as it is.





Posted Image

Since you’re heading that way anyway, you will likely continue up the steps into a display area. This gives a general timeline of the Dutch history during WWII with some focus on the Dutch Resistance. Mainly documents and diagrams. Not uninteresting mind, unless you’ve a twelve-year-old boy wondering where all the tanks are. If you go out the back way, you end up crossing an open courtyard into what almost looks like an ammunition bunker. It’s a semi-artificial subterranean exhibit focusing on the holocaust.

So far, everything you see is neatly and well presented, but you can’t help feeling like you might have been a bit misled. Wander back from the holocaust exhibit through the resistance displays and past the tanks, you see that there’s a doorway behind that command car, with “Marshall Hall” written on it. Not expecting much, you wander in.




Posted Image

Go back up to the satellite photo again. See the size of the football pitch on the bottom left? Compare to the large rectangular building which is Marshall Hall on the right. This is one very large room with a lot of equipment in it, and even the hall itself isn’t the whole story.

One of the first things you see is a D-Day diorama complete with a Spitfire (MkXIV?) hanging from the ceiling.



Posted Image


Face it, not many tank musea have large rooms complete with hanging aircraft for atmosphere. If you want even more atmosphere, go ahead and push the Big Red Button on the barrier, you get battlefield noises as a reward. This is a bigger facility than one might think at first glance.

The mix, as you can see, is pretty varied.




Posted Image

Softskins, aircraft, tanks, cranes, even a field shower, all in the same picture, often with dioramas to set the scene. There’s even a (small) submarine out of shot to the left.

One of the highlights is the only BARC I’ve seen so far. This thing has wheels some ten feet in diameter. I have no idea how one would change out a flat tyre without a crane.




Posted Image

When you enter the hall, if you keep to the right, you will see the cold war selection. Many of the vehicles are former Dutch Army which have been retired from service.





Posted Image

Others, not so much.



Posted Image


The main theme of the collection, however, is the Red Ball Express. There are all sorts of logistical vehicles I never knew existed, often set up in dioramas and loaded to capcity.



Posted Image


The raised platform to the left allows one to look from a slight elevation upon all the trucks. It should be noted that the two Dragon Wagons in the collection, one softskin, one hard, are in apparently excellent condition. The hardskin in particular is quite rare.



Posted Image


A few of the other vehicles also have steps nearby to allow an elevated view into hatches, and others simply have the various access ports left open so that one may see the internal components.

In terms of density, the museum is near perfect. There is enough space between the exhibits that you can actually see all angles for most of them, even if from some only from a distance as groups of vehicles are cordoned off. And, better yet, the facility is very well lit. Large placards for the majority of the exhibits give the basic stats in four languages, though little, if anything, by way of background information. The only downside to the museum is that there is the logistics focus, so if you’re expecting a collection of tanks on a par with Bovington or Munster you will be disappointed. However, there’s enough to keep most people happy, from T-34 to Centurion and, frankly, the variety of combat service support vehicles is without peer.

The one last thing I’ll note is that when you exit the park to return to your vehicle, look to your right. You’ll see a small square with café and a few other shops. Off on the left of that square is a small model shop. It’s well worth a look inside.

I’m not into rating museums on a scale, but this one is well worth the visit.


Posted Image



the_moidart #2 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 02:41

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Thanks for the review, if I ever strike it rich and go to Europe, I'll be sure to check it out.

Are those artillery shell casings? The biggest one looks huge! (Although not as big as the 800mm shell on the Gustav page on wikipedia)

Edit: Limited use of Google image search implies the shorter but wider gold one is from a German howitzer.

reflex7 #3 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 03:47

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View Postthe_moidart, on Oct 02 2011 - 02:41, said:

Thanks for the review, if I ever strike it rich and go to Europe, I'll be sure to check it out.

Are those artillery shell casings? The biggest one looks huge! (Although not as big as the 800mm shell on the Gustav page on wikipedia)

Edit: Limited use of Google image search implies the shorter but wider gold one is from a German howitzer.
think the tallest one is from anzio annie and the one all the way to left might be from a sturmtiger and the one to the right is probaly a german rail gun(one of the smaller prototypes) and i have no idea what the gold one is from.

Valkeiper #4 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 04:41

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I was truly disappointed that while the officials saw fit to move the tanks out of the elements; they did not see fit to at least make them presentable (a panther without tracks and a sherman with its turret knocked off-race).

Come on. You trying to tell me it was easier to move an entire tank into an museum than it was to lift its turret and place it back where it should be?

and from your statements; I gathered those were just two examples of the presentations.

But would they do so to a IS-2 that had no business being in the area? of course not.

Valkeiper #5 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 04:47

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View Postreflex7, on Oct 02 2011 - 03:47, said:

think the tallest one is from anzio annie and the one all the way to left might be from a sturmtiger and the one to the right is probaly a german rail gun(one of the smaller prototypes) and i have no idea what the gold one is from.

actually, the 'gold' one is bronze (hey, I gotta nick-pick, LOL). I suspect it is not from a land weapon; but from a ship.

bronze casings are a common feature on ship. seems a bit short for it's bore, tho. (ship casings tend to much longer than the bores)

CdtWeasel #6 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 05:19

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View PostValkeiper, on Oct 02 2011 - 04:41, said:

I was truly disappointed that while the officials saw fit to move the tanks out of the elements; they did not see fit to at least make them presentable (a panther without tracks and a sherman with its turret knocked off-race).

Come on. You trying to tell me it was easier to move an entire tank into an museum than it was to lift its turret and place it back where it should be?

and from your statements; I gathered those were just two examples of the presentations.

But would they do so to a IS-2 that had no business being in the area? of course not.

Not sure about the Panther, but since they have so many shermans on display, perhaps they did intend to display a 'damaged' sherman.

Sealteam6 #7 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 05:31

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A friend visited this site a few weeks ago, took some awesome pics, I posted a couple in the forums here somewhere, one of a LOLTraktor & the other of the Trackless Panther.

My Friend who doesn't live to far away said the Panther does have tracks & it used to take pride of place outside around the same position the IS2 sits in now, what ever happened to those tracks he doesn't know.

He says its well worth a visit too, a lot of everything that everyone would enjoy.

Thanks Chief, great pics.

weveran #8 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 06:33

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Indeed - keep these coming - great review.

Starzfan #9 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 10:16

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Love war museums.. wish this was in the states.

J_E_C_72 #10 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 13:34

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I have been there last week and think its great, here is a link to the pics i took if anyone is interested.
http://s3.photobucke...oon-Oosterbeek/

The BARC is indeed huge
Posted Image

Paulus07 #11 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 14:31

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nice to see a Dutch museum :) I have been there last year. some photos: http://www.flickr.co...57624960516271/

and some extra photos of the "Wings of liberation" museum in "Best"

http://www.flickr.co...57625085391746/
http://www.flickr.co...57624960630947/

Don't know if you ever heard of Best? but during WW2 a lot happened here. sadly also 2 men earned the medal of honor here. One of them is Joe E. Mann (wiki: http://en.wikipedia....iki/Joe_E._Mann) and the second one (maybe you heard of him in the game brothers in arms) Robert G. Cole. (wiki: http://en.wikipedia..../Robert_G._Cole)

Ferdinand910 #12 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 15:27

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Visited the Museum in 1976 with older brother and Father. As a young lad of 18, thought it was pretty impressive. A lot of the exhibits were outside at that time;- armoured vehicles, artillery and A/T piece's. Now it has grown considerably.
  Still have the Museum Guide pamphlet from our visit 35 years ago. The Spitfire they had on display at that time was a PR MK XI. Another note, Panther still had it's tracks on at that time as well. Full set on 1 side and partial set on the other. If memory serve's me correct,- the rear idler and 1-2? road wheels were missing and track shortened up to go over the front drive sprocket and remaining road wheels.
  Would be interesting to go back again with my sons.  :)

Paulus07 #13 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 17:27

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some extra:

When you want to visit the museum, try to go during may. Then there is an extra event called "Militracks". for an impression video see:





General534 #14 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 18:29

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Sep 30 2011 - 23:35, said:

Museum Website

Google Map

Chances are that a lot of you won’t have heard of Overloon before the announcement of the MVP event, or the fact that I mentioned it in my Arnhem article.

http://statcdn.world...n_satellite.jpg


This little town in SouthEastern Netherlands was the site of the largest tank battle fought on Dutch soil, sixty-seven years ago this week. The US 7th Armored had a crack at the attack, and ended up having to be replaced in the line by the British 3rd ID and 11th Armoured who themselves got rather beat up before carrying the day.

http://statcdn.world...on/lucky7th.jpg


A museum was originally built at the location in 1946, then it was decided to make it the National War and Resistance Museum. At the turn of the century the facility was greatly expanded, with lots of the outdoor exhibits moved indoors, and then a large private collection was added, requiring even more construction. Nowadays the museum is actually two musea co-located: The War and Resistance Museum and the Marshall Museum. The entire grounds is named “Liberty Park.” It’s a touch over two hours’ drive from Amsterdam, and an hour and a half or so from Cologne. Motorways will get you to within ten kilometers, then a quiet drive through the suburbs.

One parks a few hundred yards from the museum entrance, just wander up the trail. Feel free to meander a little bit, there are one or two oddities scattered around the park, including this Bailey Bridge, one of the few around which is fully constructed to take the weight of a tank, and a number of monuments and other artwork.

http://statcdn.world...loon/bailey.jpg


Exactly why an IS-2 is to be found by the museum entrance is not explained, but it is there none-the-less. The museum entrance is visible in the background, and is an excellent example of architectural subtlety. There is little clue as to the sheer size of the facility as you approach.

http://statcdn.world...overloonis2.jpg


Upon entering and paying the 8Euro fee, you are faced with a choice of going straight ahead to a jeep (well, command car), or look to your left at a Panther, and a number of other tanks behind it. Gee, which way to go? Panther isn’t in the best possible condition, sitting as it is without tracks for now. Actually, pretty much none of the tanks behind it are in great shape, given that the reason they were left in Overloon to begin with was that they were knocked out. The M4 in the back is a particular case in point, with the turret knocked off its race as it is.

http://statcdn.world...erloon/crab.jpg


Since you’re heading that way anyway, you will likely continue up the steps into a display area. This gives a general timeline of the Dutch history during WWII with some focus on the Dutch Resistance. Mainly documents and diagrams. Not uninteresting mind, unless you’ve a twelve-year-old boy wondering where all the tanks are. If you go out the back way, you end up crossing an open courtyard into what almost looks like an ammunition bunker. It’s a semi-artificial subterranean exhibit focusing on the holocaust.

So far, everything you see is neatly and well presented, but you can’t help feeling like you might have been a bit misled. Wander back from the holocaust exhibit through the resistance displays and past the tanks, you see that there’s a doorway behind that command car, with “Marshall Hall” written on it. Not expecting much, you wander in.

http://statcdn.world...loon/archer.jpg


Go back up to the satellite photo again. See the size of the football pitch on the bottom left? Compare to the large rectangular building which is Marshall Hall on the right. This is one very large room with a lot of equipment in it, and even the hall itself isn’t the whole story.

One of the first things you see is a D-Day diorama complete with a Spitfire (MkXIV?) hanging from the ceiling.

http://statcdn.world...dayoverloon.jpg


Face it, not many tank musea have large rooms complete with hanging aircraft for atmosphere. If you want even more atmosphere, go ahead and push the Big Red Button on the barrier, you get battlefield noises as a reward. This is a bigger facility than one might think at first glance.

The mix, as you can see, is pretty varied.

http://statcdn.world.../softdragon.jpg


Softskins, aircraft, tanks, cranes, even a field shower, all in the same picture, often with dioramas to set the scene. There’s even a (small) submarine out of shot to the left.

One of the highlights is the only BARC I’ve seen so far. This thing has wheels some ten feet in diameter. I have no idea how one would change out a flat tyre without a crane.

http://statcdn.world...erloon/barc.jpg


When you enter the hall, if you keep to the right, you will see the cold war selection. Many of the vehicles are former Dutch Army which have been retired from service.

http://statcdn.world...loon/gepard.jpg


Others, not so much.

http://statcdn.world...overloonmig.jpg


The main theme of the collection, however, is the Red Ball Express. There are all sorts of logistical vehicles I never knew existed, often set up in dioramas and loaded to capcity.

http://statcdn.world...oon/loggies.jpg


The raised platform to the left allows one to look from a slight elevation upon all the trucks. It should be noted that the two Dragon Wagons in the collection, one softskin, one hard, are in apparently excellent condition. The hardskin in particular is quite rare.

http://statcdn.world...gonoverloon.jpg


A few of the other vehicles also have steps nearby to allow an elevated view into hatches, and others simply have the various access ports left open so that one may see the internal components.

In terms of density, the museum is near perfect. There is enough space between the exhibits that you can actually see all angles for most of them, even if from some only from a distance as groups of vehicles are cordoned off. And, better yet, the facility is very well lit. Large placards for the majority of the exhibits give the basic stats in four languages, though little, if anything, by way of background information. The only downside to the museum is that there is the logistics focus, so if you’re expecting a collection of tanks on a par with Bovington or Munster you will be disappointed. However, there’s enough to keep most people happy, from T-34 to Centurion and, frankly, the variety of combat service support vehicles is without peer.

The one last thing I’ll note is that when you exit the park to return to your vehicle, look to your right. You’ll see a small square with café and a few other shops. Off on the left of that square is a small model shop. It’s well worth a look inside.

I’m not into rating museums on a scale, but this one is well worth the visit.


http://statcdn.world...oon/casings.jpg





       AWESOME!

General534 #15 Posted Oct 02 2011 - 18:29

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Sep 30 2011 - 23:35, said:

Museum Website



Chances are that a lot of you won’t have heard of Overloon before the announcement of the MVP event, or the fact that I mentioned it in my Arnhem article.



This little town in SouthEastern Netherlands was the site of the largest tank battle fought on Dutch soil, sixty-seven years ago this week. The US 7th Armored had a crack at the attack, and ended up having to be replaced in the line by the British 3rd ID and 11th Armoured who themselves got rather beat up before carrying the day.



A museum was originally built at the location in 1946, then it was decided to make it the National War and Resistance Museum. At the turn of the century the facility was greatly expanded, with lots of the outdoor exhibits moved indoors, and then a large private collection was added, requiring even more construction. Nowadays the museum is actually two musea co-located: The War and Resistance Museum and the Marshall Museum. The entire grounds is named “Liberty Park.” It’s a touch over two hours’ drive from Amsterdam, and an hour and a half or so from Cologne. Motorways will get you to within ten kilometers, then a quiet drive through the suburbs.

One parks a few hundred yards from the museum entrance, just wander up the trail. Feel free to meander a little bit, there are one or two oddities scattered around the park, including this Bailey Bridge, one of the few around which is fully constructed to take the weight of a tank, and a number of monuments and other artwork.



Exactly why an IS-2 is to be found by the museum entrance is not explained, but it is there none-the-less. The museum entrance is visible in the background, and is an excellent example of architectural subtlety. There is little clue as to the sheer size of the facility as you approach.



Upon entering and paying the 8Euro fee, you are faced with a choice of going straight ahead to a jeep (well, command car), or look to your left at a Panther, and a number of other tanks behind it. Gee, which way to go? Panther isn’t in the best possible condition, sitting as it is without tracks for now. Actually, pretty much none of the tanks behind it are in great shape, given that the reason they were left in Overloon to begin with was that they were knocked out. The M4 in the back is a particular case in point, with the turret knocked off its race as it is.



Since you’re heading that way anyway, you will likely continue up the steps into a display area. This gives a general timeline of the Dutch history during WWII with some focus on the Dutch Resistance. Mainly documents and diagrams. Not uninteresting mind, unless you’ve a twelve-year-old boy wondering where all the tanks are. If you go out the back way, you end up crossing an open courtyard into what almost looks like an ammunition bunker. It’s a semi-artificial subterranean exhibit focusing on the holocaust.

So far, everything you see is neatly and well presented, but you can’t help feeling like you might have been a bit misled. Wander back from the holocaust exhibit through the resistance displays and past the tanks, you see that there’s a doorway behind that command car, with “Marshall Hall” written on it. Not expecting much, you wander in.


Go back up to the satellite photo again. See the size of the football pitch on the bottom left? Compare to the large rectangular building which is Marshall Hall on the right. This is one very large room with a lot of equipment in it, and even the hall itself isn’t the whole story.

One of the first things you see is a D-Day diorama complete with a Spitfire (MkXIV?) hanging from the ceiling.



Face it, not many tank musea have large rooms complete with hanging aircraft for atmosphere. If you want even more atmosphere, go ahead and push the Big Red Button on the barrier, you get battlefield noises as a reward. This is a bigger facility than one might think at first glance.

The mix, as you can see, is pretty varied.



Softskins, aircraft, tanks, cranes, even a field shower, all in the same picture, often with dioramas to set the scene. There’s even a (small) submarine out of shot to the left.

One of the highlights is the only BARC I’ve seen so far. This thing has wheels some ten feet in diameter. I have no idea how one would change out a flat tyre without a crane.


When you enter the hall, if you keep to the right, you will see the cold war selection. Many of the vehicles are former Dutch Army which have been retired from service.



Others, not so much.


The main theme of the collection, however, is the Red Ball Express. There are all sorts of logistical vehicles I never knew existed, often set up in dioramas and loaded to capcity.



The raised platform to the left allows one to look from a slight elevation upon all the trucks. It should be noted that the two Dragon Wagons in the collection, one softskin, one hard, are in apparently excellent condition. The hardskin in particular is quite rare.



A few of the other vehicles also have steps nearby to allow an elevated view into hatches, and others simply have the various access ports left open so that one may see the internal components.

In terms of density, the museum is near perfect. There is enough space between the exhibits that you can actually see all angles for most of them, even if from some only from a distance as groups of vehicles are cordoned off. And, better yet, the facility is very well lit. Large placards for the majority of the exhibits give the basic stats in four languages, though little, if anything, by way of background information. The only downside to the museum is that there is the logistics focus, so if you’re expecting a collection of tanks on a par with Bovington or Munster you will be disappointed. However, there’s enough to keep most people happy, from T-34 to Centurion and, frankly, the variety of combat service support vehicles is without peer.

The one last thing I’ll note is that when you exit the park to return to your vehicle, look to your right. You’ll see a small square with café and a few other shops. Off on the left of that square is a small model shop. It’s well worth a look inside.

I’m not into rating museums on a scale, but this one is well worth the visit.


http://statcdn.world...oon/casings.jpg





       AWESOME!

Durrandal #16 Posted Oct 03 2011 - 04:59

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How meta would it be to turn that museum into a WoT map?

Also CRAB M4 FTW

NorseNE #17 Posted Oct 13 2011 - 04:48

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Great pictures.  Thanks

crazytrain #18 Posted Nov 20 2011 - 19:39

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I really enjoy reading all these articles written by The Chieftain. The photo quality is generally excellent. I wonder if the author takes all the pictures himself.

irishgreek #19 Posted Apr 25 2013 - 17:52

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View PostJ_E_C_72, on Oct 02 2011 - 13:34, said:

I have been there last week and think its great, here is a link to the pics i took if anyone is interested.
http://s3.photobucke...oon-Oosterbeek/

The BARC is indeed huge
Posted Image

Yes, those BARCs are gigantic.  I saw one near where I used to live in Virginia at the US Army Transportation Museum.  If you are ever in SE Virginia (USA) it is worth a visit.  Been many years since I went there.  But here is a link to page on the museum website that has an old photo of the BARCs first deployment in the Arctic.

http://www.transport...seum/arctic.htm

Edited by irishgreek, Apr 25 2013 - 17:53.


Meplat #20 Posted Apr 25 2013 - 19:37

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There are a handful of LARC-V's in civvy hands that turn up for sale, and I've heard of one civvy (us) owned BARC, but I cannot imagine the costs and maintenance required for an individual to keep one.

It's almost the worst of both worlds. A unique car, and an antique boat, all rolled into one huge moneygobbling pit of pain.




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