We visited the Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung (Collection of Defence Technology) Koblenz. We spent a really interesting time there and we were wandering through the exibition for about three and a half hours. Although there are museums which are much more spacious than the WTS (abbreviation for Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung) we saw some nice objects there.
However let's get back on square one:
Since my wife and daughter took the car to visit some schoolmates of my wife over the weekend I had to rely on Deutsche Bahn (German Rail). Therefore my alarm clock rang without mercy on 06:30 a.m. Still dowsy I got up and took a refreshing shower. Afterwards I prepared some provisions for the road: A thermos flask of tea and some buns. Fortunately my tea pot is larger than the flask so I was able to take a cup of Earl Grey right before breakup. Afterwards I hurried to the subway and caught the 07:56 train to Düsseldorf at Bochum central station.
|Smaller than I thought: Light infatry support gun 75mm (link)|
On the ground floor are several vehicles and a lot of guns arranged. Very interesting is the technical process from medieval forget archebuses to modern artillery. Unforunately some parts of the exibition are densely stuffed and there is no chance to get a close view at the details which are that interesting for us modellers...
|A rare exhibit: Renault FT (link)|
However there are several nice exhibits from World War II aus you see on the pictures (klick to enlarge).
Additionally there are several vehicles and planes of younger age: A Marder II APC prototype, a Leopard I MBT, Lepard II MBT prototype, a french Mirage, a F107 Starfighter, a F4 Phantom, a Hind and some other stuff. Even a gun turret of a Navy ship is presented in Koblenz. Just check the (German) Wikipedia page for more information (link 1, link 2). Unfortunately some of the most interesting WW II tanks were absent for repair or maintenance: Panther, StuG III and Jagdpanther.
The upper floors are filled with more guns and an incredible number of small arms, uniforms and equipment. Again it's too much stuff to mention each item here. Nearly every German Weapon of WW II is displayed there and a lot of technical equipment of the last century: Wireless sets, Radar equipment, Night Vision devices etc. In Addition there are several displays with uniforms of Prussian Forces before WW I, German forces during WW I and WW II as well as some modern uniforms of western and eastern armies. Because the light wasn't ideal I took only a few photos there. Nothing special...
|A modified 35mm shell which was made a gift to wearers of the Iron Cross with diamonds. It's fance name was "Kopfzerbrecher" ("Head Breaker").|
After about four hours we had seen all section of the collection. About six hundred photos and even more impressions richer we left the WTS and headed for a small bookstore nearby. It's an old-school second hand bookstore which is spezialized on military history. The opening hours are kind of unusual (Wednesday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 05:00 p.m.) but the offering is great. Most book are German but some English ones and the complete Osprey ranges are offered as well. Additionally they have some nice modelling kits there. Definitely worth a visit! My wants were fulfilled with a box of Italeri's fast assembly Jeeps and therefore we headed satisfiedly back home.
Unfortunately our return journey was kind of nerve-racking. The diner where we had lunch crowded out and traffic on the motorways was terrible. Somehow we git back to Bochum in the late afternoon and Nick and me spent the rest of the day building bocages and hills for my board. I'll post pictures of them later this week...
After all it was a really nice Saturday and a great trip. The collection is really worth a visit although it's conglomerate and narrow in some parts. It's rumoured that it shall move to another place soon. On the hand the Bundeswehr Military History Museum (link) in Dresden is an option but on the other hand the WTS might move to Ehrenbreitstein Fortress (link) within Koblenz as well. We'll see.
Closingly some more impressions from WTS Koblenz:
|The extraordinary 128mm AA gun (link)|
|Very impressiv: 60cm granade for "Karl" (link)|
|Another exhibit which is rarely seen: Kommandogerät 40, an analog computer for targetting)|
|A SdKfz. 231 (but without antenne...) (link)|