10.19.2009

"All very successful commanders are prima donnas and must be so treated."

So said George S. Patton, one of the greatest battlefield commanders - and biggest prima donnas - the United States Army has ever seen.


On Saturday I took some time to tour the Patton Museum here at Ft. Knox. It's the second time I've done so - the first was in 2003 while I was stationed here - and if you are ever in the Ft. Knox or Louisville area, I highly recommend checking it out.

The museum is not only a great tribute to one of the most influential military leaders of the 20th century, but a great history of armored warfare in general. There are exhibits from the very early days of Ft. Knox and it's history as the home of the cavalry to the history of tanks and armor from WWI through to OEF and OIF.

Among the impressive displays is this life-size recreation of the first tank engagement in WWI.


There are also displays of the most famous tanks in history and a lot of great artifacts from the life of General Patton.

Lots more pictures after the jump.

A quick tour of tanks throughout history:


A 1918 French tank discovered by US forces in an Afghani scrapyard in 2005.

The Sherman. The iconic tank of WWII


The German Panzer


The US M60. The staple of US armor during the Cold War


The Soviet T-55. Also used in Iraq in 1991 and 2003.


The M1A2 Abrams. One of the best tanks ever designed. I didn't take this at the museum, I hauled enough of these in 2005 that I have a few pictures of them in action.


Patton's combat helmet and famous pearl-handled Colt Peacemaker
 
Patton visiting wounded soldiers - with two great contrasting quotes: the first berating a "nervous" patient, the second talking about getting choked up visiting wounded soldiers.

This just scratches the surface of what's at the museum. I took more than 60 pictures and didn't even try to do the outdoor exhibits. I hope you enjoy these.