Saumur is a medieval city located in the Loire valley, also called the Vallée des Rois, or Valley of Kings. This because the French Royals were seated there before they moved to the Paris area. This results in a area full of magnificent castles (or what is left of them). Also known for the wines and mushrooms, Saumur has been, during the blitzkrieg of 1940, site of a heroic battle between the French (with a force of 2500 men and 24 armored vehicles) and the Germans (with a force of initially 10.000, later 40.000 men and 150 armored vehicles) that took 2 days. The French forces were largely made up of cadets from the French cavalry school (Le Cadre Noir), located in Saumur. Since the battle took place after calling the cease fire by Marshall Petain, it is considered the first act of resistance in France.
The museum itself is located in one of the suburbs of Saumur in a couple of large barracks. It has a huge collection of about 880 (armored) vehicles, of which more than 200 are roadworthy. Not all these vehicles can be displayed, but there is enough to see. Every year in July, there is the famous Carrousel de Saumur when a large number of vehicles are driven around the Chardonnet Square.
Now the pics. Since there is so much to see, I have taken many pictures when I was there in 2015. There are more than 500 pics, so sit back and enjoy…
The collection is huge and a lot of the vehicles are still in working condition. Many of them are used by the movie industry or are sent for historical events not speaking of the carrousel which occurs each 3rd week-end of July.
A Chaffee from Vietnam, it is funny because I was born and grew up in Vietnam (I’m also Canadian). It’s was a weapon against us back then. It’s always interesting to see the other side’s point of view.