The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent: The Royal Engineers heavy vehicle display

The Royal Engineers have a museum at Gillingham, Kent but it is not large enough for all the heavy vehicles in its collection to be displayed on site. To make them accessible to the general public, these heavy vehicles are currently on display inside on of the covered slipway buildings at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent.


The vehicles and equipment on show included …

Chieftain (Willich) AVRE (Armoured Vehicle Royal Engineers)
In 1986, when the planned Chieftain AVRE did not materialise, the Engineer Workshops of 40 Army Engineer Support Group based in Willich, Germany, converted 12 Chieftain gun tanks into Chieftain AVREs for use by the Royal Engineers of BAOR (British Army Of the Rhine). They were an interim design, and were later replaced by vehicles that were converted by Vickers Defence Systems at Newcastle-upon-Tyne from 1991 to 1994.

Giant Viper Mine Clearance System
Giant Viper was a trailer-mounted, mine clearance system, that was designed to clear areas that containing land mines. The system used rockets to launch a 250-metre-long hose, packed with plastic explosive, across a minefield. The explosive was then detonated, and the resultant explosion cleared a 200-metre-long, 6-metre-wide path through the minefield using sympathetic detonation.

Motor Tug Mk.VII and Trailer
The Motor Tug Mk.VII was used as a motor tug during bridging and rafting operations. This steel hulled boat was powered by a Rolls Royce marine B80 petrol engine, and was capable of reaching just over 10 knots.

M2D Amphibious Vehicle
The M2D was developed in Germany and used by BAOR. Individual vehicles could be used as ferries and several vehicles could be joined together to form a bridge capable of handling the heaviest armoured fighting vehicles.

Caterpillar D8 Crawler Tractor
The Caterpillar D8 Crawler Tractor was developed during World War II and used by the Royal Engineers during and after the war. It could be used for all sorts of engineering tasks such as repairing or building roads and airfield runways, removing debris, or pushing pontoons. This example has some armour plate to protect the driver and a push plate for pushing bridging pontoons into a river.

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4 Comments on “The Historic Dockyard, Chatham, Kent: The Royal Engineers heavy vehicle display”

  1. Think you've been got at…

  2. Xaltotun of Python,

    I hope that the spamming has been dealt with … fot the moment.

    All the best,

    Bob

  3. Ray Rousell says:

    Great photos Bob, I've gotta find the time for a visit myself, after all its only 15 minutes away??
    Go Broncos!

  4. Ray Rousell,

    It's always the same, isn't it? As you only live 15 minutes away, you can go anytime … and don't … and will then no doubt travel for hours to visit a museum that is miles away. We all do it!

    All the best,

    Bob

    PS. The only Bronco I know about was that terrible toilet paper I had to use when I was a child. I am more than pleased that that has now gone!


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