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Places to visit with a Jeep connection


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Norfolk Tank Museum

 

The Jeep connection: They had a Ford GP at the back of the main building. Clearly it had been used recently as it was muddy but the cylinder head was off for repair.

 

This museum has a small but interesting collection of vehicles that you can touch, stand on and even go inside. The staff are wonderful, and eager to tell you as much as you want to know about the exhibits. Two of the staff spent more than half an hour with me handling the rifles and machine guns.

 

I went on a day when none of the vehicles were being used in the paddock but I enjoyed it nonetheless because of the hands-on experience. I have never carried a BREN gun before, let alone hold one in a firing position. I'm looking forward to going back on a day when the tanks are mobile.

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I remember the Bren gun as where I was staying for a couple of days in Rhodesia they had two for guarding the station.  Not very reliable weapon and was prone to jamming at most inopportune moment.  Not very accurate, but enough to scare terrorists away. Preferred my trusty G3 which was a Portuguese copy of the 7.72 FN rifle!

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Always surprises me the weight of old WW1 and 2 Weapons.  Interestingly I have spoken to couple of ww2 infantry soldiers years ago  who said the bren gun ( chambered for 303) was a very reliable and accurate weapon (Maybe later variants or rechambered ones were less reliable or the ones in question poorly maintained ?).  My great uncle won a DSO in WW2 during the battle of the falaise gap his citation list includes leading counterattacks against the germans firing a bren gun from the hip.  His medal are in the KSLI museum in Shrewsbury Castle.

Edited by Stu2985
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19 minutes ago, Stu2985 said:

Always surprises me the weight of old WW1 and 2 Weapons.  Interestingly I have spoken to couple of ww2 infantry soldiers years ago  who said the bren gun ( chambered for 303) was a very reliable and accurate weapon (Maybe later variants or rechambered ones were less reliable or the ones in question poorly maintained ?).  My great uncle won a DSO in WW2 during the battle of the falaise gap his citation list includes leading counterattacks against the germans firing a bren gun from the hip.  His medal are in the KSLI museum in Shrewsbury Castle.

Thanks for the reminder.  These Brens where rechambered to accept the 7.62 bullet as the bullet was made locally and plenty of stock of that size.  In the seventies the Bren was very outdated in comparison to the FN MAG machine gun commonly used by our troops.  Those using the Bren used to tape two magazines together so that when one ran out you simply flipped it over to insert. 

Unfortunately when firing a large number of bullets from the Bren like some other machine guns except it happened quicker the barrel would start to droop resulting inaccurate fire.  I cannot recall if the barrel could be exchanged like you could with the FN MAG. 

In the police the Brens were only used for defending rural police stations and had been passed on from the army who had replaced them with the FN MAG.  However by that time I was back to being a civvy in a more dangerous job.  LOL!

Does sound like an interesting place you visited and one if we are ever in the area we may have a look.

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