Just 50 kilometers (about 35 miles) away from Moscow, there stands the most unusual Kubinka Tank Museum dedicated to machines that were designed to kill quickly and violently. Also known as “The Tank Museum in Kubinka,” this may not appeal to everybody, but it remains an intriguing and dark tribute to war and man’s inhumanity to man. The museum does capture the imagination; just close your eyes and picture eight men fighting to the death, packed like sardines in a tin vehicle where inside temperatures could reach 40-50 Celsius (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
If that doesn’t grab you, how about the tank Ferdinand Porsche, the patriarch of a famous car company that shall remain nameless, created? His brain- child was a 180-ton monstrosity called “Mouse,” which contained almost a meter-thick (more than 3 feet) plate of armor as a protective shell. The Kubinka Museum possesses the world’s only surviving prototype.
Massive hangars situated on the territory of a military base house this unique, diverse and richest tank collection in the world, many dating back to World War I, World War II and the Cold War. In many cases, the vehicles are the only remaining models of their kind in existence, such as the Panzer VIII Maus, the Troyanov super-heavy tank and a Mörser Karl. The museum is derived from the research collection of the Kubinka armour test base, which is still functioning in that capacity. In the course of its nearly 80-year history, more than 300 tanks from 11 countries have been amassed; each war, big or small, adding to the total collection.
All in all, a visit to this amazing living tribute to military warfare is an extraordinary way to pass some time. Even if you wouldn’t ordinarily consider it, if you find yourself near there, don’t hesitate.
Seeing the Kubinka Museum is one of those experiences that is sure to change you in ways you might never have expected.