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Tank Museum Has New Exhibit

A7V1 tank

2:42pm 24th December 2012

Bovington Tank Museum's acquired a working replica of a German First World War Tank.

The full sized A7V will go in display over Christmas and was built by armour enthusiast Bob Grundy.

Museum spokesman Nik Wyness said; "With the World War One centenaries approaching, we are delighted to have a working example of this unusual looking machine.  It will be a great compliment to the working British Mk IV tank replica we acquired from the production team of `War Horse` earlier this year."
 
The A7V was the first German tank design to see service when it was introduced in March 1918.  Only 20 were built, and only one original has survived.

"The sole original A7V is on display in an Australian Museum, and whilst there is another replica in the German Tank Museum this is the only one that actually runs," said Nik.  

The replica, which is a construction of plywood and angle iron on the chassis of an agricultural tracked vehicle, is identical in appearance and named `Schnuck` after one of the originals.

`Schnuck` was captured by New Zealand soldiers in August 1918 before being displayed in London.  It was sadly broken up for scrap in the early 1920's - around the same time The Tank Museum was being proposed in Bovington to preserve examples of the first British tanks.

"Whilst this is only a cosmetic replica, it will still give visitors a perspective on the German response to the tanks fielded by the British in World War One," nik added.  "Whilst it was a pretty poor design, it is still an essential part in the story of the tank, not least because the A7V was a protagonist in the first tank V's tank battle with a British Mark IV."

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