New acquisition T72

The Museum has recently acquired a Polish T72 tank, which will form part of the running fleet

20th August 2014

Seventy years to the day after Polish and British Forces fought side by side at the Falaise Pocket in Normandy, The Tank Museum, and the Land Forces Museum, Poland made an historic swap of two Cold War era tanks, which thirty years ago would have faced each other on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain.


The Chieftain was the backbone of the British Royal Armoured Corps for nearly thirty years after its introduction in 1966. Its 120mm gun was considered the best of its kind in the world and its 120 mm armour made it a tremendously powerful weapons system. The T72 was introduced into the forces of the Former Soviet Union five years later in 1971, the bovtm_t72_max.jpgT72M being manufactured in Poland. It was a formidable opponent, lighter than the Chieftain but with equally powerful armament.


The Chieftain Mark 11 has been gifted to the Land Forces Museum, Bydgoszcz, today where it will go on display to the public. In exchange the Tank Museum has received the T72 tank, which will form part of their active operational fleet.

t72 tank swop (ID 52849)Visitors will now be able to see this impressive machine roaring round The Tank Museum arena during Tanks in Action display and at the Museum’s biggest event of the year, Tankfest.


Richard Smith, The Tank Museum Director, "We are delighted to have been given this fine example of a T72 (left); it will make an excellent addition to our tank displays and our collections, helping us complete our record of the Cold War."


Mr Miros ław Giętkowski, Director of the Land Forces Museum in Bydgoszcz, “We are grateful to The Tank Museum in Bovington for the Chieftain tank. It will be the first of a new collection of NATO military vehicles. This exchange is one of the first in Poland and I hope that it will initiate a wider international cooperation between museums of a military profile."