COLD WAR COLLE CTORS

Phil Loder on how the Swiss Military Museum acquired its collection of Warsaw Pact vehicles

The T-34/85 is part of the collection’s running fleet

When it comes to vehicles, the Swiss Military Museum near Zurich doesn’t just focus on those which served with the Swiss Army. Their historic vehicle collection includes a range of German and Allied equipment from World War Two, acquired in swaps with armed forces and museums in other countries, or bought from or donated by Swiss collectors.

When I visited, though, I was struck by the number and range of vehicles from former Warsaw Pact countries. In the UK, these vehicles are often trophies from conflicts with adversaries such as Iraq, whose militaries were supplied by the Soviet Union and its allies, but this would not be the case in neutral Switzerland. I am fascinated by the history of surviving military vehicles, so decided to explore some of the stories of how these ones arrived at the museum.

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