|The Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun|
|Location||Latrun, West Bank|
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Yad La-Shiryon (officially: The Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun, Hebrew: יד לשריון) is Israel's official memorial site for fallen soldiers from the armored corps, as well as one of the most diverse tank museums in the world. The cornerstone for Yad La-Shiryon was laid on December 14, 1982. The site was created through the initiative of veteran officers of the armored corps in cooperation with the armored corps.
It is located on the West Bank but administered by Israel.
The main building, a mandate era Tegart fortress houses an archive of the fallen, a library, and a synagogue. The tower of the fortress has been converted into a "Tower of Tears" by Israeli artist Danny Karavan. The inside of the tower is covered by steel taken from a tank and water circulating from a pool underneath the installation trickles down the walls.
The Wall of Names, erected outside, displays the names of all the fallen soldiers from the Armored Corps, beginning with the War of Independence (1948) and up to this very day.
The Tank on the Tower
The most famous sight at Yad La-Shiryon is most likely that of a tank on top of a tower, which serves as the Museum's logo. In 1979, by decision of late Major General (Ret.) Moshe Peled, the tank was hoisted on top of a tower on the site, which was originally used as a water tower. The tank that was chosen is an American M4 Sherman, one of the first tanks that fought in the service of the Israel Defense Forces. Since the water tower was only designed to support 25 tons and the tank weighed 34 tons, both the engine and transmission gears had to be removed.
Yad La-shiryon is famous worldwide for its unique and diverse collection of tanks and armored vehicles. There are over a hundred different vehicles in the collection, including Israeli made tanks, enemy tanks seized in combat, and vehicles purchased specifically for the collection.
Some of the tanks and military vehicles included are:
- 17pdr SP. Achilles
- Diamond T truck
- M24 Chaffee
- M42 Duster
- M3 Lee
- M3 Grant
- M3 Scout Car
- M3A1 Stuart
- M5A1 Stuart
- M41 Walker Bulldog
- M107 Self-Propelled Gun
- M113 Armored Personnel Carrier
- M901 ITV
- M551 Sheridan
- M578 Light Recovery Vehicle
- several variations of the M4 Sherman, including:
- Several variations of the Patton tank including:
- Several variations of US halftracks
- Willys MB jeep
- Alvis Saladin
- Archer (tank destroyer)
- Cromwell tank
- FV 4101 Charioteer
- FV 4201 Chieftain
- Matilda tank
- Several variations of Centurion tank, including:
- Ferret armoured car
- Light Tank Mk VI (Vickers)
- Marmon-Herrington Armoured Car
- Scammell Contractor
- Improvised medevac version of BTR-50
- Improvised recovery version of BTR-152
- Several variations of BRDM-2
- Recovery version of ISU-152
- ISU-152 with gun removed, labeled as command vehicle
- T-34/100 or T-100 tank destroyer
- Several variations of T-54/T-55 tanks, including:
- IDF Achzarit
- Tiran-4 - upgraded T-54
- Tiran-5 - upgraded T-55
- T-62 (Israeli Tiran 6)
Allied Forces Monument
A monument was constructed as a tribute to the Allies of World War II, led by the United States, Great Britain and The Soviet Union. The monument is composed of a rock pile, on top of which the three main battle tanks that served in the armies of the Allied Forces on different fronts: the Soviet T-34, a British Cromwell and the American Sherman. The monument is surrounded by the flags of 19 countries and organizations that actively participated in the struggle, including the flag of the Jewish Brigade, which fought within the ranks of the British army. It is being reconstructed as of December 2011.
Museum of Armored Corps History
The museum includes several exhibits dedicated to the history of armored combat in general, including:
- Model room with dozens of tanks
- Full scale models of:
- Stamp collection, featuring tanks and other armored vehicles
The site also has a large outdoor theater where various ceremonies and performances take place, as it is one of the largest theaters in the country and centrally located. There is also a birdwatching facility equipped with a radar to track migratory birds.
- Bovington Tank Museum - United Kingdom
- Deutsches Panzermuseum — Germany
- Kubinka Tank Museum - Russia
- Musée des Blindés - France
- Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor - United States
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