The Russian Kubinka Tank Museum

When in Russia and Moscow, you should take time to visit the Kubinka Tank Museum.

It’s not a fancy place, and some of the artifacts have been moved to the more modern and nearby Patriot Park, but it’s still worth a visit.

If you want to hunt WWI and WWII Battlefields relics, Soviet war trophies including Third Reich and  German Trophies, Japanese trophies as well as see barn after barn with Soviet Union tank projects this is the place to be.

We hope we can tempt you with some of my pictures below.

A photo from the highway, about 60 kms from Moscow, showing the entry road to the museum.

Memorial at the entrance

In the 1920s Soviet Union built their first tank. A 7 tonne tank with 8 to 16 mm thick armor.

Later the Red Army purchased many foreign tanks to use as models for future domestic production. Much of the history can be found within these walls.

Not all exhibits have been captured, there is also an exchange between museums.

The barracks are old and worn, but contains a gold mine for anyone interested in the world of tanks.

Line after line with projects, prototypes and tanks that never made it into production. Or worked as a prototype before the real thing made it to production.

A “swamp tank”, designed to drive over swamps. Note the 4 tracks. A note said that it had problems with maneuverability. I wonder why.

3 firearms, but none is pointing straight.

I have never seen anything like the tank below. My Russian is a bit on the weak side, but apparently this was a German “Mine Trawler”. Looks like something out of Star Wars.

First day on your new job:

-“Hey Hans, wake up, we have arbeit for you. Bitte drive through this mine field and see what happens”

The Swedish and US tanks were not captured but part of an exchange program (so I heard, and seems legit).

The turret-less Swedish tank 103.

The S Tank, or Stridsvagn S. Apart from the cannon, it has 3 x 7,62 mm KSP 58 machine guns.

Swedish Strv 74. It had 2 x 8 mm KSP m/39 machine guns and 75 mm cannon.

The pictures from my visit are from June 2017.

You need to allow for a minimum of 1-2 hours.Depending on the level of your interest you may feel the need to stay for much longer, but I would recommend you focus on the more modern Patriot Park.

We’ll get back later with more on the spectacular creations like the German WWII 600 mm self-propelled siege mortar Karl-Gerät and the 180 tonne Panzer VIII Maus.

To my knowledge they can only be found in one place and that’s in the Kubinka Tank Museum.



Eric B

Ex-Arctic Ranger. Competitive practical shooter and hunter with an European focus. Always ready to increase my collection of modern semi-automatic firearms, optics and sound suppressors. Owning the night would be nice too.


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  • Spencerhut

    Suddenly Russia seems like a more viable tourist destination the pretty much all of western Europe.

    • Major Tom

      Mainly because all Western Europe has is stuffy old royal things like castles and chateaus and big manors. In Russia they have THE tank museum.

      • GhostTrain81

        A large chunk of the male royals in Europe have served in their respective militaries. Both William, Harry, and their father served in the UK’s forces… and Prince Harry actually saw combat in Afghanistan.

        To me that is true leadership by example, and worth more than a tank museum.

        • Major Tom

          Let me know when Harry commands the defense of a besieged city like Khrushchev did at Stalingrad. Or commands an entire theatre of operations like Ike did.

          Then we can talk about modern royals being worth more than THE tank museum.

          • Phil Hsueh

            I’m not sure if this could be considered THE tank museum since the tank museum over at Bovington is generally very highly regarded and has the distinction of having the only operational Tiger anywhere in the world.

          • Major Tom

            Bovington is good but it doesn’t have a Maus or the almost complete history of Russian/Soviet tank development and fielding.

          • mikee

            Saumur has an operational King Tiger with the Henschel turret.

          • GhostTrain81

            Your original point was that Western Europe is projecting a sense of fluffiness because of their stuffy castles (and presumably the people who inhabit them).

            There are many challenging issues facing W. Europe, but the continued existence of royals is not one of them. My point is that the elites in those societies do serve and put their necks on the line. And that to me is as potent of a symbol as a military hardware museum.

            Here in America, the children of the upper strata of society overwhelmingly reject public service and skip directly to law school, MBA, and Si Valley / Wall Street.

          • jcitizen

            Probably – but Lord Mountbatten, an uncle of his was one of the greatest warriors of World War II in my opinion. He was brilliant and a little too brave – which got him killed by the IRA when on fishing holiday. I put him way above that cocky Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery!

      • B-Sabre

        There’s the Royal Armour Corps museum at Bovington: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tank_Museum

        And the French have their armor museum at Saumur. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mus%C3%A9e_des_Blind%C3%A9s

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Coming soon to a Polish town near you!

    • Sermon 7.62

      Yes. Perhaps, tonight. No one knows, the Russians are unpredictable.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Not really.
        They are very predictable.
        Ask anyone in Eastern Europe.

        • Sermon 7.62

          European countries started lots of wars against Russia.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Its too bad Russian history textbooks have so many sections blacked out or else you might have learned something.

          • Sermon 7.62

            History of Europe (1000 – 2000 AD) – google it.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Poland and Lithuania invaded Russia more than once. See for example “Polish-Muscovite War”. Also, Sweden invaded Russia more than once. See “Ingrian War”, and “Swedish invasion of Russia”. See “French invasion of Russia”. See “Crimean War”, as France and England attacked Russia together.

            I posted a link here, but it hasn’t been published. You can look it up: “History of Europe’s Borders – Time Lapse”. Feel free to google it and see who invaded who, and when.

      • RocketScientist

        I once saw an old bear in a cheap circus once. It was old and weak, had been neutered many years back, and had its claws pulled. Most of it’s teeth were rotting or gone. The circus employees took pity on it and allowed it to get terribly drunk on vodka every day to distract it form its shame and misery. Seeing that poor dumb blind drunk bear stumble around its enclosure, it was VERY unpredictable. Never knew when/how it was going to impotently strike out at its cage, or some phantasm of its own imagination. So yes, I’d agree. Russia is very unpredictable. Not exactly scary though.

        • Sermon 7.62

          “We are not creating a Terminator”: Russia denies risk as Putin’s ‘robot army’ is trained to shoot guns

          MirrorOnline reported last December how the android robots called FEDOR – Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research – are being developed for space exploration by Russia.

          Now it’s emerged that the human looking robots – with a head, two arms and two legs – have been handed guns as part of their training.

          Posting a short clip showing the armed robot in action, Russia’s deputy PM Dmitryi Rogozin said: “Robot platform F.E.D.O.R. showed shooting skills with two hands.

          “We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields.”

        • Foma Klimov

          That bear of yours sounds more like Murrica and it’s paper-economy, incompetent leadership, over-inflated/wasted military budget, rotting, degenerating culture and declining overseas empire. We don’t even have to nuke you. 2024 will be here soon! Most of the world will be celebrating with us. Cheers!

    • Ed Ward

      Yup–There’s a reason why Warsaw LOVES America and joined NATO…

    • HenryV

      And what would they gain, even if they had the wherewithal to do it, from invading Poland? And if you pick up a history book you will see that Poland has been invaded more times from the west than the east. And indeed the Poles themselves aren’t beyond imposing themselves on others too.

      • Sermon 7.62

        Poles invaded Russia several times, occupied large territories. For centuries. But in the end, had to return to their natural historical borders, and the Russians returned to theirs.

        • HenryV

          Yep. I am just staggered that so many are buying this Russia is a danger rubbish. They will be a danger if we end up creating a situation that ends up with buttons being pressed. Like most states, other than the US, their ability to launch a large scale conventional attack beyond their borders against a peer enemy is very limited.

          • Sermon 7.62

            Of course. Not to mention that Russia isn’t capable of financing such an affair. And what there is to conquer, in Poland? Apple trees?

            This is just propaganda used to explain the expansion of the US influence to the East, and to push Russia out of the European market.

          • HenryV

            True.

            Our leaders in the West should have respected the Russians more at the end of the Cold War. We all won the Cold War because we all came out the other side alive. I think President Trump knows this……..

          • Sermon 7.62

            The war isn’t over YET 🙂

          • HenryV

            🙂

          • CavScout

            It’s comments like yours that will allow the Russian hackers to march through Poland.

        • Requiescat in pace

          What is considered historical borders, when there were so many changes through the centuries?
          Once claimed territory would justify any future “border corrections”?

          • Sermon 7.62

            I said “natural” historical borders. That is, the lands inhabitated by the peoples in question. For example, Poles and Lithuanians occupied a large portion of the lands where the Russians had been dwelling for centuries before that.

  • Seymour Butts

    An article about the Kubinka Museum, and you chose to ad the worst pictures. Not a single pic of the Maus, IS-3, or ISU-152. WTF

    • B-Sabre

      “We’ll get back later with more on the spectacular creations like the German WWII 600 mm self-propelled siege mortar Karl-Gerät and the 180 tonne Panzer VIII Maus.”
      Reading comprehension. It’s a thing.

      • Brett baker

        But it’s a HAAAARD thing!

        • B-Sabre

          Is that a panzer in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

      • n0truscotsman

        You don’ need no readin! 😉

    • mcjagermech

      The IS-3 is pictured…..

    • DW

      You what? ISU is in the first picture, IS-3 is in another outside exhibit, Maus is coming in another article.

  • B-Sabre

    As to the funky “flying saucer tank”:

    Object 279 Kotin was a Soviet experimental heavy tank developed at the end of 1959. This special purpose tank was intended to fight on cross country terrain, inaccessible to conventional tanks, acting as a heavy breakthrough tank, and if necessary withstanding even the shockwave of a nuclear explosion. It was planned as a tank of the Supreme Command Reserve.


    It must have been a suka to have to repair a thrown inside track. I can hear the tank commander cursing already.

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      I don’t think that it would have really had any better cross country terrain than other tanks, rather it had the four tracks so that this sixty tonne monster could still cross the same terrain as its contemporaries. The main point of this thing was not so that it could cross rough terrain, but instead so that it could survive a nuclear blast without tipping over.

      • B-Sabre

        That was the reason for the ‘saucer’ cross-section – that’s mostly sheet metal, with the real armored hull inside that. The multiple tracks were to decrease the ground pressure of the thing to allow it to cross softer ground than a “conventional” heavy tank.

  • 22winmag

    Firearms not Politics or tourniquets, tank museums, military procurement sagas, flashlights, knives, and anything else I’m forgetting.

  • mcjagermech

    The tank that has the 37mm gun and two machine guns facing different directions is the T18 which was Russia’s first tank

  • Eric Frey

    damn. if it weren’t for the currently laughable relations we have with Russia right now, I might consider going.

    • Max Glazer

      Noone stops tourists from visiting. Russia recently hosted that practical shooting competition. Annual military war games, including Tank Biathlon are awesome and spectators are welcome. If you want to see these museums, don’t worry about politics, they are temporary. Go and see what you want to see.

  • Alexander Unterberg

    Cool article! Did you get a chance to check out the 1400m shooting range as well?

  • Sermon 7.62

    Don’t let him provoke such a kind of reaction. He is a troll, has been doing this for a long time. Hates the Russians.

  • Eddie_Baby

    The Patriotic War Museum is awesome. Get an English tour.

  • Tuulos

    That German mine trawler looks like the turret came from a panzer 1 and tracks came from some heavy artillery piece.

  • Dave

    Thank you for the post! I hope to get there someday. I was able to visit the tank park in Latrun, Israel, and it is another must-see for historical armor fans. It didn’t have all the experimentals, but a lot of actual battle tanks and assault guns, many from the early Arab-Israeli wars.

  • With respect, the “swamp tank” is not just that. It’s the Object 279 (designation format used for armor R&D post-WWII) heavy tank prototype (1957-59), and it’s UFO-like shape was a study in making an all-terrain tank that would be the ultimate in sloped armor (anti-HEAT, at that time, with thin anti-HEAT screens completing the elliptical “saucer shape” on the sides), and also would be nuclear blast resistant (again, aerodynamic shape). It was really light on the ground, though – almost like a light tank.

  • “Artillery, Engineering and Signal corps” =)

  • n0truscotsman

    Does it still have its original Maybach? That thing sounds
    amazing.

  • n0truscotsman

    Ive always wanted to go there. I love me some Russian artillery.