Museum: Liberty park, Overloon
Liberty park is the combination of two Dutch World War II museums, the Dutch National War and Resistance Museum and the Marshall Museum. The museum is based in Overloon at the location were the greatest tank battle in Dutch history took place in 1944. Many destroyed tanks were left on the battlefield and after the war it was decided to create a museum park here. The main collection exists of American, German and English World War II vehicles but the museum also has some Soviet World War II and Cold War hardware.
Every day from 10.00 to 17.00
An impressive collection of red army equipment
For years the German, American and English tanks were standing in the park at Overloon. Recently the museum decided to bring all vehicles (except 2 soviet pieces) inside to protect them from rusting away. In 2004 the private collection of the General George C. Marshall Museum from Zwijndrecht was added to the Museum in Liberty park. The Marshall museum owns the largest collection of military vehicles in Europe. Most pieces are American World War 2 vehicles but there is also some very interesting World War 2 and Cold War soviet equipment displayed. The presentation is very well done in this museum, diorama’s with many details are set up very attractive here.
The Overloon museum park used to be filled with Second world war tanks, aircraft and other vehicles. Most enthusiasts of military equipment prefer to see these vehicles outside but the Dutch weather forced the museum to take them inside to protect them from rusting away. There are still a view exhibits displayed outside however. Most notable are an original piece of the inner German border (the iron curtain) and two GDR (East Germany) border pole’s. There are also a Russian IS-2 tank and a Soviet 152mm ML-20 Howitzer standing near the entrance of the museum building.
Heavy tank: IS-2
The IS tank (or Iosif Stalin tank), is a heavy tank developed by the Soviet Union during World War II. The tank was designed with thick armour to counter the German 88 mm guns, and sported a main gun that was capable of defeating the famous German Tiger and Panther tanks.
The 152 mm howitzer-gun M1937 (ML-20), was a Soviet gun-howitzer. The gun was successfully used in the World War II, remained in service for a long time after the end of the war and saw action in many other wars and conflicts of mid and late 20-th century.
Mobile car repair workshop: Ural 4320 Heavy Military Truck
One of the most interesting vehicles of the museum is the Ural 4320 Heavy Truck. The Ural 4320 is used for many different purposes like towing vehicle, personnel transportation vehicle, a radio communication vehicle, this one is a mobile car repair workshop. The interior of the truck is very well decorated with attention to detail. There is even a portrait of Stalin and there are many real Soviet tools and repair instruments to see. The first prototype of heavy transport vehicle was developed in 1961. In 1974-1979 the vehicle’s design underwent extensive modernization. Because of its great versatility Ural 4320 model have been produced in a large number of different modified versions. It is, to this day, used by the armies of the former Eastern bloc.
Terrain vehicle: Trabant
Terrain vehicle: Uaz-69
Terrain vehicle: Uaz-469
An other fine exhibit in Liberty park is the Trabant type P-601A Kubel wagen, nickname Stoffhund from the KVA (East German border police).
The Uaz-69 was the basic light off-road vehicle of the Soviet Army. It was produced from 1953 to 1972 and then replaced by the Uaz-469.
The UAZ-469,very similar in design to the original Jeep was introduced in 1973. It reached legendary status for its reliability and off-road ability.
The medium tank T-34 is probably the most famous tank of the world. It was the tank that won World War 2 and defeated the might of the Nazi Panzers. The 85 versions were produced from The improved T-34/85 was introduced in 1943 with a more powerful 85 mm gun and a three-man turret design. Liberty park has two T-34 tanks one painted in green and the other in winter camouflage.
Transport: GT-SM (GAZ-71)
The T-55 tank was the Soviet Union’s front-line main battle tank from 1947 until 1962. It remains in service throughout the world to this day, in armies of former client states of the Soviet Union. With 95,000 models is the T-55 the most produced tank in the world.
The ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" is a lightly armoured, self-propelled, radar guided anti-aircraft weapon system. The ZSU-23 was brought into service in 1965 and delivers a highly effective combination of mobility with heavy firepower and considerable accuracy.
The GT-SM (also known as the GAZ-71), was an over the snow vehicle designed for a variety of roles, but primarily as a general cargo troop carrier and light artillery heavy mortar tractor. Production has stopped, but it is still in service with the Russian Army.
Motor cycle: MZ ES-250/24
Motor cycle: MZ ETZ -250
Transport: Soviet snowmobile
East German MZ motor bike used by the GDR border police.
East German motor cycle from MZ used by the GDR army.
Russian snow scooter that could come straight from an old Bond movie.
PAC: BTR-60 PB
The BTR-60 armoured personnel carrier, was developed in the late 1950s. Museum visitors can look inside the vehicle from two sites. This gives a good idea on the cramped position of the 2 men crew and 12 passengers. The BTR-60 at Overloon is a BTR-60 PB version from 1966.
Gun: Russian Maxim
The BRDM-2 is a Russian armoured scout car in use in at least 45 countries.
The ZPU-4 is a USSR towed anti-aircraft gun that entered service in 1949.
The famous Maxim machine gun from 1910, still in use in the seventies.
The DSHK-38 was the first Soviet heavy machine gun, build in the 1930’s.
GAZ-51 was the best known, most popular, and longest produced Soviet truck. Its first prototypes were produced before World War II, and mass production started in 1946.
The ZIL-131 is a general purpose 3.5 tons 6x6 army truck, the basic model being a general cargo truck. Variants include a tractor-trailer truck, a dump truck and a fuel truck.
Command version of the ZIL-157, a 2.5 ton 6x6 truck, produced in post WW2 Soviet Russia. The ZIL-157 was the standard truck until it was replaced by the URAL-375D in 1979.
USSR Army uniforms
The lively diorama’s at the Marshall and Dutch National War and Resistance Museum add to the experience for the visitor. Most cars, trucks and tanks feature dolls with original uniforms, weapons and other equipment. Below a view example’s of soldier’s with uniforms from various red army units.