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June 22nd, 1941. Operation Barbarossa begins. Hitler's 1939 Nonaggression Pact with the Soviet Union came to abrupt but predictable end on Sunday, June 22, 1941. At dawn on that day, German forces launched Operation Barbarossa along an 1,800-mile front that ran from Leningrad to the Black Sea. The three German army groups included 150 divisions containing three million men, 3,000 tanks, 7,000 artillery pieces and 2,500 aircraft. The German forces were further strengthened by more than 30 divisions of Finnish and Romanian troops. It was in effect the largest and most powerful invasion force in history. Like previous campaigns, Barbarossa was planned as a blitzkrieg led by armored units.The invasion took the Soviet leadership completely by surprise and caught the Red Army in an unprepared and partially demobilized state. Stalin had been informed that the Germans would invade but he did not believe the sources. Over the first few days, the German Luftwaffe destroyed more than 1,200 Soviet aircraft, many of them on the ground. By mid-July the Germans had advanced more than 400 miles and were only 200 miles from Moscow. Heavy Autumn rains would turn the Russian roads to deep mud and the sub-zero temperatures that followed in November would further stall and finally end the German advance. ... See MoreSee Less

4 hours ago  ·  

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~ A new addition to this year's American Elegance performance: 1926 Chrysler Model 72 Roadster. Show starts around 1 PM Saturday and Sunday. More information see: www.americanheritagemuseum.org/event/tanks-wings-wheels-2/ ... See MoreSee Less

5 days ago  ·  

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Word on the streets says Al Capone will be showing up at AHM in his 1940 V-16 Cadillac on June 19th and 20th - to case the place for his new casino and speak-easy. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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Visitors to the American Heritage Museum this past weekend had the opportunity to view a display of impressive artifacts from the Allied campaign to liberate Italy (1943-1945). The Allied advance through Italy produced some of the most bitter, costly fighting of the war, much of it in treacherous mountain terrain. Rome was liberated 77 years ago this month but at the time the event was completely overshadowed by the D-Day landings in Normandy.The weekend exhibition was organized and expertly described to several hundred Museum visitors by Abigail Metheny of Concord, MA and Jesse Campana of Brick, NJ. Both are avid students of the history of the Italian Campaign as well as skilled collectors of WWII memorabilia. Abigail and Jesse appeared in US Army uniforms from the period: Abigail as a US Army Nurse and Jesse as an Army private. The AHM extends its appreciation to Abigail and Jesse for their wonderful commitment of their time and expertise. We look forward to welcoming them back to the Museum sometime soon. ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago  ·  

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The American Heritage Museum is running a very unique sweepstakes fundraiser "Behind Enemy Lines - WWII Tank Experience." We hope that you could share this with your friends. Here is the link with all the details: americanheritagemuseum.tapkat.org/behindenemylinesProceeds go to our education outreach programs and operations. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago  ·  

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M24 Chaffee Light World War II Tank Driving Program at the American Heritage Museum

Drive the Famous Light Tank That Spanned Two Wars

The American Heritage Museum is proud to offer exciting tank driving experiences in the Spring, Summer, and Fall aboard the M24 Chaffee light tank used in World War II and the Korean War. The M24 Chaffee is a fast and maneuverable tank that replaced the M5 Stuart light tank during WWII and brought the harder hitting 75mm M6 cannon to the battlefield.

Tank driving programs on the M24 Chaffee are a donation of $995.00 per driving participant aboard the tank for a one hour training experience that includes ground instruction, startup, driving instruction with our instructor, and YOU drive the M24 Chaffee for 20 minutes on our tank driving grounds at the American Heritage Museum. If you would like to add an additional rider in the turret during your driving experience, please add a $195 donation to your booking.

Watch a Video on the M24 Driving Experience


Book Your M24 Chaffee Tank Driving Experience Today!

Tank driving experiences on the M24 Chaffee are being offered in the mornings of select weekends through the season. Please click the button below for schedules and online booking. We can also accommodate custom tank driving slots during weekdays when available – call us at 978-562-9182 to inquire about weekday driving reservations.


Gift Certificates Available

Looking to give a tank driving experience as a gift? We have presentation gift certificates available for gift giving to the tank enthusiast in your family! Tank Driving Gift Certificates are open ended and allow the recipient to schedule their own driving experience at their convenience. Click here to learn more about and purchase an M24 Chaffee Tank Driving Experience Gift Certificate at this link.

History of the M24 Chaffee

Seeking to replace the aging M3 and M5 Stuart series of light tanks, the U.S. Army Ordnance Department and Cadillac joined forces to create a new light tank. The new T24 pilot vehicle was delivered in October 1943 and full scale production began in 1944 as the Light Tank, M24. The Chaffee retained the M5 Stuart’s twin Cadillac V-8 powertrain, but came armed with a lightened 75mm Cannon adapted from a version used on B-25 Mitchell bombers, replacing the under whelming 37mm used on the Stuart. The Chaffee was speedy and nimble. The M24 saw use in WWII, but found a calling in the cold, mountainous environment of Korea, where it fought as a part of reconnaissance units alongside “Easy Eight” Shermans, M26 Pershings and M46 Pattons. Long after the United States replaced the M24 with newer models such as the M41 Walker-Bulldog, other countries such as Israel and France used the Chaffee well into the 1950s.

SPECIFICATIONS

Armament: 75mm M6 Cannon, one .50 cal. MG and 2x .30 cal. MGs.
Crew: 5, Commander, Gunner, Driver, Loader, Co-Driver
Engine: Cadillac Series 44T24, 220 horsepower.
Range: 100 miles

 

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MUSEUM OPEN

Museum is fully open with no restrictions - Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00am to 5:00pm - also open Memorial Day, May 31st from 10:00am to 5:00pm.