In the so-called “tank garden“ behind the compound the most important battle vehicles of the Austrian Armed Forces since 1956 are exhibited. The different types exemplify very clearly the continuous development of armour technology.
The first Austrian armoured corps after 1955 was equipped throughout with vehicles of the occupation powers. The latter originated mostly from World War II, like, amongst others, the American armoured reconnaissance vehicle M8, the armoured personnel carrier M21 or the light main battle tank M24. Regarding Soviet battle vehicles, the most important standard models as well as the main battle tank T34/85 are exhibited. The newer battle vehicles are of American, British and French origin. Only few types of the vehicles presented are of Austrian provenience, whereby the prototype of an armoured personnel carrier, which was finally not introduced, and a variation of the light tank “Kürassier”, constructed on the basis of the French tank AMX13, are especially worth mentioning.
In Europe, the first armoured vehicles existed as early as around the turn of the century. Normally, they were civilian vehicles fortified with armoured plates and armed with machine guns. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire a new type was constructed by Colonel Burstyn in 1911, which – contrary to the abovementioned types – no longer had a traditional wheel drive but a chain drive. Due to technical and financial problems, however, this project could not be realised.
Thus, the idea of armoured battle vehicles with chain drive first reached its peak during World War I. In the period between World Wars I and II, the Austrian Armed Forces had armoured vehicles produced in Austria and Italy at their disposal. During World War II, quick armoured corps laid the foundation for a new battle technique, which would dominate the first phase of this war.