I’d been thinking about writing a novel based on a short story I’d written late last year and recently just sold to Fictionvale Magazine this past November. Over the past month, I’ve used National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) as a means to jumpstart this novel. In the process of writing the novel, which takes place in World War II, I’ve frequently struggled with trying to imagine what it was really like to be on one of the armored vehicles of the period, and that’s after accounting for my extensive experience on modern tanks as a cavalry officer in the United States Army.
Fortunately, I had the opportunity to visit the world’s largest private collection of armored vehicles this past weekend on Jacques Littlefield’s estate in Portola Valley before it is shuttered and its collection scattered to the four winds. Apparently, my tour group was one of the last to see the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation‘s full $30 million collection before it transfers some of its pieces to a museum in Stow, Massachusetts and auctions off the remainder to private collectors.
Below are some pictures of World War II tanks, anti-tank guns, and armored vehicles from Littlefield’s collection. At some point in the future, I plan to post pictures of some of the more modern equipment (e.g., T-72 tank, SCUD-A and SCUD-B missile launchers, among others), but I wanted to keep this post focused on World War II.