Battlegroup Afghanistan Exhibition
The Armoured Soldiers’ Story
The Royal Armoured Corps has been engaged in some of the fiercest fighting since World War Two in combating the insurgency in Afghanistan. Now the soldiers tell their story in a poignant new exhibition we have designed at the Tank Museum.
‘A lot of the public basically thinks that we’re getting beat and we’re not. All you hear about is the British casualties.’ LCpl. L, 2nd Royal Tank Regiment
Working with the Tank Museum’s curation and interpretation expert, our challenge was to change public perceptions of the work soldiers do and to show what life is really like. Personal and inspiring stories from all ranks of soldier were placed at the heart of the exhibition. There are few interpretation panels; instead, a ‘Forward Operating Base’ with authentic objects to demonstrate working, living and combat areas.
Visitors enter the base and find themselves surrounded by the Afghan desert landscape. They are immersed in the sights and sounds of life on operations (dogs barking, the thunder of a passing tank, gun fire). There is a tented dorm, duty watch station, living and survival equipment and even the ‘thunder box’ – an outdoor toilet. Opportunities to interact include trying on desert kit and there are weapons and large armoured vehicles like Viking troop carriers to explore.
Hours of research and live interviews conducted by Tank Museum staff inform the exhibition. We situated audio points in old ammunition crates and visitors can find out how soldiers cope with the physical and emotional demands. There is front line film narrated by veteran broadcaster Kate Adie and videos of returning soldiers with haunting tales of bravery.
Visitors will be inspired by the soldiers’ courage and leave with a deeper understanding and new perspective on a conflict that is soon to enter its tenth year.
Check out photos below and this video which gives an overview of the whole exhibition.