The beginning

The Vehicular Historical Association of Danish Army Combat Centre (Hærens Kampskoles Køretøjshistoriske Forening = HKSKHF), springs from the old collection of armoured vehicles, which from 1969 was initially set up in the Army’s old Oksbøl North Camp.

In 1982, they were moved down to the Army’s Oksbøl South Camp, on the area around Panseralleen, this by the newly built Army Combat School. Here the vehicles were lined up. Every year HKS (the school) tried to keep the area neat and the vehicles presentable.

For a number of years, Oksbøllejren held an ‘Open Camp’ every Wednesday, where the public had access to Panseralleen, where the exhibition also formed a fine background in connection with display of the Army’s newer equipment.

At that time, there was also an exhibition of Warsaw Pact vehicles at the end of Palludan Müller’s Avenue – which is an extension of the Panseralleen.

Together, the Warsaw Pact Exhibition and the Danish Panzerallen Exhibition served as a good introduction to the students of the Army Combat School’s Courses in the Origin, Background and Technological Development of the Armoured Forces.

As the years went by, however, it became harder and harder to keep exhibits and the vehicles presentable, just as they were often not in a running order as a result of the weather impact.

In the years around 2002 – 2005, a group of stakeholders around the Army’s Combat School and Blåvandshuk municipality tried to establish a military museum in the area between Oksbøl town and the airfield at Oksbøllejren. This work did not succeed as The Danish Armed Forces would not give up the land on which the museum was to be built.

In 2008, the situation was so serious that if no other solution was found with a roof over the vehicles, they would actually disappear and be lost for posterity.

Another solution

In the meantime, a Fire Truck Museum by Hans Jørn Marcussen had been established in Oksbøl. The museum had been pieced together by historical fire equipment and vehicles from a number of collections, this in new premises on Industrivej in Oksbøl.

In the autumn of 2008, negotiations began with the Fire Truck Museum for a collaboration.

The negotiations resulted in an approx. 900 m2 large exhibition area in the Fire Truck Museum on Industrivej in Oksbøl and this was the start of the Tank Museum that exists today.

All resources went to the work of building the new Tank Museum and only in December 2010 was there spare time to establish the Vehicular Historical Association of Danish Army Combat Centre (HKSKHF) – That association is now responsible for the collection.

That same year, 10,000 visitors visited the museum – the year after 12,600!

Merger with the artillery

In 2020, Varde municipality had a task – find a new location for the Artillery Museum, at that time placed in Varde City.

At the same time Hans Jørn Marcussen had announced a closure of the Fire Truck Museum. This led to an agreement between Varde municipality and Hans Jørn Marcussen, first as a lease agreement then a takeover of the buildings on Industrivej. Thus, it was a reality that the Tank Museum and the Artillery Museum were now located in the same building complex.

The Tank Museum part is still run by HKSKHF, while the Artillery Museum part is run by the Varde Museums’ org., where the Varde Museums’ org. is responsible for the combined museums daily practice, custodians, a large part of the dissemination, while we are collaborating on exhibition structure, etc.

The combined exhibitions are now called the Tank & Artillery Museum.

The merge of the museums also fell in line with the fact that the Danish Artillery Regiment (DAR) is now located at Oksbøl Barracks.

The future

It is never easy to look into the future and see what opportunities it will offer.

The Danish National Museum has the formal responsibility for ensuring the preservation of the history of the overall Danish Armed Forces, as well as the Army, for posterity. The National Museum cannot solve this task without the assistance of the many historical collections, which fortunately are found in many places in the army and which function as a knowledge center. In addition, the National Museum is also particularly challenged with space constrains, when it comes to exhibiting larger objects such as tanks.

Places like our Tank Museum are therefore needed if this part of our common history is to be told. And who knows? perhaps the Army might one day have an independent museum in Nymindegab where our collection can naturally be included.

The vehicles and the cannons

The Tank and Artillery Museum’s vehicles/cannons are owned by either the Danish Armed Forces (Forsvarsministeriets Materiel- og Indkøbsstyrelse = FMI) or the Danish National Museum, while various other objects are taken from the Tank- & Artillery Museums’ own holdings, borrowed from other museums or private collections.