The Tank Museum Launches Fundraising Campaign to Restore M47 Patton

Photo Credit: The Tank Museum / Provided
Photo Credit: The Tank Museum / Provided

The Tank Museum in Bovington, United Kingdom, has launched a fundraising campaign to fund the restoration of its sole M47 Patton. The Cold War-era medium tank, named for famed American Gen. George S. Patton, was equipped by the United States and various allied countries, and it’s one of the most iconic armored vehicles of the mid-20th century.

Two soldiers lying on the ground as an M47 Patton drives by
M47 Patton in West Germany. (Photo Credit: Unknown Author / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

The Tank Museum is hoping to fundraise £50,000 to aid in the restoration of its M47 Patton, which it acquired in 1987. The tank had previously served with the Italian Army and was slated to be retired and used as a range target before the institution became involved.

Given its condition, the M47 has sat in storage ever since, never once being put on display. While a volunteer effort occurred in the early 1990s to fix it up, the work was abandoned when other pressing tasks popped up.

Close-up of the engine of the M47 Patton at The Tank Museum
The Tank Museum’s M47 Patton. (Photo Credit: The Tank Museum / Provided)

The Tank Museum is teaming up with Matthew Pyle for the project, with the engineer being described as “the best man for the job.” The restoration effort will involve a cosmetic makeover, a complete systems overhaul and the installation of a new engine.

“The M47 is the only one of its type in the Museum’s collection, and we are thrilled to work in partnership with Matthew Pyle to restore it to running order,” Chris van Schaardenburgh, the head of collections at The Tank Museum, said in a press release. “Matthew has successfully restored a M47 before, and visitors can see his M47 as a guest in the TANKFEST arena this weekend.

“This restoration will enable the Museum to add a missing piece to the story of Cold War tank development,” he added.

M47 Patton parked outside
M47 Patton operated by the Italian Army, equipped with a 105 mm main gun. (Photo Credit: Unknown Author / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain)

Donations are currently being accepted for the fundraiser, with different tiers offering donors special perks:

  • £10 donation – Name added to the funders’ list, updates on the restoration process and a “thank you” on social media.
  • £25 donation – The perks listed above, as well as a Q&A with the restoration team and Matthew Pyle.
  • £50 donation – £10- and £25-donation perks, along with your name added to the tank’s turret.
  • £100 donation – All aforementioned perks, plus access to the M47 Patton at TANKFEST 2025.

More information about the fundraiser can be found on The Tank Museum’s official website.

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The M47 Patton made its debut in 1951, in the early years of the Cold War, as a replacement for both the M26 Pershing and the M46 Patton. It saw service with various countries, with militaries impressed by its powerful main gun. Stateside, it never saw combat, as the tank was ultimately replaced by the M48 Patton.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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