• Timo Kiviluoma

Parola Tank Museum raises up questions

My 12-year-old son is extremely interested in war vehicles. For him, it’s mostly curiosity about the technical details and playing a load of internet games. However, the brutality of war and all the killing is always present there too. We have talked about how different Internet games are to real war and I guess he knows that. However, I still thought it would be very useful for him to see real tanks that were used during real wars. I thought, he would discover some new insights about war technology and maybe even he might think a bit about the misery and grief that those machines cause in real war situations.

So we drove to Hämeenlinna, where an excellent tank museum, The Parola Tank Museum, is located. It is a military historical museum with the main task being to gather, save, investigate and exhibit the history of the Finnish armoured and anti-tank defence troops. A central theme, furthermore, is to inform visitors about the use and technical development of the armoured fighting vehicles in the Army of independent Finland, beginning with the first Renault F.T. Modèle 1917 tanks, bought in 1919.

The Tank Museum also pays honours to Finnish soldiers. It offers a historical display of the skills and successes of the Finnish armoured troops - especially of the wartime tank division - against superior enemy forces in Finland’s last wars.

On the sunny summer’s day we visited, those vehicles were just historical remains – but it’s easy to understand how terrible the war was for soldiers and civilians alike. I highly recommend The Parola Tank Museum for everybody – it’s a real eye-opener for kids who normally just see tanks and war through the medium of Internet games, as well as for adults, who may try never to think about the brutality of war.