Article

Tanks for the memory as Mephisto comes home

Friday, 11th August, 2017

WELCOME BACK, OLD THING – Mephisto returns.

ONE OF Australia’s most significant war artefacts, the German tank Mephisto, has returned to Queensland.

As the only surviving German A7V Sturmpanzerwagen tank in the world, Mephisto is one of the best-known objects in the Queensland State Collection.

Mephisto was salvaged by the 26th Battalion in  World War I, a battalion largely made up of  Queenslanders, and since that time it has become part of the story of the state’s history.

The 33-tonne, eight-metre tank had been on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra since 2015, but on June 6 it began its journey home.

After being carefully wrapped, Mephisto headed north accompanied by a team of museum conservators.

It arrived at The Workshops Rail Museum on June 8, where it was transferred into a dehumidified balloon-like cover called a carcoon.

The public will be able to view it at the museum. A future return to Queensland Museum at South Bank is planned.

It will be the second homecoming for Mephisto, which originally arrived in Brisbane after the war in 1919.

Queensland Museum chairman David Conry said Mephisto was considered a part of the state’s history. “Like many

“Like many Queenslanders I have fond memories of visiting Mephisto as a child while it was at the old museum in Bowen Hills and having my photo taken with it,” he said.

Mephisto was recovered in July 1918 – four months before the end of the war – near the French town of Villers-Bretonneux, where soldiers from the 26th Battalion dragged it behind allied lines.

During its time at the AWM, Mephisto has been assessed by expert technology conservators, undergone specialist metal

treatments and will continue to undergo further remedial conservation works at The Workshops Rail Museum.

 


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