We arrived at an imposing building that looked like a futuristic military base. Inside is Amman´s newest Royal Tank Museum (🎟️ 5 JOD), which opened in 2018. It was our honor and great pleasure to have a private visit guided by the general manager, Mr. Maher A. Tarawneh, through 20,000 square meters of galleries, together with HE Mr. Alexandr Sporýš, Ambassador of the Czech Republic, who organized that great experience for us to see the fantastic collection of more than 140 perfectly displayed tanks

Like its sister, the Royal Automobile Museum, it reflects the priorities and interests of King Abdullah II. Before becoming king in 1999, Abdullah had a distinguished career as a soldier in the Jordanian Army, serving as a tank commander and ultimately as a Major General in charge of Jordan’s Special Forces.

The range of vehicles is impressive – from the origins of tank technology in the First World War, through the peak era of tank warfare during the Second World War, to Cold War confrontations, and finally, the high-tech tanks of today. The museum has big and small tanks (one light enough to be carried by a glider), armored cars, tank destroyers, and self-propelled guns. There’s even a model of the prototype tank designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

The museum has been established as a focal point for Jordanian pride in their country and armed forces. Jordan has a well-trained, well-armed, and well-respected military (but also expensive, costing over 5% of GDP annually). The museum tells the story of Jordan’s army, from its beginnings during the Great Arab Revolt to its formation as the Arab Legion and its role in regional conflicts.

Overall, Jordan’s military history has not been aggressive. The wars it has fought have mostly been defensive. It is a small country in a war-torn region surrounded by more powerful and often belligerent neighbors. The museum emphasizes Jordan’s army’s role in protecting the state and maintaining regional stability and peace. More recently, Jordan’s army has substantially contributed to UN peacekeeping operations worldwide.