As I write this page TANKFEST 2018 was 3 weeks ago and what a TANKFEST it was, definitely the best that I can recall. It’s taken me all of my free time in those 3 weeks since the show to sort the 6,000+ photographs that I took , very many are deleted of course while an assortment of the best make this page.
Advertised as stars of the show were:
- IS-3 Joseph Stalin
- Char B1 bis
- Matilda II
- StuG III
- Marder III
The only disappointment was the pre-show failure of the Matilda II with a gearbox selector problem which prevented it from running. However the preservation of the vehicle for us all to enjoy in the future had to to come first, so without a shadow of a doubt not to run it and avoid the risk of further damage was the correct decision. In any case the disappointment was made up to a great extent with the unexpected showing, to me anyway, of the Renault TSF.
Not listed as ‘stars’ but most certainly catching my eye were:
- Renault TSF
- SdKfz 251 engineers vehicle with bridging equipment
- SdKfz 9 “Famo”
- PAK 88
- Vickers Mk IV
- StuG III with long barreled 75mm gun
- 4 Sherman variants
The battle finale was very well thought through featuring action from WWI, WW2 and Iraq. I particularly enjoyed the Mk IV (replica) ‘firing’, this being the first time that I have ever seen a WWI vehicle employed this way in a battle re-enactment.
Enough of my words, I shall let the pictures speak for themselves, as usual my captions are minimal.
In the Arena
In the Tank Park
The title is slightly misleading since in this section I have included any vehicles parked up around the show and not just vehicles in the official Tank Park. With the exception of one [unusual and splendidly turned out] lady representing the Allied press in WW2 I have not included any re-enactor pictures, this is purely to keep the number of images on the page manageable and not because they were not in attendance or very well turned out.
I took a fair bit of video on my old, trusty but starting to fail Cannon PowerShot S2. Fortunately she held out – with one or two glitches – allowing me to record some of the more exciting action.
This first video shows the fantastic Char B1 bis, for me this was the pick of the show, while running a close second was the IS-3 the subject of my second video.
Tony and I spent two days at TANKFEST and 4 days in Dorset, the other 2 days being taken up by visits to the Castletown D-Day Centre, The Keep Military Museum in Dorchester and a ride on the Swanage Railway.
As usual we stayed at the Hunter’s Moon in Middlemarsh, this being our 4th year at this splendid establishment. The hospitality, accommodation and food were up to the usual standard and it is nice to be recognised and welcomed back year on year.
Needless to say we will be booking the same accommodation next year with Dean (the landlord) and his team. For more information on the Hunter’s Moon check out my TANKFEST 2017 page.
And so what of TANKFEST 2019…? Well one thing for sure is that we’ll be there, the big question is how The Tank Museum will equal or top this years’s show… because it was such a good ‘un!
I’ll end with a video of the WWI battle. The video is a little shaky in places, my apologies for that, but it does show the A7V and Mk IV replica tanks “in action”.