The Tank Museum’s “Tankfest 2016” nearly began with a disaster for me when my new Canon 700D decided to stop working. While on the way back to the car to fetch my reserve camera I tripped on the kerb and were it not for a quick thinking, kind gent who stepped in my path and caught me I would have ended up sprawled on the road.
Just in case that gent arrives at this page, once again my grateful thanks. Now on to the show proper…
For those that don’t know the show is held annually over a weekend in June, for 2016 this was the 25th-26th. Tankfest has no equal for seeing historic armour running. The arena action goes on pretty much all day usually starting off with displays of modern armour rushing around the spacious “Kuwait Arena” before moving on to historic vehicles and ending in a battle scenario. Away from the arena there are living history groups camped together with parked vehicles that allow closer inspection.
So moving on to the pictures of the armour. The captions are, as usual, quite simple stating a period and the popular name of the vehicle. Let me illustrate what I mean by ‘popular’ name; by rights the full name of the British Chuchill Mk III is A22 Infantry Tank Mk IV Churchill III and for the German Tiger I it is Pz.Kpfw VI Sd.Kfz 181 Tiger I. Both are a bit of a mouth full hence my use of the popular, shortened name.
The photographs are presented in chronological order by period and an approximate year of either first action or entry to service.
The Living History Groups
All of the living history groups snapped below are from WW2.
The Show Programme
The guide is good value with great pictures and articles. It’s a very useful publication including a map and arena timetable, it certainly helps to get the best out of the show.
When wrote this page Tankfest 2017 was but a month away and what a show it promised to be. The ‘guest’ line up running in the arena included the original French Saint-Chammond tank from WWI.
The picture above shows the tank when it was static in the French tank museum at Saumur back in 2007. The Saint-Chammond did not disappoint and made it to the 2017 show and ran in arena.
For a report and photo essay of the 2017 show click here.