Probably the most impressive and unusual 'kit' at this years War & Peace extravaganza was this superb Marder 111. This was very interesting to see close up and how cramped the crew compartment was for operating the PaK 40 gun.
I am writing this today with rain falling loudly on the conservatory roof a far cry from Thursdays soaring temperatures at the showground near Paddock Wood in Kent, where Mr Whippy's were instantly turned into liquid form as they left the ice cream vans and stallholders were melting in their marques. There were thankfully many drinking water taps around the site, but I did not envy those trapped within their steel beasts displaying their precious vehicles, or the re in-actors in their hot uniforms...except those perhaps dressed in authentic western desert garb.
Perhaps it was just the Thursday and the hot weather last week, but there seemed a distinct lack of re enactors/living history enthusiasts 'dressing ' the vehicle displays which was a shame, although I usually avoid the 'set piece battle' or 'bang bang your dead' display in the main ring it is nice seeing vehicles in their settings with equipment and people. Although as usual the SS seemed to come from 't county of Yorkshire'...by their ....er accents!
One last rear view of the gun compartment, surely only small Wehrmacht soldiery crewed these beasts!
My favourite piece of British Kit resembled an old Airfix kit 'combo' of a Bren Carrier and 6 pdr.
The carrier was well displayed with its compartments full of its crews accoutrements and small arms.
The Ordnance QF 6 - Pounder towed Anti-Tank gun was very nice to see as well and made a nice display.
The only thing missing was the crew in 'Airfix' poses ready to fire! I must make one again now for old times sake!!
I am sure theres a few of these somewhere in the loft/ 'house stash'!
Continuing the World War 2 British theme there was the very nice Valentine Tank with wading gear I first saw last year
sadly I didn't see it on the move but here is a U Tube film of Valentine tank at one of its previous displays
A detail shot of the small turret, and the wading gear always amazes me how canvas screens could allow a tank to float! goodness those crews were brave!!
In this post I am concentrating on WW2 vehicles and will post shots of modern armour and vehicles in a second report.
A very nice example of a Daimler Dingo, reconnaissance armoured car
A T34/85 sitting on its own without re-enactors for once, a distinct lack of Stalin's finest this year
Germans leaving the display ring with a 3.7cm PaK 36
'Jerry' leaving the display ring singing either that song you hear in the 'Battle of the Bulge or 'Ilkley moor bah tat'
Stug self propelled gun
The ubiquitous US Jeep
German Staff Car
M3 Stuart with Cuillin Hedge Cutter, developed in Normandy as a 'in field adaptation' to cope with the hedgerow terrain , it allowed tanks to break through the hedgerows without going over them exposing their nether regions to a panzerfaust!
Nebelwerfer German multiple rocket launch system
American Half track 'gunned up'
Another Stug? Ausf E I am sure there are some reading this more up on their German armour than me
American Bulldozer towing a damaged 'fury' Sherman in a well presented 'tableau'
One of my 'favs' a DUKW the famous 'Duck' shown in a loading scene
German MG 42 on tripod on display
But then you could buy almost any kit in the marques just look at these available for a price !
British Staff Car
A well armed German engineers Hanomag
The Shopping area which is 10X this photo! selling everything from 18th century swords to 1940's dresses to Jeep spares and re-enactors uniforms
For sale at a snip was this amphibious jeep for a mere £130,000! useful to commute across rivers !
There were a few on sale and more to see on display
A book is even on sale for £65 for aficionados of the 'fascinating' subject
It definitely opened my eyes to a whole new area of collecting and a subject I had no knowledge about apart from my Grandad was an ARP Warden in WW2. Did I manage to find one ???
Yes !! Apparently it was not worn by members of a Human Resources department but by Heavy Recovery teams !! so thats my entry ticket money recovered!!