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Tanks for the Memory!

One of the many unusual vehicles at the Tanks Trucks & Firepower Show. Photo © Rob Tysall Pro Photography.

The Tanks Trucks and Firepower Show, Dunchurch. August Bank Holiday.

Review by Ann Evans

The Tanks Trucks and Firepower Show went down a bomb! In fact, there were lots of booms, bangs and explosions throughout the long August Bank Holiday Weekend when more than 400 tanks and armoured vehicles rolled into the Warwickshire countryside for the 14th annual show held in Dunchurch.

Organised by Andrew Baker of the Alvis Fighting Vehicle Society and his team, this was one of the largest and loudest military shows of the year. You could get up close to a huge array of armoured vehicles including the Challenger I main battle tank, the Chieftain, The Warrior, tracked and wheeled vehicles, reconnaissance and recovery vehicles, Gulf War and desert vehicles – all of which you could also see in action when they paraded around the huge exhibition arena.

Tanks in action. Photo © Rob Tysall Pro Photography.

There was a busy schedule of activities throughout the weekend including Mid-Day Guns where it was ‘shield your ears time’ as blasts as big as a 120mm shell from a Chieftain tank rang out. There were dramatic WWII tank battle re-enactments with pyrotechnics; staged battles too involving the 22 different re-enactment groups who had dug in, creating authentic scenes of life on the battlefield.

Tank battle re-enactment. Photo © Rob Tysall Pro Photography.

You could take a paid for tank ride; there was breathtaking tank stunt driving involving even more exciting pyrotechnic displays. Here we saw organiser Andrew Baker and Mick Browning driving 8-ton Army Reconnaissance Track Vehicles CVR(T)s at their top speed of 60mph demonstrating brilliant control as they skimmed by one another, drove at speed in reverse, and pirouetted around one another – the finale being to drive through massive explosions that saw oil drums blasted high into the air.

Big Guns Display. Photo © Rob Tysall Pro Photography.

Other spectacles were seeing a caravan crushed by a tank, and even a flypast by a Spitfire, courtesy of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (Official).

On the huge display arena amongst the hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles were static military aircraft, namely a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt which you could get up close to. Military helicopters flew in and out over the long weekend, while Monday brought the additional bonus of a Classic Car Show.

There was plenty of fun for the kids with fairground rides and activities plus dozens of trade stalls offering all things military. Plus, there were plenty of food, drink and a bar to ensure no one went hungry or thirsty.

Tank pirouette by Andrew Baker and Mick Browning. Photo © Rob Tysall Pro Photography

The show had a special guest of honour, who entertained the crowds with his opera singing. This was 29-year-old Sergii Ivanchuk, a volunteer in the Ukraine who suffered 5 bullet wounds whilst on a rescue mission. Sergii had rescued more than 100 Ukrainians, taking them to safety in his car before his vehicle was fired on and he was badly injured. The wound to his lungs should have ended his singing dreams but determination and medical care pulled him through. He was delighted to be in England – and singing again!

Our Tim interviews Ukrainian hero Sergii Ivanchuk. Photo © Rob Tysall Pro Photography

The show was compared excellently throughout by Our Tim alias Tim Watson with drone filming by Jake Huddlestone. There was a great atmosphere at the show with some people camping over the weekend. Adding to the fun was a disco and bar on the Saturday evening and a fancy-dress party and fireworks on the Sunday evening.

Bringing his drone in, Jake Huddlestone. Photo © Rob Tysall Pro Photography

Andrew Baker thanked everyone who helped make the Tanks Trucks and Firepower Show another huge success and said that they were already working on the August Bank Holiday 2024 show.

You can see a 2-hour recoding of the Tanks Trucks & Firepower Show here:


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