The Military Vehicles really interested me because of my own time in the military and of course a general interest in things military. As mentioned, most of the equipment on display was of American origin, with a smattering of other nationals equipment.
The tracked vehicles really stole the show, and one vehicle in particular was really impressive. I had never seen (or heard of) a M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer before, but be rest assured I know about them now!
This vehicle would show its paces in the arena a bit later and it was astounding! Capable of 80 km/h they could probably run rings around most tanks on level ground. The 76mm was not the perfect weapon, but in the hands of a skilled crew could cause havoc.
Tank number 2 was not American, but rather a PzKpfw 38(t) from 1943, originally built by Skoda of Czechoslovakia. This vehicle is currently under preservation and this was probably the first time it has been under it’s own power in 60 years.
She was not much to see in the arena though, and I suspect the Hellcat would have run rings around it.
The next tracked vehicle of interest was what I think is an LVT (Landing Vehicle tracked), also known as an “Amtrak”. She too was fast, and really churned up the grass behind her.
The other interesting tracked vehicle my guide identifies as an Alvis 432, and it is a British Army AFV
Of course there were two American half tracks on the move and they too were quick on their feet, wheels and tracks… My personal favourite was there too, with its quad 50 cal Brownings.
I had seen this beauty before at the GWR military themed day in April
On display was a Daimler Dingo Armoured Scout Car. Surprisingly small it was incredibly agile and an extremely popular vehicle.
It is however quite strange in that the transmission included a preselector gearbox and that gave five speeds in both directions, it was also fitted with a four-wheel steering system and had a tight turning circle of 7.0 m. Personally I find it confusing as to which end is the front (the image above shows the rear of the vehicle).
The closest equivalent at the fair was probably the ubiquitous Jeep of which there were many variants on display. My personal favourite mounted a 50 cal Browning, but then you can cure many things with a 50 cal.
Standing out amongst the drab was an SAS Land Rover long range desert patrol vehicle from 1968. Known as “Pinkies” for their Mountbatten Pink camo, this particular vehicle saw service in Oman in with the SAS from 1969-1974.
Now compare that to this overloaded mountain of kit on wheels.
I missed the information sheet for this one, but the entry number lists it as Land Rover Dinkie from 1986. Judging by the amount of kit it is festooned with it is probably a modern equivalent of the Pinkie. Somewhere in there is the driver and passenger.
There was another nice vehicle on display that I really liked, but unfortunately I am unable to identify it as I cannot see it’s entrant number
Number 96 was an Austin Tourer from 1929, and I suspect this must have been used as a military runabout inside a base. I can’t quite picture it in the heat of battle. It is however a wonderful little vehicle.
As mentioned before, there were a lot of Jeeps on display, and this fitted in very well with my interest in trains.
The vehicle carrying the drain pipe originated in Sweden and is a Volvo TGB IIII, and the drainpipe with its elevating mechanism is seen in the stowed position, there is even a cutout for the weapon in the windscreen.
The weapon is a 90mm recoilless rifle, although I doubt whether this is the the real thing and is probably a replica. I hope the whole package was more reliable than the 106mm recoilless rifles we had in the SADF that were mounted on Jeeps.
Number 97 is a GMC 353, also known as a “Deuce and a half”.
There are many variations of this truck, and a number were on display at the fair. Workhorses like these are what kept the Allies supplied in the Second World War, and many would be very useful in the post war economies of Europe and America.
The oldie below with the twin Bren mount is a Humber 1 ton cargo pickup, and was originally an ex RME signals repair truck.
In the background is a flatnose Bedford which I also encountered in the South African Defence Force in 1 SAI in Bloemfontein.
That more or less covers the more memorable vehicles in the military equipment line up, although I am going to add many more into the Random Pics gallery below. Where I can identify a vehicle I will add in the description. According to the programme there were theoretically 113 military vehicles there. No wonder I came away with so many pics.
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