Re-enacting The Delights of A Tank Battle
There are very few places throughout the world that you can see tanks in all of their working order, without you being in a combat situation. One way is to take part in some Tank Driving Days like the ones you can find at www.armourgeddon.co.uk/tank-driving-experience where you can experience what it is like to drive a tank around a track first hand. Another way would be to visit Bovington tank museum where they regularly hold demonstration events, in an arena in the grounds of the museum.
Bovington is a collection of over 300 vehicles that have been used in warfare from world war one through to the present day and includes the first ever tank to be created – Little Willie. The museum grew at the site as once the tanks had finished their tour of duty, they were returned to the site to be used in training new tank operators in the development of tanks and weaponry.
The collection began to grow naturally and started to tell the story of the life of the tank and that of those who operated them. During the second world war all of the tanks that were stored at the museum site were brought out and serviced in case they needed to be used in the event of a successful German invasion with some others being scrapped for their metal to be used to manufacture new weapons and ammunition.
Following on from the war in 1947 the museum was the size of the current world war two hall and received around 2,500 visitors in its first year of opening. The collection remained the same size until the 1980s at around 120 different armoured vehicles. After this in 1981 a restoration project took place to restore the tanks that were currently being stored and in order to do this effectively at the site a dedicated workshop was created in 1984. This conservation workshop was moved to a purpose-built building in the early 1990s and the team has continued to restore a variety of vehicles since then and has grown in size.
As museum curation and conservation moved on and visitors started to look out for more interactive and submersive experiences, Bovington created the Trench Experience where you could walk through re-created trenches from the First World War along with mannequins acting as wounded soldiers and the sounds of the trenches and nearby guns resounding from speakers located carefully in the area.