A World War Two German Panther, two Russian T-34’s, a Sherman Firefly and a Japanese Ha-Go, will be among the rare and unusual guest vehicles taking part in arena displays at TANKFEST 2019.
“At Tankfest The Tank Museum displays some of the finest running armour from its own collection,” said Curator David Willey. “What makes this event extra special is our ability to attract some amazingly rare guest armour. For many of our visitors this will be a first opportunity to see these vehicles running.”
For the first time a World War Two German Panther tank, lent by the French Tank Museum, will be running as part of the arena displays. The Panther is considered to be one of the best tanks produced during the war. The restoration of the Panther and its transportation across the Channel has been funded by Tankfest sponsors World of Tanks.
The iconic Russian T-34/85’s are coming from the Cobbaton Collection in Devon and private collector John Sanderson. John Sanderson’s T34-85, came off the production line in 1944 and is thought to have been damaged during the Battle for Prague and then went on to fight at the Battle for Berlin.
The Sherman Firefly comes from the Bastogne Barracks in Belgium, part of the War Heritage Institute. It was manufactured in the USA in 1942, delivered to Europe in 1943 and converted to a Firefly in early 1944. After the war, it was due to be scrapped, but avoided this fate and was recently restored to running order by the Museum.
Only two operational Ha-Go tanks exist in the world and this will be the first time that one has run at Tankfest. Around 2,300 of these tanks were manufactured by the Japanese Empire for World War Two and less than 25 now survive and only two are in running order. The Ha-Go on display is being kindly lent by Oliver Barnham.
The StuG III, Valentine DD and Centurion guest vehicles are all returning and the Royal Netherlands Army is bringing the Cheetah PRTL and Boxer vehicles. As well as an incredible line-up of guest vehicles, The Tank Museum’s extensive collection of historic moving armour will be on display alongside vehicles from The British Army.
Tankfest takes place from June 28 to 30 and is an advance ticket only event. Visit the The Tank Museum website for more details.