Awesome Tank Weekend 2016
Do you hear that? I SAID DO YOU HEAR THAT? Yes, one had to shout to be heard over the roar of tank engines this late August weekend.
On 20-21 August the Canadian War Museum held the second in the series of Awesome Tank Weekends and it certainly appeared to be a wonderful experience for all. Sandra O'Quinn, a Learning Specialist from the War Museum, took the helm for the second year to organize this popular event with volunteers from the Friends of the Canadian War Museum assisting. Again this year the museum was able to welcome participation from the Cold War Historical Vehicle Society who brought their British Scorpion Light Tank; a Swedish BV 206, an articulated all-terrain vehicle; a US V-100 Commando armoured car; and, an Austrian Steyr Puch Pinzgauer 6 x 6 utility truck. A new contributor, the Swords and Ploughshares Museum from Kars, Ontario brought a unique Canadian Second World War warrior: the rare Ford Windsor Carrier towing a 6 pounder anti-tank gun. The Windsor Carrier is the stretched version of the Universal Carrier which was used to tow the anti-tank gun.
Also appearing in the LeBreton Gallery for the second time was the popular Ottawa Valley Armour Modellers Association which attracted many visitors, although to be fair they were next to the delicious tank cookie “factory”. Really, the skill of the modellers was amazing and they are miniature works of art. Regrettably, the museum's restoration garage was not able to opened this year but there is always next year.
It is this time of year only that the public can see some of the museum's historic vehicle collection on the move. The M5A1 Stuart light tank made an appearance commanded by one of our own volunteers Jerry Nudleman but sadly the little tank had mechanical issues and needed a long rest – but Jerry is fine! The always impressive Grizzly, a Sherman M4A1 clone built in Montreal in 1943, managed the twice daily drive around for the crowd. The Lynx Command and Reconnaissance vehicle and recovery version of the M113 personnel carrier both showed off their prowess. The undisputed star of the show was the arrival of the museum's Soviet warrior the T-34/85 which put on a – dare I say it - an awesome display on the short track. A group came all the way from New York State just to get covered in her dust! Looking forward to next year's Awesome Tank Weekend with possibly even greater participation. Well done all.