Tank Farm 2011


The Virginia Museum of Military Vehicles  ( aka ‘The Tank Farm’) in conjunction with the American Wartime Museum, held its annual open house August 19-21 at its site near Nokesville, VA. This is an amazing event for no other reason than that it features so many vintage military vehicles in running condition, many of which get a chance to demonstrate what they can do on a closed course. It also gives the reenactors a chance to examine, camp around and even ride on some of the vehicles which are appropriate for their impression. There was no shortage of ‘photo-ops’!

The Red Army reenactors ( 193rd Rifle Division, 33rd Guards and the ‘ Ангел смерти’ brigade) once again got to ride in and on a T34-85. To say the least, it is a fun and unique experience.

If you haven’t attended this event before, it is set up along the lines of a twentieth century timeline. Each reenactment group is assigned an area to camp in conjunction with vehicles which are appropriate to their impression. For example, the RKKA with with the T34’s, the WWII British were with the Grant tank and the Ferret scout cars, the 1980s Soviets with a BMP and a T-55, the French Foreign Legion with a Panhard…etc. That of course is just scratching the surface. For groups with limited resources, it is a chance to experience the feeling of having the real stuff. Some of the groups were old hands with established organizations and others were newer and sometimes informal groupings. Whatever, the impressions were very good.

The museums and their staffs are to be commended for running such a pleasant and well-run event. The facilities were handy and we were supplied with hot dogs, pizza and cold drinks. Even the port-a-johns were state of the art!

The only sour note occurred Sunday afternoon, when a fairly violent storm blew in and the crowd was dismissed for safety’s sake. We found ourselves tearing down tents and flyes in a driving rain accompanied by brilliant flashes of lightening and ground-shaking thunder. Not something I am fond of. All of my canvas got wet, but I got most everything in the car before the downpour. But, that is the nature of this game.

I highly recommend this event. It certainly is unique and the organizers, some of whom are reenactors themselves, treat you well.  Here are some links:








2 responses to “Tank Farm 2011”

  1. M A Visnevsky Avatar
    M A Visnevsky

    A wonderful write up Alexei. Some pleasant surprises when I viewed the photos! Job well done and outstanding service to the unit. I’m sure all will agree.

  2. Cathy Darby Avatar

    Hello Charles Dixon,
    I am reaching out to you from Purcellville, Virginia with hope to find WWII reenactors for Purcellville Heritage Day (May 12) Tribute to the 1940s and “The Greatest Generation”. Last year we highlighted the Civil War with reenactments and exhibits. This year we would like to have a WWII living history area, equipment & uniform displays, and possibly a small weapons demonstration.
    We have $$ in our budget to pay the reenactors.
    If you know of reenactors, or 1940s vehicle owners, who are local and may be interested please forward my information to them. We are also hoping to have a small car show with 1940s vehicles including some WWII if at all possible.
    I hope you do!
    Cathy Darby
    Purcellville Preservation Secretary

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