Wednesday 8th – Thursday 9th August 2018
Following discussions with a number of military museums – the Tank Museum will be putting in a HLF bid to help fund an event at the Tank Museum on August 8th and 9th 2018. The event will be called ‘Countdown to Victory’ and the aim is to draw attention to the victory of August 1918 and bring attention to the campaigns away from the Western Front in which British forces were fighting. As many of you work in military museums – and have connections with the serving military – the emphasis on winning is a very important – but an often overlooked factor in the WW1 commemorations. This event is to try and help bring some light on the achievement of the Army at Amiens and to draw attention to the campaigns that so often get overlooked such as Salonica.
The event will feature arena displays of First World War vehicles, including replica tanks, armoured cars along with living history encampments and static displays of First World War aircraft, transport, and other examples of First World War military artefacts from a range of historic collections and museums.
The Tank Museum is holding the event to remind the nation that despite the tremendous sacrifice, the First World War was won on the battlefield. David Willey the Museum Curator said; “The Battle of Amiens is not as famous as the Somme or Passchendaele – and yet it was a great victory. Amiens was the beginning of the end of the First World War. The German Commander referred to it as ‘the black day of the German Army’ ushering in a series of military defeats – less than 100 days later the war was won. During this event, we will be looking to explain why and how this was done and why in Britain we know so little about it.”
The event will also give an opportunity to highlight some of the other 1918 campaigns that often get overlooked in the usual portrayals of the First World War. The campaign in Salonika for example had twice the number of British servicemen involved than serve in the modern British Army.
A highlight of the event will see the unveiling of a temporary display where all four Victoria Crosses won by Tank Corps servicemen will be displayed together for the first time.
A French Renault FT-17 tank will be making its first public appearance following a restoration appearing alongside The Tank Museum’s replica Mk IV and German A7V to re-enact the world’s first tank v tank battle.
By inviting a number of Bloggers such as the Great War Channel (see https://www.youtube.com/user/TheGreatWar) the participating Museums will be able to explain the stories behind some of the objects in their collections relating to this period and – hopefully – get exposure online to people interested in their topic areas. We also hope to have national media here on the days.
We are asking the HLF for funding to help with issues such as transport and accommodation to allow museums to attend during what may be their busy summer season.
At this stage we are asking for expressions of interest from Museums and collections to see how many may wish to attend and what material people might be prepared to bring and talk about.