Military Vehicle Photoshoot Sunday 20 August 2017.
If you’re a military photographer, nothing much beats seeing a Russian T55 tank in the mud hole at Duxford against a perfect early evening sky of low sunshine and fluffy clouds.
T55 Stuck in the mud while 432’s approach.
Organised by Timeline Events and hosted by the Military Vehicle Wing of the Duxford Aviation Society, an impressive array of military hardware was moved into position for a group of expert photographers. Tanks, heavy-duty trucks and armoured cars posed for beauty shots before the Marksman burst into life and muscled its way around the running area.
Photographers shooting the Marksman as it heads into the mud.
“How many miles to the gallon do you get in one of these things?” enquired your trusty reporter. “Miles to the gallon? Try gallons to the mile !”. Lots to learn then. And lots of excitement too as the Marksman picked up speed and raced round the track throwing up mud in all directions.
Marksman firing up.
Then a black and white camouflaged personnel carrier (Hagglunds BV206) started up and wended its way through the hilly track like a sinuous caterpillar. In fact, this vehicle was a versatile mover of men and equipment and could cope with all kinds of challenging terrain. I’m advised it drives like a bendy bus.
Hagglunds BV206 Personnel Carrier.
Visitors who had made their way down the airfield on this glorious, sunny August afternoon gathered on the viewing platform at the back of the Land Warfare Hall and remained, absolutely transfixed by the display.
When the RussianT55 tank fired up, creating a cloud of exhaust smoke nicely simulating an active battlefield, the shutters clicked enthusiastically. Racing around the circuit, the T55 eventually overreached itself and ended up stuck in the mud hole.
A valiant rescue attempt followed. Imagine trying to jump-start a T55 with the Marksman…quite a spectacle.
Time for a cup of tea.
A rival attraction appeared in the form of Sally B which obligingly demonstrated her capabilities just above the airfield fence and gave the group a rare opportunity to shoot from a terrific angle in the early evening light.
The display continued apace with two 432 armoured personnel carriers, ‘Nellie’, an AEC Militant and a Scammell .
Two 432’s in convoy.
Nellie approaching the mud hole.
The group finally called it a day at 8 pm.
An inspiring and exciting session. Highly recommended.
By CEW. All photos Steve Jeal.