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A Day Out in Texas


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The_Chieftain #1 Posted Apr 05 2013 - 19:53

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It is unfortunate, and even a little disappointing, that there is no real equivalent to TankFest in the US. There are a large number of operating vehicles in the US, but they are scattered around the country, and in places where there are reasonable congregations, such as VMMV, they tend to not be at facilities which both allow for running of vehicles and allow a significant number of spectators to watch them.

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As a result, the best you are likely to find are localized events, such as local open houses and re-enactments.

I have stated in the past my opinion on running historic vehicles. They are built to run, not just sit in a warehouse or museum gathering dust. Fortunately, it seems that the lads over at the Museum of the American GI are a group of folks who seem to generally agree with me on that score. Their vehicles run. All of them.

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You’ll see more of MotAGI over the next couple of months, we’ve a few more videos to come out yet. We filmed Pico’s Tank Academythere and some Inside the Hatch. This little piece that you’re reading is purely a review of a pleasant day spent in a field in Texas.

MotAGI as much as possible believe in living history, and are enthusiastic supporters both of vehicle collections and re-enactment groups. Every year, usually March, they host an open house which also doubles as a bit of a regional collector’s get-together. One also can’t argue that they’re not centrally located: College Station is right in the Texas Triangle.

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It lasts over two days. Day 1 is really for the collectors, and is on a Friday. It is the day that they all show up, and then scour the sales stands for that gauge or pump that they need to finish the restoration of their vehicle. They can catch up, share tips and knowledge, and in the evening they have a slap-up dinner in the newly built museum structure.

As the casual person just looking for a cool day out to take the kid, however (or the husband acting like a kid), you are probably far more interested in the Saturday events. Absolutely nothing happens until the mid-afternoon, though, so don’t feel too compelled to get out of bed at an unGodly hour: It is the weekend, after all!

Better yet, you don’t even need to worry about parking. Just drive to College Station, keep going South on 6, and look for Santa’s Emporium. Or Winter Palace, or Wonderland. Or something. No idea quite what he’s doing there, but he lets the museumgoers use the car park. Take the bus or walk to the museum ground.

The area was basically divided into four: Trade stalls, living history, vehicle displays, and The Battlefield™.

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Honestly, unless you’re –really- interested in this sort of thing (or want to buy a fixer-upper jeep), I can’t imagine your spending much time at the trade stalls.

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The living history section is a group of tents where re-enactors can guide you around. This particular event had the “Patton’s 3rd Army HQ” (Complete with a Patton impersonator) with an interesting collection of typewriters and radios. Now, I know that in WWII unit staffs were a smidge smaller than they are today, but I’m not entirely sure an Army HQ really fit in the one tent. But maybe it did. I probably should have asked.

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What you really want to see, though, are the vehicles. About half owned by the museum, and half brought in by other persons for the day. Generally WWII, though the occasional post-war one shows up from time to time.

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If you keep an eye out, you'll be seeing the various preparations for the upcoming battle. Blank ammunition being divvied out, vehicle crews receiving their briefings, weapons installations...  By about 2pm the vehicles move out.

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If anyone knows of one of these going for a good price, let me know. I have half an interest in buying one for occasional commuting.

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The tanks line up, ready for the upcoming battle. First, however, a sales demonstration. Soldiers, the rifle. Soldiers, the tank. Soldiers, the flamethrower!

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The kids love this one.

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The crowds line up, and the battle starts. (Slowly). A group of lost infantrymen run into a group of lost Germans, and away they go.

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Things don't get off to the best start for them, but help soon arrives. With light armour!

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More noise is added by the fire support, though when they ran out of ammo, they chimed in with the .30 cal next to the 105 there. I am suspicious that (1) it had the range, or (2) that if actually that close, they'd have really been firing through their own troops. However, maybe I'm just nitpicking. As the battle continues at a furious pitch, hark! What be that sound?

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It be two A3s and an A1 coming over the hill!

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And it's all over. The M4s assault through the German defenses and mop up. Home for cookies and the gal waiting patiently.

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Sadly, I must report that the match was rigged. I discovered that the plan was for the German side to lose all along. Apparently this is common and one would be foolish to ever bet on the Germans. I did inquire as to whether anyone had ever considered the possibility of letting the Germans win, it was responded that if that were proposed, the Germans would all have collective heart attacks with shock, and the Allies would win by default anyway.

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The despondent Germans, as they are walked away to captivity, detour for some World of Tanks. "Ah, if only we had our E-100, we would have ROFLStomped the M4s and M18s..."

It being now close on 5pm, it's time for everyone to go home.

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And that was it. So now, if you ever happen to be swinging by College Station next March for their open house, you'll have an idea as to what to expect. There are certainly worse ways to spend an afternoon.

zachdogg #2 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 15:54

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yeah texas, leave it to my home state to make tanks roll

badmonkey59 #3 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 15:55

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LOL, that's me playing the game at the WGNA Hummer.

Fun Day :)

Little_Bear #4 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 15:55

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This is totally awesome. Thanks

Daigensui #5 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:01

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Apr 05 2013 - 19:53, said:

The despondent Germans, as they are walked away to captivity, detour for some World of Tanks. "Ah, if only we had our E-100, we would have ROFLStomped the M4s and M18s..."

Your sense of humor never ceases to make me laugh.

angelxbomber #6 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:07

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Thats really cool!  :smile: Looks like a blast!

DocHolliday_ #7 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:12

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Didn't even know about this, not sure if it it had been posted prior, but I sure would like to know about these things in advance.  I would have most certainly tried to make this one since it isn't that far away.

Harbingers_Havoc #8 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:23

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Having fun out there Chieftain... :honoring:

Edited by Harbingers_Havoc, Apr 06 2013 - 16:24.


deepinthesticks #9 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:28

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View Postwolverine98, on Apr 06 2013 - 16:12, said:

Didn't even know about this, not sure if it it had been posted prior, but I sure would like to know about these things in advance.  I would have most certainly tried to make this one since it isn't that far away.

There was a link on the WoT homepage telling about it under 'Wargaming Road Tour' for a month or so before the event. It was pretty cool - I rode down from Corsicana to check it out. Scored some nifty WoT swag from the guys in the Wargaming Hummer too.

Xlucine #10 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:40

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Soldiers, the lunch box?

Meplat #11 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:45

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Recognized a couple of the armor. That looked like Rod Shaver in that M3 scout car.
They are a neat ride, though if you're used to modern vehicles, they take getting used to.  If you drive it like a limo, you'll be fine.

Need to keep more track of stuff like this, I've got kin in Texas, and working on/ restoring those vehicles is my current business.

Wish we could have events like that here in Arizona, there's some great tank country here (but well, it's in the middle of effin nowhere).

Ninja_Niner #12 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:51

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I see that hellcat....sooo awesome, are you guys gonna roll back to Austin TX for Muster Day at Camp Mabry (april 21-22) for some more wwII reenactments, airshow,  and an awesome tank museum (they got like 30 tanks behind the museum too (all sorts, everything from m4 to m1 abrams)?

DANG It just checked and saw ur gonna be in florida, arGGGG

Edited by Ninja_Niner, Apr 06 2013 - 16:55.


BarrooM #13 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:55

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Here's are the pics I took and a couple videos:

Apparently this STUG was having injector issues!




And they finally got it going!




Call tha amberlamps, he leakin!

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=Sc_y9Lz9vZs


Pics:

http://imgur.com/a/KPFbD#0


A pics of note:

The old timer in Patton's 3rd  818 TD BN. So bad ass. I went up and shook his hand after and told him thanks for his service.

The Chieftain creeping on me in one of those!

Zombiedrd #14 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 16:58

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Ha, I live in College Station.

BarrooM #15 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 17:03

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I have some more video of the battles... I'll try to get them upped.

Toph_Beifong #16 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 17:37

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Wish I could have gone, I had to work that weekend. Looks like it was a blast.. maybe next time.

Smedlee #17 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 17:44

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Looks like a fantastic event.  The ladies in the period dress look great.  The tanks are OK too.

luckydog #18 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 18:16

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So did the last picture get reversed, or have they started driving on the left in Texas?!

Malphator #19 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 18:21

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I was unable to drive down, as well. Stupid working for a living. Looks like it was a great time.

m2hmghb #20 Posted Apr 06 2013 - 18:57

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The HQ size depends on the element size. I could see a company HQ being that small, a battalion would probably have more inside it. The range of the 1917 machine gun was over 2,000 yards, one of the tactics was to use it like a mortar and do indirect fire with it. It's a heavier barrel and water cooled so it's a heavy thing, the barrel stays cool, and the tripod has good T&E.




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