History 03 September 2012 19 792
For the past 30 years the War and Peace show in Kent, England, has served as an exhibition of military vehicles and a forum for the reenactment of armed conflicts witnessed in the 20th century. Join RT Doc as we team up with a Russian delegation on the road from Moscow, period vehicles in tow to meet other enthusiasts who share the same history and use it to turn former enemies into new allies.
Every year, historical ‘re-enactors’ travel from around the world to the Hop Farm Country Park in Kent, England to recapture old memories of the last century’s great battles.. The “War and Peace Revival” is the world’s most famous fair for military vehicles and history of warfare lovers, Participants play the parts of both sides in armed conflicts of the 20th century. Special attention in the camp is paid to the brutal military atmosphere and the everyday life of a common soldier: endless drills, correct uniform, fire arms handling and driving soviet-era vehicles.
Many years ago, British police officer, Neal Culham, bought an old Soviet T-34 tank, restored it and became a real tank commander. Although his colleagues don’t understand his unusual hobby and perhaps consider Neal a little crazy, he involves friends and relatives to put on an exciting performance, providing a taste of history and warning younger generations about the mistakes of the past.
Life in the military camp doesn’t just revolve around hardship though. Having left the battlefield many find the strength to dance to vintage music and sing wartime ballads accompanied by guitar and accordion. For many, this event is a unique opportunity to push the boundaries between former enemies and experience a military atmosphere.
For members of “The Division”, participating in historical wartime re-enactments means keeping alive the memory of their grandfathers who died fighting back the advancing Nazi forces. On the way from Smolensk to the English camp, the Russian reenactment group stops at the most significant and revered historic battlefields to pay their respects to fallen warriors and lay wreathes at a memorial to the Soviet soldiers. One such location is the old German city of Torgau, where, in April 1945, Soviet and American troops marked an important step toward the end of World War II. Nowadays members of the reenactment movement embrace their American friends as brothers while singing war ballads and recalling great moments of shared history.
In addition, throughout the year “The Division” has been working on the restoration of 2 Soviet-era vehicles, which have become the symbols of Red Army’s military prowess. During the war years, the GAZ AA truck served to transport troops and materials and today it is a valuable exhibit at the “War and Peace Revival” show.
For many, this event is a unique opportunity to push the boundaries between former enemies and get a taste of military atmosphere. RT Doc presents an exciting story of grown men, fulfilling childhood dreams and playing as courageous soldiers and brave tank drivers, helping the ghosts of battles gone by come to life.