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OVERLORD SHOW 2003

This is a report about my journey to the OVERLORD SHOW 2003 of the Solent Area MVT, near Portsmouth / Southampton, UK , May 2003.

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Because the organisers of the WAR & PEACE SHOW at Beltring have drastically raised the entrance fees for exhibitors (Including support vehicle from £10 to £50), and made worse some regulations (no caravans or civilian tents on the site next to the MVs), I decided not to go to Beltring this year. Instead of this, I went to the OVERLORD SHOW.

This show is the second biggest show for historic military vehicles in the UK after Beltring. It is run by the Solent Area MVT (Military Vehicle Trust). The show is much smaller than Beltring but much more familiar and gemütlicher (cosier), as we say in Germany. I've enjoyed it very much.

"OVERLORD" was the codename for the allied landing in Normandy in WW2. (The much better known name "D-DAY" means only the date). The OVERLORD SHOW commemorates the the gathering and embarking of allied troops in this region in May 1944.

Click on the small pics to load them in 800 x 600 size!

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Most important for a successful show: Adequate toilet facilites.

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The Show Secretary checks the paperwork.
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The first entrants arrive.
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Last construction work on the site.
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A jet-wash for the Kettenkrad before the show begins.
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The Germans are already there.
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Good night, Kettenkrad.
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More Tea!
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My B&B House.
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More and more vehicles arrive.
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Trading is a hard business...
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The Show Secretary has everything under control.
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I had a drive of this fine FV 432 APC. Many thanks again! In the background FV 434 Fitter's vehicle with crane.
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The Germans in the arena.
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The difference between men and boys is the size (and expense) of their toys.
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Done! The show is a success!
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Fed with beer an German Bratwurst.
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Minor repairs on the ignition of a MORRIS Commercial...
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...were done by experts on site with adequate tools.
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Alvis Stalwart FV623 artillery limber.
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Some Pasta? Italian field kitchen towed by a MOTO GUZZI trike.
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American halftrack, used by the Israeli army.
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Here are the NSU-Kettenkrads.
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Camp Notton at the end of the show.
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Teatime! During the show I was supplied with loads of "robust" Yorkshire Tea. Thanks.
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Keep Britain tidy. Cleaning up the site after the show.

After the official end of the show I stayed for two more days and visited with Richard and the Ballards the Tank Museum at Bovington. The next pictures were taken at the Tank Museum:

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The NSU Kettenkrad Sd.Kfz. 2 of the Tank Museum Bovington. Sad condition. The damage of the rear is not battle damage, it was damaged in the 70s! The right track is fitted the wrong way round and on the left side are wrong road wheels.
The ugly glass box on top of the driver's seat is to protect the vehicle from visitors with sticky fingers.

A very interesting exhibit:
The "Mittlere Ladungsträger" (medium charge carrier)  Springer, Sd.Kfz. 304, built on the base of a stretched Kettenkrad chassis. It carries a load of 330 kg high explosives and can be guided into the target by remote control.
Only about 50 examples were built by NSU and virtually none of them saw service in WW2.

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The "Leichte Ladungsträger" (light charge carrier) Goliath. Here is the version with internal combustion engine, Sd.Kfz. 303. It carries a load of 60 kg high expolsives and is also guided by a remote control.

A Renault UE Chenilette. Note the dome shaped cupolas to protect the driver's and passenger's heads. May be  George Lucas has had this vehicle in mind, when he created the droid R2-D2 for his STAR WARS movies. R2-D2 in a X-Wing fighter looks exactly the same.

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The matching full tracked trailer for the Renault UE Chenilette.

After the trip to Bovington, it was time to say good bye and to go back home. On the way back to Dover, I stopped at the "BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL" roughly 5 miles south-west of Dover.

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The BATTLE OF BRITAIN MEMORIAL on the cliff at the coast near Dover. From the air the memorial looks like a giant propeller. The statue sits on hub of the propeller.
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The young RAF pilot looks onto the Channel, from where the German aircraft came.
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The cliffs south of Dover.
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Take her to sea, Mr. Murdoch! Norfolkline's "Dawn Merchant" is clear to put to sea from Dover port to Dunkirk.

The journey was an experience and I've enjoyed it very much. Many thanks to the Nottons, the Ballards and other friends in the United Kingdom!


More informationen about the show direct from the Solent Area MVT:

http://www.solentoverlord.co.uk/

(External link, opens a new browser window)


© Andreas Mehlhorn 2003, thanks to Douglas Greville for his help with the translation.

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