Military Odyssey 2015
- By Pete Moore
- 0 Comments
- Last updated: 07/12/2016
This year saw Military Odyssey enter its 15th year and James and Roger Aslett’s 4th year of New ownership, the multi-period military event had over 100 re-enactment groups depicting 2000 years of living history, from ancient Greeks, Samurai warriors, Vikings and Saxons, Napoleonic, Zulu war, WWI, WWII, WWII Home front, Vietnam and modern British army dioramas, with over 15 different battles and arena displays per day there was always something to watch along with hundreds of outside and indoor trade pitches made for a busy weekend.
The Saturday saw record numbers attend the show and many dealers reported good sales, Sunday too was fine, although rain on Monday did dampen spirits although most displays still went ahead.
One of the displays we enjoyed was Regia Anglorum who recreate the sights, sounds and smells of life in a Viking encampment from the 11th century, this included a long ship beached on pebbles with jetty, iron forge, fresh bread being baked, fish being smoked and an entire village setting housing around 200 people with a 40ft palisade protecting them from being attacked, which does happen when around 30 warriors attacked the village with swords, spears and arrows.
Journey through time The more you explore the showground the more you discover – in the woods was a very good display by Just Ordinary Men portraying WWII airborne recon, who had a shelled out building, smouldering burnt-out Willys jeep and amazing 6-pounder anti-tank gun with some of the best life-like mannequins I have ever seen as gun crew.
Opposite this group was a small path down which Battle for Europe and the Suffolk regiment had made a Normandy style encampment either side of the path, with vehicles and dug-in gun positions. On the Axis side Second Battle Group had a great display area with lots of vehicles and equipment and performed a very good field repair to the tracks off one of the halftracks… which turned out not to be a show but was actually a repair to the tracks!
Going back in time much further, a Napoleonic battle was really brought to life with firing cannons and cavalry making for a very smoky but great action battle featuring several cavalry charges, whilst the American Civil War was definitely one that you couldn’t miss, with volley fire and cannon even setting off car alarms!
This year the award for best display, as judged by the marshals of Military Odyssey, went to the Desert Rats Living History Group with their North Africa Campaign diorama, featuring palm trees, several desert-spec jeeps and much equipment and even a life-sized camel.
A big favourite at the show is the war-time village display by the South East Home Front LHG, who occupied a large area and had a WWII pub, fire station, store, bunker and masses of beer hops strung up with a crashed Me109 nestled between the foliage, guarded by the Home Guard – an amazing diorama which must have taken plenty of time and planning to put together and was also one of James Aslett`s favourite displays.
The finale, as always, is the World War Two battle. At the end of each day some 300 reenactors with Jeeps, Dodges, halftracks, Bren carriers, M8 Greyhounds, Hellcat tank, StuGs, Panzer 3s and many other vehicles, combined with Anthony Bendowski`s Piper Cub and Carolyn Grace Spitfire, make for an amazing show with plenty of noise and action. This year’s story was the attempted breakout of the Germans from the Falaise pocket in Normandy, which was one of the best battles seen at the show.
We can’t what for next year!