“The Home of the Tank” played host to over 20,000 guests and many more tons of steel this weekend!
For the seventh year in a row, Wargaming has partnered with The Tank Museum, Bovington (a.k.a. “the Home of the Tank”) to bring Tankfest, the mecca for tank enthusiasts, to life. From 28th to 30th June, over 20,000 visitors took to the English south coast to witness displays, attend talks and see their favorite military vehicles up close and in the steel.
Just part and parcel for Tankfest
It’s quite fitting that The Tank Museum, the world’s largest tank collection, and World of Tanks, the largest virtual tank museum, came together for Tankfest 2019!
Hear the Bretagne Panther Roar
The main attraction of this year’s Tankfest was the Bretagne Panther and the story behind this feline. Abandoned by the German forces in Normandy, this “big cat” was adopted and fixed up by the Besnier squadron. It kept its German camouflage but a French Cocarde was added when it was sent to Saint Nazaire and eventually Theron during the liberation of France.
The key visual for Tankfest 2019
Together with the Saumur Tank Museum, Wargaming announced the restoration of this iconic tank. The restoration began in 2017, and for the first time in its history, this Panther made it to the British mainland. When the tank wasn’t stealing the spotlight in the shows and displays of Tankfest 2019, visitors were able to get up close and personal to this medium tank steeped in history.
For those who weren’t able to attend the event, the vehicle made its way into World of Tanks PC, World of Tanks Blitz and World of Tanks: Mercenaries. So, whether you were lucky enough to bask in the Dorset sun or not, players around the world could hear this Panther’s mighty roar.
Displays and Talks
Over the three days, there was plenty going on for visitors to experience. Richard Cutland, our very own Head of Military Relations, gave a talk on the journey that the Bretagne Panther had taken to reach Tankfest 2019 and how Wargaming and Saumur Tank Museum gave new life to this feline.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings, Tankfest-goers could witness a convoy of vehicles used on the Normandy beaches during the Allied invasion, including the M4 Sherman, its brother the Sherman Firefly, the Valentine DD, the Panther and many more.
M4A2, “The Fury Tank”
Guests Take Control
With the abundance of steel being shown off in the arena, visitors could get their hands on these vehicles and feel their power. Not literally, of course! However, more than 35 gaming stations were set up so guests could try out these vehicles in the virtual battlefields of World of Tanks, whether it be on PC, consoles or mobile!
World of Tanks Blitz game zone
Coming Live from Tankfest 2019
For those not attending Tankfest this year, the fun was brought to them in the form of streams coming directly from Dorset. More than 20 streams took place over the 3 days and featured a plethora of streamers covering 3 different languages. Throughout each stream, those watching from the comfort of their own home could win prizes, including the Bretagne Panther, through various giveaways.
To get an insight into the event, please treat yourself to our short recap video: