Malta offers a great deal of history when it comes to World War 2, however when visiting other locations abroad, helps provide an exhilarating experience and discover the many places linked to World War 2 (and possibly also links to Malta). When going abroad visits range from visiting historical and military museums, battlefield heritage sites, key areas or buildings linked to World War 2, memorials, commonwealth cemeteries and also join re-enactor friends during international re-enactment events. A unique experience that one should not miss!
– 2008 –
Road to Victory – Ramsbury (5th May)
Joint participation with The Garrison Living History Group (UK) in which we had the opportunity to man the blank firing artillery section, equipped with 25-pounder cannons and also experience filed camping living history.
– 2009 –
The Victory Show (4th-6th September)
Malta Command, upon invitation by our UK colleagues The Garrison Living History Group, attended The Victory Show held in Leicestershire, UK. This is the largest WW2 re-enactment of its kind, involving a huge gathering of armour and re-enactment groups from all over the country and abroad. Malta Command had the unique opportunity to participate in a life like battle scenario during which our members were part of the artillery contingent firing one of the eight 25 Pounders present on the field.
– 2013 –
Goodwood revival (13th-15th September)
Malta Command had the unique opportunity of participating in the Goodwood Revival upon invitation by The Garrison Living History Group.
The Goodwood Revival is one of the world’s most popular historic motor race events and the only of its kind to be staged entirely in the nostalgic time capsule of the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Besides car racing and vintage aviation air displays, very few chosen WW2 re-enactment groups are invited to compliment the 1940s era.
The theme chosen for this year was Operation Excess – which was a series of British supply convoys to Malta, Alexandria and Greece in January 1941.
The location chosen within the mess hospitality area provided an excellent base from which the Garrison put on a superb display, and which saw the first outing of the new Malta Command plotting board and props.
A well-deserved “Thank You” goes to all members of The Garrison for sharing with us such an experience.
Sicily Battlefield tour (7th October)
Malta Command members enjoyed the company of The Garrison Living History Group during their visit to Malta. A dinner was held at the Serjeants’ Mess in Kordin, which also included a guided tour of the Military Prison.
After their stay in Malta, both groups travelled to Sicily for a battlefield tour, which followed the steps of 124Regt. Royal Artillery, during Operation Husky.
During the tour we visited Catania British War Cemetery, Primosole Bridge and the cities of Catania and Lentini. The highlight of the tour was visiting a site where the 124th were engaged in some heavy action against an Italian Motorised Anti-Tank Division on the night of the 14th July 1943.
– 2017 –
The Great Escape (27th-26th March)
Joint event with our UK re-enactor colleagues from Ops 39-45 in commemorating the Anniversary of the ‘Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft 3 in 1944.
The purpose of the tour was to conduct a historically accurate reenactment of the Great Escape from Stalag Luft 3 Prisoner of War Camp. The tour included visiting historical sites both in Berlin- Germany and Zagan- Poland, reenactment of the Great Escape where it actually happened 73 years ago on the exact date and time and a commemorative dinner.
This was an unforgettable experience which will be remembered by all those who participated.
– 2018 –
Operation Gunnerside – Norway (27th-28th February)
Joint event with OPS39-45 celebrating the 75th anniversary from one of the most daring top secret missions carried out by the special forces Commandos. Heading deep into the Norwegian mountains members of both groups travelled and skied down the very same route that Norwegian commandos (trained in Scotland) used to reach the Vemonk heavy water production plant (in the outskirts of Rjukan).
Why target target a Heavy water plant? Because the Germans were using heavy water from Norway to develop the first known nuclear bomb. Having Norwegians escaping to England before and during the war, helped proof vital since they were trained in Commando schools and were sent back to their homeland to fight the war against developing nuclear weapons.
Although on the 27th of February 1943 the raid’s outcome was a successful and the heavy water plant was decommissioned (temporarily), by May 1943 the Germans had all the production lines repaired and up and running to full production again.
Petwood Hotel (26th-29th March)
Malta Command was once again invited by Ops 39-45 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary since the inception of the R.A.F.
We had the unique opportunity of lodging at Petwood Hotel in Woodhall SPA which between 1939-45 it became an Officers’ Mess for several R.A.F. Squadrons including the famous 617 Dambusters Squadron.
‘Operation Chastise’ was an attack on German dams carried out on 16–17 May 1943 by Royal Air Force No. 617 Squadron, subsequently publicised as the “Dam Busters”, using a purpose-built “bouncing bomb” developed by Barnes Wallis.
The weekend consisted of flying over RAF Scampton in a two seater Cessna plane, visiting RAF East Kirkby where the famous Avro Lancaster NX611 ‘Just Jane’ is housed, attending a gala dinner to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Dambuster Raid, participating in a ceremony to remember the crew of 617 Squadron who didn’t make it back home, and watching a film in an original 1930’s built cinema.
Colditz castle (30th November-03rd December)
Located in the village of Colditz near Leipzig (state of Saxony) in Germany, this castle being located in a remote village was utilised as Prisoner of War camp by the German military forces. Having a very rich history dating back to early medieval period, Colditz castle was constructed for military purposes as an outlook post for the village of Colditz. Passed on from various German monarchs the castle continued to serve it’s military purpose up till the early modern period, till in the mod-1800’s it was converted to a hospital.
Under nazi rule the castle was converted into a prison to host captured allied officers only, especially those which had already tried to escape from previous POW camps. Although considered as the unescapable castle, many daring attempts have been tried out, sometimes even in the most extreme and eccentric ways!
Together with OPS39-45 Living history group we had the opportunity to relive the lives of these POW allied officers by lodging directly in the castle and exploring its hidden secrets and perks, now on public display. The museum in the castle also offered a glimpse into the various escape attempts and tools utilised by POWs; in one particular attempt which was nearly successful, a fake attic wall was built to hide from the German guards the construction of a glider which was launched from the rooftops of the castle! Additionally we also had time to check out the nearby train station (now in a derelict state) that used to transport prisoners to the castle. We also visited the concentration camp in Buchenwald which was about 3 hours drive from the village of Colditz.
Nowadays, following huge refurbishment, the castle serves as a youth hostel and offers conference and music room space for recreational purposes.