1st gathering of WWII
vehicles in Manhay
“A masterpiece for a first gathering!“, this is how our first meeting was called in a military vehicules magazine. We did not have the idea of carrying out a project of this magnitude with the little time we had to put all this together. Despite everything, we had hoped to gather about forty vehicles. But on that morning, december 10th 1944, we saw more then the double amount arrive in our small village of Manhay. We had vehicles of all types, from lightweight to very heavy, such as Sherman, Stuart, half-tracks, many M-8s of all kinds, and many others including GMCs, Dodge, Chevrolet Canada in the the colors of the SAS and of course the unmissable Willys, not forgetting a few German vehicles including a Hetzer tank. It is of course thanks to the presence of the “Royal Mons Auto-Moto Club” (TANK IN TOWN), the “BMVT“, the “Patton Cavalery Museum“, the “501/506 TACCOA de Vellereux“. They all came with their vehicules that such a gathering was possible.
Supported by the administration communal, supervised by the DNF and police officers, the convoy took a trip on the road to Grandmenil, Oster, Freyneux and Lamormenil. On the return to Manhay, via Odeigne and Oster, the circuit went through the forest without damaging any roads. It was a nice surprise for the participants to be able to circulate in the forest. After the midday meal, a second journey was again made towards Vaux-Chavanne and Malempré, where once again most of the route lead throught the forests. Back at nightfall, the column of vehicles crossed again the crossroads of Manhay under the smoke and the noise of the fighting tanks and a small pyrotechnic show.
The next day, Sunday, December 11th, there were less vehicles, but we had the most impressive ones: the Sherman “St-George” and the Stuart M5A1 “Fish’n Ships” of the Mons club, the German tanker Hetzer of The Patton Cavalery Museum, half-tracks and other vehicles. Nothing had been on the
program of the day but a beautiful staging was carried out at the crossroads of Grandmenil where the heavy vehicles were positioned in front of the Panther tank of Grandmenil, time to take pictures and discharge the public road! Then a new itinerary was organized throughout the region in the direction of Erezée and more particularly in Sadzot where then and now photos were identically taken with the presence of the Stuart tank in the streets of the village. On our way back to Manhay, we walked through the
Christmas Market while the Sherman stopped there for a while and a few Dodges were carrying the kids for a ride.