Oshawa Tourism: Winter Warfare in the ‘Shwa

Published January 30, 2023 at 8:53 am

Because of its significant transportation heritage, Oshawa has always been a mover on the world stage. It remains so even today. Those seeking a greater understanding of news stories around the current war in Ukraine can see, feel, hear and touch those topics during the Winter Warfare Tank Saturday, which takes place on February 11 at the Ontario Regiment RCAC Museum.

“This February we will feature a number of vehicles that have stories during winter conflicts around the world from the Second World War to the events in Eastern Europe today,” says Executive Director Jeremy Neal Blowers.

“Most of the vehicles in the show are vintage from our history, but a few each show are still very relevant throughout the world and are still on active service,” he says.

Visitors to Winter Warfare will be able to visit the Museum, the Military Vehicle Conservation Centre with more than 100 vehicles on display, and enjoy a live demonstration in the Tank Arena at 1 p.m.

Visitors will also be close enough to the action to feel the ground tremble under their feet.

While tanks are in part all-terrain all-season vehicles, visitors will see how winter warfare is its own breed requiring specific military equipment.

“There are several innovations through history that allow tanks and military vehicles to operate in the snow; wider track, crew heaters, and also types of camouflage to hide them in winter environments,” Blower explains. “Sometimes there are clever ‘field modifications’ that our soldiers used to adapt the vehicles during missions, which show great Canadian ingenuity.”

That ingenuity was very much on international display during the Camp X era, a secret spy camp on Oshawa’s lake shore and the airfield beside the museum was an active air base during the Second World War as part of the Commonwealth Air Training Program.

Winter Warfare Tank Saturday is a reminder that while such events take place far from our shores, Oshawa is never that far from the action.

The Museum and 420 WING are located in Oshawa’s first Heritage Conservation District at 1000 Stevenson Road North.

by Will McGuirk

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