The Warbirds Over Wanaka Warhorse re-enactment group has been keeping its powder dry since the disappointment of the cancellation of the 2020 airshow.

The re-enactors are now all fired up to attend next Easter’s airshow with their tribute to the role of field guns in World War 2 “barrage” from at least six field guns and other armaments.

The event is being tipped as potentially the largest gathering and mass firing of field guns in the southern hemisphere in decades.

One or two 25-pounders have been a regular sight at the event, primarily as part of the Warhorse static display.

Since 2014 at least one of the guns has been fired across Lake Wanaka to start the community lakeside aerial display on Good Friday.

The display will involve the guns being rolled out to form a battle line down the crowd line.

The command will be given and the guns will be fired one after the other, reloaded and fired again and again, giving airshow visitors a glimpse of what it would have been like for the Allied forces engaged in such famous battles as El Alamein and Monte Casino.

Re-enactment group spokesman Darryl Brewer said the “barrage”involved the logistical exercise of getting all the guns in position as quickly as possible and firing.

“The guns will fire one after the other to start with, but then they’ll just fire again as soon as they’re ready, so it will then just be a big wall of noise, just like it was during the big battles of World War 2,” Mr Brewer said.

The 25-pounder was the major Allied field gun used during the war and was introduced just before the war started and was used by armed forces throughout the Commonwealth, including the New Zealand Army, for many decades afterwards.

Warbirds Over Wanaka is being held at Wanaka Airport next Easter (April 15-17).

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