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The Cape Town Military Tattoo

During the years of 2003 and 2004 the Cape Town Military Tattoo performed two smaller versions of the military extravaganza that took place between the 15th and the 17th of November 2007, at the Castle in Cape Town, South Africa. For the next four years, a military tattoo will be performed annually in the lead up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The type of military tattoo that is staged by the Cape Town Military Tattoo, is unique to South Africa and to Africa, as each presentation depicts selected re-enactments of the military in Africa, in all its shapes and forms.

The military in South Africa, and its history, comes in different shapes, and the military tattoo performed in Cape Town has tried to keep their program diverse and interesting, but above all, entertaining. It is not every day that the public are able to experience the firing of 4x25 pound guns or see military horses in action. Few have seen artillery weapons or historical weapons used in early war times, or felt the heart wrenching sound of the Highland bagpipes warning of the looming battle. In between paratroopers, drill performances and the staging of battles, visitors to the military tattoo enjoyed the entertainment, designed lift the somber mood on the tragic scenes depicted. Street musicians, tribal dancers, Irish dancers and choirs, to name but a few, performed throughout the evening.

The 1812 Overture set the mood for a night of action and excitement and to reminded the public of the forgotten heroes of the past, such as the Javaansche Artillery Corps and the Malay Unit, who were made up of volunteers who fought bravely in 1806 in the Battle of Blaauwberg. The entire Cape Town region has a vast and magnificent military history, with many memorable battles and legendary warriors. Many of the men and troops who fought for South Africa have been forgotten in time, but through the efforts of the Cape Town Military Tattoo, honor and remembrance is brought to them.

Careful planning went into the most spectacular military tattoo ever seen. Cape Town is fortunate enough to have one of the best tattoo organizations, made up of military experts, military personnel, war veterans and people such as World War II veteran, Charles Canning, who has himself participated in tattoos in the past. Their combined knowledge and experience has led to the most authentic performances and riveting experience. The military tattoo at the Castle is a recommended annual event that will give some visitors insight into the world of military, and to others, bring back memories of bravery, courage and sacrifice.


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