Movement with magnets as remembered by Donald Featherstone at Bovington Camp?
Donald Featherstone in War Games (1962) mentions that he as “the author recalls, with some pleasure, a fascinating hut at Bovington Camp, Dorset, in the Second World War, where miniature tanks were made to move over realistic countryside, being made mobile by the movement of magnets under the table.” (P.16)
Donald Featherstone may be referring to this sort of set up, shown here simulating gunnery practice on Salisbury Plain complete with tiny Stonehenge:
i missed this when it was first shown on the Vintage Wargaming blog http://vintagewargaming.blogspot.com/2012/04/while-idly-browsing-british-pathe.html
Including an anonymous comment on the Vintage Wargaming blog: “When I was in the Canadian Army in the 1980s, we used something like that canvas panorama for practicing calling in artillery fire missions. It was called a “smoke table” and as we practiced using map and compass while observing the canvas field to give fire orders, a litte oil heater would puff smoke up through the hessian to show where the rounds had “landed”. Nothing else moved, though. Nowadays it is all done on a computer, of course.”
Previously I have spotted a model sand table or instructional layout in a 1940s Army / ABCA training film posted on my Man of TIN blog:
Interesting bit of film footage!
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, January 2022