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Author Topic: [WW2 history] WWII Living History Weekend (Sully, VA)  (Read 1502 times)
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Blackjack
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« on: July 14, 2012, 09:52:54 PM »

For my fellow WW2 history buffs, lots of photos and a video or two to enjoy. smile I took my mom today. We had a blast. The weather was muggy and a lot of bugs were around, so we left before getting to see some cool afternoon stuff, including the cavalry presentation and a tactical demonstration with weapons (firing blanks). I might consider returning Sunday to catch what we missed. It did cost $8 ($6 for kids/seniors) to attend.

I wasn't aware of the events schedule until we got there, so alas, we missed most of the 11 a.m. weapons demonstration. The 508th Paratrooper demonstration did feature a brief "you are there" segment from D-Day, including some weapons demonstrations using blanks, which made for a cool iPod Touch video.  icon_smile The events list:


We arrived a bit late, and only caught the mortar segment of the weapons demonstrations:


And saw the others who had already participated:


They invited attendees (kids and adults alike) to grab the spent shell casings from the fired blanks, as souvenirs, and my mom managed to snag one. Not sure you can read the inscription on it, but it says "45 AUTO * BLANK" so I suspect it was from the demo firing of the Thompson SMG.


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Blackjack
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 10:01:58 PM »

The Noon 508th Paratrooper demonstration (including one re-enactor who's apparently an active duty current paratrooper) was the most fun of what we got to see...

The one officer explained to us all the equipment one paratrooper had to carry. One of the two guys packing chutes is the active duty paratrooper (hard to tell them apart from my pix). He explained the average U.S. paratrooper in WWII was maybe 5'8" and 145-155 lbs. So usually they'd carry about that same weight (150 lbs.) in equipment. Which meant they basically could hardly move once fully geared up, and needed assistance from two others to get up off the ground.


Pointing out the life preserver amidst the other equipment.


Two paratroopers with different load outs, the one on the right with his chute removed and ready for battle. I believe the one on the left has a BAR rifle dismantled into three parts for the drop (I think the officer said that).


Nothing to do with paratroops but this friendly, gentle horse was irresistible to the crowds.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: July 14, 2012, 10:11:34 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Blackjack
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« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2012, 10:06:59 PM »

Aaand the Axis re-enactors. We were busy taking a tour of the historic Sully house, so we missed the half-track demonstration. The re-enactors did spend some time explaining German weapons.


The guy on the right explained it was the precursor to most modern assault rifles (I forget the name?). I'm tempted to say it played a key role in the last mission of Medal of Honor: Allied Assault...


That is a working half-track. It was initially at the far end of the field there. Too bad I didn't get to see it in movement.  icon_smile
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Blackjack
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2012, 10:09:49 PM »

Aaaand finally a couple equipment shots. I should've taken one of the spread of bazooka and Panzerfaust weapons, afraid I missed it.




I'll see about getting that Paratrooper demo video up on YouTube.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2012, 11:11:03 PM »

Those are some awesome pics.  Thanks for sharing.
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2012, 02:45:54 AM »

definitely looks cool! thumbsup
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2012, 08:39:55 AM »

Awesome Blackjack!  Thanks for posting your photos.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2012, 01:54:48 PM »

Glad yer all enjoying the pix.  icon_smile I finally thoroughly cleaned my camera lense so these look better than other pix I've taken earlier this year. I shoulda done it sooner.

Man it took forever, but I finally figured out the screwy YouTube/Google password integration stuff enough to upload one of my paratrooper demonstration videos directly to YouTube. I'll share that soon.  icon_smile Although I'd consider returning today, some thunderstorms are predicted this morning and afternoon so I think I'll huddle.  icon_smile

Here's the video (supposedly HD link). My second shorter vid from that really didn't have anything interesting except one re-enactor telling the other to "shut up and lets get out of here!" So I think I'll skip it.  icon_smile

WW2 Paratrooper re-enactors demonstration
http://youtu.be/hGHatHJlBIE?hd=1
*If you like that, be sure to check out the videos uploaded by a LightningWar1939. You'll see his vid links on the side -- he attended some sort of WWII in the Pacific re-enactment that seemed pretty intense.
========================

An interesting tidbit when were doing Q&A with the re-enactor officer who was narrating things -- one question was about the parachute release mechanism. He and the current day paratrooper explained that the U.S. mechanism was technically simpler (3 release points that in theory you'd simply yank off; whereas the British parachute's release was sort of a twist dial of sorts located on the jumper's chest). But on D-Day many troops were dropped miles off course and often in trees or stuck on building sides etc. Apparently the British release mechanism proved easier to release in a hurry or under duress, while a lot of U.S. paratroopers died while struggling to release their chutes. They indicated it was probably cause the British forces had been doing jumps in combat for years and had a better idea of how they needed the release to work in combat situations.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 02:53:50 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 10:36:52 AM »

Quote from: Blackjack on July 14, 2012, 10:06:59 PM

The guy on the right explained it was the precursor to most modern assault rifles (I forget the name?).

Sturmgewehr 44 or StG44.  Literally "Storm Rifle."
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Blackjack
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« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 01:46:26 AM »

This is too cool -- I just realized doing searches that another guy a gal attending the same event yesterday also took videos of that Paratrooper demonstration from slightly different viewpoints than me, and a halftrack demo I missed.

This one is from the very beginning of the "post parachute-drop" demonstration, so the re-enactor officer is sort of explaining the scenario. This guy's gal's video camera could zoom so it's much tighter-in than mine.
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=igmilGEZoEA

If you saw my photo of the mortar team, she has some video of that (it's not actually fired -- I guess there's no such thing as a "blank" mortar round  icon_razz)
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=92PCX5hLFxg

She also got video of the German halftrack demonstration (my mom and I were finishing up a tour of the nearby historic mansion house when that demo started):
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6gsLGEjVy8g
*Sorry I missed it.  icon_smile It seems to have lousy front visibility so they have to be really careful not to, well, crush spectators. icon_razz

Same guy gal did a pretty exhaustive blog w/ photos about it here:
http://m.digitaljournal.com/article/328574




« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 05:06:19 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 01:08:02 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on July 17, 2012, 01:46:26 AM

I guess there's no such thing as a "blank" mortar round  icon_razz

You guess wrong. Tongue
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« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 02:12:14 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on July 17, 2012, 01:46:26 AM

Same guy did a pretty exhaustive blog w/ photos about it here:
http://m.digitaljournal.com/article/328574

She's not a man, baby!  eek
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Blackjack
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2012, 05:04:58 PM »

Quote from: raydude on July 17, 2012, 02:12:14 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on July 17, 2012, 01:46:26 AM

Same guy did a pretty exhaustive blog w/ photos about it here:
http://m.digitaljournal.com/article/328574

She's not a man, baby!  eek
I doubt Leigh hangs out here, but thanks for pointing that out. I've made corrections. icon_smile I'll try to send her a video response (i.e., my own paratrooper video) on YouTube.

I think the confines of the Sully park area and proximity to a major road (Route 28) didn't allow for a safe mortar blank firing, but I don't pretend to be an expert on that.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 06:42:26 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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