WWII Reenactment

Over the weekend my family and I had the opportunity to attend a WWII reenactment! This was the second WWII reenactment I've been to (see the first one HERE) and I'm more convinced than ever that I want to start WWII reenacting. I was going to dress up  just for fun but since I'm not officially a reenactor, I didn't want to mess up and have the reenacting police after me. No, that's not a real thing, but I'm rather paranoid about that stuff. Either I need to be accurate, or I'm not dressing up. =)

Anyway, here are some pictures from the weekend!


101st Airborne reenactors!!!

This reenactor showed all the gear a paratrooper would take into action.

The battle reenactment between the Germans troops and American troops was amazing! It was so different than Civil War reenacting because ... you know ... machine guns. It was so loud, but it made you feel like you were actually there. They picked a perfect place to do the battle. The trees and brush gave it all a very authentic feel and soldiers were dodging in and out of the woods.

There was a lull part way through the battle, so the announcer was explaining about the battle and it sounded like the reenactment was coming to an end. Well, I don't think the reenactors were ready to be done. They let off a machine gun which interrupted the guy talking ... twice. hahaha!


We had the opportunity to meet a WWII veteran named Tony Zanzinger. He was a Staff Sergeant with the 501st Parachute Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division. He parachuted into Normandy prior to the invasion on June 6th, 1944, achieving all planned objectives. After returning to England six weeks later, he trained for operation Market Garden which involved jumping 25 miles behind the German line in Holland. Originally planned for 72 hours, the operation actually lasted 72 days. Returning to France for the rebuilding of the unit, they were suddenly called up after three weeks for emergency defense of Bastonge. Fighting Bastonge for six weeks, they were ultimately surrounded by the enemy. The famous response by General McAuliffe when asked to surrender after being surrounded for five days, was "Nuts". The final combat operation for the 101st Airborne Division was the capture of Hitler's retreat home at Berchtesgaden.


It was such an honor to meet him! He told us stories and we each gave him a hug and thanked him. =) This is a letter to his mom from when he was overseas. It was published in a newspaper at the time.

He joined when he was 18.


Mr. Zanzinger had a display of war memorabilia. He took this picture from Hitler's house! He also played chopsticks on Hitler's piano.

There were 101st Airborne reenactors there and it was really cool to see Mr. Zanzinger and one of the reenactors together. Mr. Zanzinger said it was like looking at himself.


He gave us copies of a Christmas card he sent his mother in 1942!! SO COOL!!



We joined in on the reenacting a little … I printed out leaflets of The White Rose (a German resistance group that I'm writing about) and Haley left them in the German reenactor's tents!!


Have you ever been to a WWII reenactment?


-Emily

21 comments

  1. JEALOUS. This is SO COOL. I'm such a sucker for WWII stuff...this is beyond awesome. How much we owe our servicemen and women...then, today, and always. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. It's so true...we owe them so much! Thank you for commenting!! I'm glad you enjoyed this!!

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  2. Ah! Em! I am so jealous but so happy you got to have such an amazing time! Great photos and stories and how FUN you got to meet a WWII vet with so many stories! You need to go to the D-Day re-enactment in Conneaut OH in August. It is phenomenal.

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    1. Thank you so much, Megan!! It was really awesome! Yes!! I've heard that the D-Day reenactment is amazing!!!

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  3. Wow! That looks amazing! I've never been to a WWII reenactment before, just Civil War - now I want to go to one :)
    I hope you get to reenact (the WASPS idea sounds like so much fun!)
    Thanks for sharing it! (also, fantastic pictures :)

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    1. Thank you, Mary!!! Reenactments are so amazing!! I've also heard there are WWI reenactments...I'm gonna have to look into those!

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  4. So cool!! I've gotta get me to one of these here reenactments. Looks like much fun and very educational! Thanks for posting, Ms. Emily. Hope all is well! God bless ya!

    ~Manny

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    1. Hey Manny!! Yes, you should definitely go to a WWII reenactment! They are so cool!!

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  5. Looks like it would've been good, especially meeting the veteran and hearing his story! I imagine it makes it all more real, does it?
    Nice photos too! :)

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    1. Thanks, Jessica! =) Yes, it definitely makes it more real talking to a veteran who's lived through it all. It's really amazing.

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  6. Where do you find these? I want to come. That's amazing you got to meet a vet. I love the picture of the reenactor and the veteran. Wow. "Like looking at himself."
    I understand your fear of the reenactor police. Would they let girls join a WWII reenactment team? I know a girl who's a combat nurse with a Civil War team, and she sometimes gets to be a soldier.

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    1. This reenactment was outside of Philadelphia. There are quite a few WWII reenactments along the East Coast ... PA seems to have a lot! I know there's a big reenactment in Linden, TN sometime in September if you're near there! Just do a Google search for WWII reenactments around your area.

      Yes, women are a big part of WWII reenacting. There are many different groups women could join ... WASPS, WLA, WAC, nurses ... I definitely want to reenact WWII!!

      Thanks for commenting!

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    2. I'm down in southern GA, and we don't even have civil war reenactments here. Too swampy.

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    3. And there were lady combat medics.

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    4. Oh, ok. Well, I hope you can get to a reenactment sometime! =)

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  7. Oh, wow that looks like it must have been a blast! I have only ever been to one Civil War reenactment at Gettysburg a couple years back. A WWII one would be really interesting to attend. I wonder what the German reenactors thought when they found your leaflets.

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    1. Thanks!! It was super fun! We've been wondering the same thing about the German reenactors! =)

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  8. This looks insanely cool and loads of fun. I love history and have always wanted to be in a reenactment.
    I really enjoyed looking through this post, Emily! :)

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    1. Thanks, Hannah!! It was really cool! Glad you enjoyed it!

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  9. Wow, Emily, this must have been a delightful experience! It must have been so much fun as well. Best of all I think, what a privilege to be able to meet a war veteran and talk and share with him! I love the pictures you shared of his letters, his photos of Hitler, and all those neat stories. How marvellous!

    Getting to talk with those who lived through that war is a very precious gift. . . I would love to have that opportunity one day.

    Much love,
    Joy

    P.S. I recently nominated you for the Liebster Award tag on my blog :)
    http://joy-live4jesus.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/the-liebster-award-fun-tag.html

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    1. Thanks, Joy!! It was such an honor to meet him!! You're so right...it's a very precious gift to talk with those who lived through the war.

      Thank you so much for nominating me!! =)

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