Sunday, August 28, 2016

D-Day Conneaut and 50th Post

I thought that it would be neat to have my 50th post be about the Conneaut D-Day event.

This is one of the biggest living history events in the United States, and possibly the biggest WWII event. Over 100 WWII veterans attended, over 1500 reenactors participated, and an estimated 30,000 spectators were at the park on Saturday.


This was my fifth time participating in the event, and it just keeps getting bigger and better than the last.

There was more armor than ever before this year - unfortunately the only place to do any exercises was on the beach, as the main part of the park is the Allied encampment.

There are a lot more 'battle' reenactments than ever before as well; Friday sees the French Maquis rescue a downed pilot from the "Boche" - how they got that guy up there is beyond me!? - and an Airborne battle for Foucarville.

As mentioned earlier, the event just keeps getting bigger, so the Commonwealth get their own beach landing on Friday now.

Saturday morning has the big Airborne battle for La Fiere bridge


The German 88 continues to be one of my absolute favorite things to see; and holy smokes, when they fire that gun... my teeth literally rattle and car alarms go off!

There are all kinds of vehicles throughout the park, as well as aircraft - I love the kubelwagons and the motorcycles a lot (finally building a couple motorcycles for Bolt Action that I've had forever!).

The Home Front impressions, as well as the camps, are always some of my favorites as well.


Some photos from the big Allied beach landings on Saturday afternoon from Randy Needham, who was nice enough to share all his photos even though copyrighted.


And for the first time someone actually took quite a few photos (thanks Lois!) of the football match I play in on Friday - we've done this for the past 5 years and tried to model the uniforms off the movie 'Victory' or 'Escape to Victory' as it's known overseas. This is always fun for me, though playing on such a small field I wish we didn't have to play with regulation size goals. My newly shaved head looks pretty awful I must say!

I thought this was a bit funny, Lois took a photo of my uniform and gear near our tent when I was out playing in the soccer game - I found that photo in an album with over 600 images!?

Full photo credits to Lois Rybka Dysard, who took almost 1000 photos of the event, Randy Needham,  Emily Ann Putzke, Fritz J Schmidt, Jessica Courter, and Tom Scott - all posted these, and hundreds more on the Conneaut D-Day Facebook page. As a reenactor, taking photos ourselves is frowned upon - walking around the event with your Iphone or Droid taking pictures - so thanks to all those who do take the photos!

I don't take good photos, never have, and I understand that being a participant at an event like this people want to take your photograph; this is something that over the years I've become more willing to do when asked, but will never be comfortable with. Besides, if you want a good picture of me I absolutely can't know it's being taken, like below!

As always,
thanks for looking!