Saturday, November 9, 2013

Leipzig 1813-2013

It was my great honor and pleasure to journey to Germany with other Americans form up with our parent unit, the 21eme Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne and participate in the 200th anniversary reenactment.  Attendance reports vary as always, but on the French side we counted six battalions of roughly 500 men each, plus numerous artillery, some artillery, and lots of gold lace.  Since we were outnumbered in every arm, I conclude that there were up to 8000 reenactors on the field.

Despite a day of rehearsing the battle, little went right.  But that is okay with me because it was an amazing experience.  I've been to Europe for five events now and have never seen such a spirit of unification and camaraderie.  As the fierce Prussian line charged into contact with fixed bayonets they pulled up the tips, pushed a little, and then began exchanging handshakes and even hugs with their erstwhile opponents.  To the estimated 40,000 spectators some distance away I'm sure it just looked like heavy hand-to-hand combat.

Below find and enjoy some pictures from the event.  Some taken by my wife, who portrays a vivandiere, others shared with me and a few gleaned from the Internet.  Now we wait for 2015 and Waterloo.

A portion of our battalion

Four pelotons in the battalion, this is #3 and 4
 
Me, a 58 year old sous-lieutenant
 
One of many overhead views
Wargamers view of squares




Meal time the day of battle

A portion of the huge diorama present

"grumble, grumble...."

Prussian artillery (BBC photo)

Prussian line (BBC photo)
 
Russian uhlans (BBC photo)
And finally a movie clip from the web.  My unit appears several times and gives a sense of the magnitude of the engagement.

video




2 comments:

  1. Wow! Fantastic pictures, seems to be a great day and a great place, thanks for sharing, very nice video too!
    Phil.

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  2. I second that WOW! It's great to be able to live these great re-enactments vicariously!

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