Reenacting is not just about putting on a uniform and running around shooting blanks. Ideally, the participant is immersed into the experience, to the point where one reaches "magic moments", or the suspension of disbelief, meaning that at least for a moment, hopefully many, you actually feel like "you are there". One of the things we do as a club, at the events that we run, is include battlfield effects. Battlefield effects is a term used to describe things that you would see and experience on a real battlefield. The use of smoke, pyrotechnic artillery, casualties, collateral damage, and 'populating' Kazatin, by adding the everyday things you would see in a peasant village, like buck saws and wash boards, adds to the experience for participants to help them achieve 'magic moments'. Below are some of the props and systems we use to add battlefield effects to our events.
Above left is a photo of our "calliopes". They are a system of steel firing tubes, in clusters of three, for a total of 66 tubes, to simulate artillery barrages. They are packed with a small amount of black powder at the bottom, with sand packed on top, and are set off by a remote professional grade wireless firing system. The calliopes can be set up in various places around the battlefield to simulate artillery fire, and can be set up in rows fired off one after another to simulate a typical Russian rolling barrage. Above right is a batch of 82mm mortar "rounds". They are fired from 82mm mortars, and have a range of about 125 yards. They are soft plastic, and only weigh a few ounces, so they don't hurt anyone who gets hit. They give off a nice "POOF!" and cloud of flour when they land. The enemy really gets an idea of what it's like to get bombarded when these are raining out of the sky.
Above left is an example of a smoke screen at one of our events, laid with commercial grade smoke cannisters. They provide several thousand cubic feet of smoke each. Above right are a couple of our german (captured lend lease Ford) knocked out trucks. We have operational vehicles that we use at events, and non-operational vehicles that we use as battlefield clutter.
Above and below are military and civilian 'casualties' that are placed on the battlefield. These are placed as a constant reminder to the participants of the real cost of war, and a tribute to those who died that they are not forgotten.
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