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March 1, 2012

Indy’s Fort Harrison State Park to host World War II reenactment

INDIANAPOLIS — The Museum of 20th Century Warfare and the staff at Fort Harrison State Park will host an Eastern Front Reenactment at 2 p.m. Saturday at the park. The Tactical will demonstrate military methods used by both German and Soviet forces that fought against each other during World War II from 1941-45. An Eastern Front military exhibit will be on display at the Museum of 20th Century Warfare on Saturday and Sunday.

The Battle of the Eastern Front, known as “Operation Barbarossa” by the German Army, started on June 22, 1941. The German armies launched a massive offensive through the Soviet Union, sending almost 3 million men, tanks and warplanes across the Soviet border. The “Great Patriotic War” lasted until Germany’s surrender to the Allies in May, 1945.

The reenactment will highlight vintage World War II German and Soviet weapons and uniforms. The reenactment is the last part of the Battle of the Bulge Exhibit. The event will be outside regardless of the weather, just as the real battles were fought 70 years ago.

The participants are unpaid hobbyists who have joined reenacting units to get first-hand knowledge of what World War II veterans experienced in the field. The reenactors dress in authentic and/or reproduction uniforms that they have researched and acquired. They use World War II era equipment and weapons to drill, exercise and simulate combat situations.

There is no cost to attend the program, but the normal vehicle gate fee applies. Fort Harrison State Park is at 59th and Post Road in greater Indianapolis. The Museum of 20th Century Warfare is in Building 711 within Fort Harrison State Park and is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays during the winter months. There is no cost to visit the museum. For more information, contact the visitor’s center at (317) 591-0122.

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