Archive for the ‘ reenactment ’ Category

This is the biggest WWII reenactment event in Italy, Colonna della Libertà (Liberty Column), an opportunity to celebrate the official day of the end of the war in Italy with a military column constituted by military vehicles and troops of that historical period, with a prevalence of jeeps and other Allies materials.

Every year a different location. This year, for the first time, I had the possibility to participate with my friends to the event, but only for the 28th of April, a column visit to Cesena and Cervia. We had Italian uniforms of the South Reign, the part of Italy that after the end of the Italian nation, the infamous 8th September, passed to Allies side. A nice gentleman from Verona offered us a passage on his jeep. Here you can see a video about our trip along the column. More on next posts.

If you want to know more on this event you can examine the official programme.


A figure in the making

This is my new 1/6 action figure that I received for Christmas from Renato. In these months I bought some specific pieces for it to realise a Folgore fighter for the Regio Esercito side in 1945. It is almost done. And my father fixed its feet because their joints were broken. Here you can see the surgical operation. Next time I will show the complete model.

Today I’m on the road for Cervia, to meet a celebration of the date of the end of WWII here in Italy, the 25th of April 1945. I’m going to participate as reenactor of the Folgore. In these months I built, with the help of Renato (and with my mother), a uniform like that dressed by this action figure. It is a version of English Battle Dress with Italian badges. You will see more when I come back.


Legionaries march – the video

Another view on the Roma’s dies natalis. This time it is a full video!

I own a great mobile, a Sumsung Wave, with a great camera. I took some photos and some videos. I thought that those images could be over my personal interest, so I showed them to you on this blog. Then I had these small videos but I didn’t know what to do with them. So I bought an app for my iPad, the Avid Studio one, and within an hour I created a video. It was intuitive and simple. In the future I will took more videos for my blog. Enjoy the legionaries march!


Pompa magna

Another set of photos from the Roma’s dies natalis. This time I show you a gladiator procession, the “pompa magna”. Some are spectacular others are not so philologically exact but the spirit is all.

In the afternoon some fights were played in the arena but I preferred to fight at home, playtesting the rules for retiarii vs antiretiarii. Ferrum et Gloria is a priority!


2765 Ab Urbe Condita

A lot of years ago (2765 to be exact), the 21th of April, a groove around some hills was traced to mark the territory of a new founded city. That city is my home.

In this date there is a celebration with a reenactors march around the Palatinus and the Capitolium to homage our ancestors. It isn’t a political moment but a festival for who is interested in ancient Roman times. And an occasion to make an holiday under our Sun and among our past glories (at present we don’t have actual beautiful things to admire, sorry). I suppose this is the largest event for this type of reenactment. This year we had guests from a lot of places, as Germany, Czeck Republic, Slovakia, France, Nederlands, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, United Kingdom, Georgia and obviously from every part of Italy. We are all sons of Roma.

I took some photos to show you the manifestation at its start on the site of Circus Maximus. I concentrate myself on legionaries but there were a lot of other people, this is only a fragment of the event. Enjoy.

To know more go to the programme.


Anzio beach 68 years after

In exactly the same days and the same beach of the landing but 68 years after. It was a two day revocation, during the 21th and 22th. Me and other chaps of the historical group of ANPdI (the national association of military paratroopers) made a display during the public commemoration of the event, showing that even Italian paratroopers were in combat for their country.

Trenches on the seaside.

German equipment in trench.

German cars.

Czechs dressed like Scottish? I don’t know, because one guy (not present in this photo) was wearing his original clan tartan.

The amphibious star of the event. It was sailing back and forth on water and sand. The man with the coat in the front of the vehicle is a Austrian paratrooper war veteran. He told us some personal war histories. He is even a choirmaster, so some people improvised with him some traditional German song. There was another war veteran, from Battaglione Guastatori Alpini “Valanga” X^ MAS. When we made him the military honours shouting the battle cry some tears spilled from his eyes.

Here we are on the south side of the beach. The harbour is at the end of the photo. Nowadays the pier is longer. On the seaside you can see the encampment for the display. During the summer here there are seaside resorts. Another display was in Nettuno, but only with reenactors in American dresses.

We made our Italian paratroopers display here. This is the casino. It still maintain his vintage luxury style. Some trainees from local Hotel School prepared and served the lunch for us. A strange situation: served from livered people at a table with an Austrian war veteran while I was with machine gun loaders on my chest and a dagger in my belt.

Royal Navy flag and a display of Allied materials, as this Bren gun.

The German display and a view on the photographic exhibit on the landing.

German steel.

Anti-tank weapons.

Our display with only materials made in Italy. And among them our MAB machine guns, Breda machine gun, helmets, all immersed in our old national camouflage pattern. We spoke about the Italian presence on this front. Some people wanted to tell us about their childhood years, remembering the bombed house at the port where they lived, or their relatives died in the conflict. Obviously people often didn’t recognise our uniforms because all thinks this was an affair only between Americans and Germans. Some people stopped me because they don’t like so much our uniforms, other instead liked them too much for political reasons. I live this thing with a historical perspective and nothing more.

Our paratrooper war veteran, the immortal Santo who fought in El Alamein battle.

Some beautiful models for you.

Angry cats: Tiger und Panther.


More modest and compact Italian tank. You must had more courage if you fought in these little boxes.

And after the toys and people dressed like soldiers, a real aspect of war, the German war cemetery that we visited in the morning. People who died for the defence of another country, people sent to fight a war that they hadn’t declared, people who rest under pines and cypresses.


Reggimento Folgore (Roma 1944) at 1/6

The third piece of my 12 inches soldier collection. Another Italian paratrooper of WWII. This one is the last of the Folgore incarnations. In the latest months of war, the paratroopers was reorganised under the Airforce autority, so the uniforms are blue-grey.

My father was in Airforce, I served in Airforce, so my first uniform as reneactor was an Airforce one. Here you can see me this year on the south extreme of the Nettuno front.

Under the camouflage there is the classic paratrooper, and then RSI, uniform without collar, more practical than other cuts. Collar badges are the newer ones, handmade by me. I changed a lot of things on this piece because I want a particular uniform, like mine.

This samurai is the economic and lighter version. Only 5 magazines against 12 magazines of the other version. I have got a real samurai of this kind, with real magazines with bullets, but all is deactivated, they now are only pieces of metal. Mine is a little different, it is a modern reproduction with modern measures, longer because now we are more tall and big than 65 years ago. It is difficult to find old uniforms that fits well, only bigger sizes are good. And my samurai is too much green, I have to put it on sun to decolourise it.

Here you can see a comparative view of the two kind of samurai.

This piece is ready to fight in Castel di Decima, the 4th June of 1944, a few kilometres under Rome, just before the Allied occupation of the city. A bunch of men stopped a Sherman column with the use of panzerfausts and heroism. They had to slow down the run towards Rome after the front collapse after the capture of Montecassino, so Germans could lose touch and recreate a front.

Sunday the 5th of June, this year, was celebrated a remember of the fallen ones of the defence of Rome. You can see some friends of mine historically dressed. Here the report of the day:

This is the memorial tablet for this episode in the cemetery of Rome.

Back to vinyl. You can see German equipment as panzerfaust and bombs. There is even a Beretta pistol and the paratrooper dagger. Without his dagger a paratrooper is naked!

A picture from the rear. This mode to put the MAB on the shoulder is the correct one because is more stable. I learned this with the real MAB, the Italian machine gun made by Beretta.

The three paratroopers that guards one library of mine. Folgore viewed in its incarnations: Africa, Army, Airforce.


Bunker Soratte: May 2011

A new appointment on Monte Soratte. Inside this mountain there are the WWII bunkers of the Roma front, a little north from the city. They were dug at the start of the war by Italian Army and after they were used by Germans to defend themselves from the invaders. During the Cold War this was the site of the anti-nuclear refuge for the government. Nowadays a bunch of boys and girls from Sant’Oreste have thought to open this underground space to public.
I stayed here last year for the first opening. A year after I return, always with our Folgore paratroopers reneactment group. In the meantime some works went on and the structure is more easy to visit. A lot of people went from Roma. And a lot of reneactors were here to show their vehicles and arms.

This little girl was a perfect paratrooper ready to use this AA gun. Maybe a little small for the duty…
On the left, Sant’Oreste.

When Kesserling was here he used this type of German tractor to visit the troops. This one is full operative!

The lunch of champions… This is part of our group, there were Germans and Americans reneactors too. We voraciously ate bread and mortadella (or salame or prosciutto) with wafers as dessert, but… but… in Sant’Oreste there was a sagra on fettuccine (long pasta made with eggs) with wild asparaguses! We didn’t know it! Damn!

The entry of the bunkers for the organised visit. A volunteer guide show to this group the map of the underground section. Inside you are 200 metres under the mountain rocks. A lot of bunkers are all around this external part of the mountain, along a way with barracks (and a lot of dust). But there is another part developed more deeply inside. It is a huge space, full of bats, stalactites and debris. The only clean section is that with the secret Cold War bunkers, one is ready as building structures, the other one is frozen in time with iron bars that wait to arm concrete.

Inside is dark, very dark. We can see the ground only with lights from mobiles. I made some photos but my camera was not so sensible like my eyes. Here the light at the end of the tunnels. A one hour and half visit I think.

Some airplanes flighted on our heads (one of them only 10 metres over us, damn it!). A replicated Storch with German beam crosses show us as this great vehicle could remain almost motionless in the air. And a photoshop work can create a photo from the past.

Here the link to visit the site:
Next appointment in September.