Sep 21



The Eisenhower National Historic Site hosted World War II Weekend again this year. Over 200 Living History individuals showed up along with over 50 military vehicles. The “camp” was set up east of the Eisenhower House. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

The Eisenhower National Historic Site hosted World War II Weekend this Saturday and Sunday, and it keeps getting better and better each year. Over 200 Living History personnel showed up with tents and equipment and over 50 military vehicles. They represented over 50 Living History organizations. While most of the organizations were American, there were international contingents as well. Five German groups, one Polish unit, two Canadian units, two British groups, and four Soviet units put in an appearance.



For 51 weekends during a year, visitors must take the Eisenhower Shuttle Bus from the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center to see the Eisenhower site. This is the only weekend when visitors are allowed to drive. Here we are coming down the driveway that exits on the Emmitsburg Road. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



In the first field on the right is parking for the World War II participants. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



There was a separate parking area for the visitors. Eisenhower Farm # 2 is in the background. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



You purchase your ticket from the very nice Gettysburg Foundation employees in the tent. The cost was $6.50, which is the same amount if you had taken the Eisenhower Shuttle from the Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



You continue northwest to the camp. There were dozens of tents erected in the “camp,” which was set up to represent 1944. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



There is a mixture of Allies and the Axis powers, such as this group of German soldiers and civilians. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



Here’s the press tent. The sign on the left states, “No censors allowed.” This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



A unit representing a company from the 78th Infantry Division was present. The 78th Division landed in France in November, 1944 and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

This video shows members of Company B, of the 1st Battalion, 139th Regiment performing infantry drill and ceremony. Each member of the group gives a different command. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



There were a variety of jeeps and motorcycles present. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



All the automatic weapons on the site were required to have an ATF (Alcohol Tobacco Firearms) permit. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



A variety of communication gear was present. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The combat engineers were present to demonstrate the purpose of mines. This view was taken from the south facing north at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



A couple of medical units attended the living history demonstration. One member of this unit of the 1st Infantry Division was on hand in case there were any after hours emergencies in the camp. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The Polish contingent was in deep discussion in the background when we came by. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The 82nd Airborne displayed their equipment. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



This sign was at the entrance to the tent of the 82nd. This view was taken from the north facing south at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



Any vehicles with machine gun mounts needed an attached “Letter of Authorization” from the Superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park. The letter allowed vehicles to drive on the park roads. If they were stopped by a law enforcement ranger within the park without a copy of the letter, they would be fined. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The World War II camp was to the east of the Eisenhower House and putting green. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The motorpool. The barn for Eisenhower Farm #1 is in the background. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



Here’s a mess for the 26th Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One). This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

This video shows a half track that made a couple of circuits around the camp and farm area while we were visiting. This view was taken at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The United States Army Air Force made their appearance without any airplanes. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



Some of the artwork that was painted on the front of the aircraft was on display. This young man sat here for a long time. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The Germans/Axis powers also put in an appearance. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



To be permitted to attend the Eisenhower event, the Germans had to make sure that they adhered to some rules. For instance, “no political talks or speeches will be made espousing Hitler or the Nazi Party.” This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



Here is a display of German equipment. “No racist or derogatory remarks will be tolerated about any groups of people that were persecuted by the Nazi regime.” This view was taken from the west facing south at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



More German tents. “No displays of Nazi Party (’swastika’) flags are allowed. Only unit flags of a non-political nature will be permitted.” This view was taken from the west facing east at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



More German camp equipment. “Impressions are limited to the combat arms of the Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe. The Kriegsmarine is also permissible. However, no SS, ‘Brown Shirts,’ Nazi party officials, concentration camp guards, or Gestapo impressions are allowed.” This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



On the left is a Navy Nurse. On the right is a Navy WAVE (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



While all the demonstrations were good, one of the most interesting was by National Security Agency employee Rich Henderson (sitting) and Historian Donald Markle (standing in dark blue sweater and dark pants) on the German Enigma Machine. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The Enigma Machine was believed by the Germans to be an impenetrable cipher machine that allowed them to have secure communications. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



The machine has gained notoriety because Allied cryptologists were able to decrypt a large number of messages that had been enciphered on the machine. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



Although the Enigma cipher has cryptographic weaknesses, in practice it was only in combination with other significant factors (mistakes by operators, procedural flaws, an occasional captured machine or codebook) that Allied codebreakers were able to decipher messages. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.

In this video, Historian Donald Markle explains some of the features of the German Enigma Machine. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



This is a Dodge 3/4 Ton WC52 Weapons Carrier. Its main purpose was to haul equipment such as cannon or trailers. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.



Similar to the previous vehicle, this is a 1/2 Ton WC52 Weapons Carrier. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Sunday, September 21, 2008.


About Us  •  Support  •  Archives  •  Subscribe  •  Creative Commons License