Camp Lucky Strike


Camp Lucky Strike, WWO-II

dsc_9284Belgium was for a large part liberated between 2 en 12 September 1944. On 4 September, the Allied Forces, more specific Canadian, Polish, British and American troops paraded through Brussels, applauded by a happy and euphoric crowd.  Meanwhile the battle went on, and concluded for Belgium with the  “Battle of the Bulge”, also know as the battle of the Ardennes.

Until today, those events are engraved in the mind of many Belgians, even though most of them were born much later.  The city of Oudenaarde is no exception and every year hundreds of reenactment soldiers join “Camp Lucky Strike”.

An event that cannot be missed; The reenactment of the liberation of Oudenaarde. Soldiers in battledress drill and troop through the camp, synchronized by the flamboyant and piercing voice of a drill sergeant “left, right, left…)

dsc_9258Tanks, heavy artillery and trucks are scrubbed, washed, tuned and prepared for the show.  I have seldom seen a group of people that are so enthusiast about their hobby while admiring and honoring the liberators from back then.

dsc_3868As a photographer I do enjoy to wonder around, the camp provides a wealth of photo opportunities.  Soldiers pose proudly with guns and rifles. Beautiful authentic uniforms and military memorabilia decorate the camp, to include a field kitchen and hospital.The main event is the tour through the neighboring villages. The camp gets filled with the roaring all-encompassing sound of powerful and fuel hungry engines; the smell of gasoline fills the air.

dsc_9238The ground trembles when the heavy panzers and battle tanks are put in motion. Slowly the military convoy leaves the Camp, twenty minutes later the Camp is concealed in a cloud of white and blue smoke, the residue of fierce combat vehicles.   Along the roads, young and old spectators form a shrubbery of honor, waving flags. While others silently admire the military display, reenactment soldiers play their role well, Proudly presenting their mean killing machines.

Thanks for reading,

Steve

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