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Heckmwondike, England

Ponderosa 2011

 

Ken Pugh and crew just completed an event at Heckmwondike, England called Ponderosa War Weekend 2011.  Prior to the event, Ken and crew built a mock-up of a Normandy, France village. The mock-up came complete with hand-lettered signs you might find in a typical French village. Cathy Pugh lent her talents to that task with admirable results. A creek was even diverted, and a bridge built over it to make the village look still more realistic. At one point over the weekend, they had 7,000 civilian visitors. The highlight of the event was the big battle between Allied and German WW2 re-enactors and their vehicles. Ken got the pleasure of acting as Gunner in a U.S. Chaffee tank. The experience of acting as a tank crewmember is a wholly unusual thing that must be experienced to be understood. I've heard many WW2 infantrymen comment that tankers had it easy, riding around in an armored shell. However, being inside a tank, it is easy to see why they were either roasting hot, or freezing cold, noisy, smelly, cramped, and much of your sense of vision and hearing are limited drastically. If you were in battle, you had almost no idea of where the enemy might be, or when that next incoming round might have your name on it. Ken began to really feel and understand just what that might be like. Something tells me that Ken also really enjoyed firing off that big cannon. Something also tells me Ken will now feel even more enthusiasm about getting his Sherman tank finished restoring. All in all, it was a great event for all parties involved, and I have no doubt that many of those civilian visitors walked away with a whole new appreciation for what World War Two Veterans might have encountered. That, after all, is what this is all about; giving a public, poorly educated in history, a sense of seeing history come alive.

 

The Village Construction Begins 

 

 

 

 

 

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