Despite numerous difficulties, we managed to pull off all our resources and – thanks to some friendly Belgian organizers – we were honored to take part in celebrated re-enactment event "Wateloo-2010”, in Belgium (17 km west of Brussels). We left Moscow being very excited and during our long European journey we also had a chance to visit Potsdam, Bruges, Brussels, Köln and Poznan. Upon arrival at Waterloo, we were pleased to see how well the Allied camp was organized: all sectors were clearly defined and assigned to a particular group, and there were straws and firewood prepared, along with specifically designed places for fire. To avoid historical inaccuracy, the portable toilet cabins and modern tanks with drinking water were place off the official camp line. Note that organizers had forbidden any type of "modernity”, such as contemporary tents, plastic furniture and other "fiber”. Most of the participants were in military uniform or civil dress of the Napoleonic era; overall, the entire camp atmosphere was very friendly. Next, the organizers took quite a big interest to our group – they looked at our tents, the manner of building a camp, and so on. There were two inspections (including a muster roll) as well, thus checking out our ability to maintain the replicas of the firearm and the piece of the ordinance, which we brought along from Moscow. The fine-looking English gentleman – an artillery commander of the Allies – examined our cannon in the most meticulous manner and demanded a blank "fire shot”. At the end of all they were satisfied with our discipline, training and organizational skills which, in fact, dethroned some of the alleged "negative” image surrounding our arrival. All together, in the course of this re-enactment event, we took part in three "battles” and most of our fellow re-enactors "fired away” a sufficient amount of ammunition. Unfortunately, there was an accident: during the maneuvers around the village of Plancenoit, two members of the Prussian battalion got their musket blown off, for an unknown reason. But, nonetheless, the event was great – we had aquatinted with so many new friends and promised to take part in the bicentennial of Waterloo re-enactment in 2015. Using the opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to all my fellow re-enactors, and to leaders of the "Siberian grenadier regiment”, Mr. Nicholas Gilev, and of the "Sievsk infantry regiment”, Mr. Alexander Romashevsky, as well.
See you all one day on the battlefield!
Translated from the original Russian text
Eman M. Vovsi©2010