Documentary for National Geographic

DSCF1151In April 2013 six members of the 21st Panzer Division Living History Group spent two days filming at the Mucklebrough Collection in Norfolk. Members of the group portrayed German troops involved in the construction and manning of the Atlantic Wall, part of the Third Reich’s Fortress Europe. Some members of the group also assisted the production company by playing a dual role and portraying labourers involved in the construction works.

The documentary was made by Darlow Smithson Productions (London) for National Geographic and the US Public Broadcasting Service

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Test Firing the PAK38

Today Unit CO Robin Carr visited the workshops of “Elite Militaria” to test fire the PAK 38 that has been comissioned. More details to be published under the “Vehicles” tab on the tool bar

This new piece of kit will be in use next season


Watch this video on YouTube.
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Grassington 1940’s Weekend

Troops on parade (the new german pattern Staff Tents behind)The weekend of 22/23 September saw 10 members of 21st Panzer Division in attendance at the Grassington 1940’s Weekend. This was the first time that this event had ran and we considered it to be a huge success (lots of public interaction and interest) with potential for future years.

The Group’s display was to it’s usual high standard and further enhanced by three of the new German patttern Staff Tents that we have commissioned (2 more are on Order already).

Frosty MorningOverall the weather was good on both Saturday and Sunday although it did start to rain as the sites were struck, thus leaving us with some wet canvas (a theme for 2012). It was also the Unit’s first event of the year which featured a very cold night and a good frost in the morning.

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New Tents

The first of the groups new period German staff tents had its first outing last weekend at the Lytham 1940’s weekend. The tent was well received with plenty of positive comments. Three more tents of the same design are on order and will be in use before the end of this season.


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Outpost – Rise of the Spetsnaz



Earlier this month members of 21st Panzer Division Living History Group, along with others from the Northern World War 2 Association spent a few days filming on  the set of the third of the Outpost movies: Outpost – Rise of the Spetsnaz.

Obviously we can’t give away any of the plot but you can follow progress on the film’s Facebook page by clicking on the logo above


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Flak 38 Restoration Underway

Restoration work has now started on our 20mm Flak 38 project.

The starting point of the project - 85% complete (?) but needing tlc!


It arrived with an estimated 85% of its parts, realistically possibly closer to 65 – 70%.  A lot of time has been spent sourcing parts over the last 12 months or so and we still have some parts to find.



Now work has started on stripping the Flak down to its component parts  for restoration, sand blasting and painting







"It just came off in me hands Guv - honest!!" ..... with the help of a big hammer, plenty of oil and blow torch perhaps?





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News from Down Under

The group has recently been contacted by fellow re-enactors from New Zealand who protray DAK elements of the 21st Panzer Division, and more specifically 3. Aufklaerungs Abteilung, 21st Pzr. Div. DAK.

The group was recently featured in an event report in Military Machines International, with a V2 rocket scenario (the same edition also featured us at the Ponderosa 2011 Event here in the UK)

They have kindly sent some photographs of their Cambridge Armistice Weekend event.

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Sheffield Fayre 2011

From “Skirmish” Magazine (Nov/Dec 2011 Issue)

The Northern World War II Association put on two stonkingly good battles, first the Russians, doomed but valiant against the armoured and efficient Germans and then a scene from Normandy with the Yanks and the British fighting and finally defeating an experienced and determined opponent. The dispersed nature of ‘modern’ war made their task more difficult than the ACWS but operating with panache and with excellent timing, intelligent choreography and lots of very noisy hardware, they provided the excellent finale.
If the displays in the main arena were impressive, so were the many static displays. It’s interesting to handle the PPSh sup-machine gun (heavy) and the Tokarev rifle (comfortable in the shoulder and light but apparently with a terrible recoil) but is is fascinating when the Comrade showing them to you can also explain the importance of Stalin’s Five Year Plans in developing literacy, numeracy and scientific education that gave the Soviet Union the skills to use modern weapons. This is the key to the success of re-enactment, the ability to put on a good show is one thing but the same people understand and can explain the world that they ‘come from’……………………………………………………………….
Howard Giles and his team did a great job in letting the groups strut their stuff……………..It is always a pleasure to work with people who trust you to do your job, while you know you can rely on them to do theirs. Finally I would like to say a special thanks and best wishes to the pyro Team of the Northern WW2 Association.


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Ponderosa Wartime Weekend

Members of 21st Panzer took part in what may well be the largest wartime event and battle in the North of England over the weekend of 9 and 10 July 2011. The event saw Axis troops in their trenches and bunkers against Allied forces as they battled over control of a Normandy village and strategic bridge. The public enjoyed watching skirmishes throughout the day cumulating in a final battle involving both Allied and German Armour, including the deployment of 21st Panzer Division’s Marda tank destroyer.

Panzergrenadiers advance using the Marda for cover

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Members of the Group Meet “Great Escape” Veteran

Members of the 21st Panzer Division Living History Group had the privilege of meeting “Great Escape” veteran Frank Stone at the Northallerton Wartime Weekend on 18th & 19th June 2011.

Frank was the VIP Guest at the event and delivered two excellent and interesting talks about the true story behind the “Great Escape”. Proceeds from the talks are being donated to the Bomber Command Memorial charity fund.

Members of 21st Panzer meet “Great Escape” veteran Frank Stone

Frank Stones takes the 21st Panzer Div prisoner single handed!!






Background Information

For millions, Hut four in Stalag Luft III is the wooden hut where some 80 prisoners crawled their way towards freedom in March 1944 through “Harry”, a tunnel dug over five months. The mass break-out was the basis for the iconic war film The Great Escape, starring Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson and Donald Pleasance.

But for Frank Stone, an 18-year-old Royal Air Force gunner whose Hampden bomber crash-landed in Germany in 1940, hut 104 (where the real Great Escape took place)  represented an austere home whose occupants lived in constant fear of discovery and where boredom as much as duty made escape worth pursuing.

Frank was born and brought up at Quarndon, a small village 3 miles north of Derby.   He was educated at the Herbert Strutt Grammar School at Belper and after leaving school wanted to go to the RAF College at Cranwell, but his parents would not sign the necessary form (well it was 1938).

However, soon after his 18th birthday in May 1940 Frank volunteered for aircrew.   He was assessed as suitable for training as a navigator, which would take place in Canada in September.   So in the July he was sent to 83 Squadron at RAF Scampton where he did a minimum training as an air gunner.   After 6 weeks in the RAF, Guy Gibson, his flight commander, invited him to volunteer for operations over Germany as it would look good in his logbook.   The first operation went well and five days later he was invited to repeat the exercise but unfortunately his plane was shot down in the Black Forest in Germany.   Frank did not get to Canada but spent three years in captivity before ending up in North Compound, Stalag Luft III – the site of The Great Escape.

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