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Reenacting the Past

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One of the oldest forms of storytelling is that of re-enactment, donning the costumes of the story's subjects, miming their actions, performing a narrative before a live audience. This past year marked a number of significant anniversaries of historic conflicts, from the American Civil War to medieval European battles, to both World Wars and more. Collected here are recent performances from around the world (with a few anachronisms), covering a number of military events from recent centuries. [40 photos]

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Members of historic clubs wearing WWI-era uniforms take part in a reenactment of a WWI battle at a historical festival marking the 100th anniversary of World War I in Kolomenskoye park in Moscow, Russia, on June 8, 2014. It is the first time that World War I events have been marked in the Soviet or post-Soviet Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Members of historic clubs wearing WWI-era uniforms take part in a reenactment of a WWI battle at a historical festival marking the 100th anniversary of World War I in Kolomenskoye park in Moscow, Russia, on June 8, 2014. It is the first time that World War I events have been marked in the Soviet or post-Soviet Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)
Enthusiasts wearing medieval knight costumes fight during a battle in the central Bohemian village of Libusin, Czech Republic, on April 26, 2014. Some two thousand participants took part in an annual re-enactment of the battle of Libusin. (Reuters/David W Cerny) #
Enthusiasts wearing medieval knight costumes fight during a battle in the central Bohemian village of Libusin, on April 26, 2014. (Reuters/David W Cerny) #
South Korean army soldiers dressed like North Korean soldiers reenact the Battle of the Naktong Bulge near the Waegwan railway bridge in Waegwan, South Korea, on September 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) #
South Korean army soldiers, some of them dressed as North Korean fighters, left, reenact the Battle of the Naktong Bulge near the Waegwan railway bridge in Waegwan, South Korea, on September 13, 2013. The South Korean soldiers reenacted the 1950 battle, one of the key engagements as part of events to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Korean War. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon) #
French lawyer Franck Samson performs as Napoleon during a reenactment of the Battle of Montmirail, northeastern France, on May 31, 2014. More than a thousand of history enthusiasts took part in the event to commemorate the bicentenary of Napoleon's victory over the Russians and Prussians, part of the Six Days Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. (Francois Nascimbeni/AFP/Getty Images) #
A member of a local historical society dressed as a soldier of the 8th Artillery Regiment, 5th Division Dufour serving under Napoleon takes aim with a gun as he prepares to begin the four-day march to Leipzig on October 14, 2013 in Schellenberg, Germany. The 14 men and eight horses, some of whom are pulling an authentic copy of a six-pound cannon, will join approximately 6,000 actors that will re-enact the Battle of Nations on its 200th anniversary on October 20. In 1813 combined Austrian, Prussian, Russian and Swedish forces defeated Napoleon's army near Leipzig, forcing him to retreat to France and ending his European military expansion. (Matthias Rietschel/Getty Images) #
History enthusiasts dressed as soldiers take part in a re-enactment of Napoleon's 1805 Battle of Austerlitz near the South Moravian city of Slavkov, Czech Republic, on November 30, 2013. (Michal Cizek/AFP/Getty Images) #
Enthusiasts dressed up as Austrian soldiers, during a re-enactment of a battle in Valtice, south Moravia, 50 km south from Brno, Czech Republic, on April 13, 2014. The year 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the Napoleon's French campaign of 1814, battles at Montereau, Reims or Montmirail, and a number of other (205th anniversary of the Battle of Sacile, the 200th anniversary of the Battle of the Mincio), and the 209 anniversary of the Battle of Austerlitz. (Radek Mica/AFP/Getty Images) #
A surgeon with the French army speaks on a mobile phone before taking part in a re-enactment of the Battle of the Nations (Voelkerschlacht) in Leipzig October 20, 2013. This year's re-enactment marks the battle's 200th anniversary, with 6,000 enthusiasts taking part. The battle, between the remnants of Napoleon's Grande Armee and a Russo-Prussian coalition, was Napoleon's most crushing defeat. (John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images) #
Enthusiasts wearing costumes rest during a re-enactment of a decisive Crusaders battle in northern Israel's Galilee region, on July 5, 2014. About 70 people participated in the re-enactment of the Battle of the Horns of Hattin, where Muslim forces led by the legendary Salah al-Din defeated Christian fighters in the late 12th century. (Reuters/Tomer Appelbaum) #
Israeli members of knight clubs, put on their costumes, on July 5, 2014 before taking part in the reenactment of the Battle of Hattin (aka the Horns of Hattin) from the ancient northern city of Tzipori to Horns of Hattin. Some 70 Israelis, mostly Russian origin, took part in the reenactment of the battle that was fought on the same day in 1187, when Arab Sultan Salaheddin's army crashed the Crusader forces on his way to Tiberias. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images) #
Enthusiasts wearing costumes take part in a re-enactment of a decisive Crusaders battle in northern Israel's Galilee region on July 5, 2014. (Reuters/Tomer Appelbaum) #
Israeli enthusiasts wearing costumes take part in a re-enactment of a decisive Crusaders battle in northern Israel's Galilee region July 5, 2014. (Reuters/Tomer Appelbaum) #
Israeli members of knight clubs, wearing costumes, take part in the reenactment of the Battle of Hattin on July 5, 2014. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images) #
An enthusiast wearing a costume looks at her mobile phone during a re-enactment of the Battle of Hattin in northern Israel's Galilee region on July 5, 2014. (Reuters/Tomer Appelbaum) #
A World War II American plane flies in front of a wall of fire as it takes part in a re-enactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor during an afternoon air show at the EAA AirVenture at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on August 3, 2013. (Reuters/Darren Hauck) #
Reconstruction of the battle at the beginning of WWII on September 19, 1939 on the outskirts of Warsaw between Polish and German armies with last cavalry charge on September 22, 2013 in Lomianki. (Janek Skarzynski/AFP/Getty Images) #
Military history enthusiasts dressed as Nazi German troops take part in a stage battle "Summer 1941" near the village of Ivanovskoye, some 60 km outside Moscow, on June 22, 2014, during "War of Motors 2014" festival marking the 73d anniversary of the Nazi Germany invasion of the Soviet Union. (Dmitry Serebryakov/AFP/Getty Images) #
Visitors watch D-Day re-enactment paratroopers jumping on June 5, 2014 at Utah Beach, France. Friday the 6th of June was the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings that saw 156,000 troops from the Allied countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, join forces to launch an audacious attack on the beaches of Normandy, leading to the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #
Re-enactors storm Gold Beach from a Royal Marine Landing craft during the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings parade on June 6, 2014 in Arromanches Les Bains, France. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) #
History enthusiasts wearing WWII U.S. military uniforms re-enact a D-Day landing on Omaha Beach in Vierville sur Mer, on Normandy coast, on June 5, 2014. Some 3,000 veterans were among those attending ceremonies across the northern French coastline where Allied forces landed in the largest seaborne invasion in history on June 6, 1944. (Reuters/Pascal Rossignol) #
D-Day re-enactment enthusiasts dressed as World War II American soldiers relax at their camp outside the church on June 4, 2014 near Utah Beach in Sainte Marie du Mont, France. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #
A man dressed as a US soldier poses by an American flag during a historical reenactment of a D-Day military camp, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, western France, on June 7, 2014. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
Two women dressed as members of the US military, pose in a tent during a historical reenactment of a D-Day military camp, in Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer, western France, on June 7, 2014. (Joel Saget/AFP/Getty Images) #
A D-Day re-enactment enthusiast dressed as a World War II American soldier snaps a photo at a re-enactment camp on June 4, 2014 in Sainte Mere Eglise, France. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images) #
Fishermen from Ly Son island pray during a re-enactment of the Khao Le The Linh ceremony at a Vietnam Cultural village in Dong Mo, outside Hanoi, on June 29, 2014. The Khao Le The Linh ceremony is observed annually, paying homage to the fishermen who were assigned to protect Hoang Sa or Paracels islands, situated near the recent deployment of the Haiyang Shiyou 981 rig, which triggered rioting in Vietnam in which four people were killed and factories believed to be owned by Chinese companies were looted. (Reuters/Kham) #
Fishermen from Ly Son island release miniature fishing boat models with artificial soldiers into the water during a re-enactment of the Khao Le The Linh ceremony at a Vietnam Cultural village in Dong Mo, outside Hanoi, on June 29, 2014. (Reuters/Kham) #
Union Civil War re-enactors repulse an evening attack as part of a three-day Battle of Gettysburg re-enactment on June 29, 2013 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Some 8,000 re-enactors from the Blue Gray Alliance were participating in events marking the 150th anniversary of the July 1-3, 1863 Battle of Gettysburg. (John Moore/Getty Images) #
Confederate Civil War re-enactors launch an evening attack during a three-day Battle of Gettysburg re-enactment on June 29, 2013 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia was defeated on the third day of the battle, considered the turning point in the American Civil War and a watershed moment in the nation's history. (John Moore/Getty Images) #
Confederate troops (top) fire on the Federal (Union) positions (bottom) during the final battle of the Gettysburg conflict, "Pickett's Charge," fought between Confederate and Union soldiers as part of re-enactment activities on July 7, 2013, recognizing the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War battle in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (Reuters/Gary Cameron) #
Confederate and Union cavalry engage with sabres during a re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg on June 29, 2013, at the start of the 150th Gettysburg celebration in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images) #
A woman, a member of a historical battle re-enactment group, dressed as a bandit, participates in a Spanish Independence War battle re-enactment against the French army (unseen) during the second edition of "Ronda Romantica" (Romantic Ronda) in Ronda, near Malaga, southern Spain, on May 31, 2014. (Reuters/Jon Nazca) #
Members of historical battle re-enactment groups, dressed as bandits and the French army (top), participate in a Spanish Independence War battle re-enactment against during the second edition of "Ronda Romantica" (Romantic Ronda) in Ronda, Spain, on May 31, 2014. Ronda Romantica is a cultural, historical and tourist event during the three days where thousands of people of Ronda and about fifty towns around of "Serrania de Ronda" (Ronda Mountain Ranges), dressed in traditional costumes, recreate the era of the bandits, drovers and romantic travelers in the nineteenth century. They also recreate the war of Spanish Independence which started in 1808 with the invasion by French Napoleonic troops and lasted until 1814, when the French were defeated and expelled from the country. (Reuters/Jon Nazca) #
A re-enactor playing the part of Robert the Bruce stands in front of his statue at the Bannockburn Live event on June 28, 2014 in Stirling, Scotland. The 700th anniversary of the historic battle that saw the outnumbered Scots conquer the English led by Edward II in the First War of Scottish Independence. (Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images) #
Actors who are part of King Robert The Bruce's army re-enact the Battle of Bannockburn in Bannockburn, central Scotland, on June 27, 2014. An estimated 20,000 people gathered over the weekend to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. (Reuters/Paul Hackett) #
Members of historic clubs wearing WWI-era uniforms take part in a reenactment of a battle at a historical festival marking the 100th anniversary of World War I in Kolomenskoye park in Moscow, Russia, on June 8, 2014. It is the first time that World War I events have been marked in the Soviet or post-Soviet Russia. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin) #
Members of the French association "Memories Hairy", dressed in World War One French military outfits, carry out a historical re-enactment of trench warfare in Althen des Paluds near Avignon, Southern France, on April 12, 2014. (Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier) #
Enthusiasts in period uniform re-enact a battle from the First World War during the "Times and Epoch" festival in Moscow on June 8, 2014. (Reuters/Maxim Zmeyev) #
A man wearing a World War One uniform poses with children during an event marking 100 years since the Great War at Romania's National Military Museum in Bucharest on May 10, 2014. Members of various historic organizations presented original uniforms and re-enacted a battle from the First World War on the museum's opening day. (Reuters/Bogdan Cristel) #
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