A re-enactment of the role of Colchester-based paratroopers during D-Day will be held as part of this year’s Colchester Military Tournament.

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Visitors will be able to see what life was like during the Allied invasion of Europe 70 years ago.

The authentically-uniformed and equipped re-enactors will be drawn from three highly regarded societies: The World War Two Living History Association, the Essex Regiment (Battle for Europe Society) and The Garrison. Unlike with actors in a play there’s no rehearsal and instead the individual re-enactors will react and hopefully obey orders as the fighting develops.

The fast and furious performance will feature deadly MG-42 machine guns, rifles and a British 25-Pounder Howitzer.

Howard Giles, the tournament’s living history co-ordinator said: “Although we have written an outline script, spontaneity of action gives battle re-enactment an exciting edge so no two performances are ever the same.

“Unlike in some Hollywood films the Germans will be accurately depicted as a highly effective fighting force, which in turn emphasises the Allies’ huge achievement in defeating them.”

The tournament is raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

The BBC’s World War One At Home live event will also appear at the tournament, where people can make their own ID permits, have a go at being a war reporter and meet experts from Imperial War Museums to search their families’ connections to the war.

Local historian Andrew Phillips will also talk about the significance of the event venue Abbey Field.

The two-day event takes place on Saturday July 5 and Sunday July 6 and also features a Spitfire fly-past, motorcycle displays and the Red Devils free-fall parachute team.

For ticket information and booking visit the Colchester Military Tournament website, go to Tourist Information Centres or call 0844 871 8819.

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