Carrickfergus Castle to be exact.
We will be having a go at the Battle of the Bulge in Carrickfergus Castle from 10am to 4pm this Saturday 15th December. It is all for charity with proceeds collected going to the Royal British Legion.
So what is Carrickfergus Castle?
Carrickfergus Castle is a Norman castle in Northern Ireland, situated in the town of Carrickfergus in County Antrim, on the northern shore of Belfast Lough. Besieged in turn by the Scots, Irish, English and French, the castle played an important military role until 1928 and remains one of the best preserved medieval structures in Ireland.
You will have to pay admission to get into the Castle but there will be a lot to see and do.
Children / Senior Citizens: £3
Children under 4 years old - Free
Family (2 adults, 2 children): £13
Group rates available (10 plus must be pre-booked) - £3 per person
The admission fee helps to keep this beautiful building preserved and there is a lot to preserve. There is a lot to see outside and inside, so its well worth the fee on its own. There are always a number of events taking place at the Castle throughout the year as well - so you sometimes get much more than expected. And this Saturday you will be getting Wee Gamers with a host of guests to add to the occasion.
What is Wee Gamers doing?
In partnership with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Wee Gamers will be recreating the feel of the Battle of the Bulge, also known as the Ardennes Counter-offensive, which began on 16th December 1944 and lasted through to 25th January 1945.
There will be live music from Ion Jazz, Wartime Living History and Research Your Past will be giving people tips on how to research relatives during the World War Two period as well as a big Hairy Painter giving tips on painting miniatures for WWII wargaming.
Participation games will be on for everyone to have a go including Bolt Action, Flames of War and Memoir '44 alongside information boards on the Battle of the Bulge to give people an idea of what its all about.
We will also have a bucket for charitable donations to the Royal British Legion.
The Battle of the Bulge?
The Battle of the Bulge also known as the Ardennes Counteroffensive, and the Von Rundstedt Offensive to the Germans) (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive (die Ardennenoffensive) launched through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium, and France and Luxembourg on the Western Front towards the end of World War II. The Wehrmacht's code name for the offensive was Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein ("Operation Watch on the Rhine"), after the German patriotic hymn Die Wacht am Rhein. The French name for the operation is Bataille des Ardennes.
There are several American names for this battle though the most widely used was the Battle of the Bulge, from the description given to the way the Allied front line bulged inward on wartime news maps, which was reported in the contemporary press.
The offensive was planned with the utmost secrecy, minimizing radio traffic and moving troops and equipment under cover of darkness. Although Ultra suggested a possible attack and the Third U.S. Army's intelligence staff predicted a major German offensive, the Allies were still caught by surprise. This was achieved by a combination of Allied overconfidence, preoccupation with their own offensive plans, and poor aerial reconnaissance. Near-complete surprise against a weakly defended section of the Allied line was achieved during heavy overcast weather, which grounded the Allies' overwhelmingly superior air forces. Fierce resistance, particularly around the key town of Bastogne, and terrain favouring the defenders threw the German timetable behind schedule. Allied reinforcements, including General George S. Patton's Third Army, and improving weather conditions, which permitted air attacks on German forces and supply lines, sealed the failure of the offensive.
In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment, as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. For the Americans, with about 610,000 men committed and some 89,000 casualties, including 19,000 killed, the Battle of the Bulge was the largest and bloodiest battle fought on western front in World War II.
So come on down for a day's fun and games at Carrickfergus Castle. Its not everyday that you can say you played a wargame in a Castle. :)
All donations going to
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