A cast of thousands complete with authentic military costumes took to the muddy fields around Leipzig to re-enact one of German history’s bloodiest battles – the Battle of the Nations, also known as the Battle of Leipzig.
It was when French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated in 1813 by forces from Russia, Austria and Prussia.
The head of the Battle of Leipzig Anniversary Organisation said that the German nation essentially originates from this moment in history and the years that followed it.
“Europe was re-organised,” he said, “after Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo.”
According to one participant in the battle, the smoke and gunfire was too much for some re-enacting the events of 200 years ago.
“Some people are very agitated,” he said, “they became bright red and had to see medical staff.”
The event has attracted some criticism from those who say that the re-enactment is turning the carnage of war into a game.
This spectator said, “regardless of the importance of event. The battle was terrible and people met painful deaths. It seems mankind has learned nothing from this.”
For the organisers, however, the re-enactment is meant to emphasize peace and aims to bring history to life.