Cobra Breakout 2017
Cobra Breakout 2017 was 2AiEs tactical combat mission to Normandy, France, in July 2017. Following in the footsteps of the US 2nd Armored Division during 'Operation Cobra', in the right places, at the right time, 2AiE alongside other quality re-enactment groups from the UK, Europe, and America, took part in an authentic seven day tactical re-enactment. This included living life as a regular WW2 GI in the field, 24 hours a day, with the German opposition providing a constant threat. Cobra 2017 was the first time a re-enactment of this magnitude has been supported by large-scale Axis opposition comprising of 70+ strong force of German-speaking re-enactors and a number of armoured vehicles, including a Panzer III, STUG Assault Gun, 222 Armoured Car, Halftrack and numerous soft-skin vehicles. As well as the constant tactical situation during Cobra 2017, a number of public battles were also performed in the same towns and villages that the 2nd Armored fought through in 1944, including Pont Brocard and Moyon, also allowing for the recreation of many original photos.
While our primary objective was to honour the men of the 2nd Armored Division that fought during 'Operation Cobra' by living under the same conditions they did, and fighting on the ground that they fought on, a number of ceremonies were also carried out in the various towns and villages visited, allowing us to show our respect and appreciation for the fallen.
2AiE are proud to be able to say that Cobra 2017 was a great success, with every mayor and prefecture that allowed us to live, battle and display on their land, complimenting us for our professionalism. Officials praised our participants to the point that we have been invited back, allowing us to build bridges with the French authorities for possible future events. The press also honoured the participants of Cobra Breakout 2017, branding 2AiE 'a remarkable international re-enactment group'. This is testament not only to the participants on the ground, but also to the hard work behind the scenes of Cobra Breakout 2017, insomuch as acquiring the necessary permissions and checking all of the legal boxes, showing how such hard work can lead to a highly successful trip. We hope that Cobra 2017 was just the beginning.