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Soldiers cross swords in Military Mtarfa

A British soldier fires his rifle in a re-enactment of what might have happened had the Germans landed on the island in World War II during yesterday's Military Mtarfa. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

A British soldier fires his rifle in a re-enactment of what might have happened had the Germans landed on the island in World War II during yesterday's Military Mtarfa. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Deafening gunshots broke out as German soldiers ambushed a British base in a re-enactment simulating what might have happened had the Axis forces landed on the island.

Despite not attracting as many spectators as last year, actors at the second edition of Military Mtarfa put their hearts and souls in a number of "battles" displaying the uniforms, weapons and tactics used in those periods.

So, as victorious Roman Legionnaires marched back from war proudly carrying their banners, metal struck metal as medieval mercenaries settled their odds nearby.

Meanwhile, Napoleonic troops lined up to load their long muskets as revolutionaries charged towards them.

The highlight of the day was not Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi's visit but a shootout between Nazi and Allied forces, with young children standing stock still as blanks cracked through the air.

The skirmish, which naturally ended with a British victory, was brought to an end with the sometimes comical capture of German soldiers, who were frisked before they were made to lie down on the ground.

Spread over most of the town, Military Mtarfa also included two static exhibitions displaying uniforms and weapons.

An ideal setting for the event, the village was an important strategic location because it is situated on a hill and offers a panoramic view of the island, stretching towards the sea.

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