The Battle of Mount Street Bridge project employed a two-pronged strategy to (re)create the battle in a virtual world. Extensive research was done into the abundant documentary sources which were both contradictory and fragmentary. These provided the preliminary data that allowed the recreation of the timeline, the evidence for the buildings that were occupied, participant movements, and the weapons they used.
Of particular importance were two sources. The Regimental Histories of the 2/7th and 2/8th Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters and the Witness Statements compiled between 1945-1955 by the Bureau of Military History which have been digitised and made publicly available. These, along with the newly released Pension Records files. form valuable first-hand information about the battle.
The project team drew on the extensive experience of the Advisory Board which consisted of historians, armaments experts, virtual world specialists, and architects. Period photographs were used for the digital (re)construction of the area, while Lidar Scanning of Northumberland Road helped in creating a highly accurate digital model of the battle scene. Ballistic experts and experiments at the shooting range provided a well-informed recreation of bullets’ trajectories and guns’ sounds and reload rates.
The virtual world was constructed using Autodesk’s 3DS Max. Different levels of detail and texturing were applied to direct users’ attention within the world and to allow highlighted areas of interest to be more distinct.
The purpose of this (re)construction is not to present an exact representation of the battle. Rather, it is a tool to investigate alternative interpretations, and to test theories about how visual representations can augment traditional approaches to knowledge creation.