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Cold War Reenactors? Reforger anyone?

Started by T-Bone , Mar 20 2009 03:35 AM

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#321 Rakkasan187

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 10:22 AM

 In regards to the modified wet weather jackets, where these taken privately to local tailor/seamstress shops? 

 

-Nick

 

 

Nick,

 

To answeryour question, Yes. You could purchase both items at clothing an sales and then take them to a local shop that sewed patches on uniforms made alterations, made tour jackets and of course they could make the "Graf Jacket" for you. The poncho liner or green Army blanket were sewn to on the inside of the wet weather parka and in some cases the tailors would sew a pocket on the inside of the coat.

 

Leigh



#322 Azeeze312

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Posted 12 November 2013 - 05:14 PM

Thanks Leigh, for clearing that up! They are nice looking jackets! 

-Nick



#323 Rakkasan187

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:09 AM

Thanks Leigh, for clearing that up! They are nice looking jackets! 

-Nick

 

 

I had my jacket done on my first deployment to Wildflecken FRG in February/March 1987. I purchased both poncho liner and wet weather top at the clothing and sales there and brought it to the tailor shop. It was ready for pickup in a week. The tailor shad sewn a nice big pocket on the inside and the hood was lined as well.  I wore that jacket instead of the field jacket. It was very warm, sometimes to warm. The only setback was no ventilation like in the gortex under the arm pits. I still have it today, I keep it under the back seat in my dodge ram.

 

The following year, (1988) Gortex became available in limited quantities and I purchased my first Gortex parka. Still have that one as well.

 

Leigh



#324 Azeeze312

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 08:25 AM

 

It was very warm, sometimes to warm. The only setback was no ventilation like in the gortex under the arm pits. I still have it today, I keep it under the back seat in my dodge ram.

 

 

Leigh, They Look like they are quality jackets, especially for a Cold rain!

 

I noticed in the photo posted earlier, it looked like the pocket edge was the edge of the actual poncho liner(flat non padded part) at the top, or is it just added fabric by the tailor? I know they are all tailor made so no one is an exact copy of each other, but was that pocket edging common?

 

ybj0.jpg

 

-Nick

 



#325 Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 09:14 AM

Nice jacket. I saw other units in the West wearing those parka's but never took much notice of them. We wore the standard fare during winter training in the Chicken (that's what we called Wildflecken) for those not in the know. We wore our long underwear, BDU uniform, cold weather pants and winter parka with liner. Sometimes it was cold enough to require the field jacket and liner underneath. For mounted, open cockpit movements (scout jeeps) we wore the winter cover with a scarf around our face and neck and then put our helmets on over the top, the goggled, and of course winter gloves with trigger fingers. The hardest part was keeping the cold wind off or your neck and face. Keeping warm is a matter of experience and experimentation.

 

Wildflecken was typically he winter training ground for the US Army in Europe and it got pretty darned cold there. There were GP Large tents at the gun range up in the hills with the stoves and those did not function well for long and required constant pumping. The cots were useless as the cold would just blow under the edge of the tent flaps and right underneath your cot. The winter sleeping bags, plus all the clothing your wore right inside the sleeping bags barely kept you warm. All I thought about and think about was the poor troops during the winters in the Korean War and WWII trying to stay warm and dry during heavy combat. We were in a secure training area with no stresses and it was tough enough. During winter training stateside we jumped into Fort Drum NY (prior to it becoming 10th Mountain Base) and did the entire winter training thing with cold weather gear, toboggans, snowshoes and ski's.

 

I just don't remember many of our guys in any units that had the custom parka's but then again I do vaguely remember these tour jackets. A tip to all reenactors and collectors is the M65 parka liner (the cushy green one) was GOLD! Those were lightweight, warm but breathed well enough and most experienced troops carried one in their pocket (like the poncho/liner combo). It was so easy to get on and off, could go outside or inside for immediate insulation and storage, and portable. Unlike most other cold weather gear, which was layered under the combat uniform or over the combat uniform and was difficult and time consuming to add or remove layers. Unless it was extremely cold and required long underwear for normal use, we simply didn't wear the long underwear as often because it was not easy to get on and off and much of the time you had to speed march from point to point and it retained heat and sweat too easily and that's the death nell of the infantryman. The rule of thumb for what you wear under your combat clothing, and over it, is not how you feel when you are static, but the heat buildup you are about to experience and whether or not you will overheat during that movement.

 

During speed marches, even in the dead of winter, many, many troops would wear regular uniforms and tshirts, maybe with gloves, because you would simply just get hot and sweaty just like in good weather. Once you stop and dry up and start to cool off, you would add layers to the outside to maintain warmth. Removing wet clothing was essential (socks and t shirts expecially). As you cool off and put on dry clothing, you *then* added layers to the outside that you can peel off. I can't remember how many times a young private in boot camp or regular duty station was cold first thing in the morning and would have on long underwear to stay warm and once we moved out would nearly have heat stroke (in the dead of winter!) because he had the long underwear on! He couldn't stop, strip down and take them off because that would require the entire unit stopping a movement for one guy. NCO's would read him the riot act and teach him to "Dress properly, not for how you feel now, but for how you're going to feel when you're humping hard and fast!"

 

Bottom line, if you're warm in the morning, you'll be too hot in the afternoon.

 

Rock



#326 Rakkasan187

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:39 PM

 

Leigh, They Look like they are quality jackets, especially for a Cold rain!

 

I noticed in the photo posted earlier, it looked like the pocket edge was the edge of the actual poncho liner(flat non padded part) at the top, or is it just added fabric by the tailor? I know they are all tailor made so no one is an exact copy of each other, but was that pocket edging common?

 

ybj0.jpg

 

-Nick

 

 

 

Nick,

 

It would appear that the tailor used the poncho liner edge to top off the pocket in this liner.. In some cases the poncho liner was cut down to meet the needs of the inside of the jacket. Also scraps from other poncho liners couod have been used to put the top edge on the pocket.  I will have to check mine to see if it was similarly done.

 

Leigh



#327 Rakkasan187

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 01:43 PM

Nice jacket. I saw other units in the West wearing those parka's but never took much notice of them. We wore the standard fare during winter training in the Chicken (that's what we called Wildflecken) for those not in the know. We wore our long underwear, BDU uniform, cold weather pants and winter parka with liner. Sometimes it was cold enough to require the field jacket and liner underneath. For mounted, open cockpit movements (scout jeeps) we wore the winter cover with a scarf around our face and neck and then put our helmets on over the top, the goggled, and of course winter gloves with trigger fingers. The hardest part was keeping the cold wind off or your neck and face. Keeping warm is a matter of experience and experimentation.

 

Wildflecken was typically he winter training ground for the US Army in Europe and it got pretty darned cold there. There were GP Large tents at the gun range up in the hills with the stoves and those did not function well for long and required constant pumping. The cots were useless as the cold would just blow under the edge of the tent flaps and right underneath your cot. The winter sleeping bags, plus all the clothing your wore right inside the sleeping bags barely kept you warm. All I thought about and think about was the poor troops during the winters in the Korean War and WWII trying to stay warm and dry during heavy combat. We were in a secure training area with no stresses and it was tough enough. During winter training stateside we jumped into Fort Drum NY (prior to it becoming 10th Mountain Base) and did the entire winter training thing with cold weather gear, toboggans, snowshoes and ski's.

 

I just don't remember many of our guys in any units that had the custom parka's but then again I do vaguely remember these tour jackets. A tip to all reenactors and collectors is the M65 parka liner (the cushy green one) was GOLD! Those were lightweight, warm but breathed well enough and most experienced troops carried one in their pocket (like the poncho/liner combo). It was so easy to get on and off, could go outside or inside for immediate insulation and storage, and portable. Unlike most other cold weather gear, which was layered under the combat uniform or over the combat uniform and was difficult and time consuming to add or remove layers. Unless it was extremely cold and required long underwear for normal use, we simply didn't wear the long underwear as often because it was not easy to get on and off and much of the time you had to speed march from point to point and it retained heat and sweat too easily and that's the death nell of the infantryman. The rule of thumb for what you wear under your combat clothing, and over it, is not how you feel when you are static, but the heat buildup you are about to experience and whether or not you will overheat during that movement.

 

During speed marches, even in the dead of winter, many, many troops would wear regular uniforms and tshirts, maybe with gloves, because you would simply just get hot and sweaty just like in good weather. Once you stop and dry up and start to cool off, you would add layers to the outside to maintain warmth. Removing wet clothing was essential (socks and t shirts expecially). As you cool off and put on dry clothing, you *then* added layers to the outside that you can peel off. I can't remember how many times a young private in boot camp or regular duty station was cold first thing in the morning and would have on long underwear to stay warm and once we moved out would nearly have heat stroke (in the dead of winter!) because he had the long underwear on! He couldn't stop, strip down and take them off because that would require the entire unit stopping a movement for one guy. NCO's would read him the riot act and teach him to "Dress properly, not for how you feel now, but for how you're going to feel when you're humping hard and fast!"

 

Bottom line, if you're warm in the morning, you'll be too hot in the afternoon.

 

Rock

 

 

Well put Rock,

 

The field jacket liner was what I wore under my BDU shirt a lot while I was in Berlin. I did not like to wear the wool sweater, so I opted for the field jacket liner. On occasion I would also wear the OD green sleep shirt. This was a great undergarment and it served its purpose well. I still have all of my clothing issue to include the sleep shirts..

 

Leigh



#328 Pogranichnik92

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 02:43 PM

On the original topic posted, I actually run a Cold War-specific reenactment unit. We mainly do Warsaw Pact, Korean War, and Vietnam, but there are a few of us in the unit who also do peacetime US GI (I.E. Stationed in West Germany). I also do German Bundeswehr, as well. 

 

Another one of my primary GI impressions is 46th Infantry Division National Guard stationed out of Camp Rucker.



#329 gwb123

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Posted 13 November 2013 - 06:52 PM

LOL!  I never thought my humble jacket would get so much press!

 

Yes, that is a pocket.  It was fairly strong, but I don't recall putting anything heavy in it.

 

The nametape on the inside was so that somebody didn't walk off with it thinking it was theirs.



#330 cefiler

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 06:08 PM

How about reenacting Bright Star or Team Spirit?



#331 gwb123

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 06:58 PM

How about reenacting Bright Star or Team Spirit?

 

You might want to start a fresh thread on that.  This one has turned into a reunion thread for everyone who served in Germany during the Cold War.



#332 Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 09:26 AM

No offense meant...

 

It turned into a reunion thread but there were some subjects and content that is applicable to the Cold War in the ETO. Many Reenactors want to know what to wear, how to wear it and what odd items were used, bought, stolen or otherwise procured and nobody better to ask than who was there.

 

I've met reenactors that do Vietnam to Modern and when some of them (not all of them)  are talking to Vets they listen for a little and when the Veteran starts to give them detailed information they start to glaze over and change the subject. Sometimes because it's probably boring, sometimes because there's no way they can afford or find the items in the discussion, and sometimes because the simply don't care and consider themselves the experts. On the other hand, Veterans forget lots of details, or remember it differently and the Reenactors simply have their information correct whereas the Veteran has long since forgotten.

 

This has been a good thread for me to bring back memories and such.

 

Rock



#333 willysmb44

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 11:21 AM

I've seen this with WW2 re-enactors as well. You do get tired of 'Nam vets telling you that your 1944 Jeep is exactly what they drove in the 'Nam, as well as vets telling you things that can't possibly be correct (my all time favorite is the 'Nam vet who told me he called in a tactical nuke in combat from a BUFF once).

The glazed over look is when it's a story you've heard a thousand times, or one you know to be wrong (think, "$50 Jeep in a crate", which never happened but lots of people argue it did anyway, never to anyone they personally know now, though).

Not saying it's right to do, but I do understand it...

 

No offense meant...

 

It turned into a reunion thread but there were some subjects and content that is applicable to the Cold War in the ETO. Many Reenactors want to know what to wear, how to wear it and what odd items were used, bought, stolen or otherwise procured and nobody better to ask than who was there.

 

I've met reenactors that do Vietnam to Modern and when some of them (not all of them)  are talking to Vets they listen for a little and when the Veteran starts to give them detailed information they start to glaze over and change the subject. Sometimes because it's probably boring, sometimes because there's no way they can afford or find the items in the discussion, and sometimes because the simply don't care and consider themselves the experts. On the other hand, Veterans forget lots of details, or remember it differently and the Reenactors simply have their information correct whereas the Veteran has long since forgotten.

 



#334 gwb123

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Posted 13 December 2013 - 08:54 PM

Sgt. Rock:  No offense taken. I just thought you might get more responses on a more specific thread.

 

What you have described is a two edged sword.

 

A lot of re-enactors spend a great deal of time researching their impressions and the time period they are covering.  The problem is that will always be second hand information.  There is a lot of things that are missing from the history books... such as... if you are going to wear a P-38 can opener on your dog tag chain, you might want to secure it to the tags with a rubber band.  Once in awhile the things would open and stab you in the chest!  Small detail but part of the daily life.

 

One of my favorite stories was from a Vietnam vet who was called up for service in the early part of Desert Storm.  His hut (or in earlier terms, hooch) had an air conditioner but no refrigerator.  He amazed the younger veterans by taking a box, lining it with foil, diverting one of the ducts from his a/c unit into a hole in the box, and then filling it with soda!    Boring detail, perhaps.  But important for the 6 months he spent over there before his reserve unit rotated back.

 

So yes, a vet can bore someone to death with "there I was" stories, bit one has to be careful not to miss some of the nuggets within the stories they are telling.

 

The flip side is a re-enactor or collector who believes they have so thoroughly researched a period that they think they've got it all nailed down.  Military service is a unique experience... there are some things you will not understand or appreciate unless you have been there... or listen to the stories of someone who has.



#335 Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 04:38 AM



Another item shown in that same thread is what we used to call a "Baumholder Jacket"

We called them "Graph" jackets, after Grafenwoehr.
They were made with a wet weather parka and a quilted field jacket liner.
Anybody ever have a set of the West German CAV boots with the rabbit fur lining?
I wore mine until they fell apart. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons//crying.gif


Went out last night t hang garage sale signs for my Daughters School Yard Sale and we stopped near a house and I got talking with a guy who ended up selling a 1970's-1980's Group to me that included a steel pot, early kevlar, tanker helmet, pro masks, jungle and leg boots, large ruck , map case, and an original Graph/Baumholder jacket!!

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/SgtRock_02/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpsc3fc4616.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/SgtRock_02/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpsaa5de04b.jpg
http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/SgtRock_02/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps524c6312.jpg
http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/SgtRock_02/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zpsd94110ff.jpg

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/SgtRock_02/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps9c6be1e4.jpg

#336 Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 04:39 AM

More:

http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/SgtRock_02/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps831cb6a4.jpg
http://i121.photobucket.com/albums/o213/SgtRock_02/Mobile%20Uploads/image_zps757fca9c.jpg

#337 Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 07:28 AM

Sorry for the cut and paste links. Not sure how to post pics anymore.

Rock

Edited by Sgt_Rock_EasyCo, 10 May 2014 - 07:28 AM.


#338 12thengr

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 03:49 PM

10537099_10202474025194787_145504161029861148_n.jpg Graf jackets made out of a poncho and a G.I. blanket by the rad tailor, late 1970's.

#339 gwb123

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 04:36 PM

attachicon.gif10537099_10202474025194787_145504161029861148_n.jpg Graf jackets made out of a poncho and a G.I. blanket by the rad tailor, late 1970's.

 

Nice photo!  I remember the day I took it! LOL!  All of those folks were from B Co., Heavy Maintetance and Support, 708th Maintenance Bn. Baumholder.  However, the photo was taken at Graf.



#340 12thengr

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:48 AM

Thanks. I swiped it off the 8th ID or maybe the 12th Engr Facebook page.


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