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Cold War Reenactors? Reforger anyone?


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#26 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:18 AM

would love to do a reforger reenact.
il just need more od uniforms,like the m65 jacket and a few
bits and bobs.
here is one close,only the vb boots should be regular
combat boots.havent seen white vb boots used
in germany on pictures.

cheers ken


Ken - Great photo and military kit, what era are your trying to represent?

I was stationed in Germany from 1985-1991 and here are a few comments from when I was there. Others might have different experiences depending on when and where they were in Germany.

I rarely ever saw vb boots worn in the field when I was in Germany. Unless you were on stationary guard duty they just became too hot to wear while walking, especially long distances. A number of folks private purchased German made leather cold weather boots.

The ammunition pouches on the web gear looks to be 1960s/Vietnam vintage canvas. By the 80s we were wearing the nylon ammo pouches.

Also the only time I remember using 20 round magazines was on the range, in the field we almost always had 30 round magazines.

The helmet is appropriate for around 1985 and before. After that the Kevlar helmet was worn.

I don't remember soldiers ever wearing the bayonet in the field either in Berlin or when I was stationed in West Germany. Generally these remained locked up in the arms room.

Add a pace cord with knots or beads tied to your LBE, no GPS navigation back then. Also an angled military flashlight hanging from your LBE. The US Army didn't "own the night" yet and night vision devices were bulky, few and far between. Since I don't see a butt pack or ruck sack then the cargo pockets on you pants should be budging with, depending on the period, C-Ration Cans or MRE packets as well as "pogy bait".

To be REALLY authentic you also need a 3-4 day old beard which is caked with face camo. Not the compact type, but the the sold stuff from the old camo stick that takes days to get the green tint out of your skin once you come back from the field. You don't look nearly tired enough. Assign yourself 4 hours on and 4 hours off guard shifts outside your front door for a few days, sleep in your clothes in your unheated garage in a sleeping bag and have someone shake you awake for your guard shifts and you will have the proper weary look. Don't shower, shave or change your clothes for a week and you will have the proper smell. Dig a hole in your back yard and use that as you "slit latrine" bathroom. Make sure you use only the authentic tiny roll of GI toilet paper that came with your rations.

Edited by ehrentitle, 22 March 2009 - 04:18 AM.


#27 D.A.T.

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 04:58 AM

[/quote]
Add a pace cord with knots or beads tied to your LBE, no GPS navigation back then. Also an angled military flashlight hanging from your LBE. The US Army didn't "own the night" yet and night vision devices were bulky, few and far between. Since I don't see a butt pack or ruck sack then the cargo pockets on you pants should be budging with, depending on the period, C-Ration Cans or MRE packets as well as "pogy bait".

To be REALLY authentic you also need a 3-4 day old beard which is caked with face camo. Not the compact type, but the the sold stuff from the old camo stick that takes days to get the green tint out of your skin once you come back from the field. You don't look nearly tired enough. Assign yourself 4 hours on and 4 hours off guard shifts outside your front door for a few days, sleep in your clothes in your unheated garage in a sleeping bag and have someone shake you awake for your guard shifts and you will have the proper weary look. Don't shower, shave or change your clothes for a week and you will have the proper smell. Dig a hole in your back yard and use that as you "slit latrine" bathroom. Make sure you use only the authentic tiny roll of GI toilet paper that came with your rations.
[/quote]

Amen! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/thumbsup.gif I couldn't give any better advice then that! I see you've been there and done that! ;)

#28 72newport

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 06:58 AM

Geez

Thats exactly the way I feel. Reenact it? Heck! I lived it. http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/yucky.gif

:lol:
Same here! Pulled my rotation at Fulda! http://www.usmilitar...tyle_emoticons/default/w00t.gif

#29 FargoMarc

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 07:18 AM

I wouldn't necessarily model your reenactment group after this bunch, but you get the idea. This is my platoon in the FRG around 1988.



On a side note, at least you don't have to have a lot of people. We were always short. If you count my platoon, you will see that I had 22 troops available at the time. 12 of those are dedicated to the Bradleys, so you basically had about 10 dismounted soldiers for the platoon.

GWB123,

Don't forget all of the field prep time and recovery time. I figure we spent about 9 months out of the year either preparing for, being in or recovering from the field. However we got to see some of the greatest tourist areas in Germany; Hohenfels, Wildflecken, Graf!



That brings back memopries, I was at REFORGER in '88 too!

#30 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 08:37 AM

I almost forgot, for that authentic Cold War FTX feel you need the red blank firing adapter on the end of your rifle. If you can find it add the cumbersome miles gear to your LBE, Helmet and rifle. Plus bring a footlocker full of cartons of cigarettes. chewing tobacco and candy so all of your smoking and sweet tooth addicts don't go into the DTs while you are in the field for a week or two.

#31 gwb123

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 08:38 AM

A couple comments from above...

An angled flashlight with a red lense was a must have. Every officer and NCO had one, and most of the troops.

Some of us went "Hollywood" and also had a private purchase survival knife strapped to their web belt or suspenders. I remember a couple of folks who had them taped to thier left suspender upside down. I think it was an Airborne thing. I was always concerned it would drop and never be found.

And with survival knives or field knives... nobody I knew used those $120 Rambo models. Knives were easily lost on a field problem. I think I paid $12.95 for my Japanese made knock off of the USAF survival knife...

A lot of us adapted German or NATO equipment for field use. I used a Bundeswehr pocket knife complete with its handy corkscrew (in Europe you had a number of things that came with a cork, not just wine). Some troops bought the little German individual ration stoves / heaters. I believe I also saw some using the German style flash light with the built in filters, very similar to the WWII model.

As far as footwear, we often wore rubber golashes or overshoes. It was something like your mom would make you wear back in the 5th grade, but in the cold, damp winter they did the trick. If you ran around with just issue combat boots you ran a chance of frostbite. They also did not repell water very well.

If you wear a .45, I always had an OD lanyard attaching mine to my pistol belt. After a few days of sleep depravation, it was very easy to set your pistol down somewhere and walk away from it. That kind of thing got you in trouble.

And finally, don't forget your M17A1 protective mask and case. No one doubted for a minute that the Soviets would hesitate to use chemical weapons if it was to their advantage. It was also an accountable item and you did not want the trouble that would come with losing one (or having it pilfered by another GI who had lost his.)

The more I write, the more I remember. Officers and NCO's often had a lensatic compass as well. This was another item I attached using a pistol lanyard, even if I had it in a case. Or as an alternative, I sometimes carried a Boy Scout lensatic compass as it was lighter.

Bayonettes? Never left the arms room. They were as accountable as any of the other weapons. We were always concerned that the troops would look at them as a "souvenir".

#32 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 08:49 AM

Gil is spot on. Now that you have mastered the uniform get 2-3 of your best friends. Make them all privates or 2nd lieutenants. Then get a GP Small Tent and a camo system (nets and poles). Wait until a dark moonless night and then have them attempt to first put up the tent then net only using the red filters of your GI angle flashlights. For added fun find yourself Antenna Group OE-254/GRC which is worth hours of fun watching your friends try to erect it.

Now if you get bored with this go out and get a full NBC suit set with gloves and the floppy over boots. Once a month put all of it on and wear it for 8 hours while attempting to do your daily routine. Try taking on the phone or the radio, it's a riot!

Hopefully everyone knows this is all tongue and cheek but has a seed of truth from my experiences in the 1980s-90s Army of Excellence.

Edited by ehrentitle, 22 March 2009 - 08:51 AM.


#33 msgt norway

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:00 AM

my attempt was the change from the 60s to 1970s.
i can also do a 1980-90 picture,but i dont have m65 jacket yet...
i gues the m65 jacket was more in use than the gore tex?

also looking for a od mopp suit in large regular
and five buckle rubber boots size 9 or 10.

cheers ken

#34 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:14 AM

my attempt was the change from the 60s to 1970s.
i can also do a 1980-90 picture,but i dont have m65 jacket yet...
i gues the m65 jacket was more in use than the gore tex?

also looking for a od mopp suit in large regular
and five buckle rubber boots size 9 or 10.

cheers ken


When I was in Hanau in 1989-91 the Gortex jacket was not yet issued. Most officers and some of the NCOs had purchased the Gortex Jackets at clothing sales and some had been been issued them in previous units stateside. Most soldiers were wearing the Camo M65 field jacket.

As Gil mentioned earlier we took the Soviet/Warsaw Pact NBC threat very seriously and rehearsed frequently. Each of my platoons had designated NBC teams which set up chemical agent monitors and had chemical test kits in the field. We had a mix on OD and Camo training MOPP suits if memory serves. In my NBC room I had two additional suits for each soldier for wartime that were still sealed in their bags as well as sets of replacement filters for the NBC mask. The filters in the masks were considered training filters and would not hold up to a live chemical agent. Especially after we had soldier using the mask carrier as a pillow in the field which sometimes caused the filters to get wet and soggy and ineffective. There was also a green tape that most applied around one arm of the NBC suit. If a liquid agent touched it would change color to indicate the type of agent.

Edited by ehrentitle, 22 March 2009 - 09:15 AM.


#35 72newport

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:19 AM

When I was in Hanau in 1989-91 the Gortex jacket was not yet issued. Most officers and some of the NCOs had purchased the Gortex Jackets at clothing sales and some had been been issued them in previous units stateside. Most soldiers were wearing the Camo M65 field jacket.

As Gil mentioned earlier we took the Soviet/Warsaw Pact NBC threat very seriously and rehearsed frequently. Each of my platoons had designated NBC teams which set up chemical agent monitors and had chemical test kits in the field. We had a mix on OD and Camo training MOPP suits if memory serves. In my NBC room I had two additional suits for each soldier for wartime that were still sealed in their bags as well as sets of replacement filters for the NBC mask. The filters in the masks were considered training filters and would not hold up to a live chemical agent. Especially after we had soldier using the mask carrier as a pillow in the field which sometimes caused the filters to get wet and soggy and ineffective. There was also a green tape that most applied around one arm of the NBC suit. If a liquid agent touched it would change color to indicate the type of agent.

Same thing here Ehrentitle,
All our MOPP suits were OD and I remember the green tape, the Gore Tex were worn only by folks who private purchased them and were not issued yet if I remember..

#36 msgt norway

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:23 AM

anyone have a large regular woodland m65 jacket they want
to trade in a brand new dpm royal marines windproof jacket?

ken :)

#37 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:31 AM

Here is a good representative photo. I took it when I was a Battalion S-3 at the MOUT site at Hohenfels, Germany in around 1990-91. We were doing company Army Training & Evaluation Program (ARTEP) evaluations. On the back right is the Battalion XO wearing the Gortex jacket. To the left of him is one of my evaluators wearing MOPP II, notice the hand held radio headset clipped to his LBE. He also has a snap link hooked to his ammo pouch. These were generally used to hook the black issue gloves to so they don't get lost . The individual on the left is from the evaluated unit and he is wearing the MOPP II with LBE and MILES gear over the top. To the left is an M60 Machine Gun position and you can also see an M16 with the red blank firing adapter.

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  • MOUT_Site_Hohenfels.jpg

Edited by ehrentitle, 22 March 2009 - 09:57 AM.


#38 msgt norway

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:34 AM

Dead link

edited 2/9/2018

dwiv

 


cheers ken


Edited by doinworkinvans, 09 February 2018 - 11:36 AM.


#39 msgt norway

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:35 AM

red blank firing adapter for m16 also wanted :)

ken

#40 D.A.T.

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 09:42 AM

Damn, I am old, all we had was our grunt gas masks and were told to use our ponchos. I'm trying to remember if we had gasmasks in our M60A1 tanks, probably did, but only used it in A.I.T. at Fort Knox if at all.

Dead link

edited 2/9/2018

dwiv

 

And the 5 buckle galoshes, constant companions. :D


Edited by doinworkinvans, 09 February 2018 - 11:37 AM.


#41 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 10:05 AM

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t185/norge_2007/usmcbarfrost.jpg
cheers ken


Ken - A great set of photos. In the last one you even appears to wear wearing the Gortex pants and the leg strap on the protective mask is actually fastened. If you don't have the strap in place the mask tends to flop up and down when walking fast or running. I see you have the flashlight on the pistol belt. It can be worn this way, but the first time you flop into the prone position it will dig into your thigh or worse. It's normally worn below the first aid pouch on the LBE strap. That makes for easy access and hands free use when holding a map.

#42 msgt norway

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:20 AM

us marine on guard :)

 

Dead link

edited 2/9/2018

dwiv

 

cheers ken


Edited by doinworkinvans, 09 February 2018 - 11:37 AM.


#43 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:23 AM

my attempt was the change from the 60s to 1970s.
i can also do a 1980-90 picture,but i dont have m65 jacket yet...
i gues the m65 jacket was more in use than the gore tex?

also looking for a od mopp suit in large regular
and five buckle rubber boots size 9 or 10.

cheers ken


If you are doing the mid to late 80s or the 90s the rubber boots you should be looking for the green ones with three loops and button fasteners rather than the older black ones with buckles. As I recall you got the size larger than your normal boot size. These can also be worn with the MOPP suit instead of the black floppy overboots.

#44 msgt norway

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:37 AM

yes i have the green ones,rigth under the law

 

 

Dead link

edited 2/9/2018

dwiv

 


just wanted the old5buckle boots for my collection ;)

ken :)


Edited by doinworkinvans, 09 February 2018 - 11:37 AM.


#45 gwb123

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:50 AM

If I recall correctly, (and it has been awhile) at least with the early versions of those green rubber boots the buttons had a tendancy to pop off. Then again, they were probably easier to button up, especially if you were under chemical attack. I had a set of black rubber 5 buckle ones from 1980 to 1983, and they were quite fine for the snow environment.

I also had a pair of private purchase German Army boots made for the winter. The have a heavy wool lining, and big knobby treads on the soles. As impressive as they look, I found that wool made my feet sweat, and running around in wet socks was a bad, bad idea in the winter. I still have them somewhere.

#46 ehrentitle

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 11:50 AM

yes i have the green ones,rigth under the law
just wanted the old5buckle boots for my collection ;)

ken :)


Wow, looks like you got a regular GI supply room worth of kit that any supply sergeant would be proud of. Here is a 1995 Black and White Army photo of the Camo MOPP suit being in MOPP IV with the hood on the protective mask. To the left are the MOPP suit and gloves sealed in their original containers.

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  • CamoNBCSuit.jpg


#47 Steve B.

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:03 PM

Ken looks just like we did when I was in Germany in 1975-1978, except our VB boots were black.

We didn't use the parka much unless you were sitting in a track, on guard duty, etc. They were too warm and too restrictive if doing much movement on foot.

I had the dubious honor of driving a Gamma Goat from Ayers Kaserne (AKA The Rock) i Kirch-Goens to Hohenfels. One of the longest days of my life....

I'm trying to post some photos, but am having trouble. I'll keep trying though...

#48 msgt norway

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 12:06 PM

dont want to brag :blush: but heres the rest of my supply room.

 

Dead link

edited 2/9/2018

dwiv

 

not easy to collect us military gear when you live above the arctic circle in norway.
afther the us forces stopped training in norway it have been worse to gett us gear
il have to use ebay and trade and buy with people on this extreme good forum for usa collectores 

cheers ken


Edited by doinworkinvans, 09 February 2018 - 11:37 AM.


#49 BEAST

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 02:30 PM

If I recall correctly, (and it has been awhile) at least with the early versions of those green rubber boots the buttons had a tendancy to pop off. Then again, they were probably easier to button up, especially if you were under chemical attack. I had a set of black rubber 5 buckle ones from 1980 to 1983, and they were quite fine for the snow environment.

I also had a pair of private purchase German Army boots made for the winter. The have a heavy wool lining, and big knobby treads on the soles. As impressive as they look, I found that wool made my feet sweat, and running around in wet socks was a bad, bad idea in the winter. I still have them somewhere.


I didn't like the green rubber boots either and usually wore the black ones when I could get away with it. In the field, more often than not, I didn't wear either boot since I wore Danners or Matterhorn boots with thinsulate linings. Always caught grief in garrision for not presenting a uniform look when I didn't wear the rubber boots when it was required.

#50 T-Bone

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Posted 22 March 2009 - 02:38 PM

anyone have a large regular woodland m65 jacket they want
to trade in a brand new dpm royal marines windproof jacket?

ken :)


PM me a reminder and I can find you one, overboots also probably.

Timo

T-Bone


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