Jump to content

Show some imagination.....please!


Recommended Posts

I'm a regular show-goer here in the UK. In fact, I've just returned from "Fortress Wales 2012", a very pleasant, multi-period living history event set against the spectacular backdrop of Caldicot Castle. (I'll post some pics when I've edited them) American subjects were very well represented ranging from The Wild West > Civil War > WW2 > Vietnam War. The various campsites were very well set out...plenty of attention to detail etc...but here comes my plea. Why can't WW2 re-enactors see beyond the 101st Airborne?! Seems that virtually every show I attend is over-populated with wannabe paratroopers ranging in age from 10 > 70!! Are we still in the grips of "Band of Brothers" fever?! Is it down to the convenient "off the shelf" availability of almost everything you need to dress up as a D-Day paratrooper? I looked closely at the various "Screamin' Eagles" and can confidently say that probably 90% of their gear is repro...everything from their jumpsuits to their M1s. Looks ok from a distance but won't stand close inspection.

 

I felt/feel like saying "There was more to the US Army in WW2 than paratroopers!" Where are the armored troops...the regular infantry...medic detachments...artillerymen...signals etc. I could go on, but you catch my drift? I don't know about the reenacting scene in the US, but I daresay the airborne is probably at risk of becoming over-represented there too? So, come on guys...a little more originality...please? Thank you! :thumbsup:

Link to post
Share on other sites
Kinda like the wicked witch at Halloween.......

 

 

Yeah...I wouldn't mind if some of 'em "melted away" too! :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to disparage anyone by any means, but that is the fruit of a massively successful television series. For me, one who has a passing interest in the BoB from a collector's perspective, my eyes will dull-over with every post that is made here with more paratrooper militaria. 101st and 82nd (and other airborne) unit-themed posts tend to dominate all the rest. I don't mind that as I do realize that with the popularity of the series, it is bound to happen. When the Pacific debuted, we saw an upsurge in USMC garb. It is just the way it goes.

 

Why wouldn't we see that trickle down to re-enactors? In the early '90s, everything was Civil War - with Ken Burns hugely successful PBS series.

 

I just go with the flow. To me, it makes collecting fun and exposes me to other areas of U.S. History that I wouldn't normally take more than a passing glance at.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Not to disparage anyone by any means, but that is the fruit of a massively successful television series. For me, one who has a passing interest in the BoB from a collector's perspective, my eyes will dull-over with every post that is made here with more paratrooper militaria. 101st and 82nd (and other airborne) unit-themed posts tend to dominate all the rest. I don't mind that as I do realize that with the popularity of the series, it is bound to happen. When the Pacific debuted, we saw an upsurge in USMC garb. It is just the way it goes.

 

Why wouldn't we see that trickle down to re-enactors? In the early '90s, everything was Civil War - with Ken Burns hugely successful PBS series.

 

I just go with the flow. To me, it makes collecting fun and exposes me to other areas of U.S. History that I wouldn't normally take more than a passing glance at.

 

I hear what you say, but many years have elapsed since SPR and BoB first hit our screens. People can dress up as they want...but it does get a trifle monotonous when the world and his wife seem to be doing airborne impressions. I suppose the regular "leg" units aren't considered cool enough? That said, the 29th is always very well represented too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
willysmb44

There is one good point someone made at an event last year when i brought this up. He asked how many of these people wouldn't be in the hobby at all if it wasn't for BoB. I had to agree he could be right about that.

We didn't see nearly the 'upsurge' in USMC from "The Pacific" that everyone forecasted there would be. I think people need to come to terms with the fact that PTO will never be all that popular for re-enactors.

All that said, I was into AB back when few people were doing it, and as soon as it became "AB v/s the Axis" I put away my AB stuff and mostly focus on my War Correspondent and Ordnance officer impressions now...

Link to post
Share on other sites
I hear what you say, but many years have elapsed since SPR and BoB first hit our screens. People can dress up as they want...but it does get a trifle monotonous when the world and his wife seem to be doing airborne impressions. I suppose the regular "leg" units aren't considered cool enough? That said, the 29th is always very well represented too.

 

 

Imagine my turned-up nose when I immediately (and unsuccessfully) check for anyone doing naval impressions. I have only seen one (Civil War-navy officer) in the 20 plus years of visiting the various shows/re-enactments.

 

The navy is the ultimate in un-cool.

Link to post
Share on other sites
2ndInf.Div.
I'm a regular show-goer here in the UK. In fact, I've just returned from "Fortress Wales 2012", a very pleasant, multi-period living history event set against the spectacular backdrop of Caldicot Castle. (I'll post some pics when I've edited them) American subjects were very well represented ranging from The Wild West > Civil War > WW2 > Vietnam War. The various campsites were very well set out...plenty of attention to detail etc...but here comes my plea. Why can't WW2 re-enactors see beyond the 101st Airborne?! Seems that virtually every show I attend is over-populated with wannabe paratroopers ranging in age from 10 > 70!! Are we still in the grips of "Band of Brothers" fever?! Is it down to the convenient "off the shelf" availability of almost everything you need to dress up as a D-Day paratrooper? I looked closely at the various "Screamin' Eagles" and can confidently say that probably 90% of their gear is repro...everything from their jumpsuits to their M1s. Looks ok from a distance but won't stand close inspection.

 

I felt/feel like saying "There was more to the US Army in WW2 than paratroopers!" Where are the armored troops...the regular infantry...medic detachments...artillerymen...signals etc. I could go on, but you catch my drift? I don't know about the reenacting scene in the US, but I daresay the airborne is probably at risk of becoming over-represented there too? So, come on guys...a little more originality...please? Thank you! :thumbsup:

 

That is most certainly the trend here as well. Everyone wants to portray the Airborne, Rangers, etc. rather than the standard infantry soldier. I personally find the infantry aspect to be more fun to learn about, and the fact there were more of them than Airborne. It's the same way with German reenacting, but this time even worse. Can you guess it? SS. I can understand a handful of SS reenactors, but when I see that they make up the majority of German reenactors I just don't get it, and it's hard to understand why so many want to portray the SS. I am going to start my WWII GI impression sometime, but when I do it will be infantry. I respect the fact that people want to honor the 101st, but there should be no reason that they outnumber the infantry. Just my 2 cents.

Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm a regular show-goer here in the UK. In fact, I've just returned from "Fortress Wales 2012", a very pleasant, multi-period living history event set against the spectacular backdrop of Caldicot Castle. (I'll post some pics when I've edited them) American subjects were very well represented ranging from The Wild West > Civil War > WW2 > Vietnam War. The various campsites were very well set out...plenty of attention to detail etc...but here comes my plea. Why can't WW2 re-enactors see beyond the 101st Airborne?! Seems that virtually every show I attend is over-populated with wannabe paratroopers ranging in age from 10 > 70!! Are we still in the grips of "Band of Brothers" fever?! Is it down to the convenient "off the shelf" availability of almost everything you need to dress up as a D-Day paratrooper? I looked closely at the various "Screamin' Eagles" and can confidently say that probably 90% of their gear is repro...everything from their jumpsuits to their M1s. Looks ok from a distance but won't stand close inspection.

 

I felt/feel like saying "There was more to the US Army in WW2 than paratroopers!" Where are the armored troops...the regular infantry...medic detachments...artillerymen...signals etc. I could go on, but you catch my drift? I don't know about the reenacting scene in the US, but I daresay the airborne is probably at risk of becoming over-represented there too? So, come on guys...a little more originality...please? Thank you! :thumbsup:

 

 

While we do our fair share of the American Airborne in Normandy and pre-Jump and have actually done so in the last few weeks,

 

DSCF5645-1.jpg

 

DSCF5632.jpg

 

I would like to think our gang can do just about every unit in equal amounts, including Armoured.

 

I agree, far too many Paratrooper groups and individuals out there, but they are free to do as they please and at the standard they have chosen for themselves. It has made us think is it worth carrying on with a unit impression you started doing well before Bob and SPR! Now while it has indeed cut our impression time down in regards to representing the 101st, the now common site of a 101st reenacter has just made it more important for us to represent the fine American WWII Airborne Division just that little bit better.

 

Now Sabre if free on the weekend of 19/20 May pop along to the Bunker Bash event in Essex and you will see the same guys you see above doing Airborne in the distictive Frogskins Army Camo of the 41st Armoured Infantry Regiment, 2nd Armoured Division and a month later in Northampton they will again change to the 4th Cav Recon Troop.

 

It may be a case of some individuals and groups doing the same impression for too long, they then start to think it is all real, thats when it gets a little scary and frankly boring!

 

But each to there own.

 

Kind Regards to all

 

Lee

FAAA

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why we started doing ground crew, we portray Army air force, Navy and Marines ALL ground crews!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Baker

As soon as I can afford that Sherman, you WILL see more armored...... ;)

Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Lee. I consider your group to be "professionals", if you will. Re-enactors of the highest order who do it "by the book" with absolute attention to detail. I'm more concerned about the "casuals" who just dress up as paratroopers with no real semblance of order. To them it's just a "cool pose"...know what I mean? I think it boils down to the availability of (relatively) cheap Jump-suits in all sizes and fits. Today I saw kids of no more than 10-12 years of age wandering around in full gear and, at the other end of the scale, gentlemen of "mature" age and "generous" physique. I'm sure you know what I'm referring to? It's become a cliche!

 

Ian :thumbsup:

Link to post
Share on other sites
2ndInf.Div.

Out of curiosity, was everything their mostly US? To me it seems rather odd that there would be more US than UK reenactors over there.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Out of curiosity, was everything their mostly US? To me it seems rather odd that there would be more US than UK reenactors over there.

 

 

US is very big over here. At this particular show there was a big ACW display...Wild West (very well done)...VN...various WW2 US displays...plus British Army...Soviets...Germans and Medieval Knights and archers. A full range of living history groups.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.