Jump to content

What are some things that reenactors can do to be more authentic?


Recommended Posts

Any Ideas? Care to show us your impression? What are some tips for authenticity in WW2 reenacting / living history?

Link to post
Share on other sites

learn to talk like people did back in the 40's

 

just like in the old WWII movies, they always had a few guys with New Yorker accents or from the Bronx, Brooklyn, etc

 

or the Texan mid westerner

 

other regional accents

Link to post
Share on other sites

quote- Carry lots of chewing gum in your pockets....

 

Kids will love it...

 

 

We once did a public battle in an urban inviroment and when we were all done

all the kids that had been watching made a mad dash and started scooping up all the spent brass that they could get off of the ground. It looked like sombody had busted open a pinata, but instead of candy it was shell casings. w00t.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great Ideas guys! Gum and hair are definatly suggestions that you really don't see to often. People generaly think that in order to be an "authentic looking" G.I. that you must sport the modern "high and tight" hair cut. Most pictures I have seen show soldiers with hair that is long on the top, greased back and tapered on the back and sides. Here are some of my pet peeves:

 

Modern Glasses (there are tons of pairs of original 40's styles frames out there)

Modern green or brown surplus army t-shirts (these shirts were not issued or worn untill the 1960's)

Not dubbing brand new boots (aside from the fact that they need to be waterproofed all soldiers were required to have their boots dubbed)

Modern or incorrect wrist watches (get a decent reproduction that does not say quartz on the face)

Being way to clean and pressed! (when doing a field combat impression)

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites
Great Ideas guys! Gum and hair are definatly suggestions that you really don't see to often. People generaly think that in order to be an "authentic looking" G.I. that you must sport the modern "high and tight" hair cut. Most pictures I have seen show soldiers with hair that is long on the top, greased back and tapered on the back and sides. Here are some of my pet peeves:

 

Modern Glasses (there are tons of pairs of original 40's styles frames out there)

Modern green or brown surplus army t-shirts (these shirts were not issued or worn untill the 1960's)

Not dubbing brand new boots (aside from the fact that they need to be waterproofed all soldiers were required to have their boots dubbed)

Modern or incorrect wrist watches (get a decent reproduction that does not say quartz on the face)

Being way to clean and pressed! (when doing a field combat impression)

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

 

 

All of those things you stated I couldnt agree with more.

One of the ones that I hate to see most of all are the fugly french boots. evilgrin.gif

I hate those worst of all!

Link to post
Share on other sites

And leave your cell phones at home!

Patton didn't grab his gsm or cell phone to send forward his 2nd Armored Division.

 

When you want to drink a Coke, use a glass bottle and not a can!

 

Remove the bayonet lug from your carbine.

 

Cover your Frosties or whatever you eat with a ration box or something.

 

And if you have a jeep, make it look like a jeep and not like a Christmas tree.

 

Erwin.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Johan Willaert

And a BIG!!! Don't......

 

Don't start smoking just because they did in the 40's.....

 

Although probably 9 out of 10 GI's smoked Luckies or Camels during WW2, that's something you do NOT NEED to re-enact...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some pictures of my friends portraying U.S. Army during the campaign for "Kwajalein Atoll" Marshall Islands.

 

http://home.comcast.net/~2ndsquad/whitehall5-07.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~2ndsquad/whitehall2-07.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~2ndsquad/photogal...tehall34-07.jpg

http://home.comcast.net/~2ndsquad/whitehall23-07.jpg

 

What do you think of their impressions?

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites

nice dog, what breed is it? didnt the Marines use Dobermans in the Pacific to help find Japanese hiding in spider holes?

 

I read that Dobermans were trained not to bark, they were trained to growl slightly when they found the enemy and the dog handler could feel the dog's throat to tell if he found something.

Link to post
Share on other sites
nice dog, what breed is it? didnt the Marines use Dobermans in the Pacific to help find Japanese hiding in spider holes?

 

I read that Dobermans were trained not to bark, they were trained to growl slightly when they found the enemy and the dog handler could feel the dog's throat to tell if he found something.

 

Yes. Labrador retrievers were used in the pacific. They were used for search and rescue, scouting, and mine detection. There are several books that show case this. Attached you will find a picture of a dog handler and his black lab who may be Marine with a black lab, but I could be wrong. I also know that the 77th ID used Labrador Retrievers. The second pic I posted is a black lab with Merrill's Marauders in 1944, just before they crossed the Burmese River.

post-1116-1200615925.jpg post-1116-1200617007.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
surplus sammy

Have dirt on your gear !

Why so clean ?

Wars a dirty business.

I was going to say be a stoner for the late 60's period guys,

but thats probably going a bit far.............. thumbdown.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

HI All,

I think that all re-enactors who re-enact combat arms should learn to fire their weapons (wherever practical) LIVE! Far too many living historians have no idea of how to shoot, safe weapons handling, and just what they and their arms are capable of. I think that if more re-enactors would take up the challenge of small arms marksmanship, we'd have far fewer incidents of "I got you!"

T. Bowers

Link to post
Share on other sites
(Snipped)

Modern or incorrect wrist watches (get a decent reproduction that does not say quartz on the face)

 

FWIW, Hamilton makes a watch called the "Khaki" which is quite authentic. It is made in both quartz and good old "windup" versions. As we wear much larger watches today than they did in the 40's, the correct size to imitate WWII watches is their 28mm "women's" watch. Being a Christmas present, mine is quartz and the slightly larger 33mm "unisex" version. Next to my original AAF A-11 watch, you can see it is larger. At normal viewing distances, however, no one would really notice the difference. If I had to do it over again, though, I would have gone for the 28mm woman's watch with wind-up movement.

 

Being a Hamilton, retail prices are not cheap. However, you get what you pay for. I can also recommend Princeton Watches www.princetonwatches.com as a good source.

 

Tom thumbsup.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites
FWIW, Hamilton makes a watch called the "Khaki" which is quite authentic. It is made in both quartz and good old "windup" versions. As we wear much larger watches today than they did in the 40's, the correct size to imitate WWII watches is their 28mm "women's" watch. Being a Christmas present, mine is quartz and the slightly larger 33mm "unisex" version. Next to my original AAF A-11 watch, you can see it is larger. At normal viewing distances, however, no one would really notice the difference. If I had to do it over again, though, I would have gone for the 28mm woman's watch with wind-up movement.

 

Being a Hamilton, retail prices are not cheap. However, you get what you pay for. I can also recommend Princeton Watches www.princetonwatches.com as a good source.

 

Tom thumbsup.gif

 

Also if you are looking for a good civilian style reproduction. Get the Gruen "Curvex". It is a dead on repro of their square faced watch that was produced from the late 30's to mid 40's. You can get it at your local Value City for $20 bucks!

 

Mike

Link to post
Share on other sites
Have dirt on your gear !

Why so clean ?

Wars a dirty business.

I was going to say be a stoner for the late 60's period guys,

but thats probably going a bit far.............. thumbdown.gif

 

Actually... I had a friend who did a "Rolling Stone" Combat Photographer impression with one of the Texas Vietnam reenactor groups. He had the hair, love beads, peace signs, cut off Jungle Fatigues, etc. Even had his own patch made up! He didn't have an M-16 to lug around in the woods, but he did have a 35mm camera, and the reenactors wanted pictures anyway. I am not sure how "factual" this was, but think Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now!

Combat_Photo_2.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Evening Dogfaces!

 

What can living historians do to be more authentic??...hmmm...

 

This is a VERY good question. First things first, the individual has to be committed right off the back to being authentic. If he doesn't want it he'll never have it. Its a fact. The individual has to be set and determined to apply himself to his impression. What I mean by apply is.. he has to sit down and do his research. I mean to the inth degree to a point where if an individual just rambled off some quick question about his unit or just some subject during the Second World War he can either answer correctly or answer to the best of his knowledge or if its an opinion type question he can give an educated opinion.

 

A quote I use with my guys is.. "There is no excuse to be unauthentic in World War II reenacting. It is too highly documented.

 

Its true, the Second World War is incredibly documented there are tons of sources for the individual to research and properly put together very authentic impression.

 

Another thing is for units out there to police up what the individuals can carry... i.e. NO Souvenirs at events. The average GI would have left those types of items in the rear. The "cool" items must be left out of it till like living histories where their better suited. In a tactical setting they look ridiculous and gaudy but, in a living history display they can be displayed and the individual can not only share with the public what they are but, also educate the public that they are NOT American "issued" items.

 

As to the size issue... I mean the unit could adopt a physical fitness program like our unit has done. It only helps the unit as whole to be more healthy and be physically fit for rough cross country running and maneuvering. However, not everyone can be slim, in most cases its due to medical issues. However, this is another area where like in research if the individual wants to go there they'd have to REALLY commit themselves. I say that mainly because in the long run it'll benefit them.

 

These are the largest concerns I see in World War II reenacting....

 

Kind Regards,

FRISCAN

Link to post
Share on other sites

if you must have a tattoo, make sure it looks 1940's

 

no tribal arm bands or half sleeves or anything like that

 

only old sailor tats / military related

Link to post
Share on other sites
if you must have a tattoo, make sure it looks 1940's

 

no tribal arm bands or half sleeves or anything like that

 

only old sailor tats / military related

 

Exactly! No modern tats! I have 2 Sailor Jerry vintage tattoos. They work especialy great when I do my Navy CB impression!

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Great topic, guys! Some excellent answers here -

 

My vote, only referring to US reenactors, is to nix all external blank adapting devices - tap your barrels!! You spend, with weapon, close to $1000 on uniform and gear and most guys look just great and then they ruin it with some huge red thing on the end of your carbine or an extra two inches on the end of an M1. Its not that much more expensive to buy a rat barrel and have it tapped. You shoot live once in awhile any gunsmith can change it out for a nominal fee - You shoot live every weekend, buy yourself another rifle exclusively for shooting.

 

Another more minor pet peeve I haven't seem mentioned here is too many guys, to my mind, wearing Mackinaws - From what I see in original photos, you just don't see them being worn that much, especially in line outfits. I saw a photo from this last Gap and saw one unit of 8 or 10 guys and more than half had on Mackinaws.

 

To just second some other posts I have seen here - I agree heartily with losing weight, wearing original glasses and watches -

 

Thanks for reading, best to all!

 

Bill K.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Labrador retrievers were used in the pacific. They were used for search and rescue, scouting, and mine detection. There are several books that show case this.

This is my personal Labrador Retriever-reenactor :D

post-75-1202379671.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
Great topic, guys! Some excellent answers here -

 

My vote, only referring to US reenactors, is to nix all external blank adapting devices - tap your barrels!! You spend, with weapon, close to $1000 on uniform and gear and most guys look just great and then they ruin it with some huge red thing on the end of your carbine or an extra two inches on the end of an M1. Its not that much more expensive to buy a rat barrel and have it tapped. You shoot live once in awhile any gunsmith can change it out for a nominal fee - You shoot live every weekend, buy yourself another rifle exclusively for shooting.

 

Another more minor pet peeve I haven't seem mentioned here is too many guys, to my mind, wearing Mackinaws - From what I see in original photos, you just don't see them being worn that much, especially in line outfits. I saw a photo from this last Gap and saw one unit of 8 or 10 guys and more than half had on Mackinaws.

 

To just second some other posts I have seen here - I agree heartily with losing weight, wearing original glasses and watches -

 

Thanks for reading, best to all!

 

Bill K.

 

Destroying a WWII barrel so the blank adapter doesn't show is damn retarded. Unless they start making repro M1's to use, if I find out you tapped a vintage barrel I'm slapping you like Patton. Putting a 'rat barrel' on a vintage firearm is even a dumber idea.

 

Only carbines have an obtrusive blank adapter, because no one has made anything better. There are 'hollywood' Garand blank adapters that are parked and only add 9/16ths of an inch to a barrel. If you can see it from 10 feet then you are very, very good.

 

Stop using propane MGs.. now THAT I can get behind.

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.