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beyond the farb


hbtcoveralls

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Gotta prep myself for the teasing,but here it goes.My first actual re-enacting was with the S.C.A. and though it did not last long I drew one conclusion....it, as a hobby is some real researching and history minded,good re-enactors surrounded by the worst Farbs in the world,the up side is you can make absolutely everything,thus making it really inexpensive to do.From there I went to "buckskinning",pretty much the same there,though you need to purchase some stuff.1812,Rev and Civ....it's alot better,gun's swords and stuff more expensive.

Guess what I'm saying is...I hate the term "farb" makes us snobby,petty and damn pretentious.I would remind everyone that as far as I know,there was only one perfect person.....and look what the "farbs" did to him.

I call them farbs because I'm sure if some of Jesus' guards were to show up at a re-enactment they'd probably be gigged by some 400 lb Centurion who speaks modern latin and thinks he's the expert.As Dr. Nelson,a historan I respect and worked for once said, " The great thing about history is that once we know everything about an event,some new find changes it all.Then we get to learn it all over again."

It is after all a hobby and that means we need to enjoy it.....so do so and don't piss on my parade.We need to help the less learned to do it right and enjoy!

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  • 5 months later...
Dirt Detective

Since we like to tag guys wanting to have fun with names how about these?

I gotta add the E.O.E. Farb = Expert On Everything Farb

Geek Farb = Self explanatory.

:lol:

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Much of my web gear is original because it's less expensive than many repro's. I can piece together a web gear set in decent condition for less than purchasing all new repro stuff; I know because I have three or four sets of webgear ranging from all repro to all original. I use the original stuff because some of it's more authentic and because it's often pretty worn out already. I don't mind killing it since it's already in decent to poor shape. For example: I have three cartridge belts. One is a nice repro and I use it for USMC stuff (once) and the others are original. One is beat up that I used a loaner to new guys. Most of my canteens and canteen sets are original because they're easy to find. Same for e-tools and covers. Uniforms and boots are mostly repro. I use original 43 jackets and some orignal class a pieces but they don't get abused.

 

Most of my stuff just sits in the closet and most of the real nice original stuff is inside my footlockers and stays there.

 

Using original cartridge belts and suspenders is becoming harder to do because they're getting harder to find. As far as honoring the web gear because a KIA or War Hero might have used it is not my cup of tea. I honor them for their deeds and I like seeing their original uniforms and gear. For all I know a homicidal deserter wore some of the field gear I use. Unless something has provenance then I use it as i see fit. By the time it's truly rare, I'll be dead and the kids will be collecting my era's uniforms and gear in the same way....actually they already are.

 

Rock

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There is No excuse for farb .

 

If you are going to do it ....

 

 

Do it to right .

 

Farb impressions should be shown the door .

Unit leaders are to blame.... on one else .

A leader who has low standards is a bad leader .

 

owen

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
There is No excuse for farb .

 

If you are going to do it ....

Do it to right .

 

Farb impressions should be shown the door .

Unit leaders are to blame.... on one else .

A leader who has low standards is a bad leader .

 

owen

 

Look good, act like civilians FARB- This is my pet peeve. Guys put together units and place strict uniform standards but then show up to a battle reenactment and can't act like soldiers, hold a formation, march, and certainly don't have tactics like soldiers. The intensity, professionalism, and fighting spirit of soldiers falls on deaf ears for many reenactors.

 

Authentic WWII Jeep $15,000

Stitch Nazi uniform standards $2500

Original M-1 Rifle $2500

Peripherals $500

Getting to the battle in style $400

 

Not knowing that you step off with your left foot when marching--PRICELESS

 

Rock

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo

Movie FARB-

 

Guys that yell at the movie screen because the scrim in the helmets isn't authentic, or the uniforms have green, instead of brown buttons- then they go out with their perfect uniforms but act like lost civilians in the field. Or they spout movie lines and give Band of Brothers impressions. They can give historic examples of how and what happened because they saw it reenacted in some movie.

 

I had one real soup-sandwich that would't press his uniforms or take a shower. He spouted movie lines from memory and thought he was funny. He quoted the book by Jake McNeice, saying that he doesn't need to be clean and the "Filthy 13" is proof of that. He conveniently ignores all the pictures of Jake in class a's all cleaned up and in a pressed uniform.

 

Rock

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I have been watching this post for several days. Since I am new to this forum , I figure I can put my 2 cents worth in and still be jump on for being new.

I started reenacting back when reenacting used original gear, uniforms, rifles, everything as it was cheep war surplus prices. Got out during my Army days back during Nam. Started getting the itch again during the 1980's with Black Powder Buck skinning. Tanned my own hides made my own shirts, breeches , hand forged knives , ect. In 1990 got into CW , have served as a private in Dismounted, Infantry , Artillery units over the years. In 1995 got fed up with the bs in that unit and formed my own infantry unit Co E 25th Ala Infantry, researched every thing I could find have pictures of men in uniform that was issued to them , we were a Hard Core Unit, if you can't carry it you don't need it unit. I drilled the guys in battle formations, had drills 6 times a yr went to any where from a event a month to 3 events each month. We camped under the stars , rain, snow , no tents, coolers,ect.

I had health problems in 2000 that forced me to op out as Captain of the unit and since I have seen it go from a crack infantry unit to a group of guys that will not drill, cant do basic battle formations all they want to do is sit around and act like a bunch of farb's.

So with that said no my 2 cents worth

Use as accurate as you can afford from good company's that have been in business for a long time, buy surplus when you can , but most of all put petty uniforms crap aside and enjoy the hobbies for what they are , Respect of our fathers for what they did to serve this country. With that said , I am getting into WW2 reenacting and will get my gear as I can as I can spend the $ so, if I show up at an event and look farby a few times get over it soldier you were a recruit once too.

With that said Fall In!!!!!!!!!!

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In line with pathfinder505 and speaking as a collector and not as a reenactor, it pains me to see authentic equipment being used in a reenacment where it can be potentially damaged. Yes, I know it's combat gear but, it's also nearly 70 years old if it's a WWII impression. Stick with the "quality" reproductions for reenacting. Heck, if one of you airborne reenactors has an original helmet, I'll buy you "two" repro helmets to replace it. I know, I know, I'm just a great guy sacrificing & trying to help out you reenactors. :rolleyes:

 

 

That is me too.... I think it is call real-phobic-farb, the reenactor that has a phobia of recking his real and sweet stuff! :ermm:

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Much of my web gear is original because it's less expensive than many repro's. I can piece together a web gear set in decent condition for less than purchasing all new repro stuff; I know because I have three or four sets of webgear ranging from all repro to all original. I use the original stuff because some of it's more authentic and because it's often pretty worn out already. I don't mind killing it since it's already in decent to poor shape. For example: I have three cartridge belts. One is a nice repro and I use it for USMC stuff (once) and the others are original. One is beat up that I used a loaner to new guys. Most of my canteens and canteen sets are original because they're easy to find. Same for e-tools and covers. Uniforms and boots are mostly repro. I use original 43 jackets and some orignal class a pieces but they don't get abused.

 

Most of my stuff just sits in the closet and most of the real nice original stuff is inside my footlockers and stays there.

 

Using original cartridge belts and suspenders is becoming harder to do because they're getting harder to find. As far as honoring the web gear because a KIA or War Hero might have used it is not my cup of tea. I honor them for their deeds and I like seeing their original uniforms and gear. For all I know a homicidal deserter wore some of the field gear I use. Unless something has provenance then I use it as i see fit. By the time it's truly rare, I'll be dead and the kids will be collecting my era's uniforms and gear in the same way....actually they already are.

 

Rock

 

 

I will admit I use real ammo belts, have to... the repop stuff is ca-ca, same with bayonets, shovels and other durable items.....We made it to last and win a war, the Chises and Indians make it cheap and to last till it is sold! :pinch: :thumbdown:

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I remember wearing original WW1 uniforms and equipment too! Man that's why for my ground crew impression I have all repro unifoms as I don't want to either get grease and oil on another original or not be able to stencile on my rank.

 

Scott

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Farb-a-licious

 

1. (adj.) Those home made K Rations in really bad repop packaging.

 

2. (noun) That really cute partisan reenactor whose outfit isn't even close to being period clothing...

 

Don't mean to sound cheauvanist, but when you think about it, #2 really could be used by both male or female...

 

Wayne

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
Farb-a-licious

 

1. (adj.) Those home made K Rations in really bad repop packaging.

 

2. (noun) That really cute partisan reenactor whose outfit isn't even close to being period clothing...

 

Don't mean to sound cheauvanist, but when you think about it, #2 really could be used by both male or female...

 

Wayne

 

Don't forget the pop-top cans of libbys fruit, chef boy r e, or chunky soup.

 

Rock

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Do NOT forget Ft Mac is comming up in SO CAL in a couple of weeks

If you want to see some funnies walking around it is the place .

owen

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fraukriegbaum

.....Farbarella- Female personell portraying a male personell

 

What do you call then a man portraying/transformed to be a female personnel??? :think:

 

I know one like this. I saw him (now a she) at the last event i went to dressed-up (in uniform) as a woman.

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OK,

I have to chime in on this topic. Being a reenactor it always amazes me on what people/groups focus on in regards to what is authentic and what is not. I was at a recent event in which a friend of mine was told to fix something or else not participate. We spent Friday evening taking care of the issue. The next day at inspection there were at least three or four people that I could see around me that had the same problem (only much, much worse) and nothing was said. Also, a guy next to me had black boots (he was a WWII U.S. soldier) and nothing was said. Couple this with the fact that we had to wear bright orange wrist bands for identification...AT ALL TIMES! I just don't get it. I watched this organization yell about authentic standards and then make us wear bright orange wrist bands...

 

This was true at a Civil War event I attended years ago. The group stressed that everyone...EVERYONE...must have a "defarbed" rifle. If you did not have a defarbed rifle you would be asked to leave. NO EXCEPTIONS!!! (defarbing a rifle means removing current markings, replacing parts that are not quite right, etc.) Our group showed up with our "defarbed" rifles only to find that five individuals in the authentic host unit were wearing tennis shoes. Not black tennis shoes but white tennis shoes. We were told that our rifles barely passed inspection but they would let us stay this time. When we asked about the tennis shoes we were told that re-enacting was hard on the feet and that these people had jobs they had to go to on Monday. They couldn't be expected to work with blisters???

 

HUH???

 

About weight...I know our country is heavy-set due to our lifestyles. My suggestion is to start re-enacting and at the same time work on loosing the weight, thus improving your self and your impression (I understand that certain people have medical issues with weight loss...I am talking about the average person). I had done the "creep" over the last several years and over the winter I could not button my class A pants. I decided enough was enough. I got on a plan that was not expensive and did not kill me (I don't have to eat dirt twice a day, etc.) and I have lost twenty pounds. Not only do my clothes fit, I look younger and I feel great. I can run around a battlefield without panting. Your impression should be three-fold...uniform/equipment research, era research (including military life), and physical appearance (including hair and weight).

 

Thanks,

Steve

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LMAO reading these post. Started re-enacting in the early 80's and quit around 2000, mostly WWII US.

We had the "Ten Foot Rule", if it looked good at 10' you were ok........but black boots, no way for US WWII. Farbs to us were guys with long hair, those that did'nt know squat about Military History, turned out with 1956 gear ect.

It's all gotten POLITICAL, as ,"you are'nt in our group ",so we're going to bust your chops with Micky Mouse BS inspections or make sure you all don't get ANY trigger time!

nuf sed :D

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
OK,

I have to chime in on this topic. Being a reenactor it always amazes me on what people/groups focus on in regards to what is authentic and what is not. I was at a recent event in which a friend of mine was told to fix something or else not participate. We spent Friday evening taking care of the issue. The next day at inspection there were at least three or four people that I could see around me that had the same problem (only much, much worse) and nothing was said. Also, a guy next to me had black boots (he was a WWII U.S. soldier) and nothing was said. Couple this with the fact that we had to wear bright orange wrist bands for identification...AT ALL TIMES! I just don't get it. I watched this organization yell about authentic standards and then make us wear bright orange wrist bands...

 

This was true at a Civil War event I attended years ago. The group stressed that everyone...EVERYONE...must have a "defarbed" rifle. If you did not have a defarbed rifle you would be asked to leave. NO EXCEPTIONS!!! (defarbing a rifle means removing current markings, replacing parts that are not quite right, etc.) Our group showed up with our "defarbed" rifles only to find that five individuals in the authentic host unit were wearing tennis shoes. Not black tennis shoes but white tennis shoes. We were told that our rifles barely passed inspection but they would let us stay this time. When we asked about the tennis shoes we were told that re-enacting was hard on the feet and that these people had jobs they had to go to on Monday. They couldn't be expected to work with blisters???

 

HUH???

 

About weight...I know our country is heavy-set due to our lifestyles. My suggestion is to start re-enacting and at the same time work on loosing the weight, thus improving your self and your impression (I understand that certain people have medical issues with weight loss...I am talking about the average person). I had done the "creep" over the last several years and over the winter I could not button my class A pants. I decided enough was enough. I got on a plan that was not expensive and did not kill me (I don't have to eat dirt twice a day, etc.) and I have lost twenty pounds. Not only do my clothes fit, I look younger and I feel great. I can run around a battlefield without panting. Your impression should be three-fold...uniform/equipment research, era research (including military life), and physical appearance (including hair and weight).

 

Thanks,

Steve

 

I agree with pretty much everything here. In WWII reenacting I've rarely seen farb other than modern food, guys bringing computers out in the barracks etc. The one thing I'd add to your description is military bearing and tactics. You don't have to march around like toy soldiers, but at least learn to march decently. It only takes a half hour to learn.

 

Tactics are the life blood of the Infantry and one of the most ignored parts of reenacting. It's beyond me why guys will purchase vehicles, gear, uniforms, equipment, rations, shoe strings, foot lockers, class a's, bayonets- then they'll discuss which way the stitching should point, or the different shades of khaki, or what have you----> and they they'll get into the field and look like authentically lost civilians trying to maneuver on each other. It's pathetic and to a guy that was in the infantry can be confusing, then questioning, then disgust.

 

The disgust part comes when they start making excuses like:

 

"It's just reenacting"

"You're too serious"

"Just line up and shoot"

"I know infantry tactics, I read Band of Brothers"

"I know infantry tactics, I was in the Air Force"

"You don't have to know how to march in reenacting"

"Friends first"

"Guys won't come out if it isn't fun"

"When you become unit leader then you can run the unit how you want"

 

I've said it before and I'll keep on repeating it until I die regardless of the era or nomenclature; all good infantry formations, no matter how small could SHOOT, MOVE, and COMMUNICATE as a unit. This is the most important thing to a real soldier, not the weave of his web belt or color of his khaki.

 

Rock

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
LMAO reading these post. Started re-enacting in the early 80's and quit around 2000, mostly WWII US.

We had the "Ten Foot Rule", if it looked good at 10' you were ok........but black boots, no way for US WWII. Farbs to us were guys with long hair, those that did'nt know squat about Military History, turned out with 1956 gear ect.

It's all gotten POLITICAL, as ,"you are'nt in our group ",so we're going to bust your chops with Micky Mouse BS inspections or make sure you all don't get ANY trigger time!

nuf sed :D

 

Sadly, "Trigger Time" makes guys like they're truly reenacting. It's fine and dandy but some small units tried to avoid firing shots. Some critical small unit missions were only considered successful if a shot was not fired. The lost art of reconnoitering (Reconnaissance Patrol) takes a special individual and special patience to pull off. Battlefield intelligence saves lives and wins battles. I'd rather have a successful recon patrol that culminates in a swift, relatively bloodless reenactment battle than a bunch of shooting. Good tactics, once again.

 

Rock

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Sadly, "Trigger Time" makes guys like they're truly reenacting. It's fine and dandy but some small units tried to avoid firing shots. Some critical small unit missions were only considered successful if a shot was not fired. The lost art of reconnoitering (Reconnaissance Patrol) takes a special individual and special patience to pull off. Battlefield intelligence saves lives and wins battles. I'd rather have a successful recon patrol that culminates in a swift, relatively bloodless reenactment battle than a bunch of shooting. Good tactics, once again.

 

Rock

 

At the Camden Tactical in April, I was tasked to lead a section on a recon patrol to scout out the German camp and see if we could pick up any intel. We approached the encampment, but couldnt get too close as there were lanterns all over casting quite a bit of light in this encampment. We sat about as close as we dared, which was right at the front of the POVs parked, but weren't really close enough to hear much. One guy came out to his truck, not more than six feet from me, and never saw me until I gave him the Kommen sie hier routine. He came out, somewhat shocked, his buddies still smoking and joking about 30 feet away, blissfully unaware there were Paratroopers in their camp. by questioning one soldier, we found out the unit they were reenacting, how many troops they had, and what they were armed with. We let him go back to his buddies, and departed the area.

 

A simple patrol to teach movement techniques to people who had never done it before turned into a reconnaisance patrol, and we got some nice tidbits of info from the enemy. It WAS work. Moving quietly isnt as easy as it sounds, and its a damned sight harder at NIGHT. The guys with me that night were pretty impressed with what we'd done. The unit commander was impressed enough to make me a PFC after only one tactical with the unit.

 

It's been said over and over here... Dressing up like a soldier doesnt make you all knowledgeable about what it is to BE a soldier. If your unit has some veterans (combat or not diesnt matter... having the soldier experience DOES), make use of their knowledge. Most of all, if you havent been a soldier, take the time to learn. It's not that hard, and it makes everything else you do in reenacting easier.

 

Wayne

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Huuummmm, after reading the replys seems one thing has changed. Todays re-enactors are far more serious than 20 years ago. Not to say there were not units that had high standards and "turned out" looking good and their tactics reflected their "training".........but the bottom line was enjoying the battle. Being part of a group that hosted re-enactments at VA. Beach with landing craft and meals in a 1940's officers club complete with live entertainment(take off on the Andrews Sisters), overall "having a good time" was the rule.

Rest assured if a unit came and did not fire a shot , we heard about it.

Perhaps SPR and BoB has changed things?

Next year at the Gap go ask 10 guys at the flea market why they come, wanna bet these will be the answers?"To have a good time", "The flea market", "To see old friends","To shoot Krauts","To shoot GI's","To ride around in my vehicle", and hopefully,"To feel like what it was for the Veterans".

IMHO re-enacting is another form of entertainment as in,"escape" from real life , ala a "real" video game.

If one wants to get serious, join the service.

You can not expect civilians to assimlate into a "military unit" and expect them to perform like SOLDIERS.

Perhaps the best question to ask is, how many here have been involved with planning and hosting an event?

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Dirteater101

Well, this topic has take a rather vicious turn.....

 

I think I have met most of you in the midwest area a few times sometime during the 12 years I have been doing ww2.... I have seen a lot of groups, good and bad. Some authentic, others..... EEEkkkkk.....

I might be the source of a few of your bitches. Yes I am in the airforce (National guard, not that means anything anymore) And I do know infantry tactics. Being an SP and serving two combat tours in iraq with the army usually dose that though. But do I brag about it, hell no! Friends first. Not an excuse to commit unspeakable acts of farberisium, but a unit doctrine. If you cannot stand the man next to you, you will not come back. That dose not mean that you are automatically a farb.....

 

Some things that may help.

 

We are regularly in contact with the members of the actual unit we are portraying. They seem to like us. Even the Late great Don Briminstool said that we were like his children. Mentally deficient children, but kids none the less. The good thing about having such a close relationship with this group of vets is they are eager to see our unit photos and tell us what we are getting wrong. This has helped us out quite a bit. Removing things like jump knives, lanyards and leg ties. Crap they said they left in england or "lost" after the jump. And the irony of it all is that after we make these corrections, we still have the armchair historians or stitch nazis event organizers with hair trimmers, tell us we are wrong.......

 

Another thing that we all do that is extremely farby.....oh god you ready for this...... WE ARE USING BLANKS.... AND NOT IN EUROPE... and it is not the 1940's.... Everyone GETS BACK UP ONCE IT IS OVER!!!!

Than goes back to work on Monday.

At what point dose this cease to be a hobby that you enjoy and when dose it become a sick obsession? How far do you want to take it? What point are we all at? There is a point between yahoo in a bad uniform that is not even close to being authentic, who should be playing airsoft to the gut in an original uniform down to the underwear and socks and is worried that he dose not have the army issue vaccine scars.

 

Where do you fall?

 

What point is too far?

 

 

 

Yep, there is that soap box.....

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Amen brother Dirt!!

I have watched reenacting over the years (everything from my friends in middle school with toy guns in the 70's to the Torrance tacticals) and in that time been amused to no end by it.In life and reenacting I take a very light-hearted approach to it all,after all no one is shooting at me,my blood is not soaking into my bdu's and my best friends are not being turned into gruesome offal in front of my eyes.Rather puts everything into perspective.By all means take your impressions to the heights of your standards,it is after all your hobby! But please,please do not ridicule the 300 lb guy who has poured his heart,soul,money and research into his hobby,or the young guy, begging, borrowing and putting up with crap,who got fired-up by watching a movie or playing a game and wants to be a part of the hobby,but needs the gentle tutoring to do it right,nor the zealous female who has to do resistance because she is belittled for not wanting to be a nurse or whatever and grew up with the same war stories and movies and history we did and wants to join in the fun.

All most everyone I've met in this hobby is a truly nice person and I like them,but we all have our own farb and as my parents taught me....."if you can't say anything nice,don't say anything.",mayhaps then we can start making this hobby even more enjoyable and less hostile............

 

Dirt,give yourself a smile and remember that as the "authenticity" inspector was razzing you about your too green 43 dated canteen cover,that I was standing next to you giggling because he passed me while I was wearing a nam era helmet with a plastic liner,45 suspenders I modified to 36's,and he wanted to buy my "original" t-handle shovel cover made from a marine corps lower pack!

 

I leave you all with this final thought,paraphrased from my 13 yr. old daughter......Get over yourselves,lighten up and enjoy "our" hobby to your level!!!!!

 

 

Peace,out!

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
Well, this topic has take a rather vicious turn.....

 

I think I have met most of you in the midwest area a few times sometime during the 12 years I have been doing ww2.... I have seen a lot of groups, good and bad. Some authentic, others..... EEEkkkkk.....

I might be the source of a few of your bitches. Yes I am in the airforce (National guard, not that means anything anymore) And I do know infantry tactics. Being an SP and serving two combat tours in iraq with the army usually dose that though. But do I brag about it, hell no! Friends first. Not an excuse to commit unspeakable acts of farberisium, but a unit doctrine. If you cannot stand the man next to you, you will not come back. That dose not mean that you are automatically a farb.....

 

Some things that may help.

 

We are regularly in contact with the members of the actual unit we are portraying. They seem to like us. Even the Late great Don Briminstool said that we were like his children. Mentally deficient children, but kids none the less. The good thing about having such a close relationship with this group of vets is they are eager to see our unit photos and tell us what we are getting wrong. This has helped us out quite a bit. Removing things like jump knives, lanyards and leg ties. Crap they said they left in england or "lost" after the jump. And the irony of it all is that after we make these corrections, we still have the armchair historians or stitch nazis event organizers with hair trimmers, tell us we are wrong.......

 

Another thing that we all do that is extremely farby.....oh god you ready for this...... WE ARE USING BLANKS.... AND NOT IN EUROPE... and it is not the 1940's.... Everyone GETS BACK UP ONCE IT IS OVER!!!!

Than goes back to work on Monday.

At what point dose this cease to be a hobby that you enjoy and when dose it become a sick obsession? How far do you want to take it? What point are we all at? There is a point between yahoo in a bad uniform that is not even close to being authentic, who should be playing airsoft to the gut in an original uniform down to the underwear and socks and is worried that he dose not have the army issue vaccine scars.

 

Where do you fall?

 

What point is too far?

Yep, there is that soap box.....

 

Wasn't talking about all "Air Force" personnel. Some guys are SERE, PJ's and FAC's and SP's and must know their tactics. You guys are the exception rather than the rule. Reenacting has become semi-affordable so that nobody has to run around with a mixture of WWII, Vietnam and modern gear. Loaner gear is always available to new guys so there is no excuse for gear issues. What undewear a guy wears falls into the "who cares" category since it can't be seen.

 

Everyone knows that "reenacting isn't real combat". But all the Vets know that "your tactics aren't real" and that if you just wander around as small bands of individuals or act like you don't know what you're doing (because they don't) then it's dumb.

 

For me, WWII reenacting was fun and rewarding. As a kid WWII was fascinating and my hobby. To place on a uniforms, use real weapons and tactics and try to out-maneuver an enemy was real. There is no difference between that and training exercises in the Army. Each individual battle as it's own flow and often a different result depending upon skill, training and sometimes luck- just like real combat. In my experience, it doesn't take much more effort to teach guys to move and the squad leaders should learn basic leadership tactics so that they can lead properly and teach properly. Even if you lose an engagement to the Krauts, if you do the right things then you can place a serious hurt on them. That's all I ever asked of my guys. Do it reasonably realistic, do it right and do your best.

 

Sometimes I was rewarded until they decided that the Squad leaders don't need to be trained. The result was fractured unit cohesion, poor tactical decision making, and SL's running off with their buddies while the new guys wandered around lost on the battlefield, or sat in place for hours being bored and not being given the "poop". one of the most rewarding things about reenacting is the comeraderie. The esprit de corps rivaled the real thing, especially with real WWII vets being present most of the time. But with some of the individuals that were placed in leadership, they were destined for failure in the field. There is no war to lose, but there are battles to lose, and being over run over and over due to bad tactical decision making is demoralizing even to Reenactors- The same demoralization that happens in training if you get beat up by another unit.

 

As a former Paratrooper/Infantryman I have this ingrained will to WIN. I don't expect a squad of guys to kill an entire German Armored column every time but we can make them hurt real bad and victory can be gleaned from small successes. On the other hand, a poorly led squad can be brushed aside like ants and that's often what happens and it's not necessary and takes minimal training and some good leadership. Anyone that served in Combat Arms in any Armed Service will tell you that they are trained in an ultra-competetive environment with a strong emphasis on WINNING- losers on the battlefield are dead. You train like you will fight and visa versa.

 

Guys are often placed into leadership positions because of civilian-perception of their personality rather than their ability to lead in the field. The result is that the "POPULAR" and "FUN" guys get promoted regardless of their leadership potential. In my old unit only one of the SGT's had knowledge and he was the PSG. The rest had not training or infantry knowledge and it showed----but they were fun guys. At one event there were three former actual Paratroop/Infantry NCO's following these "squad leaders" around and the prior service guys were not impressed. Two Staff Sgt's and one Sgt with three four combat tours between them and they were *not* consulted very much about tactical decisions very much. While their wars were not WWII, their experience on what actions to take would have proved invaluable. I was there and the unit was a soup sandwich that day.

 

Two of those guys left the unit and they were both 82nd Airborne NCO's with four tours between them. Basic field craft and proper Squad Leader behavior would have kept them in the unit. Lack of field craft has caused the unit to be repeatedly rolled-up in the field. Guys are confused, untrained and demoralized, or just plain clueless. They don't care as long as the Squad Leaders can drink beer and be loud. Band of Brother itis is alive and well.

 

Rock

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I hear ya, Rock. But the primary problem with the hobby is you're supposed to have (but there rarely really is) a command structure. Instead, you have people self-appoint themselves because they founded the unit or own the vehicles/heavy weapons. With the real military, you recognize the rank due to the legality of that person being recognized by the military. Kind of harder to look at it the same way when the guy just decided to sew or pin on the girl bait, harder still when they might not even be recognized for said rank within their own group (we’ve ALL seen this before, I’m sure). So, you have a “Captain” who knows his tactics from old “Combat” re-runs in charge of several people who did it for real. Generally speaking, people with real-world experience would rather not take on hobby leadership roles. I clearly recall the day I had enough of the hobby, it was in the Army on CONUS training, when we’d charged out of a CH-47 into a bunker complex, rolling over the OPFOR as a very cohesive unit. Standing on top of the bunker, I realized I’d never experience something like that in regards to the group acting as a whole. Going back to events soon afterward, I tired of the same old “hey diddle diddle – straight up the middle” tactics I saw at EVERY SINGLE EVENT I have ever been to in over 20 years in WW2 re-enacting. More so, I tired of how every group I ever did events with (and I have done events with almost all of them over the years) swore THEY did everything correctly. The hypocrisy of it all just got too much to bear and I took a few years off from the “running around shooting blanks” and just did display events. I’m just now slowly getting back into the tactical aspect in earnest because I’ll be covering events for a new magazine for the hobby. But even then, I’ll be doing this mostly as a correspondent.

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Sgt_Rock_EasyCo
I hear ya, Rock. But the primary problem with the hobby is you're supposed to have (but there rarely really is) a command structure. Instead, you have people self-appoint themselves because they founded the unit or own the vehicles/heavy weapons. With the real military, you recognize the rank due to the legality of that person being recognized by the military. Kind of harder to look at it the same way when the guy just decided to sew or pin on the girl bait, harder still when they might not even be recognized for said rank within their own group (we’ve ALL seen this before, I’m sure). So, you have a “Captain” who knows his tactics from old “Combat” re-runs in charge of several people who did it for real. Generally speaking, people with real-world experience would rather not take on hobby leadership roles. I clearly recall the day I had enough of the hobby, it was in the Army on CONUS training, when we’d charged out of a CH-47 into a bunker complex, rolling over the OPFOR as a very cohesive unit. Standing on top of the bunker, I realized I’d never experience something like that in regards to the group acting as a whole. Going back to events soon afterward, I tired of the same old “hey diddle diddle – straight up the middle” tactics I saw at EVERY SINGLE EVENT I have ever been to in over 20 years in WW2 re-enacting. More so, I tired of how every group I ever did events with (and I have done events with almost all of them over the years) swore THEY did everything correctly. The hypocrisy of it all just got too much to bear and I took a few years off from the “running around shooting blanks” and just did display events. I’m just now slowly getting back into the tactical aspect in earnest because I’ll be covering events for a new magazine for the hobby. But even then, I’ll be doing this mostly as a correspondent.

 

I was beginning to think that I was alone :)

 

Following a battle in which my old reenactiment unit had, in my eyes, been pathetic I put together an after action report of what we did that was bad. I then placed forth proposals to help correct the issues. I was training NCO so they took it seriously enough to implement many of my suggestions. The result was good. The new guys were melded in, we performed very similar to an actual infantry platoon and as a result we rolled over a German unit that was used to dominating the battlefield. They were shocked and I was proud of the guys for antying up.

 

The problems arose when I realized that they actually resented having to act like soldiers would (in the field anyway). They didn't like my initial critical analysis and while I was correct, the resentment grew. They couldn't outright say anything about it to me due to my real life experience but their treatment of deteriorated. I never was that popular, nor do I care, but I became shunned because they were more interested in "having fun". Many of them are younger guys with no a small experience window and lack of maturity. It's a battle reenactment, and a simulated military environment, yet they all acted like they were on the make for chicks constantly. While that is a nice endeavor, it's ludicrious to us older married guys. So you couple a lack of willingness to do things properly in the field, with a lack of maturity, and leaving battles early every time, and it got old.

 

I take my responsibility for being over critical of reenactors. For them, battles are a game but for me it's a serious, deadly job. It's hard for a guy that's experienced the actual thing to have a group of guys be so nonchalant about it. Imagine being a real Infantry NCO and having a group of guys that don't care to learn the tactics and techniques of warfare?! Your unit would be doomed to failure and casualties in combat. Every bone in my body was conditioned to take very seriously combat training- For anyone to diminish the importance of tactical prowess at any level is to miss the point of the Infantry. So many reenactment units represent combat arms unit's, especially the infantry-- Over and over they seem so focused on their uniforms and gear to the detriment of knowledge. There is ample opportunity to learn about infantry tactics and it's like riding a bicycle; You never forget. If a unit trains their guys once in a while then the difference is astounding. Most leadership is more interested in drinking beer in celebration of what? Their uniforms and how they look! It's important to look the part but what can you do?

 

If you ask any former or current infantry nco what is the most important part of his job the answer will not be how authentic his uniforms and gear are. He will tell you that his guys being good at what they do is most important.

 

 

Rock

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