Jump to content

Opinions on Reenacting


Recommended Posts

As far as being a "farb" goes at a battle in Pennsylvania the guys in the Battle of the Bulge didn't have shaved faces or perfect webgear as they were not just leaving the QM or PX, most if not all were needing a shave and had torn/damaged or dirty clothing and gear. Many of the guys I saw were more concerned with not getting their gear dirty and ruining it.

 

Don't get me started with the Bulge.

 

The biggest problem the event has is that it's almost a week long, and most of that time is spent in the garrison - giving people a chance to drag out everything including the kitchen sink, wearing their shiniest insignia, and just generally spend more time in the parade-ground army than actually recreate anything resembling the Battle of the Bulge.

 

I've only ever viewed the Bulge as a place to meet friends in the hobby you've not seen in awhile, have a few drinks, talk to the vets, and hit the flea market. Others view it as a popularity party. Some figure it's somewhat educational, what with the classes and all. Personally, I think it's badly organized, overpriced considering what the organizers are actually paying for those barracks spaces, those who volunteer for anything get shafted unless they're part of the "in crowd" (ie, "Do all the work, in return you'll get a lunch. If there's any left."), and a big popularity party that has very little to do with reenactment OR living history. But that's just me.

k9vetsday.jpg
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Define what "display" means to you. Does it mean putting the item on a mannequin and maybe bringing it out to an event, if there is an indoor place in which you can exhibit it? Does it mean folding the item up and putting it in the bottom of a footlocker, with a handful of mothballs, so it will be preserved? Or does display mean putting it on so kids and adults coming to an event can see it and touch it and ask questions about the history of the item and the impression you are doing?

 

IMHO there is a big difference between going "to the field" with your impression and going to an event with your impression. There are many "display" events where your main and primary purpose is to be there to talk to the public, let them see your stuff, let them ask questions. I don't see a reason why an original item should not be worn or brought to such an event. Tearing them up in the field, that's another story altogether, and I agree, it's not a nice sight when that original uniform or piece of gear is ruined out there.

 

I do have quite a few original items and I do wear them to (living history) events. I know some collectors are going to be upset and annoyed with it, BUT unless they can point me to adequately authentic and, more importantly, available reproductions of the original items I am wearing, I don't really care whether they are annoyed with me for wearing the original items that fit me. I'm not tearing them up in the field, just wearing them at public displays.

 

There are quite a few companies that make excellent reproduction field gear. At the Front makes good stuff and their repro field gear is nearly authentic.

 

Rock

2RO2.jpg

 

2/505th (RA) 5/502nd (RA) 2/505th (REEN)

Link to post
Share on other sites
There are quite a few companies that make excellent reproduction field gear. At the Front makes good stuff and their repro field gear is nearly authentic.

 

Yes, I am aware of all the major companies out there that produce reproduction field gear, and also which ones to buy from and which ones to keep away from. However, the companies that make quality reproduction women's uniforms are few and far between. For World War II, there are few options other than World War II Impressions, and their inventory is limited. What if someone would like to do a different impression than WAC? How about SPARS? Anyone make that? How about Korean War women's uniforms? Vietnam? Yeah ... THAT is why I wear my original uniforms.

k9vetsday.jpg
Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, I am aware of all the major companies out there that produce reproduction field gear, and also which ones to buy from and which ones to keep away from. However, the companies that make quality reproduction women's uniforms are few and far between. For World War II, there are few options other than World War II Impressions, and their inventory is limited. What if someone would like to do a different impression than WAC? How about SPARS? Anyone make that? How about Korean War women's uniforms? Vietnam? Yeah ... THAT is why I wear my original uniforms.

 

Don't laugh to hard but I was able to make a SPARS uniform for a woman when I lived in Williamsburg, VA.

 

The hard parts are the hat and the collars; She had the hat and I scored collar brass in Va Bch or Newport News.

 

The uniform I used as a base was a 1970s wool USN females...but this is for another thread.

 

T-Bone

Link to post
Share on other sites

The rank thing will always be a source of debate. I have always been a PVT at tactical events. I do, however, do a Ordnance Captain impression when I’m doing a weapons layout for display events. I portray an officer giving lectures and explaining the weapons. That was my rank and branch for Uncle Sam back in the day, and I have never gotten any negative feedback on it. I think the public doesn’t know the difference, re-enactors seem to think it’s cool that I’m representing a branch not seen often at events, and most importantly, I don’t try to order anyone around like a real-life Captain would. We’re only there showing the stuff off and don’t act like it’s anything more than that. I do find it odd that when I tell people that my impression IS what I did in the Army, it seems to make more sense. Like dressing in a WW2 uniform (which I never wore on active duty) couldn’t open the door to other things I never was?

I have several sets of WWII webgear. Two thirds is original because I can buy it cheaper than repros, and it's of better quality than many repros.
I’m in the same boat. I got into this back when WW2 US stuff was what you collected because you couldn’t afford German stuff. I also had a very well-stocked dealer very close by (Military Marketplace) so I could go through their stacks and get the best stuff. I have a small number of reproduction items, such as rigger pouches, a musette (marked with Correspondent markings) and other uniform parts. Otherwise, I still use originals. I don’t do tactical events and haven’t for a long time. Standing around displaying things doesn’t put much wear on anything.
I collected my gear in 1992 and 1993 in prep for my first WWII reenactment. It was the D-Day invasion at Virginia Beach Virginia in 1994. I had all authentic gear except the field jacket, the rest was USGI period gear. My Springfield M1 Garand was a 1942 with lockbar sights. I got my hair cut, bought period GI glass frames, I was all set to hit the beach.
Living in Florida I didn't have any connection with any unit down here
Wow, cue the Twilight Zone music! I could have written both of these post except that VA Beach 94 wasn’t my first event. Yes, WW2 re-enacting was non-existent in Florida back then and actually, people out of Florida had a bad rep back then for some reason (I couldn’t count the number of times people would pull me aside and tell me how I broke the “Florida re-enactor mold” in their eyes). I had to drive over 5 hours to get to ANY event back then. Driving to the Gap each year was an Odyssey as I made those trips alone always to Atlanta (the nearest group of guys) and sometimes all the way to PA. I even know the 29th ID guy you’re talking about. I was with the larger 1st ID unit to land, and we went in right next to the 29th guys. Talk about Prima Donas! I’d always wondered if some of them were what Dad used to refer to as “Pocket Napoleons” like you’d often see at Civil War events (you know, the guys who walk onto the field alone wearing officer ranks) or trying to relive his previous Army experiences.

Lee Bishop Formerly known as "Ratchet 5" with the 2nd Infantry Division (yes, in REAL life)

US WW2 War Correspondent collector

Link to post
Share on other sites
Define what "display" means to you. Does it mean putting the item on a mannequin and maybe bringing it out to an event, if there is an indoor place in which you can exhibit it? Does it mean folding the item up and putting it in the bottom of a footlocker, with a handful of mothballs, so it will be preserved? Or does display mean putting it on so kids and adults coming to an event can see it and touch it and ask questions about the history of the item and the impression you are doing?

 

Your comment brings up a major question in my mind. If one is going to "display" a period uniform/filed gear, in an impression so the public can touchy-feely and ask questions, why on earth would one prefer to wear the stuff rather than put it on a mannequin for display?

 

Seems to me that, for display purposes, a mannequin is much more desirable than actually wearing the uniform items. If it's on a mannequin, it would allow the presenter the freedom of moving 360 degrees around the front, sides, and back to answer and uniform/gear questions posed by the public. If one was wearing the uniform, one would be rather encumbered and could not see one's own backside.

Semper fi; Bill











donation2008.gifdonation2009.gifdonation2010.gifdonation2011.gif
donation2012.gifdonation2013.gifdonation2014.gifdonation2015.gifdonation2016.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites
If one is going to "display" a period uniform/filed gear, in an impression so the public can touchy-feely and ask questions, why on earth would one prefer to wear the stuff rather than put it on a mannequin for display?

 

Seems to me that, for display purposes, a mannequin is much more desirable than actually wearing the uniform items. If it's on a mannequin, it would allow the presenter the freedom of moving 360 degrees around the front, sides, and back to answer and uniform/gear questions posed by the public.

 

Displaying items on a mannequin is more challenging than you might imagine. First, if you're using a half-mannequin (a torso) to display items, you are limited by where you can place it - like a table top. In order to show the back or sides, it would have to be moved around, which is often impossible if there are any other items on display on the tables. So you would have just the front to show, realistically. Having a full mannequin would require a solid, stable stand, and a place to have it where people can walk around 360 degrees. At that point, you will have people bumping into it, knocking it over, kids kicking or punching the mannequin (for some reason, it's what they like to do), etc.

 

It's easier to wear the uniform and either explain and show things yourself, or have a member of your unit explain the items while you are a "living" mannequin to show them. Just my two cents as someone who has gone the mannequin route before.

k9vetsday.jpg
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I have not served in the military and am only still in my JROTC unit, but when I reenact I make damned sure I know what I'm doing. I read books on ww2 American tactics (osprey has a few good ones), try to make my gear as accurate as possible, and take care of my gear when I'm not wearing it. When I'm wearing my uniform, I try not to wear my glasses for as long as it's on, even when I'm just walking from the field to our barracks. I don't bother saying that I reenact to honor the veterans, I do that by attending events held in there honor, helping make their lives better, or even just sitting and listening to their stories. I reenact because A. I enjoy it, B. I collect militaria and it gives me a legitimate excuse for collecting :rolleyes: C. The people you meet at events are fascinating, D. My girlfriend looks great in black pajamas.

 

Viva La G co., 36th infantry division TEXAS

XRAY, THIS IS MONGOOSE 16 ROMEO. WHAT THE F**K, OVER?

Link to post
Share on other sites

hello all

 

interesting replies, I have done the second armored trips in europe, these have little or no shooting, so are they still "re-enactment" does "re-enactment" have to have shooting is it " living history " without shooting

 

with the second armored trips many of the complaints laid against re-enactment are met :

 

rank is used by people with the prescence to carry it off, rank is flexible is is tailored to the number participating and to the event

 

orders are given and expected to be followed, a private " talking to " is the result of not following a request/order

 

everyone has a role and is expected to do it, be it breakdown, maintenace kp, guard etc

 

after 10 days of sleeping rough, early starts, late or all nights and maintaining a vehicle you are tired, filthy and unshaven

 

It is still fun, we drink beer and fornicate with local women

 

we do things for vets

 

we educated thousands upon thousands who see us on every trip

 

everyone is welcome, they are expected to have the right kit, to join in, follow instructions and become part of the unit

 

we have some great personalities in the group and people from all over the world

 

you have to be professional, taking a column of armour hundreds of miles across europe is a serious and difficult task, if you do it poorly you can find a lot of serious trouble

Link to post
Share on other sites
hello all

 

interesting replies, I have done the second armored trips in europe, these have little or no shooting, so are they still "re-enactment" does "re-enactment" have to have shooting is it " living history " without shooting

 

with the second armored trips many of the complaints laid against re-enactment are met :

 

rank is used by people with the prescence to carry it off, rank is flexible is is tailored to the number participating and to the event

 

orders are given and expected to be followed, a private " talking to " is the result of not following a request/order

 

everyone has a role and is expected to do it, be it breakdown, maintenace kp, guard etc

 

after 10 days of sleeping rough, early starts, late or all nights and maintaining a vehicle you are tired, filthy and unshaven

 

It is still fun, we drink beer and fornicate with local women

we do things for vets

 

we educated thousands upon thousands who see us on every trip

 

everyone is welcome, they are expected to have the right kit, to join in, follow instructions and become part of the unit

 

we have some great personalities in the group and people from all over the world

 

you have to be professional, taking a column of armour hundreds of miles across europe is a serious and difficult task, if you do it poorly you can find a lot of serious trouble

 

Wow Sign me up!!!!!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow Sign me up!!!!!

 

here you go Dogface

 

women [url="http://nl.fotoalbum.eu/huubjanssen/a3455967/00000051"/url]

 

s.sgt jon hayworth ( a true "kelly" if ever there was one ) from Wales

pvt John schoop from America

Pvt "The cock" gregory from Belgium

t5 Tony Illenicky from Belgium

 

two friendly Dutch girls who met the boys for drinkies later that night

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.