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I used to do Revolutionary War reenactments (American War of Independence, etc etc....) until people in the organization decided to over-regulate the crap out of the events, and it just wasnt fun anymore.

 

I have a very simple rule when it comes to reenacting, or in my new hobby restoring cars, Do it right or dont do it at all.

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Some guys do make a real sacrifice for authenticity. These guys are French and Indian War era Native Americans as seen at Ft. Necessity in PA last August. How many reenactors taht you know would get haircuts like these, or piece their noses. Another fellow had huge holes in his ears!

 

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Schnicklfritz

I've been lucky enough to have some time to reenact Civil War over the last couple of years. I've done both the "Authentic Hardcore" reenacting and attended "Mainstream" reenactments. I've been around the harcore stitch Nazis and find them just as UNauthentic as Farbs. While I can appreciate a liking for attention to details and historical accuracy, some of their claims are rediculious, claims like everything was handstitched, iron dyed, they never did this, that or the other... blah, blah, blah.... :blink: I use to listen to it until I started talking to a few true historians that worked for the National Park Service and some others. The information that they spent years gathering on the battles, uniforms and such contradicts the claims of many of these Stitch Nazis. I've basically come to the conclusion that there are authentic, mainstream and unauthentic reenactors, but all are farbs. The true "authentics" are the ones that made the history by fighting, killing and dying in the filth of war. There is no way to authentically capture war unless you fight in a real one. You don't have the constant real stress of waiting for the one that is going to get you, the horror of actually killing someone, people dying of disease, your friends getting killed, bodies torn apart in front of you, wearing the same cloths for weeks on end, no sleep or nothing to eat for days on end, ... the things that if experienced, make war something that we wouldn't want to do very often, let alone over a weekend. So in the end, reenactments for me have become time that I like to spend with my friends that have a common interest in things I like and have a little fun throwing some powder at eachother. I also appreciate being able to attend an event that I can trapse over the same hallowed ground that the original soldiers fought over and to learn a little history on the grounds that it actually happened on. Some folks don't seem to see the forrest through the trees...

Cheers!

Marc

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I totally agree with you on that one Schnicklfritz. You dont know what it was actually like and cant unless you have actually been there and done that. Besides dont most people say that 95% of the war was spent in Camp lol as far as civil war I mean.

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  • 3 weeks later...

New to the forum, not to the topic :)

 

Problem is that many people have, as some have pointed out, a very propagandized image of a sojer or soldat. They ALL were clean shaven with pressed trousers and neatly trimmed hair.

 

No army ever used captured equipment, no front line combat unit ever lacked proper bathing facilities or was ever out of supply.

 

I've seen period images of some very large germans. They were not front line soldats, but they did mess duty, clerical and mechenical work. With every able bodied German at the front, thats all that was left to do the more mundane chores like reports, shipping and such.

 

Subtle FARBY-ness is in the very biased eye of the beholder.

 

Cell phones, women, kids in uniform should be asked to leave an event. But in the PC world of today what event organizer is going to risk a lawsuit telling someone to leave?

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Yes we have all seen photo's of soldiers in the field who have beards, this of course coming after being in continuous action for a few days or so(these gentlemen look to be sporting about 3 day's growth). The point is, when possible the German Soldat was clean shaven. This was regulation and had to do with the use of the gas mask. If the soldier was in action, and on the Eastern Front that was often, the regs were ignored for the obvious reasons.

 

 

Gary

When it concerns age, I have heard various things so far talking of 11 yearolds to I believe one person said "I am too old at 36" let us not forget a prime example of age in the ranks when we look at Paul H. Douglas.

 

For those who are not familiar with the man, Paul H. Douglas became the oldest recruit to graduate from Parris Island in 1942 at the age of 50! And he was no desk jockey either, he went and served on the front lines in the south pacific earning two purple hearts while at it.

 

Theres such a broad range its hard to determine what is farby, rather than judge someones impression if you question something rather than outright saying it is wrong why not approach the individual and ask them about why their impression is a certain way, you might be surprised at the research that is backing his impression.

 

Just like someone made the comment of the German soldier with the beard. I want to divert your attention to this photo,

post-1869-1193222903.jpg

and those arent just some unknown unit those german soldiers are in, those soldiers belong to the 3rd SS Totenkompf.

 

So you see stuff you dont usually think is accurate may have some good research behind it.

 

Mike Kirby

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  • 1 month later...

Of the dozen or so books I have read, both about German and American front line troops, the common theme for both sides were:

 

1. Bad food

2. Improper clothing (winter gear, blankets etc)

3. No food

4. Weeks of front line duty

 

To say that '3 days growth' was abnormal is, respectfully, abnormal. Volumes of reference pictures show long hair, BEARDS, and torn/wreaked gear.

 

Sure there are also pics of clean shaven fritzen and sojers, but the reference for them is not of a combat unit on the line.

 

I would agree that a soldaten would put more into his professional appearance than a dogface, but come on... the norm? No.

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Of the dozen or so books I have read, both about German and American front line troops, the common theme for both sides were:

 

1. Bad food

2. Improper clothing (winter gear, blankets etc)

3. No food

4. Weeks of front line duty

 

To say that '3 days growth' was abnormal is, respectfully, abnormal. Volumes of reference pictures show long hair, BEARDS, and torn/wreaked gear.

 

Sure there are also pics of clean shaven fritzen and sojers, but the reference for them is not of a combat unit on the line.

 

I would agree that a soldaten would put more into his professional appearance than a dogface, but come on... the norm? No.

 

I agree!! 100%!! Look at the pictures!! They dont lie. The TM's and manuals are great for garrison style impressions. So many people in this hobby focus their research on what is supposed to bo correct according to government manuals etc. but the fact is that when you were in the field all of the books and manuals were thrown out with your gas mask. For an average G.I. it was all about survival and emprovising. How many pictures of frontline (or just off the line) soldiers do you see who are clean shaven and with pressed uniforms that are clean and not caked with mud and filth?? I really havent seen any in the last 25 years that I have been researching WW2. When I do an event (usualy living history) I tend to focus on what a front line soldier would have looked like so that the public gets an "un -candy coated" image of how a soldier really looked in combat. Many times I will wear a stolen german belt buckle holding up my well worn, stained, with holes, GI pants. I often will wear a civilian wool scarf , Unshaven for at least 2 weeks, mud caked field jacket etc. I base this impression on thousands of pictures that I have seen as well as talking to the veterans themselves (some who are my actual relatives!). To each his own and I'm not busting anyones chops for they're "brand of reenacting". Just some food for thought.

 

Michael

www.2ndsquad.com

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http://home.comcast.net/~marpava/adamstown6.jpg

 

http://home.comcast.net/~marpava/adamstown8.jpg

 

http://home.comcast.net/~marpava/adamstown22.jpg

 

Here are a few pictures of members of our group. Although we tend to stay away from portraying an airborne impression, we wanted to show the usual spit and polish groups what an airborne soldier looked like in combat. We were portraying members of the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment.

 

Thanks!

 

Mike

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[HI All,

I think alot of us have gone through a "Farby" time in their re-enacting career. In 20+years in the field I've seen many guys start out in Farb outfits and through patient encouragement and an occasional nudge have found their way to more serious impressions. However, we all do dumb things.

My own personal "Farbiest moment" was many a year ago at a WWII event at FT Mifflin in Philadelphia PA. We were to run a series of ambushes in the lowlands around the 1812 fort along the Delaware river. As was my custom I took off my digital watch and replaced it with my WWII Hamilton before the event started. We set our ambush and waited for the German patrol to cross into our rifle sites. It was dead still and pin drop quiet as we waited. Finally, they approached, we tensed on the triggers, they still hadn't spotted our position. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! The alarm on my digital watch in my back pocket started to tell my that it was lunch time at work. The Germans busted out laughing as we all started to open fire. I was the only real casualty because I died right there from embarrassment.

It sure is fun to play "spot the farb" and I've done my share but I freely admit that even the most serious hard core guy can have a brain dead superfarb moment.

T. Bowers

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[HI All,

I think alot of us have gone through a "Farby" time in their re-enacting career. In 20+years in the field I've seen many guys start out in Farb outfits and through patient encouragement and an occasional nudge have found their way to more serious impressions. However, we all do dumb things.

My own personal "Farbiest moment" was many a year ago at a WWII event at FT Mifflin in Philadelphia PA. We were to run a series of ambushes in the lowlands around the 1812 fort along the Delaware river. As was my custom I took off my digital watch and replaced it with my WWII Hamilton before the event started. We set our ambush and waited for the German patrol to cross into our rifle sites. It was dead still and pin drop quiet as we waited. Finally, they approached, we tensed on the triggers, they still hadn't spotted our position. BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP! The alarm on my digital watch in my back pocket started to tell my that it was lunch time at work. The Germans busted out laughing as we all started to open fire. I was the only real casualty because I died right there from embarrassment.

It sure is fun to play "spot the farb" and I've done my share but I freely admit that even the most serious hard core guy can have a brain dead superfarb moment.

T. Bowers

 

 

Hey Tom!

 

Thats Great! I Think I used to be with you many years ago in the 1st ID? (My farb days!). Drop me a line!

 

Thanks!

 

Mike Kirby

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Lt Bowers how the hell are ya buddy ? Hope all well across the pond.

 

Be seeing you guys real soon i hope...lots in the pipeline trip wise for the 2nd Armored.

 

regards

 

T/5 Lloyd Richards

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  • 3 weeks later...

HI Lloyd

I love this forum, It has the kind of comeradery that only the best groups have. I can't wait to find my way back over, next time none of that butterbar second looie stuff I think I'll apply for company cook LOL! If you want to see a bunch of jealous guys all you have to do is whip out some Second Armored photos and then just watch thier jaws drop. I know there's still a core of guys over here who are just waiting for the alert order to start tossing uniforms in the barracks bag.

All the best

T. Bowers

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  • 11 months later...

What's the most effective way to combat farbs and farbism? A good friend and I have spent a lot of time discussing this, and the best we can come up with is the tried and true method of setting a good example first.

 

Somebody above mentioned that a lot depends on whether you're dealing with an ignorant or uninformed farb, and the uninformed are easy to deal with using humor and coaching. I agree, but what about when you have to deal with the sort more determined to be "his way"...when part of a unit's objective is to grow (i.e. not run-off unit members)...and humor/coaching are ineffective?

 

Appreciate your insight,

Thrasher

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What about every GI having to have a unit patch and rank on? Look at period photos, how easy is it to ID troops often because they lack shoulder insignia? Another peeve of mine is the leather strap on a M-1 pot. Many original photos show it missing or tucked under the pot itself. Yet, every GI re-enactor has to have one!

I wonder, though: As soon as someone mentions farbs, why does everyone start talking about the fat guys? I agree that the Schultzies, baby hueys & blimpies do not represent the average WWII soldier, but then I don't think they are the worst problem. I know a couple of the guys pictured on the big reenactors website, and have met a couple of the others. The two I know were both very upset that their photo was even taken. Not, as you might suppose, because of their fear of ridicule, but because they were already aware that their appearance was not consistent with the average WWII soldier, and did not want anyone to think they were trying to represent themselves as such.
I know one of the guys I think you're talking about. Nice guy. The man has a gland problem, he says from being exposed to an area where nukes had been set off in the 50s. Can't diet the weight away. I feel bad for the guy for the same reason you do, he really can't apparently lose that weight. And being a good guy, I find it painful to see his photo on one of these sites you mentioned.
Most WWII military vehicles did not have American flags flying from the fenders, windshield, radio antenna or anywhere else, particularly all of the above. IF they did fly a flag, it was a 48-star flag, not a 50-star flag!
Every parade I think I've ever had my 1944 Willys in, someone has handed me a 50 star flag. Long ago, I found some new made 48 star ones just like they hand out in parades. That way, the people who handed me the flag think I still have it in the parade. I know otherwise, as would any nit picker! Still, I don't fly them really. I sure don't fly flags at events where I'm trying to look like I'm in the field, but you're correct that plenty of "vehicle people" make their vehicles into rolling billboards. I long ago stopped trying to figure that out.
Sure there are also pics of clean shaven fritzen and sojers, but the reference for them is not of a combat unit on the line.
5. Individual clothing & equipment: Most reenactors, besides being too tall and too well fed, are also too clean. Unless they are portraying a unit that just got off the boat from England, the reenactor should look like a soldier that has been living in the field in the same uniform for days, weeks or months. His weapons should be clean, but his uniform should not.
I again agree, but I think this is more the fault of the events than the individuals. I have been to dozens (of not hundreds) of re-enactments since the 80s, and almost all of them specified no stubble and clean appearances to "look military." Most GI's looked more like Willie and Joe than Patton, but that makes for bad PR if the people are spotted by the public or (god forbid) the press. I gave up understanding this as well.
WWII soldiers did not have plastic rimmed, vari-shade aviator style glasses.
I don't see this nearly as much as I do people with modern normal glasses. This drives me nuts because when I got into the hobby in the late 80s, I missed several events because I couldn't find original WW2 issue glasses for my prescription. I've had two pair of them for years now, and I have no patience for those who say they're too hard to find. There are plenty of 30s-40s glasses out there you can drop your lenses into.
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QUOTE; I don't see this nearly as much as I do people with modern normal glasses. This drives me nuts because when I got into the hobby in the late 80s, I missed several events because I couldn't find original WW2 issue glasses for my prescription. I've had two pair of them for years now, and I have no patience for those who say they're too hard to find. There are plenty of 30s-40s glasses out there you can drop your lenses into.

 

As I have so often stated, I'm not a hardcore reenactor, more or less a "hang arounder", but I have to agree, if you want to be a WW-2 US reenactor, you spend ALL KINDS of money on your ww-2 uniform, field gear, weapons, the LEAST you can do is get ww-2 period glasses for your outfit.

I had these ww-2 US period glasses made for me, and below, (I'm showing off) I found these ww-2 aviator sunglasses at a second hand shop in Seattle,

Pikes Place Market, the kindly woman didn't know what she was selling, I got them for $12!!

cimg0687td5.jpg

 

QUOTE; What about every GI having to have a unit patch and rank on? Look at period photos, how easy is it to ID troops often because they lack shoulder insignia? Another peeve of mine is the leather strap on a M-1 pot. Many original photos show it missing or tucked under the pot itself. Yet, every GI re-enactor has to have one!

 

I myself, LOVE to wear the 1st ID patch and show it off, it's really the only patch I can wear, (I wore it for 2 1/2 years on my arm) other then the Armored triangle which I didn't wear, but I can feel comfortable with it, being an old tanker. Although I have worn the Army Air Corps HQ patch also, doing a AAF Photogragher at an Event. I would feel VERY uncomfortable wearing other insignia, unless you hired me for a film and good money, then I would be the biggest Farb this planet has ever seen!

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QUOTE; I don't see this nearly as much as I do people with modern normal glasses. This drives me nuts because when I got into the hobby in the late 80s, I missed several events because I couldn't find original WW2 issue glasses for my prescription. I've had two pair of them for years now, and I have no patience for those who say they're too hard to find. There are plenty of 30s-40s glasses out there you can drop your lenses into.

 

As I have so often stated, I'm not a hardcore reenactor, more or less a "hang arounder", but I have to agree, if you want to be a WW-2 US reenactor, you spend ALL KINDS of money on your ww-2 uniform, field gear, weapons, the LEAST you can do is get ww-2 period glasses for your outfit.

I had these ww-2 US period glasses made for me, and below, (I'm showing off) I found these ww-2 aviator sunglasses at a second hand shop in Seattle,

Pikes Place Market, the kindly woman didn't know what she was selling, I got them for $12!!

cimg0687td5.jpg

 

QUOTE; What about every GI having to have a unit patch and rank on? Look at period photos, how easy is it to ID troops often because they lack shoulder insignia? Another peeve of mine is the leather strap on a M-1 pot. Many original photos show it missing or tucked under the pot itself. Yet, every GI re-enactor has to have one!

 

I myself, LOVE to wear the 1st ID patch and show it off, it's really the only patch I can wear, (I wore it for 2 1/2 years on my arm) other then the Armored triangle which I didn't wear, but I can feel comfortable with it, being an old tanker. Although I have worn the Army Air Corps HQ patch also, doing a AAF Photogragher at an Event. I would feel VERY uncomfortable wearing other insignia, unless you hired me for a film and good money, then I would be the biggest Farb this planet has ever seen!

I simply solved this dilemma by wearing my contacts for events! thumbsup.gif

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QUOTE; I simply solved this dilemma by wearing my contacts for events! thumbsup.gif

 

Howdy Newport72! I've only worn glasses for the last couple years, I reckon too much self abuse, so I had to stop before I went blind.

I think contact lenses are a little too complicated for me, I'm too damn old, I'd probably shove them back into behind my brain, I'll stick to glasses.

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Matt Richards

^ That is awesome! His prices are just about the same or cheaper than getting new glasses at Lenscrafters. Good deal!

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Lee,

I think you make some great points. In fact I always look forward to reading your post, though I don’t always respond. I do a few events a year and am always trying to improve my impression. The leather liner strap point is a good one. I always ware it, but have not stopped to think that you don't see it in a lot of photos. It is funny what routine will do to you. Thanks for bring that point up.

The required clean-shaven point at events is a great point. I almost always do living history and have now gone to a garrison impression because of this. I hate the look of a neat haircut and no stubble with a filthy uniform and gear. It just does not look right. I have a repro M-41 Field jacket that was not washed for 4 years. It looks great. I finally decided to dry clean it about a year ago. It still looks fine with all the stains, faded color, rips, and some missing buttons. I can't tell you how many people give me crap about wool pants I use in the field. They have a patch that I sewed on by the crotch area were moths got to it. I used fabric from the gas flap. You can barely notice it from a distance. Besides, I have seen many field repaired clothing items.

I should post pics of my ww2 Impression HBT’s. Nobody and I stress nobody has ever thought they were repros. I accidentally aged them. I had used them at an event where they got muddy and soaked. I placed them in a plastic bag and throw them in the trunk of my car. I forgot about them for about a month. I opened the bag and they stunk. I throw them in the washing machine and presto the perfect HBT’s. They look like the originals you see that were coated with CC-2

As far as the glasses go, I just end up not wearing mine. I only use them for driving and going to the movies. I may look into a obtaining a pair after looking at this site: http://ivydiv_mp.tripod.com/spectacleaccoutrements/

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There should be another category of Farb to put up their with the khaki nazi, stitch nazis and "bayonet lug fascists". the dreaded "DRY CLEAN ONLY REENACTOR". THESE ARE THE MEN THAT AFTER EVERY EVENT DRY CLEAN THEIR COMPLETE UNIFORM. Than have the gaull to comment on a patched uniform or sideburns. Looks great for a parade, but I rarely see "clean" troops in the field. True back in roman times true today. Most of these men have a tendency to be large pasty people who seem to spend a lot of time dominating other forums that will remain nameless....... And avoiding doing actual research.....

 

My .02 cents (after taxes)

 

Haven't seen a dry cleaner, Gets washed on cold maybe once a season...... Hung out to dry.....

 

 

 

Thank god for fabreese......

 

 

 

At lest now the vets stop telling us, well me at least that we are "way to clean"

 

Dirteater101

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