Re-enacting good or bad?

Discussion in 'General' started by Owen, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Wow. Thank you for that in-depth expose on my hobby. For reference, I've been in plenty of musuems where the kit is laid out nicely for people to look and ask questions. They generally don't and often, little is learned when compared to the questions we get asked when wearing the kit. It serves a valuable purpose.

    For further reference, when undertaking a section patrol trhough Epron last year, we undertook 'training' using 'Infantry Training Part VII 1944' for roughly a year beforehand.

    I'm also not fat, or old, or oddly shaped.

    As Ron says, we have been here before....many times.
    von Poop and Sussex by the Sea like this.
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Just because we've been here doesn't mean someone can't reply to a 6-page thread on which many other members have had their say already.

    The last mob of reenactors I spoke to hadn't much to say at all by way of education. Each opinion, to which we are all entitled, can only be influenced by personal experience. I've no problem reenactors enjoying their hobby, but grown ups playing at war just about sums it up for me too.
  3. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    I do not see anything wrong with re enacting i like to see it in fact, Any Regiment.
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Rather simplistic view of 'reenacting' a few times here.
    (Whatever 'reenacting' actually means, but that's probably a question for Combover's thread.)

    I'm in a non-C20th 'reenactment' (Interpretation, living history, call it what you like) group. One which doesn't really do War much at all saving the odd slightly shambolic bit of Militia stuff round the edges.
    I'm a terrible reenactor compared to the serious peeps I hang around with, but even I know for certain there's an edumacational aspect to what we do.
    Spend an hour talking to some kids or Grown-ups about sword-wounds, armour production, social structure, cookery, cloth, death, marriage, servants, buildings, Royalty, whatever - and then ask 'em if they feel they've been educated (while hopefully also enjoying themselves).
    In my experience, they always have been. They sometimes even come back with more questions, months later.

    One do recently, a Four-year-old chap came up to me and said: "I like Weapons, weapons & fire, I have seen some fire, can I see some weapons now."
    Show him some weapons I did, for about two hours. And he also learned his big brother goes a bit Green when he sees pictures of skulls...
    This is Education I feel.

    Why should we not involve the public in such activities? They appear to often be happy to pay to attend. Is seeing something you've maybe not seen before a bad thing? Should kids not try on a bit of armour, see rabbits being skinned, gain a bit of understanding of how things may once have been? (I'm not hubristic enough to believe a true representation of the past and it's people is 100% possible, but I've seen some damned good stabs at it).

    A wide church.

    (Posts 171 onwards here should probably be in Combover's thread. SS stuff's a whole subject on it's own. I'll move 'em over.)
    Combover likes this.
  5. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    I've lifted post #80 - #85 from the SS reenactment thread to here, as they do appear to be more on the general theme of reenacting than that specific subject.
  6. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Funny how people deride re-enactors but say nothing of the millions of men who turn up to football matches every week dressed in a football costume...most of them couldn't run 50 yards either and are no stranger to a fish supper, yet somehow that is the accepted norma and we're the weird ones...

    Just a thought. ;)
    Jen'sHusband likes this.
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Where's the thread for that ... :D
  8. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    I reckon the fat fans are the fat SS men of re-enacting - in fact, if I think about some of the away games I've been to, I'm sure that some of those people were definitely fat SS men. Seriously (ish) though, In the same way that not all people who turn up to football matches are necessarily living out a fantasy of playing themselves, I doubt that all re-enactors want to be soldiers or play war. I was a crap footballer when I could play and now my knees are shagged out, doesn't mean I'm pining after a fantasy football life. As usual, the crap few hooligans/fat SS men hog all the attention and obscure the harmless fun the rest of us are having.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    I dont think the comparison with football fans works well though: simply because fans aren't attempting to teach people about football as 'a living history', or trying to achieve authenticity in a player's full kit, or trudging over football pitches to demonstrate their skills/knowledge/gear, or attending a commemoration of some famous game of yesteryear. (Though vintage kit, with a fag, a pie and a pint at half time might work.) It merely boils down to another example of some fat people dressed in garb not really in keeping with their physique.
    Evidence of some criticism surely ... ;)
    Guy Hudson likes this.
  10. Combover

    Combover Guest

    No they just stand in bars and pubs afterwards telling the world how much better their team would be if they were in charge. There's little difference.
    Jen'sHusband likes this.
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Little difference between what/whom? :confused:
  12. Donnie

    Donnie Remembering HHWH

    I think that living history groups serve a purpose I.E. film extra's and giving talks to school children (if knowledgable on the subject) but I do struggle to watch anyone and I do mean anyone, doesn't matter if they are fat, thin, old or young dressed in uniform who are replicating patrolling or doing an attack or anything that requires real training. To me it looks awkward when a civvie is "pretending" (won't say playing because living history does deserve more than that) to be a soldier of any era as it just never looks right.

  13. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Diane, you may have stumbled upon something here - football re-enacting? People getting dressed up as Nat Lofthouse to re-enact the famous winning goal in the England v Austria match in 1952 - something of a grudge match against an old enemy, with the stands full of British soldiers. It was, by all accounts, a violent match, and Lofthouse himself was knocked out cold in scoring, moving one commentator to relate, "Lofthouse approached the pitch as though it were a battlefield, sacrificing his body for his country." Maybe football and soldiering do have something in common? Listening to my dad, his war service consisted of more football than soldiering, but that was probably just the way he told 'em.

    There is something very unseemly about the way nylon football shirts can't help but reveal every contour of a physique - or lack of it. I'd probably rather wear a battledress. I am thoroughly intrigued by the whole gamut of approaches to re-enactment and confess I am as perplexed by those who wear uniforms until lice inhabit them for the sake of 'authenticity' as I am by fat men in trousers way too small for them telling me that the SS were a superb fighting force.
    Guy Hudson and dbf like this.
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Football & Soldiering?
    I hate football, but they forced us to read this at Uni, and it's a damned fine book:


    Quite a few military/sporting paralells in there.

    Back on reenacting specifically, and to emphasise that it's a broader church than the WW2 or military fixated may choose to discuss

    This is sprog β:

    The glass is being held in that weird way, because that is the correct way for Gentry to hold a glass.
    The crazily serious look, is because he's at table, which is a seriously complex business. (He is older than Seven, so he mustn't behave like a child).
    He has his own Rapier, made by an expert Swordsmith within the group, and scabbarded by another member who advises the Globe theatre & Mary Rose on leathery things.
    The material he wears is an incredibly expensive repro of a specific silk.
    He bleedin' loves it... (largely because his mother, a mere cook, has to bow to him).

    Now, I'm mostly in it for the drinking in nice buildings with old mates of an evening & hopefully making people feel a bit faint about some foul detail, but it's hard to deny over a weekend that much information is disseminated; much serious history is discussed, by people who are, I would say, leading experts on some of the historical subjects being covered.
    (We don't do that 'Mummerset' crap or speaking in funny voices - ask a question and get a straight answer in Modern English.)
    It's maybe a somewhat odd pastime, and I consistently think self-awareness is a key thing (never forget you're just a weirdo in funny trousers to most people), but there can be validity there beyond the fat bloke in Glasses representing a squaddie from the last 400 years. Believe me, many reenactors are as uncomfortable with certain faces of the activity as any non-participant may be.
  15. Sussex by the Sea

    Sussex by the Sea Senior Member

    I must say i am all for old fashioned British free speech. I am not a fan of the lefts version, free speech but not for this party or that party or that part of history etc. I will have no truck with it.
  16. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    For anyone who doubts reenacting can ever look 'right', check out [member='Combover']'s latest addition to his Gallery:

    That's one of the best reenactment shots I've ever seen... Possibly the best.

    [twitter]GERArmyResearch[/twitter] also recently linked on Twitter to these German chaps.
    geoff501 likes this.
  17. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Re-enactment ?

    No problems with that, whatsoever ! And yes, the scene above is realistic enough for me.

    SS wanabees ?

    Complete and utter abhorrence for these nutters, in any form !

  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Bloody hell, those Germans have got the 'look' spot on haven't they.
    Better than many others we've seen.
    I bet they even have the proper German soldier smell.
  19. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Yes a wonderfully atmospheric photograph.

    I also have to agree with Owen's comments regarding the German re-enactors. They look pretty authentic on the link provided.

  20. Hesmond

    Hesmond Well-Known Member

    As some one in their time as been known to re renact or as we now say Living History , if done with taste and thought and the care to get it right be it the feel or look of the period ,then no problem ?
    I have heard elsewhere and seen on other forums the arguments against and the mickey taking ,normal stuff Walter Mitty ect but I always remember when I first started back in the early 1970s I had joined the Sealed Knot ,the bloke who started it Brigadier Peter Young with all his ex WW2 commando mates ,my CO ex naval officer Korea and a fair smattering of then current serving officers and men .
    And it as added to my own sense of history in 1990 I served as a British foot gunner at the huge Waterloo re enactment ,to feel the earth shake as 200 French cavalry swirled past your gun was amazing and when a horse and rider took a tumble it was as though a earth quake had happened , have been a re enactor for many years and have had many experiences with different periods from standing in a pike line , charging a square of infantry , or serving a 9 pdr gun in a Napoleonic battle or Civil War skirmish it is the next stop on from reading the book.

Share This Page