Re-enacting good or bad?

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

  1. Kuno

    Kuno Very Senior Member

    Must admit that my experience with re-enactors is limited to one sole occassion where a group called "Big Red One" represented this unit at a museum event. That was ok for me - although I could not really say, if they were actually authentic or not.

    Where I get more mixed feelings is in regard to SS. Not that I want to say, the SS should just be ignored - not at all. But I have my certain difficulties, if I see their websites... cannot avoid the feeling that some of those chaps actually 'love to play SS'. It sometimes gives me the impression that there are people who would actually like to be 'time transferred' and become 'Untergruppenfuehrer Hans Stark' in their real life.

    I mean that this is something, where one should take care - Harrison Ford is also not behaving as "Indiana Jones" in his real life.... (I like the hat. Maybe I will buy one one day...)
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Someone I know who's a SSM dresses up in SS kit for airsofting and the like for all the wrong reasons....Can't say I approve.
  3. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    The " Battles" end of it / airsofting is pure pantomine , frankly I think its silly. (IMO).
  4. marcus69x

    marcus69x I love WW2 meah!!!

    Interesting thread.

    Like I've said before, there's nothing wrong with re-enactors dressing up as SS as long as the battle they portray actually included SS. To 'get off' on the idea of wearing a swastika and feel the power of the uniform, to me, is actually quite disturbing.

    From a historical teaching point though, it makes perfect sense to include them in some battle re-enctments.

    One of my mates once asked why don't I take up re-enactment if I'm into WW2 so much. To be frank, I'd love to but would feel a little bit silly.

    I might go and dig a foxhole in my back garden. o_O
  5. Cpl Rootes

    Cpl Rootes Senior Member

    I enjoy a good re-enactment if done well and realistically.

    I don't like obese re-enactors though. I have mixed feelings about re-enactor age & gender as I would rather everyone was correct in every way, but due to the money taken up by re-enacting etc, that isn't all that practical.

    I also get slightly annoyed by the groups presenting as "1st Infantry Division" (or some other large unit) when there are about 15 of them
  6. Philip Reinders

    Philip Reinders Very Senior Member

    not my piece of cake, don't like it all, at arnhem is getting out of hand, and I know a a number of vets who don't like it at all, spcialy when they walked fully dressed around on the Cemetery, no respect at all for those who fought and were killed at Arnhem if you do this, and I am 100% behind them.
  7. WotNoChad?

    WotNoChad? Senior Member

    I find reenactors to be generally brilliant, and with their hands-on approach they really help to bring history alive especially with youngsters whose only other experiences are likely to involve dull texts or dusty museums.

    My boy Slug really looks forward to War & Peace and Military Odessey, being as polite as he is it's never proved to be difficult for him to get his hands on just about anything he's interested in, typically weaponry, occassionally the steering wheel of some stationary vehicle, or even individual pieces of kit.

    The main question as I see it is "What are museums and other historical organisations going to do to be so appealling?". Several sites I've visited seem to specialise in being dull and dusty with the trustees too busy basking in other people's glory to notice what a poor show they offer to the public.

    More power to re-enactors I say.
  8. Passchendaele_Baby

    Passchendaele_Baby Grandads Little Girl

    To me, it depends. If it is serious, and it teaches people about the history of certain regiments, then go ahead, be my guest, but if it is some sleazy, unkempt attempt to make light of a certain situation, then, no.
    An example of the bad re-enacting would be a sleezeball who goes on my bus, who wears red and black on fridays, draws himself a moustache, and walks around saying 'heil hitler, death to all jews' that annoys the f*** out of me. I swear, if he does that on friday, I swear, I am going to knock him out!! - the worst thing is he knows i'm into WWII!!! :( :mad: :mad: :(
    But good re-enacting on the other hand is fun. It is a really cool way of teaching, and educating small kids about regiments their family may of been in. Then, of course, they learn something, and want to tell everyone! :)
  9. A-58

    A-58 Not so senior Member Patron

    Here in the states, the emphasis is on the American Civil War re-enacting. There are groups that re-enact other wars, but not near the magnitude of the ACW types. One great by-product of re-enactment groups is that they provide movie makers with extras that contribute much more than the average extra off of the street. These guys come in with period uniforms, weapons, tactics, etc that provides production companies a wealth of expertise and preparation that they would not normally be able to provide. I remember reading where a "indie" type movie was being made in Utah, and a casting call went out to WW2 re-enactors in the region to report with full period gear (US Army, ETO, winter 1944). Several hundred "reported for duty," ready to go. One pilot flew in with his P-51, and several tankers trucked their Stuart light tank for action. When the American Civil War movie "Gettysburg" was filmed in Gettysburg, Pa, about 10,000 re-enactors answered the call. Some stayed longer than others, but they came ready for action. In the Pickett's Charge scene, there were over 5,000 men used, along with a battalion of functioning period artillery. These men camped in period tents on the battlefield, and some stayed for the entire battlefield filming, which ran about 8-10 weeks. After that, most donated their "extra's" pay to the battlefield maintenance foundation. So, re-enactors are good for some things....Living history, and movie extras.
    Za Rodinu and Passchendaele_Baby like this.
  10. Passchendaele_Baby

    Passchendaele_Baby Grandads Little Girl

    Living history, I like that! :D
  11. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    I see that this thread was started by Owen back in 1966 and was resurrected by TomCat as recently as yesterday.

    We have also chewed over the subject many times, particularly when the annual Beltring show comes around and re-enactment is the name of the game.

    I have already gone on record as saying that I personally have no complaints whatsoever on re-enactment as such other than to admit that it is not my scene.

    What I do abhor however are those who wish to dress up as SS etc., for the sole purpose of demonstrating their admiration for the policies and activities of the Third Reich.

    Just for the record

    leontrotsky67 likes this.
  12. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Agree entirely.
  13. Passchendaele_Baby

    Passchendaele_Baby Grandads Little Girl

    I second that.
  14. -tmm-

    -tmm- Senior Member

    What I do abhor however are those who wish to dress up as SS etc., for the sole purpose of demonstrating their admiration for the policies and activities of the Third Reich.

    In my experience of many re-enacting events I have attended up and down the country, I have never met any german re-enactor or group who have "demonstrated their admiration for the policies and activities of the Third Reich". Never ever. Such people would not even be welcomed by the majority, and completely goes against why we re-enact.

    Unfortunately, if a person dresses up in a 'nazi' uniforms and starts spouting crap infront of people he gets noticed...and then people assume this is what all German re-enactors do. The fact of the matter is, someone like this is not a re-enactor. He's just a crazy fool, nothing more. Yet all genuine re-enactors and living historians get tarred with the same brush whenever somebody does something negative and against the spirit of our hobby.

    Imagine the scene. A bus driver decides to kill everyone aboard his bus with a shotgun. The following day the national newspapers condemn bus drivers up and doen the country for being murderers. Ridiculous right? Couldn't happen? I agree, it is ridiculous and would never happen. Yet I have lost count of the number of newspaper articles that refer to the re-enacting community as a single entity, rather than a collection of individuals. One re-enactor did something bad, therefore all re-enactors are bad. In reality it should be: One idiot did something bad, but re-enactors are ok because they do it for the right reasons.

    All re-enactors wear uniform/period costume, but not all those in uniform/period costume are re-enactors.

    /rant over

    (ps. Mr Goldstein, my post wasn't directed at you personally, I just used your quote as the soapbox for my little rant)
  15. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Wrong example, a bus driver is inherently recognized as belonging to an inherently innocuous and socially useful class.

    Now replace "bus driver" with, say, "football hooligan" and try again. Problem is perceptions and associations, everyone under a German uniform will be under triple scrutiny.
  16. -tmm-

    -tmm- Senior Member

    It was a perfectly good example for the point I was trying to make. I could have picked any single non offensive occupation or hobby.

    Just the same as when Jeremy Clarkson was recently criticised for joking that all Lorry Drivers were rapists. Completely ridiculous of course, but when a TV documentary gets shown implying that all German re-enactors are infact nazis people believe it without question.
  17. raider

    raider Temporarily Suspended account.

    Have these people been serving soldiers , and have been in a battles situation is so if so why have the need to show of . Is it toys for big boys.?????????????

    raider .....
  18. -tmm-

    -tmm- Senior Member

    Or how about attempting to educate other people in ways that are different than reading books or looking at static museum displays, upclose personal and interactive. [​IMG]
  19. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Have these people been serving soldiers , and have been in a battles situation is so if so why have the need to show of . Is it toys for big boys.?????????????

    raider .....

    You would perhaps be surprised at the volume of Ex/serving Soldiers (and coppers) across all periods of reenacting. A substantial subset of the overall membership.
  20. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    I've only once run into a small group of re-enactors at a small air show in Brampton where they fly replica WW1 kites. Just about all the fellows were dressed up in WW1 Canadian kit and they had quite an assemblage of WW1 era firearms. They weren't doing any mock battles, just the living museum thing. All quite cool. there was one fellow dressed up in a WW1 German aviator uniform, he reminded me of George Peppard in The Blue Max. Most of these guys were younger, I'd say mid thirties but there's always a few older guys with the rather expansive gut that look more than a bit out of place. These older chubby guys kind of make it a comedy for me.

    The best (for a laugh) group of Re-enactors I've seen usually appear in the annual parade through Streetsville, these guys are the local Klingon Society, now there's a group of dedicated re-enactors!

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