WW2 Re-enactment Groups

Discussion in 'General' started by adamcotton, Apr 4, 2015.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  2. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Fair enough - I can see it's a subject that has been covered a lot here. However, if someone specifically mentions me and criticizes my views I think I have the right of reply.

    No more on the subject from me, although I do think the deliberate misrepresentation of photos as being WWII vintage is an issue that needs to be highlighted. Although CF says this is not done with malice, I'm afraid some of it is. I know, as I've had multiple online arguments with reenactors about faked photos they claimed were genuine.

    Easy way to spot fake WWII photos - too fat, too old, too staged, too much fancy gear, high resolution.
    ww2ni likes this.
  3. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    And too clean, and good teeth.

    SHANKS Member

    Seems like I have opened a can of worms here , my full respect goes out to all those soldiers and service men who have served and fought for thier country I can only be humbled buy thier efforts, accomplishments and sacrifice.
    But read as many books visit as many museums as you may unless you have actually tried it you can never realise what it was like,and for myself (who has not done any milatery service ),to dress in full confederate uniform and marching order carrying a 10 and a half pound Enfield musket with full ammunitionand to march in July Pennsylvania heat ,fire your musket till it is too hot to hold be unable to hear orders shouted because of the musket fire and cannons then along with22000 other confrerates re enact Pickets charge was a truly humbling experience and I that was possible increased my respect for the guys who did it for real .
    Yes I have met people dressed as high ranking ACW officers who didn't know what the CS stood for on my belt buckle or why my uniform was not grey but these are in a minority the majority of re enactors are very knowledgeable about the period and impression they try to represent
    If as re enactors we may unintentionally give some offenc to veterans who have earned the right to wear thier regimental pins and decorations I can only apologise but in the main the veterans who visit our displays are only to happy to tell us of thier experiences and share thier exploits and what it was actually like , a small example my father in law who served in 4th Recce came with us to a event and someone had drawn a Gilroy on a wall he stopped shook his head and said "Bloody hell I'd forgotten all about him"
    As re enactors we strive to keep history alive to try and show people who don't normally visit museums or have a particular interest in thing Miletary or historic an idea of what it was like to live in and experience those times.
    Apologies again if I ruffled a few feathers but in my defence we took part in a recent event at Bovington , with its wealth of historic armour. and live tanks charging around the display field people were queuing up for maybe 1/2 an hour to play a video game, so after now upsetting all the video gamers who read this I will sit back and wait for the next broadside
    And in closing to quot an ACW re enactment society
  5. Combover

    Combover Guest

    One person's opinion. You paint a very one-sided picture, whilst conveniently ignoring the other.
  6. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    You seem to represent the best side of the role reenactors can play. You should enlighten us as to the "other side".
  7. Combover

    Combover Guest

    I've done it plenty of times before only to have the same old un-imaginative and un-original stereotypical responses, Tim.
  8. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Acknowledged. The only problem being that there is merit in some of the points raised for a certain segment of the reenactor community. The aspects that distinguish you from them is a worthwhile message.
    I was approached by a Canadian WW2 reenactor group but declined to join or some of the reasons listed above. From my perspective, if you're going to wear that period uniform it must be done, first and foremost, to respect and celebrate the men who wore them. Done properly, it can add something to a memorial event and serve as an effective communication tool for generations who have no knowledge. A detailed knowledge of the unit being depicted should also be a basic requirement.
    In my instance, I didn't want to be one of a group of pudgy 50 somethings running around playing soldier with an infatuation for period weapons and attempting to be the center of attention. .That is simply distasteful. I would also make a distinction with those who restore and display period vehicles. That pursuit I see quite differently from those who portray soldiers.
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  10. Combover

    Combover Guest

    It's an age-old argument that will persist as long as people aren't willing to improve.

    I get the point that Darby was making but he didn't level it out by providing examples to the contrary.

    We have always set out to be as accurate as we can be within the confines of the modern society. The uniforms and equipment, as worn and used by my group, are a very useful tool and we use them to provide a window to the past for people who have no idea that, say, synthetic materials weren't as prevalent as they are in uniforms today. Yes, they really did have to fight in wool in high temperatures at times, etc. That usually gives people a greater degree of respect for men who actually fought in the uniforms when they see us sweating cobs when we're stood around merely chatting.

    We go to lengths that some may not. We were original underwear (or modern exact reproductions), our boots have the correct screws in the toe-plates etc and our kit is generally of a high standard. To this end we've been complemented by many more WW2 veterans than I care to remember. One that sticks out in my mind was a chap who fought in 26th Indian Division - He was absolutely made up that we were making the effort and stuck around our display for nearly 4 hours listening to what we had to say. He told us he was impressed and thanked us before he left.

    I'm not trying to say we're the greatest at it, as so many others are, but we do our very best and this is noticed. We also don't ask people to join us unless we know they're prepared to put the effort in that we are.

    Not all re-enactors are terrible, just like not all football fans are hooligans etc.

    But I suppose the key to my group's success is that we are always trying to learn more and be better than we are.
    Rich Payne, Owen, CL1 and 2 others like this.
  11. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    That is all the justification you require!
    Combover likes this.
  12. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Okay, I promised not to say any more on this, but seeing as I've been mentioned a couple of times.

    Combover - you say I conveniently do not put the other side of the argument. Actually, it would be very inconvenient for me to put the other side of the argument as I can't think of any arguments for WWII reenactors.

    As for your arguments, I know what troops in WWII wore as I have read this, seen uniforms in museums and watched plenty of film footage. A wool uniform in the hot or wet would be uncomfortable - I get it. I do not need you to wear a uniform to show me this. I had a quick look at your site and did not learn anything I didn't already know. Perhaps you can convince me otherwise?

    And finally, why don't you just admit you enjoy dressing up as soldiers? I'd respect you more if did (though the underwear thing is a bit weird!).


  13. Combover

    Combover Guest

    When did I say I didn't enjoy re-enacting? I would have thought that would go without saying. Although I do disagree with your statement that it's merely 'dressing up' but I won't bother wasting my own time explaining that it is so much more.

    Also, just because YOU know what WW2 soldiers wore, does that mean the general public do as well? I'd say that was a pretty good argument for re-enactors, but your superciliousness in this seems to indicate that because you think you'd get no benefit, nobody else would, which is rather sad.

    The website isn't there as an educational tool, hence the sparsity of information on it. It is a way of people who, as you say are unlike you, in that they are willing to learn form having us at an event.

    I'd normally be willing to extend an invitation to you at an event we're at, but I know you'd turn up with the same attitude, so wouldn't want to waste my time doing that, either.

  14. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Another thing with reenactors - they tend to get very defensive!
  15. Combover

    Combover Guest

    Justifiably, in this case.
  16. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Especially when they are frontally attacked!
  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    I do understand that renactment is not everyones cup of tea and in a number of cases it is done badly.
    I am all for this particular time in history to be remembered and the younger generation getting to learn more about it.
    I have also seen it help the older generation with some form of memory loss and a distant memory is remembered
    Everything helps websites,military vehicle shows,renacting etc.
  18. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. Not my cup of tea and as long as they keep out of my way when I'm doing my battlefield visits that's fine by me.

    One thing I would like to know - do commando reenactors wear period underwear?
  19. Swiper

    Swiper Resident Sospan

    Wouldn't say 'everything helps' can think of loads of aspects/examples that are bloody detrimental.

    FIRE/Tommy Atkins chaps *really* know their stuff and look the part.
  20. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Only trying to be supportive

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