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lodestar 08 Jan 13 21:13

What do posters feel about re-enactment societies?
Most of you are no doubt aware of these groups in your own countries and Ive often wondered about them over the years.

Ive got a very small collection of C20th militaria, mostly passed down through the family (souvenired German WWI items, French stuff etc) and have a general (and I hope simply healthy) interest in personal military equipment or kit as the Brits sometimes call it.
But Ive never had the slightest inclination to join a society and act out some military encounter, display the items I have at a militaria fair, or even swap info on the net with others about what I have.

But I am interested in what motivates guys (and gals!) to join some of these societies whether or
not in some cases something a little worrying is going on.

Now I can understand people having some fun with a Medieval re-enactment club (Vikings, Saxons, archers, Knights, jousts, feasts Etc), an Ancient Civilizations club (Egyptians, Greeks Romans et al)
World War One Im fine with. Always saw that conflict, at least on the Western Front, despite its attendant horror and carnage as basically A clean war (well thats a poor choice of words I suppose but you know what I mean!)
Some WWII re-enactment activity also seems like fairly harmless fun at least on the allied side. There are for example numerous associations portraying units from the 82nd Airborne.

Now I know re-enactors have been used in feature films, some documentaries and also appear at fairs, festivals etc. That I guess is providing a service and helps people understand and appreciate history.

But whats with these guys depicting SS (!) or other Axis units of dubious distinction?
I recall a few months ago someone surreptitiously taped a gathering of some SS re-enactors in the UK. One of them is distinctly heard making some pretty damning comments about Pakis or blacks along the lines of how hed like to deal with those kind of people.
In other words he said what youd expect someone from the friggin actual SS to say!Dont know what happened but I imagine recruitment to the re-enactment group did not go up.

Whod want to join something like that? Very strange.

Even someone choosing to depict confederates in an ACW Society makes me smile ruefully.
Anyway I promised myself Id keep this brief so over to you guys.
Regards lodestar

Hetzer 15 08 Jan 13 21:24

I think reenactment is fine and I'm all for it! I like going to see and look at the time and energy these people put into it.

But I also wonder about the SS thing as well, or Waffen SS, or other groups that were, well, like you say...dubious.

I have seen it carried to,far as well with the death head emblem and other items like rings and armbands and the like. Some of it is taken to far.

I don't need to see a reenactment of the Malmedy massacre to know it happened...

Cult Icon 08 Jan 13 21:46

T. A. Gardner 08 Jan 13 21:57

Cult that's good... But, and I'm really, really sorry I don't have a picture... I saw a Black guy in L A at a wargaming convention wearing an SS Grueppenfuehrer's uniform! Now that would take some explaining.....

RichardS 08 Jan 13 22:13

I have a friend who used to reinact with the 2nd WSS which was ran by a Jewish Rabbi and had a LOT of Jewish members. When asked about it they replied that 1) They had the best uniforms and 2) (more importantly) it pissed off the NeoNazis to no end. :)

lodestar 08 Jan 13 23:58

Re-enactors! They're everywhere!
Errr..... say no more.
But the pictures remind me of a worrying development in military history publishing.
A few months ago I noticed a newstand copy of Strategy & Tactics or The World At War magazine featured an article about some WWII East Front battle.
There were a couple of pitures of German infantry platoons and accompanying captions saying something like 'German infantry on the march in Poland late 1944' or some such.
Well even a cursary examination of the photos made it quite clear they were modern day re-enactors!
Bloody outrageous! What a sad development for the once proud S&T masthead. Hpe ACG never does anything like that!

Regards lodestar

Scott Fraser 09 Jan 13 00:41


Originally Posted by Cult Icon (Post 2435528)

OMG! There really IS a Sergeant Schultz!

Scott Fraser

BELGRAVE 09 Jan 13 01:54

You did say WW1 re-enactment societies, no ?

The best, in my view is the Light Horse Society based on Creswick, Vic.Fine horses, meticulous uniforms, proper weapons:- the works.

Michele 09 Jan 13 02:59

I don't throw stones. I've been a wargamer for a long time, and among WWII wargamers many prefer fielding German troops simply because "they are the best" (an idea often self-reinforced, because some of the rule writers also follow that school of thought). And some even prefer the Waffen-SS among the Germans, because they are "first-class soldiers" and again have the best equipment.

OK, that's at least in part based on inaccurate and biased information, but I can live with it (and, ideally, set up an Arracourt battle in which Shermans and TDs destroy Panthers wholesale).

What I won't stand is when it is glaring obvious that the SS-fond wargamer is fond of them for political reasons. The same would go for a reenactor. I used to know - through online sources only! - about an Italian guy who reenacted in RSI uniform... and guess what, his views were neo-Fascist.
If wargaming and reenacting (and modeling, and collecting etc.) are but an excuse to promote that kind of ideas, I won't stomach that. But until evidence of this is apparent, I won't object to war-related hobbies, even if they have to do with that kind of military units.
After all, WWII history is but a hobby for me, and I happen to know more things about the Waffen-SS than the average man in the street. This doesn't make me a SS fan.

panther3485 09 Jan 13 04:26

Moved to the WW1 forum.

Von Richter 09 Jan 13 05:46

1 Attachment(s)
Two words describe my 'umble opinion of re-enactors...

Attachment 51541

F:censored:ing sad bastards!!!


copenhagen 09 Jan 13 06:26

I think reenacting what was effectively slaughter in a load of mud is to me a bit weird. I think its a uniform mostly though to be honest, even more so with the Napoleon or the Nazi stuff. Having spoken to a number of people over their years their actual understanding of what really happened and the debauched evil of it isn't entirely believed by them I think...

I think the SS thing is weird especially when people say its non political. Its a bit like wearing a KKK outfit for fun and saying its Ok I'm not racist. Perhaps they're not but....

Anyway it takes all sorts..

Selous 10 Jan 13 12:17

A lot of reenactors you meet at Living History events seem harmless enough, good blokes, eager to share their knowledge on history. They make history come alive, I think they're doing a good job and their hobby is doing no harm- in fact I wish they'd been more about when I was younger.
Some however seem a bit more sinister, namely some (but not all) of the SS units re enactors.
I was talking to a chap I know who does historical shooting and sells ethnic weaponry, and we ended up talking about re-enactors, he went along once to one, I think it was the English Civil War which this group were doing. Asked him what it was like he just said, wide-eyed 'mad men, absolutely mad'. I think it coloured his view of them for then after.
I don't think I could be bothered to role out of bed at 5:00 and spend the weekend as a viking, but I don't begrudge others for doing it.

I met some once at the KM War and Peace Show (actually I met a lot) who were re-enacting the 1990s Balkans conflict - they had, and I **** you not, 80's shell suits and Aks. That was it, I mean if you're going to do re-enactment, that's probably the cheapest way to start.

Dibble201Bty 10 Jan 13 20:47

Imo, If someone wishes to pose in an accurate rendition of a soldier (or follower) of a certain period, then thats OK by me but they should 'look' the part, not overweight, wrong sex or wrong race. The other thing they should do is stop the battlefield reenactments. Seeing a bunch of Napoleonic wannabies acting like fools on the very site of a 50,000 casualty battlesite is F***ing galling. How many WWI reenactors do you see advancing over the pock-marked fields of Verdun? And if someone posts pictures of people doing that very thing, then I say Give em a spade and 48 hours rations each, take them to Salisbury plain impact area that's located in the south of England, tell them to dig deep then get the a couple of Royal Artillery regiments of 105mm light guns to send over a barrage that will last the whole 48 hours.

Reenactors = Sad, wannabe f**kwhit wankers :thumbsdown:

Paul :mad:

flash 10 Jan 13 21:38


Originally Posted by Scott Fraser (Post 2435635)
OMG! There really IS a Sergeant Schultz!

Scott Fraser

The fat bloke in the blue pyjamas has got room for another 6 ammo pouches.
Snipers dream he is.
Aaaaah bless him!

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