Hard to do right

Discussions on all aspects of WW1, WW2 and Inter-War Era reenactment.
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Hard to do right

Post by maltesefalcon » 24 Nov 2003 19:22

Having been involved in 19th century re-enactments for over a decade I must say that I cannot in all honesty express any interest in live action 20th century re-enacting.

The 19th century events have better visual appeal. Normally on the scale they are done (<5000 participants), one can see the entire battle unfurl. This is good both for the participants and paying spectators, which is common. Also due to the drastically different technology of the time period one can spend as much time demonstrating how the soldiers lived, not just how they died.
The battles also "look" real, with artillery, horses and large infantry formations giving a realistic overview of the weapons and tactics involved. Moreover, they can be used relatively safely with modest expense.

In contrast, WW2 tactics concentrate on loose battle formations, relying on quick movement and concealment. There is little visual appeal in this. Moreover, realistic battles need extensive adjuncts to infantry tactics. These would include, vehicles, armour, aircraft, mortars, artillery, land mines, automatic weapons etc. It is difficult and expensive to use these weapons in "real time", not to mention the safety factors. (If you are filming a movie or documentary, the clever use of stop action and editing can make the event seem very real.) If the event is largely centred on infantry formations, with no other support, it just doesn't look right.

Finally I find the events to be still a little too close to home. The US Civil War has been over for more than 150 years, time to forget. Many of those who participated in or suffered losses in WW2 are still alive.

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Post by nihil » 25 Nov 2003 02:02

I must admit that i can't see what your point is? Other than trying to tell others that the kind of reenactment you are doing, are way better than the reenactment that theis sub-forum is all about.

I must admit that i cant see the interesting in 19th century battles. It was all about lining two armies up against each other, and then shoot and in turn get shot until the enemy or yourself was dead and defeated.

The realism. What is more realistic about playing hit by an imagenary bullet in 19th century warfare and 20th century? Then i could argue that medival and Viking reenactment are WAY better, because it is fought with blades, man to man in an even more different world than today, and honemtly it looks a bit more right that a mon goes down when he is hit by a blade, than a rifle shooting blanks is fired some hundred metres away, and then you have to decide whatever to fall or not :roll:

The argument of 19th century vs. ww2? Why is so many people historically interested in ww2 instead of 19th century warfare?

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Post by |Handschar| » 30 Jan 2004 19:19

Since I've never actually reenacted anything, I can tell you that 20th century war has a much higher appeal than 19th century war. Also, you are biased by having reenacted the civil war for however long you have. Have you tried any reenacting in the 20th century? It is more expensive from what I know, but it also seems to be more dynamic than civil war, and there are more possibilities if there are tanks and land mines and the rest of it. Even if it doesn't seem like the way of life 60 years ago isn't that much different than now, the mentality and political environment that WWII takes place in is so much different. Also, if you reenact a unit from a country that you aren't native to, it adds a whole new dimension to all of it.
Since I've never done it again, I don't know how accurate all of this is, so I'm speaking from what I've seen.

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Post by voorst » 02 Feb 2004 09:27

My opinion is both reenactment are interesting.

I started my interest in reenactment with Napoleonic unit.
The worst thing is that 99% of 19th century reenactors are over 40! Quite unrealistic!!!

In Italy Napoleonic reenacting is more expensive than WWII.

There is little realism is Nepoleonic charges, no real fight at all.

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Post by Supremacy » 03 Feb 2004 11:21

voorst wrote: The worst thing is that 99% of 19th century reenactors are over 40! Quite unrealistic!!!
Can be also an advantage: So you have enough men for Volkssturm units. :D

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