re-enactors

Discussions on all aspects of WW1, WW2 and Inter-War Era reenactment.
kelty90
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re-enactors

Post by kelty90 » 06 Aug 2002 16:37

What is the attitude of members of this forum towards re-enactors dressing up as WW2 German soldiers?.
Honouring the memory of real soldiers and events, or, trivialising events by playing at soldiers and dishonouring the real soldiers?.

Homer martin
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hi

Post by Homer martin » 06 Aug 2002 20:49

It is better that there are poeple who want to re-enact and do living history as it keeps history alive for this genaration. Look at the Civil War re-enactors and what they have done to keep that history alive and look at the good work done in the movies that used this large resource.
It will help in the future that there are people who do these things and keep alive this war.


/hgm

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Zachary
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Post by Zachary » 06 Aug 2002 22:27

I always found it amusing when I saw something like the "1st Ohio Panzergrenadiers" or something along those lines.
Zachary

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HaEn
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reenactment

Post by HaEn » 06 Aug 2002 23:11

I think it is a good idea, as long as the reenactors keep in mind that they are NOT German soldiers, but portrayals. I have some very good friends who are, and they stick to the "reality" pretty close, complete with vehicles, weapons, barracks with as much authentic "stuff" as possible. All of them know it is not for real. And all of them do it to keep the memory of the good part of the German army alive. Not one I know is caught up in the nazi thinking of the time. Just the soldiering. In short. My blessings !!!! H.N.

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Annelie
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Post by Annelie » 06 Aug 2002 23:39

HaEn:

Could I please ask what the average age is of an WWII German re-enactor
is and background?

Thankyou
Annelie

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HaEn
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age

Post by HaEn » 07 Aug 2002 04:34

Annelie wrote:HaEn:

Could I please ask what the average age is of an WWII German re-enactor
is and background?

Thankyou
Annelie


Anywhere from early twenties to fourties. Several were or are in the U.S. Army, and/ or reserve. Some of their reenactments are not German but Korea or Vietnam. Also pretty accurate. Regards. HN.

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Dan W.
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Post by Dan W. » 07 Aug 2002 05:34

I've seen the 2nd Panzer Divison re-enactments, and they have a Hetzer, a Halftrack, a Kubelwagon and some other anti-tank guns and such. Plenty of K-98's and MG-42's, and they also have a veteran of WWII who was really in the 2nd Panzer Division and attends the re-enactments. That is great beacuse people will be interested and if they want to really know what it was like they can ask Herr Kloth.

He was captured by the Russians and released in 1949. Don't ask about his time in captivity. He says he went through his own Holocaust.

And when someone asked if he believed in Hitler he said "I believed in my country and fought for it when asked. No different that American kids who answered the call and went to Vietnam."

And he is right. And here is the link to 2nd Panzer.

http://www.2ndpanzerdivision.com/

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Ville Kosonen
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Post by Ville Kosonen » 08 Aug 2002 05:37

Re-enacting in Finland

Term Re-enacting is still somewhat unknown here in Finland. This summer there were few articles concernig about 16th century "Hakkapeliitta"s in Tammela, and here in Turku we had couple of days happening called "Turku in the Middle Ages" where people dressed in the old looking costumes: King, queen, guardians, jokers(my favourite!) and the poor people.
And only one bigger happening about WW2, and of course I personally missed it and only read about it later in the paper.
It was re-enactment of bringing a fallen soldier´s body back to his home county Ypäjä, by the way which was a custom during our wars, the Finnish wanted to bury their dead in the home, not left anywhere in the battlefield.
In the few pictures I saw, there were many people dressed as WW2 Finnish soldiers and female Lotta-auxhialiries. They are doing it again next summer, and I think I´ll try to be there then.

Back to the point...

Brief history of our reenactment group http://www.retrotroops.com

I am one of the founding member of Retrotroops.com, which is a small group of persons interested WW2 military history and militaria. To my knowledge we are at the moment still the only organized WW2 re-enacting group here in Finland. We have had our own public website for couple of years now, and have gotten mostly positive feedback.

All this photo-thing started about ten years ago from a uniform cavalcade at national IPMS plastic modelling convention. Purpose was to depict different soldiers in their gear on stage, for reference purposes for plastic modellers. There I met the other founder, Esko Koskinen, WW2 enthusiast and plastic modeller, like I was.
Time went by and collector-bug bit me. Starting with LW-buckle, gas mask canister and a bayonet...
Years went by and collection grew, and I met a new friend, Robert Tammi, who was to become the third founder of our group. He was immeaditely interested in taking more pictures, once I showed some of the first pics. Since then he started collecting militaria too.

And during the last 5 years we have patrolled around Turku every now and then, making "hit-and-run"-style photoattacks.

We are not doing any "war-games", nor depict any specific unit, just trying to achieve realistic looking B/W-images and videoclips.
It is due to limited resources, why our subjects are quite small in scale. You can imagine that when a group of four is involved, and one of them is needed for taking pictures, you can´t much depict massive attacks or retreats! :wink:
Action shots are also hard to present as our guns are deactivated, also lack of pyrotechnics is one BIG thing...
Only special effects are re-recorded over to our videoclips. Check them out!
Lenght of videos is limited because of technical limitations(camera)
But we are planning of making longer "real" films too.

One positive thing here in Northern Europe is that we Eastern Front climate by nature. So no need for paper snow like in Band of Brrothers.
And by driving around countryside there is always some old farms to be found for background.

And one more thing about images presented at our website, they just the tip of the iceberg.
At first you have to have all the equipment.
Then get the group together(all of us have different working hours, of course! And some live in Helsinki 160km away from Turku)
Then to find a good place, then take couple of hundred images, of which about 10 or 20 are good enough.(thank God for digital cameras!)
Then there is after-action-actions at home, trying to clean up and organize all used equipment back in order to closet.(I still have several German and Russian uniforms and weapons lying around my living room from last tuesday´s session...)
And finally timeconsuming task of making photos look old(white borders etc.) and inserting them to our website.

It is quite easy to find people that are interested in taking part in our photosessions, but you can imagine their faces after hearing the costs of all these equipments, some of which are still wartime originals, even though we are trying to make use of replicas as much as possible.
At our first sessions nearly all was original stuff, and mainly from my own collection. So you can imagine my burden of heart, when we were roaring at old houses full of rusty nails etc.
All the "top of the line" repro uniforms cost a lot too, especially shipped to here, so we are trying to get along with jackets modified from Swiss or Swedish army jackets and boots.
Just to tell a new member applicant, that you need 1000euros equipment to join, would mean that our group would always as small as it now is.

Improvise! was the term I remember some officer once said, that´s what we are doing.



There are and always will be people who will ask us:

Why the Germans?
Why the SS?

My personal answer is that Waffen-SS, it´s history and equipment are just simply the most interesting aspects of WW2. And the equipment and references are already available in our members´ collections.

By the way the latest update on our site will include Russian material depicted seriously for the first time. And we will do for example Finnish impressions too as time and money allow. That is why we are called Retrotroops, there are no limitations by name.



Thank you for reading all this long post, I hope I have enlightened our behavior even a little bit.

Please visit our site, and give us hints, tips and critics.
Here, on my e-mail or at our forum(pop-up warning due network54 advertisement politics!): http://www.network54.com/Hide/Forum/167464

Ville Kosonen
Retrotroops.com

Some of our photos:













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Romulus
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Post by Romulus » 08 Aug 2002 07:28

Alot of the germans in SPR were reenactors

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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 09 Aug 2002 16:06

Dan Weakley wrote:I've seen the 2nd Panzer Divison re-enactments, and they have a Hetzer...


Actually, their 'Jagdpanzer 38' is a Swiss vehicle, and not an original Jagdpanzer 38 - but it's very close, and images of it (with reenactment 'crew' have been sold (or attempted so) as WWII original Jagdpanzer 38 pictures!

Christian

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Annelie
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Post by Annelie » 09 Aug 2002 17:23

Thankyou Mr. Ville Kosonen:

Very interesting.
Are there women involved also?


regards
Annelie

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Siegfried Wilhelm
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Post by Siegfried Wilhelm » 09 Aug 2002 20:04

Oh yes. There are Helferinen of all branches and some who do civilians. Most of the Helferinen are either signal personel, medical, or drivers etc. or similar non-combatant roles. Only the Russians seem to have combat women. That's not to say that some of the female reenactors don't get pretty close to the excitement though if they want, because after all, virtually every bit of the Reich became 'front lines' sooner or later. :wink:

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Dan W.
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Post by Dan W. » 09 Aug 2002 21:14

We don't all specialize in German re-enactments. Many have multiple impressions. I have done Civil War and U.S., and really don't feel like shelling out the bucks for a German impression (but I would love to do German I'll say that!)
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Alex F.
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Post by Alex F. » 21 Aug 2002 22:04

I currently do a German impression but am looking at a WW2 US paratrooper impression next.

:)
Alex

Smert-Fashistam
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Post by Smert-Fashistam » 21 Aug 2002 22:39

I am sorry but all this "re-enactment" reminds me of people who dress like stormtroopers from Star Wars, in addtion in attracts negative attention, although I like history of war, I wouldnt dress as a Nazi soldier

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