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Popeye
06-29-2006, 11:21 PM
It has been a very, very long time since I posted here and two years since my last CW event. Frankly I became very frustrated with the entire hobby as it relates to the War of Northern Aggression, that's a zigger for some of my old friends!
I am hoping to get to an event or two this year but I want quality, not quantity.
I see most of the topics have not changed much in two years, that's warming as it reflects the hobby did not die. A prediction made a few times!!
My favorites were the Hodge marches and RECONS. Is there any discussion of such events? I'd even settle for a McDowell.
Having read some posts, yes, I am a vet but of a non-war time varity....at least against a foreign military....served in the Army from 77-81. I carry several things in my haversack.....but none say KODAK or BIC.
The vet question was an interesting one. After 9/11 I found myself angered at times when I saw kids running around playing soldier when men and women their own age were off in Iraq fighting and dying in a real war. It ticked me off that they could play war all weekend and go back to their college dorms while their peers were hunkered down in a sand hole hoping to see the light of the next day. I still get that feeling, even more so since I was told I am too old now to enlist again.....that needs to change......but I have tried to temper my feelings. Not change how I feel or think, just what I am willing to give to their comfort. So there ya go.....semi-retired and finding more enjoyment in the WWII American aspect of the hobby though I still love the CW history and look forward to getting back down South for new adventures.
Good to hear from Chris Anders again......I will be down Chris....and I'd very much enjoy your company! Sadly, I must admit, I still have not a lick of a Bluebelly kit.....but I will be working on it!

God Bless our Troops and our President

Keith "Popeye" Rayeski
NRA Life Member

indguard
06-30-2006, 12:33 AM
I see most of the topics have not changed much in two years,

Seems to me they haven't changed since 1865!
;)

cjdaley
06-30-2006, 05:56 AM
It has been a very, very long time since I posted here and two years since my last CW event.

I ran into Popeye a WWII event this winter. He and his pards were so nice to my family. They gave my son d-rations, let him handle the weapons and even let him try on a parachute. I was blown away at how much attention they paid to just one 4 year old boy.

They introduced us to the vets and 6 months later he still talks about his experience in the 101st barracks.

While I was upset to see Popeye leave the hobby for a few years, his temporary departure was our gain for at least a day. Thanks again Popeye!

Wild Rover
06-30-2006, 08:11 AM
Got to come down and play soon...

BTW- check out the Sharpshooter COI at Pamplin Park this September, and Perryville in October- www.chesapeakevolunteerguard.org

Pards,

mntineer
06-30-2006, 08:57 AM
It has been a very, very long time since I posted here and two years since my last CW event. Frankly I became very frustrated with the entire hobby as it relates to the War of Northern Aggression, that's a zigger for some of my old friends!

You took a reenacting route similiar to me, Popeye. I jumped into WW1 and WW2 reenacting 10 years ago just to catch a break from what I preceived as a sameness in the ACW realm of the hobby. Now, it seems, some things have evolved.

Have fun coming back to the Civil War!

indguard
06-30-2006, 11:04 AM
Could someone explain the draw of WWII reenacting to me? I am not saying it shouldn't be done, I am just curious what you guys get out of it, because I just don't get it. Theres no drill. Theres no battle tactics. There aren't any real "units" to join (it seems never to be more than a few guys standing around at a time in the same unit).

It seems unorganized with no real activities to me.

What is the draw? Just wearing the uniforms and being able to be around machine guns and tanks (when those can be brought out which apparently isn't always?)? Is it the fact that there really isn't anything physical involved like drill at a Civil War event?

I really don't get it. What do you DO at a WWII event?

WTH

cjdaley
06-30-2006, 12:51 PM
Could someone explain the draw of WWII reenacting to me?

I'm not sure what it's like to be a participant since I only did one WWII event and that was over 10 years ago, however, I can tell you that from a spectator's standpoint, there is alot to be gained.

I used to think "why do a WWII living history since there are vets still around", but Popeye's group did a great job of having reproduction uniforms, original artifacts, young reenactors and veterans all on hand for my family to learn from. It was a good mix of learning from living historians and learning from primary sources all at once. The vets where right there to answer questions the reenactors couldn't and they were quick to correct any mis-statements.

My family has been to scores of living history events as spectators. From F&I to Vietnam and each time period has it's farbs and it's hardcores, but for the spectator there is always something to learn.

BTW: Popeye's group gave us a tour of their barracks during the battle so they certainly didn't attend Fort Indiantown Gap for the tactical or the firepower, it was more for the education (both internal and external).

mntineer
06-30-2006, 01:26 PM
Could someone explain the draw of WWII reenacting to me? I am not saying it shouldn't be done, I am just curious what you guys get out of it, because I just don't get it. Theres no drill. Theres no battle tactics. There aren't any real "units" to join (it seems never to be more than a few guys standing around at a time in the same unit).


On the contrary, there's a lot to WW2 reenacting that isn't realized by reeenactors of other periods. Believe me there is drill, and there's definitely battle tactics - but not what a CW-only reenactor is used to. Look at it as the evolved state of what you're doing in CW.

As far as real "units", I'm not sure to what you're referring to? There are many units to join, although they are controlled a bit differently than in CW reenacting. An Internet search turns up a lot of WW2 units to join.


It seems unorganized with no real activities to me.

No less than any CW event.


What is the draw? Just wearing the uniforms and being able to be around machine guns and tanks (when those can be brought out which apparently isn't always?)? Is it the fact that there really isn't anything physical involved like drill at a Civil War event?

I don't know where you get your concept of WW2 reenacting, but for me, it was very akin to any CW event, except that the battle outings tend to last longer than a typical CW event, and you sleep in period barracks most of the time. Much like CW, you do drill, inspections, and utilize WW2-era tactics in the field. Nothing any more apart from CW.


I really don't get it. What do you DO at a WWII event?

What do you DO at a CW event? There's only the difference of translation between reenacting the two periods.

Popeye
06-30-2006, 04:00 PM
Oh my poor Indguard.....I do not say that to insult you....but more so that your ignorance ( meaning a lack of understanding, not stupidity) leaves you in a blissful state of CW reenacting.
First, thanks Chris..it was a great thrill to see you and your wife and son. That to me has always been what it's about...the education aspect. It is what keeps the memory alive of what those men and women of each period did. No one really cares about the shame battles....how real is a battle that no one dies from? How do folks understand what those people lived through, how they trained, what they used to fight, from watching a powder burner? Tacticals make little sense but they make more sense than public battles. I could never fire a blank and spend all my time doing public displays of original and authentic quality repops, talk about what I have learned and be very happy! Last time I saw you was at the frock coat class in Hagerstown,Md....how long ago was that!?!? Ya know, I STILL have not finished that coat, but I will!! For those that do not look to Chris for uniforms, your out of your mind.....in my book, there are none finer...some are close but no one does it better.
Our unit generally does the big public battle on Saturday but, it is about the same as a farby public CW battle so, this year it was moved that we do the non-public tactical on Friday and then stand by in the barracks for the public visitors. We enjoyed it much better that way and I suspect it will be a repeat performance in Jan "07".
Now, Indguard....here's your challange, if you choose to accept it. In January "07" our unit, 74 active members strong, will be back at the National WWII event at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa. It starts Tuesday about 2pm and ends Sunday morning about 9am after we break down and clean the barracks. I will ask you to spend minimal money, for rounds mostly, meals and registration, and the unit and myself will provide the rest. I'll have to get it cleared by our unit commander/founder but, rest up and work out before you come because you will get the work out of your life as a WWII paratrooper. I never worked so hard in the field at a CW event as I do at a WWII event. I'll grant you one thing, there are far less public, in fact most years none, battles as there are tacticals with ONLY MALE REENACTORS! If you see a female she's in the rear as a nurse. Check that, there are one or two farb units that let a female or maybe two into their unit but you'll know who they are and you'll see why they let females in. They are WEBSTERS photo definition of FARBS! But again, they are very, very far and few between. I'd love to carry on with you back channel as I don't want to tie up a load of band width here but, it's a very difficult transition back to CW once you've done WWII.
Now, as Chris pointed out, one major advantage we have is that we do still have living veterans of the real deal...and like the books of the CW, you'll find both ends of the spectrum and every thing in between for how they did this or that....about the only thing that was mostly consistant was the TO&E. It is more along the lines of a Federal CW impression for varity. Most guys dressed the same and most were equiped the same....though there were minor variations of personel preference.
If you'd like to learn more, shoot me an e-mail back channel at retiredsp@comcast.net
One final thought.....a BASIC paratrooper impression will run you about 2000 bucks....and that's the VERY basic, uniform, boots, helmet and weapon if you can get a deal. I could buy my CW impression 5 times over with a weapon each time for what I have invested in my WWII impression. I do agree also with the folks that feel smoothbores are way under represented in CW reenacting.....I may grab myself a Springfield this year....

Popeye

BobWerner
06-30-2006, 05:01 PM
Could someone explain the draw of WWII reenacting to me? I am not saying it shouldn't be done, I am just curious what you guys get out of it, because I just don't get it. Theres no drill. Theres no battle tactics. There aren't any real "units" to join (it seems never to be more than a few guys standing around at a time in the same unit).

WTH


WTH:
There are some of us who really don't understand certain aspects about the pastime known as "Civil War Reenacting" either, but I won't go there. Let's just say there is variety for a reason, and that's not a bad thing.
As for the WWII guys, I think Chris Daley and Popeye pretty well nailed it with their comments. Like Chris and his family, my wife and I attend a pretty broad spectrum of events that range in portrayal from the early 1600's to the mid-twentieth century. To echo what was stated, there are farbs and truly remarkable interpreters to be found at many of the venues. Just like with the Civil War folks, there are different reasons for attending events and differing missions among the participants.
On Saturday, June 3, 2006, my wife and I attended the 16th Annual World War II Weekend at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, PA, not far from our home. It's a combination event that centers around vintage aircraft, but with lots of displays and programs going on all at a fairly large facility. There were reenactors and historical interpreters gallore. Plenty of farbs, but some pretty impressive looking folks, too. What was different here was that some joe wearing 101st Airborne insignia would be eyed up by a couple of old guys wearing veteran insignia from the 101st. Needless to say, there were some smiles, some nods of approval, and some shaking of the head going on by a good number of WWII veterans that attended.
For me, it was a special treat as I got to watch B-17s and Lancaster bombers take off, circle the field a bit, then come in for landings. Watching a P-51 Mustang buzzing the field was a delight I can't describe, just as getting up close and getting a real good look at it and a whole host of other aircraft, vehicles, equipment, etc., etc. But even more, I came home with a cherished souvenir, a copy of "Return of the Enola Gay" by Paul W. Tibbetts autographed by the author and his navigator, Dutch Van Kirk. Bad timing prevented me from asking Colonel Tibbets some questions about the raid of the Enola Gay over Hiroshima, but maybe my luck will be better next year if he is able to attend, again.
Basically, WTH, I come away from most events having learned something or, perhaps, having come to understand a little bit of our country's history somewhat better. My experience a few weeks ago with the WWII Weekend at the Mid Atlantic Air Museum was certainly of a caliber I hope to repeat.
So, if you're wondering about those WWII guys, I'd say a lot of them help people like me to appreciate that particular period of history. My suggestion to you, sir, would be to take some time and go visit some events of other time periods. You'd be surprised what you come away with as a spectator.

Respectfully,

indguard
06-30-2006, 08:48 PM
Interesting and thanks for the comments.

I can only say that it must be very different for Eastern events in WWII, then. Because, out here it is more like Rev war in that there are only handfuls of guys. Oh, and no "real barracks" anywhere to sleep in. Rev war is bad out here for its tiny size, too.

If you have a unit of 74 men there, I'd say that is a "real unit" by the standards I was thinking (more than 20 men).

All I can say is, out here in the Midwest it seems that there is rarely more than 4 or 5 guys in the same "unit" at any given time. Unless you want to be a nazi, then everyone is there! It just seems too diverse and with not enough ground pounders that look like an "army" together. It's like the old days of Civil War where everyone has such a different uniform that it hardly seems they are in the same army!

In fact, the only reenacting era that draws any real numbers is Civil War. And that seems to be declining of late.

So, if the events get to the size where units of 74 men are showing up, I'd think that would be pretty interesting.

Popeye
07-01-2006, 12:04 AM
I don't want to beat this horse, after all, this is a Civil War forum however I'd like to add just a few things.
Nazis are getting harder to find even on the East coast. I don't know why, it used to be just the opposite but today, those poor devils have to start in fixed positions to stand any chance of surviving! I am playing with the idea of doing a German infantry impression but I really want to build a Civil War Federal first so I'll see what happens. I used to do Russian WWII but that left a sour taste in my mouth so I sold off the kit....talk about cheap impressions! With a war dated original Russian Mosin Nagant bolt action rifle, a Russian WWII kit can be had for about 700 bucks or less.
Anyway, I love the Civil War because I can appriciate how the Southern folk felt back then and though it only stirs the pot, I still feel they were within their rights as they were then, to take the action they did. It would not have turned to the blood bath it became, had the Northern states respected the rights of the Southern folks to go on their on. But again, I don't want to stir that hornets nest. As well, it was a war that took place on our own soil, Americans (mostly) against Americans and all that. Battle fields, thanks to some forward thinking folks putting their money and efforts where their mouth is, are in many instances, well preserved and still building. So we can touch and feel- we meaning nuts like us- the ground they gave their all on.
As far as WWII, many of us have parents or some, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins....that actually lived that time and we can talk to them about it. That gives it a touch of reality.
There are many good WWII reenacting units out there and many put as much into that as others do Civil War or Rev War...name it....it's a passion to all of us. Oh yea, Rev War is farby here too...the heart of the Revolution! The unit I belong to takes some ribbing because we portray Easy Company, 506 PIR (parachute infantry regiment) 101st Airborne. In the WWII reenacting world, the unit is known as "Band of Brothers", thanks to Stephen Ambrose. Our unit was founded in 1985, well before the book or mini-series, as a result of personel relationships of guys in the unit with the actual vets of the real unit. We were honoring out friends service. Today, it has an entirely different meaning to WWII reenactors but as I said, because of the world wide attention Ambrose brought to the unit.
The only event we occupy a barracks for is the Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa event. It is an active National Guard unit that has preserved about 4 blocks of WWII era buildings that served as an induction/reception area and, discharge area during WWII. The streets are sealed off with jersey barriers and there is a concerted effort to keep it 1940's period during the week we are there. Other smaller events are held there through the year but January is the big National one. Two years ago, a group of guys coming from the Indiana area rented a couple of railroad cars on a train going East and recreated a 1940's train atmosphere. I was not a party to that so I don't know how it went. They have a low power FM radio station on during the week of the event and they broadcast as if it's the 1940's. Strict authenticity standards are set for the barracks first floor and they are policed by guys doing a WWII MP impression. Last year was mild weather and the 101st guys were in fixed position most of the day. The year before was about 18 inches of fresh snow and zero degree temps. We humped 6 miles through hill in dale of the Pa., mountains all day with full combat gear to reenact the Battle of the Bulge...which is the focus of the event each year. Now that was a work out unheard of in CW reenacting! Even the Hodge marches were a walk in the park by comparision! CW reenacting with full gear is going light for WWII airborne troops. And, the uniform worn under the jump suit is, you guessed it, WOOL! I drop 5-8 pounds at a FIG event in January. It works out well being after Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners!!
I also do a WWII 1st Division impression....the "Big Red One", to represent the leg units. I had 4 uncles in WWII, 2 Marines and 2 Army. My Dad, God rest his soul, was Korea and 3 tours in Nam on PBR's (Swift boats). Believe it or not Ripley, there are even guys doing Viet Nam reenacting!! I have a hard time with white guys wearing mascara to make their eyes appear VC!! Just a bit too weird for me. There are guys that do WWII Navy impressions on floating museum ships like the North Carolina. Military reenacting is a big world but as I said, I love the CW and WWII paratrooper stuff. It's all about personal preferences. Our unit has a training week in July and we practice WWII squad and platoon tactics, hand and arm signals, all the stuff I have done in CW and more. Our unit has several BC611 portable period radios that are pared out by platoon and squad to communicate with the HQ and heavy weapons sections. We also do periods of drill at each event before the event kicks off. We have rations, ammo, grenade and morter round issue at each event. At max effort events we often set up two GP (general purpose) tents and at other events we set up dog tents.....they were much more widely used during WWII. Other times, it's under the stars with a blanket or nothing at all. It really depends on the individuals. Even if the unit opts for GP's, guys can still go under the stars or in a dog.....it's up to the guys but everyone helps set up and take down if the majority wants GPs'. It is a unit effort for a unit issue.
Well, I won't take up any more time here on this.....but I'd like to close by saying this. When the American Civil War of 1861-1865 ended, we all know it still goes on in some places, America was brought back together and those Americans have fought many wars since as a United States of America. We owe it to all of them to not let any one ever forget that part of those lives that were lost, some forever. It is a good thing we do and it goes far beyond a bunch of grown men running around in the woods "shooting" at each other and playing boys games....it is about preserving our heritage and our history, none of which would matter a lick without the history of those that keep this nation alive and, a world free of savage dictators.
Give it a try Indguard.....who is it that said, "try it, you'll like it"!! But just as in CW units, it takes some trial and maybe error, to find a quality unit.
One day, Chris may even start making repop WWII uniforms..there's a BIG market for it.
What I find most odd about WWII is that we would never even think about wearing original Civil War stuff in the field to play war but in WWII.....90% of the stuff we use is original....someday that will stop so we can preserve the material culture....that's for the future generations of reenactors I guess!

Popeye

cookiemom
07-01-2006, 01:06 AM
...who is it that said, "try it, you'll like it"!!
Popeye

um... Mikey, in a "Life" cereal commercial?

Ma

Popeye
07-01-2006, 09:02 AM
I thought that went something like, " let's get Mikey, he won't eat anything....he likes it, hey Mikey".....but I don't know if the rest came from that......wow...I need a hobby!!! ;)

Popeye

cookiemom
07-01-2006, 11:30 AM
I meant the earliest "Life" commercial (circa 1964?) Maybe it was from an Alka-Seltzer commercial, a few lines before the famous "I can't believe I ate the whole thing!" I dunno. The '60s were a long time ago... (even the 1960s :) )

Ma

Kimmel
07-01-2006, 05:37 PM
Got to come down and play soon...

BTW- check out the Sharpshooter COI at Pamplin Park this September, and Perryville in October- www.chesapeakevolunteerguard.org

Pards,

I was at Pamplin last weekend with my sharpshooter company. I must say Pamplin is a great place.

PS: Popeye... they didn't have a Recon or a Loudoun Heights Tactical this year. There is a tactical coming up in November near Westminster, MD I believe its called Orchard Hill