Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 21 to 30 of 46

Thread: Food for thought, nothing more: discourage or abolish "hit taking"?

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,126

    Default

    The problem is pretty clear:

    "Trigger time" vs. representing history
    Playing soldier vs. representing history
    Emptying your cartridge box vs.-- well, you get the point.

    Fate cards, marked cartridges, referees, I've seen it all. Nothing quite works like real bullets, but we're here to... represent history, not kill one another (though that fly-blown beef at Pickett's Mill 2001 supposedly was sabotaged to create a more real experience). These solutions are all imperfect, but the only thing farbier than everyone dying when they've run out of powder is blowing "Taps" to let the taters know the event is over.

    Reenacting the battles requires that we demonstrate (and experience) death and wounding. It would just be better if most fellers understood that KIAs and WIAs are not equal in number.
    Bill Cross
    Treasurer, The Rowdy Pards

    'In the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of tomfoolery can explain away anything that makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong."

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,134

    Default

    At events smaller than national sized galas where there were hundreds instead of thousands, I always thought it was incumbent on the overall commander to personally stalk the field and tell his companies how many hits to take and when. I used to tell company commanders things like "give me three hits next volley" and the like and I kept that up throughout the battle. That way there was a constant number of hits sprinkled thru the battle.

    WTH
    The AngelOfDeath mess
    Yuma gonna luv it

  3. #23

    Default

    We need the mechanisms at both the individual and unit level to represent taking casualties. I personally take a hit if the musket is misfiring and I can't clear it on my own. I also pick the max number of rounds I'm going to fire, if all other things are equal. When they're gone, so am I. I've fielded with units that used the "If you were born in February, take a hit next volley" line. I'm not good at the walking wounded thing; every time I do it, people run up yelling "My God, are you alright?" (So I must be doing something right! ) If we who take hits responsibly and well stop doing it, we will abrogate this part of the hobby to the grandstanders and the clowns.
    On a related note, how can I take a hit and NOT have the aforementioned panic ensure? When I do ww2, I can yell in Russian and everybody is pretty sure I'm not serious. (At least, I think if I were really injured, I wouldn't cry for help in Russian...) But what's the Civil War alternative? Tell the guy next to me "I'm taking a hit in 30 seconds?"
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Galion, Ohio
    Posts
    1,109

    Default

    Back in my Rev War days, especially in the mid 70's, there was a very large, perhaps the best, American infantry unit (9th Virginia, commanded by Marty West) that held George Rogers Clark Park in Springfield, Ohio as it's home base. It, along with the 64th Regt of foot (Brit) held large reenactments at that park and they had a "no hit" rule. They called their battles "tactical demonstrations". It was rare to refer to battles as such in those days. Both regiments would form up together, sometimes right next to each other, and wheel, fire volleys, charge bayonets, and everything, but not at each other but along side each other. It was their belief that to fight, and fake being killed, was an insult and disrespectful to those men who actually died during the war. This association did not hurt either unit....both were very large and well respected, though alas, neither made it to the present day, both being consumed by the post Yorktown collapse.

    I see nothing wrong with eliminating the hit taking for that same reasoning, but I think there still needs to be evolutions against each other to demonstrate the tactics. That insults no one....if done properly of course.

    Harry
    Member 5th Texas Co. A/1st NC Artillery. Disabled Viet Nam veteran, 1970. I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4UcaLHaabY

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    3,400

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Weaver View Post
    On a related note, how can I take a hit and NOT have the aforementioned panic ensure? When I do ww2, I can yell in Russian and everybody is pretty sure I'm not serious. (At least, I think if I were really injured, I wouldn't cry for help in Russian...) But what's the Civil War alternative? Tell the guy next to me "I'm taking a hit in 30 seconds?"
    Learn to cry out in a period, Victorian manner.
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

  6. #26

    Default

    @ Harry: Calling the battle a "tactical demonstration" was common in RevWar all over at that time. That freed us from the constraints of having to reenact what was not possible with the ground, numbers, spectators, etc. Yorktown in 81 was one of the best events I've ever attended and it was a no-hit event. I'm not sure I want all my reenacting "battles" to be that way, but I certainly enjoyed that experience. (BTW- the fact that they were called "tactical demonstrations" at the time when the Civil War folks were calling them "battles" contributed to the saying: "In Revolutionary War reenacting we remember the war; over in Civil War, they're still fighting it!")
    @ Bernie: So the "Boys, I'm shot" and "Tell Mother I fell facing the foe" would help?
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    175

    Default

    It is hard to have a recreation of a battle with very little or no "trigger time". In fact it looks about as ridiculous as no hits. I have heard tells of people going to "events" where battles were to be recreated and these people only have a few "rounds" for the entire event, 3 or 4 days long. I was once told by a WWII vet "if you were not firing your weapon you were dead or to be dead soon".
    Andrew L. Bresnan
    Victory Thru Rapid Fire
    National Henry Rifle Company http://44henryrifle.webs.com/index.htm
    LBL Tactical 1991 7th Illinois Veteran Volunteer Infantry Henry Company
    Bentonville 2010

  8. #28

    Default

    Modern combat is very different from the combat of the Civil War (often described as "transitional"). A modern squad, or even platoon action, is over, or at least decisively influenced, in a matter of seconds. The first minute of a squad action will give you a "winner" and a "loser." Firing a lot under those circumstances makes sense. Company fire was much more controlled in the Civil War, and less individualized. I've fired less than 10 rounds in a weekend and been content.
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  9. #29

    Default Options

    This issue has always been a dilemma for all of us. We can look pretty silly out there. Just watch some of the videos and tapes, and even movies.

    One thing to do is to stop fighting and moving about so close to the other side. Many reenactments are fought out much to close together. The Perryville events are usually good examples of correct distances.
    This allows us to have fewer casualities and not appear to have our iron underwear on.

    If you do not have alot of soldiers, get a bit creative. Only use skirmish lines, or don't fight a battle. Stage some tactical demonstrations. Everyone can burn as much powder as they please, and you get some excellent drill in as well.

    Or have a history lesson instead of a battle. Pick any historical battle you wish, and have each company represent a regiment, and script history.
    You need a good narrator, and script, but if the event is explained to the public and reenactor alike, it can be a great way to show how a battle was fought, and everyone can learn something from it. (Gasp)

    The only objections I can think of would be that someone would not get to showcase what a great general they would have been. Or perhaps some would not get to roll around the ground screaming. Also there is then not much use for little children to be out there, carrying ice or flags.

    Mike Lavis
    49th NYVI
    Army of the Ohio

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    121

    Default

    As I'm an artilleryman, I am used to seeing the major part of a fight, including men taking (or not taking) hits. There has been all sorts- some believable, and some not so much.
    An exception, however, was this last weekend at the 150th of the fight at Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
    The arty opened up and tenderized the yanks for most of an hour, then we pulled back to let our infantry move through, and the fight was on. When they finally fell back behind the Borden House, both sides took hits, then pushed back down the hill in front of the house, leaving the dead behind. When we took our posts back at the guns, there were numerous dead and wounded around them, and we had to drag some out from in front of the muzzles.
    The spectator photogs ate up the entire scene, and I have to admit- after reenacting for 11 years now, it was one of the most graphic scenes at an event to date. Rather 'Gardener-ish' I do believe.
    Hat's off to those who attended!
    currently celebrating the 37th Cycle

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •