A: Reenacting is a way one can gain a better perspective and insight to the conditions and events of WWII beyond simply reading a book or watching a program on the television. The goal of reenacting is to put the participant “in the battle” as much as possible, simply without using live ammunition. The uniforms and equipment used is either original or exactly reproduced in the finest detail in order to recreate the most authentic and realistic experience possible.
Q: Okay, so what exactly goes on at a reenactment?
A: Primarily, the reenactments that you would be participating in are known as “tacticals.” These are private events, not open to the public, that recreate a weekend of battle between opposing forces. Tactical reenactments are set for a specific weekend and begin on a Friday, where the unit arrives and sets up a period appropriate camp that immerses the attendees with authentic equipment, food, uniforming, and atmosphere. The battle begins Saturday morning after a line up, with the "fighting" lasting most of the day light hours. Saturday evening is spent in camp. Sunday battles are normally a half day to ensure attendees have ample time to pack up camp, load vehicles and drive home.
Q: So if you aren't actually shooting each other, how does one know when they are hit?
A: It is based on situational awareness, assessment of cover and concealment, distance, line of fire and the honor system. When you "take a hit" or get "killed" during battle - bylaws are to remove your helmet/cover and fall to the ground - let people know you are out. Once you have taken your hit, you fall back behind your front line and wait 10 minutes to reset before rejoining 'combat.'
Q: Do I have to know German?
A: In short, no.. it is not a requirement. All unit members however are encouraged to learn and will be presented with basic in field and formation commands in field. Ideally, during "combat" - German should be spoken as much as possible in the field, but realistically, English is tolerated. At camp, English is acceptable in order to get a more natural, immersive experience. It is important to remember that these were young men who engaged on a familiar level; they would talk about typical "young guy" stuff in their native tongue and would not worry about forming properly conjugated sentences.
Q: Do I have to have everything before joining?
A: Nope! For prospective unit members we have loaner gear to get you in field for your first event. This is a good way to try it out before investing in a full impression.
Q: How often do reenactments happen?
A: On average, one weekend out of the month between January and November, give or take a few.
Q: You reenact Waffen SS? Are you Nazis or something?
A: Absolutely, unequivocally not! We have a zero tolerance for any type of racism, extremism or bigotry. Anyone with National Socialist leanings, questionable ethics or ideals is officially unwelcome. No exceptions.
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