We’ve all busted blanks. Hell, it’s a good time. You get to wade out into the field for a few hours on a Saturday to play make-believe war with your buddies. You run around in the woods popping off rounds like The Expendables until you get hit. Then you stand up, flip the krauts the bird and spend 10 minutes telling two other “dead” guys why the pocket stitching on At The Front’s new run of M42 jackets is wrong.
The only alternative to this is of course public events. Where you get to pack up a U-Haul’s worth of shit and drive 6 hours only to spend the whole weekend staring at a gaggle of snot-nosed 8-year-old kids in Call of Duty t-shirts snapping photos of you on an iPhone while you’re trying to time travel.
You do this year in and year out. Then at some point you start to think maybe that’s all the hobby has to offer. Sicherungs-Regiment 195 says nay.
They’ve departed from the reenacting norm and struck out on a path all their own. Dissmissing blank-fire tacticals and delving into the nitty-gritty ins and outs of everyday life in the field, the East Coast unit seeks to challenge the status quo of traditional WWII reenacting events. They recently authored an article on their own blog highlighting their views on living history. Man The Line sat down with one of the writers, Willi Graf, to discuss the article and the unit’s progressive take on the hobby.