We received so many great photos for our contests this month. It was almost impossible to pick a winner, but we made it happen. It's very enlightening and encouraging to see so many great impressions, especially this time of year after the summer lull in events. Scrolling through them definitely got us excited to get back out into the field! Even though the winners have already been anounced and posted on our Facebook page, I wanted to highlight the photos we selected to give everyone a chance to take a closer look. We'll highlight our Axis winners in this post, all you yanks check back on Friday for a look at our Allied winners. 1st place winner This photo was brought to us by Alexander Bartoli. It features troops of the 2nd SS Das Reich Reconnaissance. Sturmmann Baumann is on the left, Schutze Graeber is on the right (Alexander Bartoli and Chris Williams in real life). The scenario for the photo is the two soldaten are taking a moment to chat following an anti-invasion exercise near La Rochelle France on June 2, 1944, just days before the invasion. The photo was actually taken in 2014 at D-Day Conneaut. It was one of the first submitted and I have to say we put it at the top of our list as soon as we saw it. We always look for "original quality" in our photos and I've seldom seen a more authentic representation of a period photo. The 88 is obviously what the eye is drawn to, but I particularly enjoyed the expressions of the faces of the guys in the photo. I saw it as a grizzled veteran and a fresh-faced soldat posing for a photo. This might sound strange, but I especially enjoyed the fact that Schutze Graeber is smiling. In the 40s having your picture taken was still kind of a big deal, especially during the war, so you almost always saw guys smiling. 2nd place winner Submitted by Wilhelm Gaulke, our 2nd place winner certainly doesn't look like an original photograph, but we couldn't overlook the quality and "epic-ness" of the shot (pardon the phrase). The photo was taken at War and Peace show in 2015, with members of Second Battle group. They are portraying 1. SS LAH in Normandy and Gaulke is the officer seen in the shot. There are two things in this photo that made it stand above the rest. The explosion in the background is definitely not photoshopped. I found out after it was chosen there just happened to be a Vietnam battle going on in the background. We give definite props to the photographer for catching the moment. The second thing I really enjoyed was how young all the guys in the photo are. Each of them really have the look of young SS troops in the middle of combat.Read More 0
As most of you probably know we've had a couple photo contests over the last few weeks. We had both an allied and axis contest, with a winner and runner up being chosen in each. We featured a few of the non winners on our Facebook page as well, but we wanted everyone to get a chance to see some more of the photos that were submitted. We've chosen the best of the "non-winners" from both contests so everyone can take a look at the fantastic impressions from around the country and the world. Take a look and enjoy!!Read More 0
It’s September. The leaves are starting to wither in the north breeze, clinging to what little life they have left. For most reenactors, the transformation of the seasons prompts one action. Gather up every bit of O.D. you own, toss it in the car and map your way to Illinois. Rockford WWII days is consistently the largest WWII reenactment in the country. There’s no shortage of things to see and battles to partake in. For those of you who’ve never made the pilgrimage to the land of Lincoln in late September, we’re about to outline our top three things not to miss at this year’s event. (I apologize if the tips are a little biased toward the allies. With the exception of one drunken night two years ago, I’ve only ever attended the event as a yank)Read More 0
- Get in the field battle
- Take in the German displays deep in the woods
- Take a walk around tent city… at night.
By C.L. Sill I’m trying something new here, bear with me. We’re going to be mixing up our content here at Man The Line with the help of several guest writers. Along with that I thought I’d end every month with a short column of my own highlighting some hopefully unique perspectives on reenacting, historical research and the good life in general. When I started thinking about this column I began to piece together my own personal history in WWII reenacting. Going back over all the moments I’d enjoyed and all the moments I’d loathed. All the events I’d forgotten about that seemed so important years ago. I thought about the person I was when I began, how I’ve grown within the hobby. My impressions are certainly light years beyond what they were 10 years ago. But the hobby has changed far more than just the shade of O.D. I deem acceptable. I’ve grown so much because of the hobby. The first time I ever met reenactors was outside a storage shed in West Omaha. An early fall evening, it wasn’t cold but I was shivering. I was wildly nervous and trying my best to tamp out the white-hot embers of my excitement, so as not to look overzealous. They told me to meet them there for their monthly “truck night.” It was your run of the mill ‘get away from the wife’ guys night. They were building a WC-37 or a deuce; I don’t remember which (It’s still not done). I was just old enough to drive but dad came with, fearing these guys might be the right-wing militia type. They weren’t. Nice as could be, they politely suggested I get a replacement for my Navy issue 41 jacket. We BS’d for an hour and drove home. I didn’t realize it at the time of course, but that meeting very much changed my life. Had I not reached out to them in an email or decided not to go to truck night, my youthful love for WWII could’ve fizzled out and morphed into something normal like girls or cars. But alas it didn’t, and I spent the next several years learning the ropes of WWII reenacting with the 2nd Infantry Division. I’ve long since moved on to other groups and impressions, but the kindness and generosity I received from those friends made more than a lasting impact. My life would be vastly different without them. I’ve met hundreds of people from all over the country and the world. My closest friend started out as a “reenacting buddy.” A year ago I left my family in Nebraska and headed north to Minnesota to live with him. I’ve spent months living in hotels and abandoned college dorms working on films, where I made more wonderful friends. All of this is because of reenacting. The impact this hobby has made on my life has been immeasurable. I look back on all this now and think of other young kids who might be thinking about entering the world of this weird, wonderful, mesmerizing hobby. With all its ups and downs, all its politics and bullshit. I can give them one piece of advice. Give it a shot. Go to “truck night.” It might be worth more than you think.Read More 0