By: Denny Hair This has been a long journey. The series is really only one book that is divided up in 6 parts. It is a day by day account of what it took to build the US Third Army under General Patton in World War Two. It is written in the words of those who were there and offers an insight as to what really happen and what Patton really about those that served both above and below his rank of General. It is a fascinating journey as it has Patton’s thoughts as he put it down at the end of each day in his diary, which has never before been published. Woven around his diary are the thoughts and words of the eyewitness to the fight that were part of Patton’s staff and those superiors above him. This is by far the hardest endeavor mentally I have ever engaged in. The massive files of the Patton Papers housed in the Library of Congress contributed to a great portion of the book. This is the book I feel General Patton would have written had he lived to write it. He had started on it but after his death, the book that bore his name was heavily didactic to protect his children by his beloved wife Beatrice. There feared with good reason what Eisenhower would do if the truth were told. They two daughters were married to career solders and his son had just graduated from West Point. Had General Patton wrote this book his family would have suffered.On a personal note to those who read this. This is not an easy read because it has so much detail to it. It's the type of book(s) that tell the truth and that takes a lot of research and attention to detail. I spent 31 years as a Houston Police Officer and part of the time was manning a crime scene unit. I was dispatched to several hundred homicides and worked with some of the finest detectives you would ever want to know. They were the best of the best. They taught me to question everything. You must ask yourself the who, what, where and how of any investigation. So for ten years I asked those questions. What I discovered was that Patton had left hundreds of clues in his diary as to what was really going on. By developing a timeline on a day by day bases, as any homicide detective would , the truth of what General Patton wanted known came out. He could not say it directly but he could say it in his diary. I then collaborated it by direct testimony and eye witness accounts. It had to be footnoted and have good bibliography sources. These point to the witness testimony of the facts. The title “Hidden in Plain Sight” was coined for the series because the clues were in plain sight but hidden in dusty files and like the pieces of a puzzle that are all there but not in the original box. You can’t see what the image will look like until you get all of the pieces put where there are suppose to go. In book six the images uncovered are exhibit A as these are the images that were hidden in the Patton Papers for all to see, yet hidden from view until now, but in context to the text of the other five books. Read More 0
Greetings Tankers!Project38 is going to build a tank.
A rowdy crew of engineers, historians, reenactors, builders and collectors have come together to collaborate on what may be one of the most unique and interesting reproduction efforts this decade. Project38's goal is to build with historical accuracy and faithfulness a Panzer 38(t), a historically significant tank with no running examples in the USA. If all goes well, it will fully operational and virtually indistinguishable from the real thing. The plan involves first engineering it in 3D programs to be accurate first before construction. This step is the longest and most difficult, as resources are few and details are hard to find. We hope to be finished engineering the first 'prototype' by December, with updates and fixes throughout 2019. Over the last two years, we've grown from 3 young adults scheming about a tank to take to a paintball course to over 1,300 fans and participants helping out in all capabilities from around the world. From a simple backyard scrapmetal tank to an honest fullsized reproduction Panzer 38(t). We're working with experts and hobbyists around the world to keep our efforts accurate to the real designs, going so far as to find original parts and prints to reference from the Czech National Archives. As a grassroots project, our team is a conglomeration of all sorts coming together to make this crazy plan a reality. We would like to invite you to tag along and help keep the project running! To keep you up to speed, here's our most recent update, shared to you with the help of our friends at Man The Line. I hope you enjoy our project!Thanks!
PROJECT 38 UPDATE -
I figured to let you all in on what’s what of who’s who. There’s a number of exciting things happening (as they always are). We’re also getting a booth together for the first time for the Americans in Wartime Open House, read more about that below. Today, at the bottom of the update, We’ve thrown together a tentative schedule of future goal completion dates, so check that out too. If these updates are a bit predictable, it’s because they are. I mean they consist of “We’re researching/engineering some more” and “We’re spreading the word” with some small surprise updates about maybe a reenactment unit or publicity stunt. But that’s half the fun is seeing it grow, predictably and slowly until one day we’ll start having proper BUILD and Reenactment updates as well as Engineering and Marketing. Huge shout out to everybody over at Man The Line for their help in our publicity campaign. Hello all and welcome to Project38! ENGINERDING Nate has been doing the math and calculations for a Final Drive and steering assembly. The photos and videos brought back from the Graebe trip are still being picked apart while we reverse-engineer a beautifully complex bit of machinery. Most of that’s crunching numbers and whiteboard equations so I won’t bore you with the details but suffice it to say we’re making progress. It’s slow, and it’s one of the last items estimated to be completed. As the most complicated functioning piece of machinery in the tank we’ll be taking our time with that one. We’re reaching out to possibly look at a Russian 37mm cannon for inspiration and a hands-on reference to what they looked like and gain some insight on how to design our own, keep watching for updates on the cannon! Beckett has been working away at smaller interior pieces of the tank like the Track tension adjustment arm and the mounting systems within the tank. And it’s a cool thing. Were still working on the details and the Turret is on the way. We’ve had to re-design most of the tank as we get more accurate measurements as well as having the engineers learn the program. Optimizing the pieces to be able to not just display properly but to be easily transferred onto blueprints for manufacture is a task that we’re devloping. So while the visible “wow” factor sometimes isn’t there, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work getting done. He made a nice cutaway view of what the tension adjustment arm might look like with all the bearings and bushings in place.
It’s neat. EVERYTHING ELSEWe have made plans to head over to a private collector Early October to get detailed measurements on a turret. As we get closer to that we’ll keep you updated but it’s going to be a fun field trip with some excellent expected results. With the turret measured up, we’ll be able to compare our model with the real thing and get a better understanding of where we could improve our engineered tank. I want to send a huge thank you to him for the invitation. Below is a tentative projected schedule about the actual tank. This will, of course change as we continue working. It’s a fairly harsh fast paced timeline that assumes everything goes smoothly, so of course this is a “best case scenario” timeline and will undoubtedly change. But hopefully not too much. Ha. Anybody who knows anything about anything knows how optimistic that is. So that’s that. A final note, one of the exciting things about this project is as we continue researching, asking questions, and learning about the tank, we’ve gotten to speak with some excellent people and we’re finding out that we’re becoming part of the conversation in ways that I certainly hadn’t expected. We’ve been asked to date/verify for sale items, asked to distinguish which model a piece may have come from, and been part of a conversation about how to utilize an early-war tank in US reenactments. A tricky subject indeed. It’s been enlightening and thrilling to become part of a bigger world and we’d like to thank every one of you who’s been along for the ride so far. Thanks for sticking around, see you in Virginia! -T.ankmann
Man The Line will be featuring updates from Project 38 periodically over the course of their project, so keep checking in for updates.
By: Will Moul Putting together your own K rations for consumption sounds like a fun and cheap way to add some authenticity to an impression, but there is a lot of time, money and research involved to do this well. There are some excellent K ration kits available for sale that include everything you need other than the food and consumables and I would highly recommend you go with one of these. Speaking from experience, it's very expensive and time consuming creating decent looking K ration packaging yourself. Unless you have professional printers at your disposal and are producing hundreds of kits, making your own packaging will not be worth your time and they will not be authentic. That said, this tutorial will focus on what food and consumables you should use to fill whatever packaging you use. Most food items are common sense and easy to find, some can be difficult to source and honestly, others are impossible to find nowadays. Let my previous experience (and failures) in building rations help you build yours. The Meat Unit K rations came with a variety of canned meat and/or cheese. These cans were oddly shaped by today's standards and were opened with keys, which were included in the ration. Correctly sized cans opened with keys are no longer made today, especially with the correct contents. What I use are easily available 5 oz. cans of either chicken or diced ham (great for the breakfast meal). While these cans are slightly larger than original (they're a bit too wide to fit into the K ration's cardboard protective sleeve for the meat can but they will fit into the inner box) and aren't opened with a key, they get the job done. Remove the outer label from the can and give it a quick spray with OD paint. Pro tip: don't paint the top of the can, otherwise you'll get paint flecks in the meat when you open it with your P-38. Each meal receives a can of meat. The Biscuits These are pretty straight forward. For one type of biscuit use any brand of graham crackers broken into small sections with three or four pieces in each pack and wrap in cellophane, heating it to seal. For the other type of biscuit use any brand of rectangular, unsalted "party" crackers. Again, three or four crackers go into each pack and wrap them with cellophane, heating it to seal. Each meal receives biscuits. The Beverage Powder There were four standard beverage powders included in the K ration: soluble coffee, lemon powder, orange powder, and beef bouillon powder. These are also pretty straight forward: take whichever powder you like, insert about a GI spoon full into the repro pouch you are using, and heat seal using your wife's hair straightener (just don't let her know). For the coffee, it may be best to buy the most economical container of instant coffee you can find for this project. However, I've found Folgers individual packets of instant coffee is an easy solution as each packet holds the perfect amount of coffee for a single repro pouch. For the lemon powder, make sure you use sugar free lemon powder. Use whatever orange powder and beef bouillon powder you wish. Each meal should come with one beverage powder, most commonly coffee for breakfast (and later also included in the supper meal), lemon or orange powder for dinner (used interchangeably) and beef bouillon for supper. The Fruit Bar Breakfast K rations usually came with a fruit bar. LARABAR brand 'cherry pie' fruit bars are an excellent fill-in as they fit the bill in both looks and taste. The bars are the correct dimensions you need so simply seal it in your fruit bar packaging. The Caramel Candy Caramels are also very easy. Find a bag of Kraft caramels that are individually wrapped. Six of these caramels will fit perfectly into an authentic K ration caramel box. These were normally seen in the dinner meal as a substitute for the Chocolettos. The Chewing Gum This is very straight forward. Get some sticks of gum and replace the outside wrapper with a reproduction wrapper. Each meal received a stick of gum and they tended to be placed away from the rest of the food as it would otherwise impart its flavor on the food. The D Bar or Sweet Chocolate Bar Depending on how much work you want to do, this step can be difficult and time consuming. There are molds available that you can use to shape whichever type of chocolate bar you go with. For the D bar, use one of the many recipes that are floating around the internet. The final product should be a fairly bland and dense bar with a lot of energy for your body. Be sure to eat slowly. For the sweet chocolate bar, I like to use chocolate almond bark. While not actually chocolate (it uses vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter), it still tastes very much like chocolate while having a higher melting point and, unlike chocolate, retains all of its flavor and properties after melting. As almond bark has a high percentage of vegetable oil, the ingestion of too much too quickly will cause the squirts, so be sure to eat slowly! The Sugar Straight forward. Either wrap sugar cubes (Domino brand preferred) in packaging or fill your repro sugar box with grandulated sugar. Breakfast usually received the cubes while dinner or supper received the boxed granulated sugar. The Cigarettes Buy Lucky Strike cigarettes as they haven't really changed in 80 years and are filterless. Pack 4 cigarettes into your packaging and you're set. Each meal received a pack of cigarettes. The Toilet Paper You can purchase unbleached napkins relatively cheaply from Amazon.com or Walmart.com. Take 2-3 napkins and fold into a compact bundle, then wrap and glue your TP label around it. Only the supper meal came with toilet paper, so use sparingly! Usable K rations are a sort of holy grail that can take months to develop from scratch. With these tips at your disposal you will be able to quickly and simply fill out your K rations with the most authentic consumables that are commercially available. Good luck!Read More 0
Does anyone remember ‘Reenactor Parking?’ I used to love those comics, I think I actually printed a couple off and hung them on my wall. That was back aways, close to 10 years ago. 2007, The Pacific hadn’t even come out yet and Band of Brothers was still new enough to really get excited about. It was pretty close to the peak of my reenacting experience and I’m now realizing I’m not the only one who looks back at this time fondly. Was there a reenacting ‘hay day’ and has its time come and gone? My best good friend Cody, whose been reenacting as long as I have, mentioned having the same feeling recently. “You remember what it used to be like,” he’d say. “How excited we’d get?” Now Cody and I still get excited about stuff. All the time actually, it’s just not usually about reenacting anymore. It typically has something to do with women, or movies, or which one of us hurled the best insult at the other. But not reenacting. I figured we’d just been doing it so long that it stopped being exciting, but more and more I feel like no one is excited about reenacting anymore. Even the new guys I’ve seen come into the hobby in the last few years don’t seem as wound up about it. The young guys, who get into it at 15 or 16 and are usually so gung ho it makes you want to puke, don’t really care anymore. Ten years ago any new reenactor under the age of 19 would literally wet his pants at the sight of anything he didn’t own. I remember I got to carry a GP ammo bag at my first tactical, one of the other guys let me borrow it. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen and I stared at it all day. About two years ago I let a new reenactor in our unit borrow a spare wool overcoat for a Bulge event. When the day was winding down and he tried to give it back to me I said, “Naw, you keep it.” I thought I would be super cool and he’d be in awe of the overcoat forever, but he said, “sure, I guess,” and I haven’t seen him since. This is not isolated or unusual; this is commonplace in today’s hobby. The hay day is over, the best is past and the hobby will spin into the abyss. Unless… we all harness our inner Bernie Sanders and start a revolution! Republicans, sorry for the Sanders reference, but you understand what I’m getting at and don’t pretend you don’t love Bernie just a little. Ok maybe not so much a revolution, but a renaissance. We’re living in a renaissance as it is. Everything that used to be cool is cool again. We’ve brought back music, clothes, food, books and even politics that used to be cool. We love anything that “used to be” so why not do the same with reenacting? So go to Rockford, even if you’ve been 10 times before. Get in the cheesiest public battle you can find, because god dammit you used to get so wound up for them. Stop thinking so much about what kind of beer you should bring for Saturday night and start thinking about what patrols you want to run or training you could do. And by god, print off a couple 'Reenactor Parking' comics and hang them on your wall.Read More 0
Authenticity. Some folks have it, and they’re assholes that go out of their way to demean other reenactors about the color of their buttons. I understand feeling like this. Sometimes the ole stitch Nazis can really get on your nerves. We go out for a weekend to have fun and they stand around criticizing everyone’s boot soles. It sucks, and there’s a time and place for constructive criticism. More and more though, I wish there were a few more stitch Nazis roaming the grounds of living history events and tacticals alike. They seem to have disappeared, replaced by the most complacent, who gives a damn, hand me that Mountain Dew band of reenactors I’ve ever seen in my life. It seems as if we’ve forgotten what made us want to do this hobby in the first place. So we could time travel to what we believe is the most interesting, devastating yet strangely beautiful time in our history. We love the 1940s. We love the music, the movies, the guns and the gear; everything about the era gives us a history boner. So why then, when we get a chance to put on the uniforms and spend a weekend as close as we’ll ever get to stepping into George Luz’s long johns, do we sit on coolers covered in wool blankets sharing photos on Instagram and waiting till the sun goes down so we can sit around a fire and drink lukewarm bud light? If I wanted to do that I’d befriend the hillbilly rednecks I went to high school with. I’m sure they’re in the middle of a cornfield right now tossing empty blue cans into a nearly out-of-control fire. What’s the point? I mean honestly I’d like an answer here. If you’re not at least going to give authenticity the old college try, then why the fuck even be a part of the hobby? And what happened to people being embarrassed of their authenticity mistakes? Everyone makes them and continues to make them. But 5 years ago at least people would acknowledge their mistakes and move forward. In 2016 it seems totally acceptable to use your smartphone just as you would in everyday life during events. No shame, no guilt, just Facebook. I have a smartphone. I love my smartphone; the technology amazes me almost every day. But when I get to an event I shut it off. I understand if you need to have your phone on you incase of a family emergency, but if you can’t go 2 days without checking your Facebook or taking selfies then you need to have your fucking head examined. So what happens now? Have smart phones become such a replacement for our personality that we can’t possibly be without them and therefore it’s completely OK to use them regularly at an event? I hope not. Have we become so complacent with our hobby that we honest to goodness stop learning anything about the unit we portray and stop caring about how we portray them? I’m seeing it happen all over the hobby. And the hobby is suffering because of it. Are your unit’s numbers down lately? I thought they might be…….. The stitch Nazis have died off and their return is nowhere in sight. We should all pray they come back before the hobby vanishes into the grey space somewhere between airsoft and cosplay.Read More 0
I had lunch with a small group of reenactors last weekend. The conversation was usual reenacting banter, who's got the best uniforms, best events, so on and so forth. The talk eventually came around to WWII veterans and their stories, which is always does. One of the reenactors, a nice young guy I’d never met, said he still does veteran interviews in his hometown in Wisconsin. I haven’t heard of anyone, reenactor or not, doing that for at least a few years. The last time I talked to a WWII veteran was in 2011, when I took a B-25 pilot named Len Super down to the SAC museum south of Omaha, Neb. to look at the B-25 they had on display there. We stopped at McDonalds on the way home, he insisted he buy us something for driving him. That’s the last time I remember having a real conversation with someone who was really there. I’ve said hello to vets here and there since then, but most of them have been well into their 90s and less than lucid. They’re almost gone. Len Super died not long after that trip. Most every veteran I’ve ever had a connection with has past away. My Grandma died in 2012, my last close connection to the era. Of course I miss my grandmother, but I also miss the entire generation. I miss being able to run into WWII vets on a semi regular basis, stop them in a store or a diner and say hi, listen to a quick story and be on your way. The color and optimism they brought to the world was greatly appreciated and sorely needed. They’d seen the reality of hard times. Not some self-imposed version of hard times spewed from the mouth of every 20 something who doesn’t get into the sorority she was hoping for. That’s what made them so wonderful to be around. They saw the world as a much better place than when they were young, and that made them hopeful. What I really miss more than anything are the stories. No generation has ever been as graceful or talented in the art of storytelling. I’ve been scouring YouTube in the last few days looking for some of my favorite veteran stories. I’ve complied a list of them here. Most of them are from Ken Burn’s documentary “The War.” I want as many people as humanly possible to hear these wonderful, sad, happy and hilarious stories. Enjoy and share with anyone you can! Ray Leopold JOE MEDICINE CROW SID PHILLIPS DWAIN LUCE JOSEPH VAGHI BURNETT MILLER, RAY LEOPOLD and SAM HYNES NORMAN SWANEYRead More 0
Every war movie released since 1998 has been dubbed “the best war film since Saving Private Ryan.” “Hacksaw Ridge” was no different. The hype surrounding this movie was intense. The 10-minute ovation at the premiere, the return of Mel Gibson, there was no shortage of expectation. For that reason I was a little apprehensive to go see it. I assumed I’d be let down no matter what, since everyone I knew was telling me how great it was. My biggest concern going into the movie was the thought that the story might rely too heavily on Doss being a CO. That alone is not a unique enough story. Hundreds of COs served both off an on the frontline in WWII. It did let me down, but not near as much as I thought it would and that’s a win in my book. I very much liked the first half of the movie. The love story is great and I felt really connected to Doss’ struggle. He was played so kind and soft spoken you couldn’t help but want him to win. The first real cringe moment was his introduction to basic training. His platoon mates were each a walking cliché of WWII stereotypes. The good-looking “Hollywood,” the short little quedo, the asshole who for some reason always becomes the B.A.R. gunner. Nothing that I didn’t expect though, so I put the cheesiness out of my mind and focused on the brilliance of Vince Vaughn as the grizzled NCO. His christening of the Pollack as “chief” was one of the funnier moments of any WWII movie I’ve ever seen. I was anxious to get to the combat scenes. I’m not a movie critic in the faintest sense, but I do love reviewing authenticity and everything was so straightforward in the training scenes there wasn’t much to critique. Yet when they actually jumped from stateside to overseas it left me confused. I realized there had been no timeline the entire movie, which left me with tons of questions. We jumped from an ambiguous time somewhere after Pearl Harbor to May 1945, three months before the war’s end. What happened in-between? Did he volunteer toward the end of the war or did his unit just spend 3 years getting ready to invade Okinawa? Were the C.O. and Vaughn veterans who had returned from overseas to train a new unit or was this their first action as well? I had just barely recovered from this whirlwind when the first combat scene finally debuted, and punched me square in the jaw. I saw the movie by myself, something I generally enjoying doing. But when I watched them try and take Hacksaw for the first time I wished someone I knew had been sitting next to me. It was horrific on a level I’d never seen before. I good friend of mine told me before I went to see it that it made ‘Private Ryan’ look like a kids movie. He was right. It was almost too much, visually. I couldn’t see what was happening in the hurricane of limbs and bayonets and mortar explosions. It really left me wondering if the battle had really been that bad. If there was that much hand to hand combat. I still don’t know, information on the actual battle has been hard to come by. It was all very shocking and overwhelming. The only thing that pulled me out of the intensity was the asshole B.A.R. gunner picking up half a dead body and using it as his Captain America shield while he charged a group of japs. Why, Mel Gibson, why?? I shook my head at that, tried to forget about it and waded through the rest of the film. All in all I loved it. Minor authenticity mistakes here and there, (helmet liners, bayonet lugs and postwar sights) but nothing too egregious and nothing that took away from the power of the story. That’s what really made this film worth watching. The pure power of Desmond Doss’ story. Is it the best war film since “Saving Private Ryan?” No. But a worthy effort by all involved and a wholly amazing story that needed to be told.Read More 0
The reenacting season comes and goes. It tends to heat up in the summer and fall, then ease off in the hot summer months and dead of winter. During these times it’s easy to get in a “reenacting rut.” There’s nothing to plan for, no buzz on Facebook or online forums about upcoming events. Personally I see why the hot months of July and August are less than inviting. Wool and humidity are a real bitch when they’re paired together. On the other hand, the winter lull, when many a reenactor looks out his window and shudders at the thought of venturing into the chill, is my favorite time to get into the field. I believe it starts with the mystery and mystique surrounding the Battle of the Bulge. By far the most popular battle to reenact during the holiday season, the history of the bulge is incredible. What soldiers of both sides endured during the winter of 44-45 is truly amazing. I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to fight in WWII. The pain and horror can only be understood by those who experienced it firsthand. But take all that suffering and death and throw sub zero temperatures, a foot of snow and blizzard condition winds on top of it and the scenario becomes unthinkably horrific. I’ve spent hours, days maybe, thinking about how any human being could endure those conditions. I still don’t know how anyone did it. (Just for the record, I know conditions on the Eastern front were even worse, but I have little to know experience researching or reenacting it). That’s what makes cold weather events so enticing to me. Spending 24 hours “living it” always leaves me in awe of how the real guys could’ve survived weeks in those conditions. These events also allow me to “pull out all the stops” so to speak. Improvising with how to carry everything you need has always been one of my favorite parts of the hobby and it’s never more important than during a winter event. This is made even more exciting by how ill prepared the allies were during this time. So often you see infantrymen carrying almost no gear, everything thrown in pockets or stuff down the front of a field jacket. You also have to figure out how to carry your sleeping gear. I’d like to eventually work up to going without that but have never had the balls to venture out for a night without multiple wool blankets or a period bag carried in a hobo roll. My unit does an overnight tactical in central Minnesota every December. We sleep in foxholes smack dab in the middle of a large stand of planted evergreens. I couldn’t imagine an area that looks more like Belgium if I tried. The feeling I get when I’m there is amazing. It’s frightening actually, when you feel the cold setting in. You know that at least for the next 24 hours, there’s no way to get warm. No heaters, no campfires, no Gortex boots. “Deep cold” as I call it, cold that shakes you to your bones, is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. The night after the event when I’m back home in my toasty warm bed I remember what that felt like and shudder. Then I realize for the real guys in the winter of 44-45, there was no warm bed to be had. They would still be out there for weeks, maybe months. And there’d be people trying to kill them. It’s at this very moment every year that my appreciation and amazement at what those men went through is at its highest level. And that makes it worth it. Check out this video to take a look at the event we do every December!Read More 0
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
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.