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Time Periods => WWII => WWII Civilian Area => Topic started by: Philonivs Maximvs on September 07, 2007, 11:40:25 PM
I am on a kick to possibly start doing civilian WW2 (specifically western European displaced persons). I'd just like to get a feel for what people think about such a thing.
I'd have to say it would depend on what you want to do as a civilian.
Of course! Like I said somewhere else, it can be an "anything goes" type of impression, as long as your clothing is authentic for the period and location. Russian peasants wouldn't be wearing too many fedoras and flannels!
I have no problem with it as long as they have a bit of experience at the hobby and know enough not to get themselves hurt.
Civilians were there and in the way at times.
Let me know how many times you are shot :P
Haha, yeah, I would expect the "uuleets" to want to get some atrocities in.
Agreed... at least the "leaders" of the civilian group should be experienced reenactors, with a direct line to the commander(s) of the event. That is, unless they are partisan/resistance that have already joined the front lines.
I believe civilians would be great in judged tacticals like we did in CW many years ago in Rockton , Canada or Brush Creek,PA.
Theses tacticals was great. A sniper would kill off the officers,NCO's, privates would have to figure what to do. Run into sick civilians, give them food, water ect. Get info from them. We had hooker's one time too with them.
A unit could get 10 pts per station or lose 10 pts too. Bad tactics, poor hit taking, mean to friendly civilians ect. We would be attacked by cav and have to fend them off. Canon shots ect. All was in period talking,food everything. If you were caught talking about modern stuff, points lost ect.
For WW 2 we could do a whole lot more. Many units would find out if they could really make it or not. Could change the outlook for many folks, a thinking tactical with real missions and plans.
I'm game to start one again--
Sweet... where abouts are you?
I only have a handful of scattered people that I've talked to here in the Midwest that would be willing to do it. We'll see.... I keep talking it up, maybe soon we'll start having some interest.
im from the midwest as well.........i think tacticals should be for uniformed troops only.........if your a civilian without a weapon you are useless........tacticals are a time for units to work together and improve their impression..........its not only for busting caps..........if you want to do an impression that is non german or american.................how about russian.....their numbers can use the help
Well, some of us are just thinking of one of the major missing factors in reenacting... that is of civilians "getting in the way" or helping out either side. I think civilians can introduce a "wild card" into the same old bang-bang-shootemups that you have now. Troops historically were always running into civilians, and besides constant artillery barrages, it's the one detail that we could easily fix with the proper people. Sure, the regular units can keep shooting... I don't understand where you think civilian impressions would be that useless.
I'm lost as to how tacticals can be used to improve impressions though.... I thought that was what the time in between events was! You know: ordering things, sewing up stuff, making props, etc. I tend to think that a unit's overall impression goes DOWN several notches at tacticals just by the nature of it all: shooting blanks at each other, putting up with people calling hits & acting like babies, the usual. I'm not saying that tacticals are stupid, they just have limitations. But it can be more, in my opinion. I also think that public displays, or better yet immersion events where you don't necessarily shoot (or even have an adversary... just "live" in the moment), are better avenues for authenticity & realism.
And I DO Russian already, but thanks :)
I would think that, if you're interested in improving your impression, adding civilians to the mix would be a plus. Think about it: you're already keyed up knowing that you're going to be engaged with the enemy and you run into some civilians. What are they doing here? Are they lost or are they resistance? If you let them pass (after checking their papers, of course), are they going go about their business, or is their business killing you? Are you walking into a trap, have they reported your movements to the enemy, are you going to be caught in a crossfire between the enemy and those same kind citizens you just let pass? It goes the same for both sides. So, yeah, I would think civilians would be a usefull way to improve one's impression.
I am from Erie ,Pa. Some more on this type of tactical. They normally have both militray and civilians mixed into them. Units will all folllow the same route at different times. A german unit would go 1st then GI , then german. At each station you have only so many minutes to work out the problem.Staying too long the enemy cound be on your back.
We could have a small convoy, it gets hit, vehicles smoking, what would the unit do. Civilians with a broken down wagon with wounded. Objectives could be finding a POW camp, ammo dump, searching for a spy in area ect. Tons of ideas and stations could be set-up.
For one event in CW like this we only have 20 shots, till we got to the ammo dump to refill. You couldn't just burn powder every shot counted. I had to take ammo off our dead. Carring wounded men to the hospital really slows you down. One time each unit had a traitor in the unit. His job was to kill the officer. Out of 8 units all officers were killed by their most trusted man.
A wooded park area or village mueeum would be the best area for events like this. We had bridges to use with roadways too.
A idea for maybe the future-- Pat
Our group ONLY portrays civilians in occupied areas and we've been doing so for a few years now.
We take authenticity as serious as the most obsessed military groups, we aim for our clothing, paperwork, bavkgroundstory, etc to be perfect.
99% of the events we go to are Living History public events, not battles.
And because were situated in a country that was once occupied we have to be very sensetive.
We have written guidelines for our interaction with other groups;
And here is our group;
in a perfect world the time in between events would be spent training.........ie...handsignals, combat movement..........maybe i just cant understand portraying a civilian at a tactical........if you dont have a weapon..............what do you do?.........i go to tacticals to bust caps.....am a bad guy for liking to do that?..........i havent tried a wwii emersion event but it souinds pretty cool
Well i couldnt care less about fighting and shooting so I wouldnt go to tacticals anyway.
But civilians would make the battle more interesting and realistic.
For instance, imagine stumbling upon some refugees, scared, harmless, not knowing where to hide.
What do you do, can you trust them, do you check their paperwork, do you ignore them?
Do they get in the way thanking you for liberating them while enemy is in the area or do they give your position away and give information about you to the enemy?
Or perhaps they help you.
Well said, Joeri!
Doug, you aren't a bad guy! I appreciate that you are there for the shooting, but a lot of us are about putting the "acting" in reenacting. We're just looking for that added dimension.... I've been doing this hobby for 12 years now, and the shooting isn't why I go anymore, unless it promises to be a good scenario. Otherwise, the same old goofiness with people not taking hits, whining about other people not taking hits, bad field discipline, it all starts to wear on you after a while. Perhaps not you though! That's cool, we're all in this for slightly different reasons sometimes.
And I do agree with you, units need to buckle down and learn the proper period commands, signals, and basic tactics. I think dedicated training events are where it's at when it comes to this... you simply can't do a whole lot at the regular events with everyone arriving at different times, wanting to socialize/drink, etc, everything BUT training.
Immersion is awesome when done properly... some events are tactical, some are not. The whole point of an immersion is to get completely into the period, and this is usually done by camping tactically, running round-the-clock patrols, delegating mundane tasks (like digging foxholes, running communications lines, etc). The best one I've been to was at Rensselaer, IN (after I stopped running them there) where we did a 24-hour & stayed in the bunker all night and took turns watching for Amis.
And speaking of civilians, your Spiess (Chris Chalupa) came out a couple years before that at Rensselaer and portrayed an Estonian man who rode around on his bike creating confusion on both sides! He was working for the Germans, but telling the Russians he was working for them (all the while giving them disinformation). The German commander didn't trust him though, which added to the confusion.
Thats why here in europe people are making a bigger and bigger difference of Reenactment and Living History.
In the nearly 10 years ive been doing living history I've only shot a gun twice and that was just to see what it was like, not as part of the display.
I have only done 2 events that were not public.
Everything we do is about education and about the public.
Besides that authenticity and experiencing history the way it was (ish) is 99% of the fun.
50% of the things I carry with me are never seen by the public, but I want them to be there, for me.
Like some paperwork.
I am sure we can think of lots of ways to involve civvies authentically into a strategical event.
It would be great if there were more 100% civilian living history groups.
As far as I know were the only one out there, besides a german group thats mainly civilian.
There's a loose Volkssturm unit and a homefront women's group here in the Midwest US, but that's all I know of. I'll be doing Volkssturm in December in fact, up at Ft. Custer (the new HRS Nat'l). Once the 15 rounds are spent, I'm walking back home to get the kids & make for the American lines! :laugh:
Just to throw in my two cents worth- I think it would be a great idea and a great alternative from the usual "bang-bang-shoot-'em up" that's so typical of WWII events. Not that I mind the occassional fireworks but the older I get, the less interesting that is. However, all too often, civilian impressions are put together by people as a "cheap and easy" way to be able to attend an event. To me, in order for really do a proper civilian impression, it has to be done right and it takes work. It's not something that should be done in a half-assed manner.
That said, I'm open to anyone wanting to do a good civilian impression although it's kind of problematic in a combat zone (unless you have it carefully worked out).
I've always liked the stuff that Marloes (aka Ms. Joeri) does- from the website, it looks awesome although I'd hate to be the one with the German impression. ;D I hope someday I can witness or participate in one of her events (although I don't know a word of Dutch but I can learn fast! :D).
Anyway, it's a good idea that should be explored more.
Yes its a shame the civilian/resistance impression has such a bad reputation.
This is mainly because people who havent got enough money to buy a proper outfit think its a cheap way of joining in the fun.
They think a 50s dress is 'good enough' and modern shoes look fine...
Not to mention the men who like to bring their girlfriend or wife along and dont put the money and effort into getting them a proper outfit.
Civilian/resistance is or should be a proper living history impression just like any other impression! :police:
Not to mention the men who like to bring their girlfriend or wife along and dont put the money and effort into getting them a proper outfit.
Ah, that species of creature known as the press-ganged reenactor! Often seen, especially at Civil War events. WWII isn't my wife's thing but any excuse to go Edwardian and she'll be there in an instant! ;D
New here but had to chime in....
Though I'm just starting with my soviet impression and having run the gambit from Sillywar to WWII GI... (especially after 10 years in the infantry). My original interest was actually with the resistance movements. However all the groups I have belonged to always seem to have the ladies and the kids waiting and watching the fellas and supporting from the camp.
Currently in addition to GI and Red Army I have also been tryinig to push Soviet partisan or even a Polish resistance impression on my friends who are still very active with Sillywar and are not willing to shave or cut hair to a military standard. There were even Russian, anti-soviet colaborators or "Partisan Hunters" who helped the Germans. This in itself could be an interestig twist which could really throw a wrench into the friendly fire issue. And if needed, it could also bulster the German numbers if too many russians arrive at a single event.
I would also like to see a SOE display or training camp. We could have weapons and demolitions training for resiatance fighters or even send civilians on missions to deliver messages and equipment to various buildings???
This year I also hope to have folks from my other groups come out and give some character to the event. I even hope to have my daughter selling flowers, bread, fruit or used shoes.... in addition to delivering various parcels to the brave resistance fighters!
Just some ideas!
For our Remagen Bridge battle we will have civilians that will be fleeing the town as the battle is right behind them. This will be a chance for German forces to actually work with a German civilian population like during the war and for the public to see that civilians like them do actually get caught up in war.
A change of pace and we hope for the better of our hobby.
We had some civilians wandering the site at our last Rhineland event. They added a nice element to the battle, and they did get caught in the crossfire once or twice.
That is good to hear indeed. My battle coordinator is going by the history of remagen for the civilians. As GI's we will not see them since we are pushing into Remagen,street and building fighting towards the massive iron bridge. The Germans will be working with them and the crowd will see what happens to civilians when two armies come together.
Our hobby needs to grow with new ideas and more regulars units too.