eyes open on this page, kameraden! The new guy in town is here, and he plans
to be updating! That's right
give a great big welcome to Matthias (my real name is Rob) Reiter! whohooooo! Yeah! Quick trivia, in what grade was I the last time this page was updated?
C. Graduated from college
D. Graduate school.
The answer is B! I was going into 9th grade!
Keep your eyes on this page, cause it is under construction!
In this section we have some firsthand accoutns of just what it's like to do engage in this type of activity. Read, enjoy, and maybe participate yourself sometime!
It has been a week, and I have sorted things out in my mind, and have come to the conclusion that last weeks Camp Bob Re-enactment was great.
I applaud the professionalism of the CHG 21 PzGdr. This unit kicked out ass, in a timely and professional manner in the first scenario, and were tanacious opponents throught the weekend, and for a basic feldgrau unit (no cammo, except the occasional helmet cover, these guys showed a tight unit cohesion and discipline.
Kudos also goes to the CHG 1st Airborne. This unit wasted little breath in complaints or catcalls, when in doubt they dug in, and their defensive instincts were first rate in picking the correct terrain.
Thanks to the staff of Camp Roberts for allowing us the use of their facilities.
there were a little over 100 individuals there, and the morning lineups were impressive (though SOME people need to work on their drill). Units participating were the from the CHS, and CHG. They consisted of the British 1st Airborne, The 504, 505, PIR and the 325 GIR of the 82ABN, The First ID, the 9th ID, and The Green Howards. The Axis consisted of The 9th S.S., the 12 S.S. a composite Fallschirmjager unit, and the afore mentiooned 21st PzGdr. The weather was windy, with cold nights and sunny, and windy days. The training area was a bit channeled, but had adequate cover, and interesting terrain variations. The Camp Roberts Museam personal, kindly brought out their M3Halftrack (and by the pattern of rivest on its deck, looks to have been at one tinme an AA vehicle.), and a towed 57mm, (which the British 1st took a shine to.) Juan Gonzales took overall command of the CHS and CHG 82nd ABN units, and we integrated fairly well into one command. I must compliment Juan for getting us all into the airborne spirit.
The flea market was large, with Jerry Lee, Harlan Glen, and Juan Gonzales bringing up more than adequate amounts of neat stuff. I filled numerous gaps in my collection, and with Charles Smylie giving me the puppy eyes to join his soviet unit, I bought a lot of Jerry Lee's soviet gear. Juan caused something of a stir with his line of repro jump suits (m1942), and repro boots. Dwight bought a pair, and he can tell you more about them in detail. Some British (commonwealth) desert issue equipment moved at a good rate, indicating enthusiams for a possible North Africa event next year.
All in all it was a fine event, and I like ganing with the CHG. I hope we can do as well when we host them.
Scott 325GIR 82nd ABN.
Word had reached the Division that a recent German drive was causing some trouble and that we were to concentrate at Indiantown Gap by Friday 27 January 1995. Division troops reached the bivouac area beginning 0200 and continued to build along with other Allied forces in preparation for a general defense to neutralize and contain the enemy drive. The bivouac was an old army base, making it easier to provide logistical support and relative comfort for the troops as they prepared to go into the field. Some German forces were spotted in the area, fostering many rumors of their strength and whereabouts, and reminding the troops of the serious work at hand.
An officers meeting was held late Friday night where sector and tactical assignments were doled out. It looked as if G-2 expected a tough time, so they were barraged with questions about the situation; but as usual, little general information was learned. Meanwhile, troops rapidly made use of the time to correct uniform and equipment deficiencies at the various Quartermaster clothing/equipment depots hastily thrown up during the concentration. Our unit was temporarily assigned with the Eighty-third Division, a crack group of veterans hailing generally from New York and Pennsylvania. So, once again the Rebels and the Yanks were at war, only this time they were on the same team and looking to kick the hell out of the enemy.
Our combat team was composed of two squads from the Eighty-third and two from the Thirtieth, commanded by Lt Mark Feldbin of the Eighty-third, with S/Sgt Howard Hendricks of the Thirtieth initially serving in a liaison capacity. The Thirtieth was designated the third and fourth squads of the team, ably lead by veteran Sgts Don Shupe and Courtney Johnson, respectively. Recent losses had hit the Division in the battle around Aachen, so that fifty percent of our immediate strength was composed of replacements. These were good men who had little training since arriving overseas, but were willing to do their part, nevertheless. at about 0800 the following morning we convoyed to our sector in weather that was clear but cold. For the moment at least, an approaching snow storm had stalled allowing us to reach our destination with little trouble. Our battalion was formed quickly and made the approach march to our line of departurePlittle did we realize then that "line of departure" was to have a new meaning in just a few hours.
Squad assignments were made at our first defensive position in a hasty officer's and squad leader's meeting. We were then ordered to another, less favorable position where the Thirtieth took the right flank. The fourth squad took position on the extreme flank, anchored on a road that bisected our position where we intended to tie in with some armored infantry. The Eighty-third's first and second squads stretched their line to the left toward other battalion troops. Intense firing began to our immediate front as Lt Felbin learned that the flanks were unsupported as the other units that were supposedly assigned there could not be found.
As the volume of fire steadily increased, orders came to move to the new defensive line when the battalion fell back on the left, forcing our combat team to the rear even though we seemed to be holding. Frustrated, the four squads retired as directed. This continued for the rest of the morning as the situation to the left seemed to deteriorate. Our movements were conducted in good order as the men worked their weapons steadily, keeping the Germans at a respectful distance. By mid-morning the German onslaught tapered off. The men took advantage of the lull to eat and rest while officers and NCOs reviewed the situation. By 1300 we were moved to a new line behind British troops who were to receive the next attack and then fall back through us. Word had it that a heavy force or armor and artillery was being brought to a strong defensive position somewhere to our rear and our job was to buy them time to establish their position.
The Germans attacked in force around 1400. British troops laid down heavy fire but were soon forced back. As they retired, some dropped into line with us, and a battalion of them fell in on our right flank. Almost immediately the Germans struck them again en masse, attempting to force us back with substantial automatic fire. Our line held and we resumed a retrograde maneuver by squads as ordered by Lt Feldbin. The action was getting close when we were ordered from the field. We retired about 200 yards and reached a dense mass of infantry in position along a wood line. Regrouping to the rear in a reserve position we watched the show. Artillery, tanks and "quad 50's" combined to stop the Germans cold with heavy losses. Hardly had their advance and the Germans were cleared fro the field. The Eighty-third/Thirtieth remained in reserve and by a stroke of luck returned to its original billets that evening. Mail, hot food, decent quarters and a chance USO show improved our morale immensely. The next day would find us on the move again with the Eighty-third and the Thirtieth returning to their own commands.
This campaign was notable for the number of miles covered to and from the area of operations, punctuated by the brief, intense contest. The combat team of the Thirtieth/Eighty-third proved very successful, illustrating the inherent resiliency of American command structure and the adaptability of veteran soldiers from different commands to work together in new and trying situations. The Eighty-third Division once again confirmed its reputation as a hard-fighting organization composed of able leadership and dedicated soldiers. Speaking for the Thirtieth Division, the squads acquitted themselves in the finest traditions of the Division, with squad leaders performing their tasks efficiently and zealously in the worst of conditions. Recent replacements in both organizations displayed courage and a quick adjustment to the combat environment consistent with the American soldier.
The campaign also clearly demonstrated that the German army is still dangerous and that the war is not over - yet.
The threat of cold rain did not deter a group of 30-40 reenactors from the NMHA from coming together on Saturday, March 5, 1995 to compete with weapons from WWI through Vietnam. The 30th Division was represented by Mark Burfete, Don Shupe and Mike Fox. Even though it was overcast and chilly, it did not rain, and the competition commenced! The 30th shot well with Don placing fourth in both the rifle and pistol competition and Mike Fox placing fifth in the rifle category. Mark Burfete did not compete, but was instead tending a table with items he was selling.
A highlight of the event was seeing and actually shooting the wide variety of weapons on display. The automatic weapons were well represented and included: US M1919A4 Browning Light machinegun, British Vickers machinegun, German MG 42 machinegun, BAR, Thompson submachinegun, M3 Grease gun, MP-40, Russian PPSH, STG-44, Lewis gun and Sten. Mark, Don and Mike all got to fire several magazines through the BAR, thanks to Alan Winfrey of the 1st Infantry Division. Mike also got to fire a magazine through the Thompson thanks to Andrew Clyde of the 4th Armored Division.
A final treat of this event was meeting and talking to several American veterans of different wars. Of particular interest was Col Ben Purcell, who was a POW in Vietnam and escaped 3 times from the North Vietnamese! Col Purcell was kind enough to show us his souvenirs from his POW days and share stories from his three wars; WWII, Korea and Vietnam.
All in all it was a fun event. The NMHA hopes to make it an annual affair with a little better cooperation from the weather.
This was my first CHG battle in several months, due to scheduling problems I unfortunately have with many CHG events, but since the weekend was open I made sure not to miss it.
The location for this event was the Lucerne Valley, which is out near Fort Irwin. I got by with my usual Garand, but I provided flank security for a couple of newer members who had decided they were up to hauling the M1919 .30 cal, belt & tripod around. This event was unusual for two reasons - first, it was a one day event, with nothing scheduled for Sunday, and second, there were no period vehicles used. This was possibly because of the fact this event was on rough ground that was not conducive to vehicle use.
The scenario was a hilltop held by a joint Italian/German force that was to be assaulted & taken by a force comprised of US & British forces. This consisted of regular US Infantry, 82nd Airborne, regular British infantry, the Ghurkas, and #4 Commando (Harlan Glenn's current outfit). The key element in the Axis position was A heavy machine-gun, (actually a US model M2). It was in the most defended part of the hilltop so it was agreed that if we took it and held the position we had the hill.
Around 9AM the allied forces split up into three groups to converge on the hilltop from three separate directions. Our group, consisting of #4 Commando, the two leaders of my unit, the 9th US infantry (John Lunneke & Lloyd Squires - who came as British infantry this time) and a couple of new guys from Fort Irwin went on a long (and I mean long) end around to assault up the back way. I have to hand it to the two guys from Fort Irwin who carried around the 47 Lb. "light" machine-gun, tripod & all the ammo. We finally came up on our side of the hill around 1 in the afternoon.
A coordinated (I think) firefight got started from all directions at once. We managed to either blow away or pin down everyone on our side of the hill, and after about fifteen minutes of that (and a lot of expensive blanks) I finally decided to give it a go and ran up the side of the hill (well, I didn't run through the barbed wire) and actually reached the .50 myself.
Since we were ahead of schedule, we then let the axis players assault the hill and try and take it back. And to out chagrin, they managed to do it in about 30 minutes. So Kudos to John Marketello and the Fallschirmjaeger unit..
I can't give a very complete AAR, as I dont have any official
numbers, but I
can at least tell you about the battle as I saw it.
We had approx. 15-20 comrades and about 10 fascist pigs. We had a great
breakfast of Kasha, bread, boiled eggs, and Apples. The Moores were in
charge of the meals and did a great job. We got to work on the trenches
pretty early. Dan had rented a backhoe and Stan was the opperator. The
first trenches dug linked up the forward OP's and went back to near the
mortar pits. The trenches were duck boarded and had a line of sandbags
along the top. Dan went through the forrest and cut down a line in the
trees for the trenches in the forrest. It took everybody about 1-2 hours to
clear the fallen trees out of the way. After that, Stan used the backhoe to
dig up the stumps and make a clearer trenchline throught the forrest. Andy
Blozinski and I were in charge of hauling off the stumps when they were
pulled. At 5:00, we were all pretty well wiped out and ready for some
action. After a dinner of schi and bread, we all took up our positions. I
had never experienced night fighting before. It was an experience. we
basically had to listen for the Fascist as they made their way through the
forrest. The fascist uniforms are perfect for night action, as I could only
see them when their muzzles flashed. I only got off about 11 shots with my
pistol in total. I left at about 9:00 to get back home to Mesquite. On my
way back to get my gear, I spied a fascist snake in the grass and shone my
flashlight on him to alert my comrades. He swiflty jumped into the trench
and took out one of my comrades, but was later taken out himself. I was not
there for any Russian attacks, so you will have to wait for an AAR from
someone else if you want to know about them. I know that a scouting mission
had been planned, but I don't that it happened while I was there.
Back to the Top
This page last updated 2 April, 2003