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And John, it is a great "period" picture, taken while the War was actually going on! Excellent!

BC, those are good ones and do show that men with weight "problems" did actually participate in the War, some did serve on the front in active units as well as those you illustrate in the Landwehr. Of course, the Landwehr did participate in fighting at the front when needed. We can't generalize and only see people of the past through the eyes of our 21st Century experience.

Jungles, don't worry about it. The experience is great and you might actually enjoy it if you tried. As far as the wool uniforms in 90 degree heat? I recall numerous large events during the 125th Anniversary of the Civil War when the ambulances rolled fast and furious at several large "mega-events". The 125th Gettysburg is a good example: 10,000 reenactors on the field by actual count with twice that number in the viewing stands and almost all of the rescue squad calls were for people in the stands. That's right, the ones in shorts and t-shirts - they were dropping like flies. It was July in Pennsylvania and in the low 90s and lots of sun. But the reenactors in wool were relatively comfortable in the natural woolen fabric which absorbs perspiration and lets it evaporate, thus cooling the body. Many of the shorts and tee shirts were made of the miracle fabric composed of polyester - plastic. Yes, we sweated, but at least it had somewhere to go. Need I say more?
 

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Those are excellent photo's of the reenactment (excellent period photo's too!). I especially like the shots where the new recruits are looking at the "old salts" with a look of awe. There is a nice period feel to the photo's as well. Very nicely done, thank you for sharing them. Please post more for those of us who enjoy this hobby, but for what ever reason, cannot participate in the trenches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Thanks everyone!

I have some more, but it will take me a bit to get them resized and hosted. Had a great time at the event, found a nice original WW1 pattern French pack, but it is dated in the 20's. Much cheaper than a war dated one, but will display just as well.
 

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There are suitable places for older and robust reenactors, they need to start a Lansturm Battalion.
Gus
lmao! I was thinking this exact thought just as was reading your response! In reality though, the "robust" Landsturm men were in the early part of the war. By late war, those men in Landsturm Btlns. and Landsturm Infantrie Regiments were already considerably leaner. Four years of poor diet, lack of sleep, and dodging bullets does wonders for the waistline.
 

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Many good points and observations here but I have to agree 100% with wyliecoyote's post 44. Although we've all seen plenty of photos of fat old guys in uniform, I defy anyone to show me evidence indicating such robust characters were consistently subjected to front-line duty which is exactly what us reenactors attempt to portray. Sure, they may have been rushed up to the front in poor shape but you can bet they'd get pretty lean pretty quickly! Me...I've liberated myself from the delusion that I can accurately portray a 20-something from any period and have largely hung up my WWI reenacting gear (unless someone decides to build a behind-the-lines bridge at Neuville that us "old" guys with sausage-stuffed breadbags could guard!) Thank God for collecting! Oh, by the way; saw a really neat photo the other day of a "civil defense" unit in Oregon the other day from just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Most were older guys (40s or 50s +-), probably some WWI vets, but they were carrying quite the range of home-supplied weapons including everything from shotguns to a CW-era Sharps carbine!
 

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Many of REENACTORS due this for FUN and because we all have a common thing ... We all like to read, collect and talk WWI stuff. It does not matter if you are fat, skinny, broke, etc., we all enjoy it for it one reason or another. Mine impression and theme is WWI French, why ... because I collect these weapons and I have a great like of the army during the period. I can tell you that I have seen Max (the big guy in the first post) run across No Mans Land just to get some nice French cheese and bread, we all thought he was going to have a heart-attack when he did but he kept telling us he was fine, he was and even later in the day killed me in a charge.
Thanks for posting the pictures ... I will have to get back to Neuville sometime in the future and maybe get TP in my sights, I know the Germans with the GWHS already HATE me for this LOL.
Patrick
 

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Uh-oh. Time for an annoying nitpick. The US and British guys are wearing their gas mask cases backwards. The flap and fasterners should be toward the chest, not the front. That way, if the soldier has to crawl while wearing the gas mask, the top edge of the open case doesn't scope up dirt and mud along the way.
 

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You can nitpik, but if you look at period photos, you will find that they are worn both ways, the way you discribe is the way they were intended to be worn, but about half did it the other waqy around. And that makes the photo accurate, as one has his open to the front and the other has his open to the back.
Gus
 

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Gustaf is correct ... you will find that they are worn both ways during the war, trust me my very close friend RSM Allen (British) in the picture would be all over his men if it was wrong and incorrect as he is a stickler for accurateness and apperarance.
I try to look nice in my pictures LOL
Patrick
 

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YES I DO rest my rifle on the toe of my boot, I have seen quite a few pictures of poilu's doing this in poses and at a rest plus I hate putting my buttplates on the ground, got to clean all that dirt out of the screws 'YUCK'. Now remember I am in the the REAL military so I have to be a lean, mean fighting machine, for at least another year maybe two then I can get NICE AND PLUMP LOL
Patrick
 

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Ha ha, Anyone who stands around with a rifle will do the same, at least you are not resting it on somelse's foot. I met a fellow who served as a guard at the pallace in London, he told about a time when a tourist stood too close during one of their drills, when his rifle butt hit the ground, her foot was in the way. He also mentiond that they way they got the nice sound when the butt hit the ground, was to loosen the butt screws a bit so the butt plate could move. This is all unimportant, I just wanted to see haw many times I could get the word butt past the moderators.
Best wishes
Gus
 

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Hey OMK,
Wool is a very comfortable material, it insulates both ways and breaths, I usually wear a sheepshin vest in the summer and winter, and find it comfortable even when it is hot, and it protects me from sunburn.
Gus
PS up in the north, the sun can be shining when it is 40 below:)
 

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...............
It cools you immensely when evaporation starts.... Wool is great.
Agreed. Wool retains warmth in cold weather and while you sweat in hot weather, the perspiration evaporates and cools you to a surprising degree. Polyester t-shirts and shorts are surprisingly hot when the temp gets up there. I think I have already mentioned this but at Civil War reenactments, always in warm and even hot months, I've seen more polyester wearing spectators go down from heat stroke than reenactors in wool.

Also remember OMK, that was April in Pennsylvania, not Florida. It can be downright chilly at night and cool during the day. :)
 
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