A WWII living history group seeking to recreate the average, day-to-day, mundane experiences of the common German second-line security soldier. Visit our web site at www.festung.net. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, December 26, 2014
Sicherungs-Regiment 195 Year in Review 2014
2014 was the first year of our reenactment group. With the year ending, we want to reflect on our progress and also to share our best photos from this year of reenacting.
unit was started by experienced reenactors looking to try something
new. To our knowledge, there never had been a reenactment group that
portrayed security troops. Dissatisfaction with the lack of authenticity
inherent in mock battles led us to something more cerebral than a
grown-up’s version of Cowboys and Indians. It was important to be a
field-based impression; an impression with a second-line focus, less
oriented toward combat, and more toward basic camp and field life. We
settled on a Sicherung unit after discussing many options.
first, the learning curve was steep. We began research to forge
this new impression. Initially, only a few sources yielded information.
From the very start, however, the information discovered strongly
validated our impression choice. We had not realized how thinly spread
Sicherung units were. Sparsely-manned outposts were used to garrison
vast swathes of countryside in the rear areas of the various Army
groups. This historical reality meshes perfectly with our small unit
model. From this, we devised a standard model of an "outpost"-based
scenario for field deployment.
Selecting the exact unit to portray
was also a challenge. We quickly identified a number of Sicherung units
with interesting histories. Sicherungs-Regiment 195, however, was an
obvious final choice. Elements of unit were actually deployed both in
the West and in the East simultaneously. From a reenactment
perspective, we were very pleased to choose a unit impression that
offers such vast versatility.
Our first event was an
immersion/training scenario. More than anything else, this event served
as a test of our new concept and approach to the hobby. We were the only people on the site, there was no need for an "enemy" to fight against. All of our
members attended and it was a total success. We planned and prepared for
the event, then deployed to a farm where we conducted patrols, searched
for partisans, did some training on language and tactics, prepared
rations, and cleaned our rifles. Everything went just as we hoped, and
we all enjoyed some incredibly realistic experiences. The lessons
learned from this event paid dividends throughout the year.
initial training complete, we were ready to deploy to the field at a
regular tactical. When the combat troops moved out, we moved into the
rear to perform observation and security details. Rifle fire echoed in
the distance while we guarded a road and set up observation positions.
Again, the end result was an incredibly realistic-feeling experience. We
had proven the value of our concept and it was very gratifying.
the year wore on, we made some changes to reflect new information about
the historical reality of how Sicherung troops were equipped. Many of
our existing late-war uniform and equipment items were replaced with
mid-war equivalents. This served to reflect the low supply priority of
under-equipped rear-area troops, who were unlikely to have been issued
the newest equipment. German K98 rifles were replaced, in part, with
Czech VZ24s. Members also obtained a mix of paramilitary-type, and
obsolete, gear as we dialed in to our new impression.
unexpected discovery of an original Soldbuch from Sicherungs-Regiment
195 provided very encouraging validation. The soldier was issued a
captured foreign rifle and bayonet. He was also issued a Tornister and a
HBT uniform, both items we had decided to include in our portrayal. All
of this fit perfectly with what we learned about the wide variety of
weapons and equipment that these troops were issued. Further research
led to some additional primary sources, which were very helpful. We now
have an ever-growing body of documentation to work with, as we settle
into our impression.
The response from others in the WWII
reenactment community has been overwhelmingly positive. We have received
positive feedback from all over the world. We also had the opportunity
to take to the field with our like-minded friends in 3.
Panzergrenadier-Division, and the Finnish JR7 unit (which debuted this
year). We attended new events that none of our members had ever
participated in before. In the process, we had a lot of fun, and made a
some new friends. At some of 2014’s events, we were the largest
attending German unit. We are proud to support local events, and
especially Eastern Front scenarios. We continue to share information via
this blog, Facebook, and on our web site (upgrade coming soon).
look bright as we head into 2015. Our year will begin in February with
our annual planning meeting. We expect another busy and successful