Saturday, July 18, 2015

Formation of a distant outpost of Sicherungs-Regiment 195

We are honored to announce the formation of "Sicherungs Regiment 195 im Süden", another Sicherungs Regiment 195 “outpost” in the Pennsylvania area.

When we formed Sicherungs Regiment 195, we sought to break the standard mold of what it meant to be a “reenacting” unit. We do not have unit dues, we do not have any attendance policy. Going to our events does not lead to awards and rank promotions in our group, we want members to attend purely because they want to be there. Our members are free to also belong to whatever other units they may please. We are amateur historians looking to create an authentic portrayal together, that alone drives everything that we do. All we ask of our members is that they do what they can, to help achieve our goal. Our membership policy is different than that of most other reenactment units, but it mirrors, in a way, the historical reality of the type of unit that we portray.

Sicherung units, especially on the Ostfront, were often composed of small, remote, outposts separated from each other by huge swaths of land. While they may indeed have been under the same overall command structure, local conditions, local command, supply, orders, numbers, landscape, weather, needs, partisan activity, etc. could vastly fluctuate from one outpost to the next. We surmised that if any other Sicherung units were to form in the reenactment community, that we could reflect this wartime reality of remote, distant outposts within the present day. This is exactly what we are now doing, as we welcome Sicherungs Regiment 195 im Süden into our family. This “remote outpost” will be run by the local commander. He is free to command his outpost as he sees fit. We do not impose conditions on him, how the outpost is run is at the discretion of the commander and his men. However, we will all be functioning as part of the same overall unit impression. We will be sharing historical research, photos, event AARs, Feldpost, and other zoney, period-based activity with each other. All of this is done with our aim to push the hobby into new, progressive, innovative approaches. Sicherungs Regiment 195 is not one, single, reenacting unit. We hope eventually to be a collective of outposts that dot the countryside. Each post will be run according to its own local need and situation, yet all working towards the same goal: expanding the hobby well beyond powder-burn tacticals.

This approach entails some risk. Traditionally, most reenactment units have competed with each other for members or for prestige. Units zealously protect their unit identities and gnash their teeth when another unit adopts a similar portrayal. The reality, though, is that none of us own history. None of us served in the real-world military formations that we seek to recreate. We believe that a cooperative approach will pay dividends and we are open to others, in whatever region, who want to be a part of the unit impression we are crafting.

Imagine an event scenario jointly crafted by a number of outposts. At the same time, each outpost takes to the field. Each outpost plays its part in the larger scenario. Perhaps there is some limited contact between the widely separated outposts during the event. At the end, the various outposts share photos, compare what happened and begin to plan for the next joint endeavor. The combined experience helps make the next event even better. We believe that this vision could become reality, with time.

If you are in the Pennsylvania area, and are interested in becoming a part of a unique approach to living history, please contact Sicherungs Regiment 195 im Süden via this link.

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