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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 3:03 pm 
Hi Stig,
yes i do think they were traitors but also we cant all judge without having to go through what some of them had to do through ie pow camps, but generally i would say they were traitors as they were fighting for the enemy, same as any other foriegn volunteer unit i guess.
Me personally have an interest in the BFC and find them a facinating unit as with all volunteer units.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 4:14 pm 
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I'm not quite sure its something to be proud about Bill. :?

Ive got nothing against Jon or yourself Bill, re-enacting BFC. I just cant see the attraction. I can also see how it might sometimes needlessly cause trouble at events and with vets.

And as for making connections between them and other FV's, I think if we are going to take specific circomestances into consideration, then I would say that every other Foreign Volunteer branch of the WSS or Heer, is a mile apart from BFC. And yet they are still labled traitors in their respective countries. The fact is, most of FV's that joined were of occupied countries that had a large percentage of right wing supporters, you've then got to look at whether those chaps fought with or were still in service with their original armies and what their specific views etc were. But I have more sympathy for a Dutch or Norwegian volunteer than a BFC volunteer who was given the option of becoming a peacock or being left to rot (like so many of his chums) in a POW camp. I also doupt the educational value that re-enacting BFC brings, and what little educational/historical value the BFC does very well in the books that have been written on them.

Like I say, I dont have a problem with you chaps dressing up as BFC, I just have a problem with the self-justification. No need, you want to dress up as BFC, so thats your right to do so. Same as me and Stig choose to dress up as normal Soldaten.....at the end of the day, justifying what we do can be a very big minefield.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 5:34 pm 
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Sani wrote:

Quote:
it might sometimes needlessly cause trouble at events and with vets.


"Vets" here in Germany find my BFC impression very interesting and educational.
They believed (wrongly) that the BFC were at least 300 strong and took part in heavy fighting in Berlin!
I told them that the BFC were never more than 27 at any one time and that only one saw action in Berlin (Bob Rösler).

You are orientated to think of British veterans, because you live in the UK, but have you ever considered what the German veterans think of you playing "Germans"?... what they do not like is Brits doing an impression of Wehrmacht Germans and talking in English language at shows!

In Germany, German veterans seeing me play a "Brit. volunteer" say it is the best impression for me due to me being a born Brit.

I am comfortable doing my impression... DCLI June 1944- Feb.1945, captured at the Reichswald, recruited to the BFC, and in BFC service March-May 1945.

Cheers, Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:01 pm 
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Bill Medland wrote:
Sani wrote:

Quote:
it might sometimes needlessly cause trouble at events and with vets.


"Vets" here in Germany find my BFC impression very interesting and educational.
They believed (wrongly) that the BFC were at least 300 strong and took part in heavy fighting in Berlin!
I told them that the BFC were never more than 27 at any one time and that only one saw action in Berlin (Bob Rösler).

You are orientated to think of British veterans, because you live in the UK, but have you ever considered what the German veterans think of you playing "Germans"?... what they do not like is Brits doing an impression of Wehrmacht Germans and talking in English language at shows!

In Germany, German veterans seeing me play a "Brit. volunteer" say it is the best impression for me due to me being a born Brit.

I am comfortable doing my impression... DCLI June 1944- Feb.1945, captured at the Reichswald, recruited to the BFC, and in BFC service March-May 1945.

Cheers, Bill


Hi Bill :)

I was reffering to British veterans at British events. Fortunately we cannot and nore should we ignore their views or in-puts, after all they are the ones who faught for our right to sit here and have a discussion about this. Now I am totally apathetic to you donning the uniform of a BFC soldier, its re-enacting, you feel comfortable wearing the uniform and you have been recieved well where you live...but as Ive already said mate, I disagree with your justification for doing BFC, not the fact that you portray BFC. Even though I myself have not the inclination to portray this unit.

Despite the fear of wondering a little off topic, I am fully aware of certain German views upon us Brits re-enacting, I also have had the luxury (as have a fare few other British re-enactors) of coming into contact with the otherside of the coin; where both modern Germans and veterans alike have thanked us for portraying their history. And despite our language have not disagreed with what units we should portray. It seems a little "anal" and odd that German re-enactors should be "forcing" you to re-enact a BFC soldier because your an 'ausländer' and therefore may not sound 100% authentic. Having said that, with the greatest respect, you are too old and (coming from a chubby oik) a little too well rounded to be portraying a BFC soldier....so your justification of why you re-enact BFC seems very very odd to me. Why not come out and say it, you re-enact BFC because you want to and not because of historical accuracy. :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:00 pm 
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Quote:
your an 'ausländer'


Just something you would like to know...Bill is a German citizen since 1992 :shock:

Furthermore his argumentation on reenacting BFC does not seem odd to me. But then...I am his wife and German too and obviously look at the whole "affair" without feeling "British pride pricked" :twisted:

Liebe Grüße,
Beate

P.S.: On a survey on asking what visitors to Bill´s website would like to read more about, 33,9% of 236 votes would like to read more about British Volunteers :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:55 pm 
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I thought that reenacting Waffen SS was illegal in Germany.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2006 9:59 pm 
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Looks like the poor old lads a bit confused.. :wink:
He says he's a Brit but the good lady says he's German. :shock: If it's owt like our house.......


He's a Jerry!!!! :?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:50 am 
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It is a shame this thread has attracted such a long arguement as the BFC really didn't do a great deal. To have such a notoriety is funny because its not like there where hundreds or thousands of them going about kicking soviet arse is it?

Does it really make people feel uneasy to see or hear anything about them? No offence to Bill here but the BFC were a pathetic bunch compared to other foreign volunteers. A few dozen POW camp internees released to do a few photos and to hang about. Hardly a large contingent of sabotuers actively working for the downfall of Great Britain. They also signed a statement that said they wouldn't take part in action against the UK, didn't they Bill? I think most foreign volunteers signed similar statements. Traitors or merely opportunists and adventurists? Their guns weren't loaded and they were withdrawn from the front line. (How many men went mad whilst in POW camps? Wouldn't you fancy it if it was offered? Freedom, food, drink, women...)

Just out of interest: When you guys see English civil war reenactors do you decry the 'Roundhead' guys for reenacting traitors? For that is what they were - they went against the Crown and then chopped the kings head off! (And they did it in the name of Parliament!!!!) Also - Yanks are technically traitors too and no-one has a problem with that...

Mark A

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:55 am 
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Jon Das Reich wrote:
In the UK no one minds seeing a Charlemagne or Nederland tunic because these foreign volunteer units didnt come from the UK unlike the BFC who are looked on as traitors here in the UK.
I would guess other foreign volunteer units get the same cold shoulder in the own countries also.


If I remember correctly, Beltring and the Odyssey have a blanket ban on Freiwillige uniforms every year.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:43 am 
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Stigroadie wrote:
Quote:
Looks like the poor old lads a bit confused..
He says he's a Brit but the good lady says he's German


Guess you are the one being confused my dear....if you would read properly and not between the lines, you would have read that Bill said:

Quote:
Being a born Brit


Obviously he chose the way of not just having the "luxury" ( as Sani wrote) of meeting Germans, living in Germany, but even to become a German :D

Liebe Grüße,
Beate...."the good lady", thanks for leaving the old out :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:14 am 
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Quote:
do you decry the 'Roundhead' guys for reenacting traitors?

they won, remember! turncoats are never traitors if they win :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 6:43 am 
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Sani wrote:
Quote:
you are too old and (coming from a chubby oik) a little too well rounded....


I am sure a lot of us are too old for the impressions we do.
No wonder if you start off in the hobby in the 70s :wink:

Stigroadie wrote:
Quote:
He says he's a Brit but the good lady says he's German


I stressed the point "born Brit", if you read my post again :wink:
I became a German citizen in 1992, I speak German fluent (with a British accent), and no matter how I see myself as German, Germans will always see me as a Brit. Now I cant change that.
Sure I could reenact a "German" in Germany, no problem.
But I want to do something special that has never been done over here before!
Is Waffen-SS banned in Germany? Who gives a toss 8)
Self-imposed from the reenactment scene itself.

Why I reenact British Free Corps

I have always had a specialist interest in ALL foreign vollunteer units, both Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS. But the most exciting part of this for me is the "Empire Renegades" for example the British Free Corps, Free Indian Legion, Lord Haw-Haw and Sir Oswald Mosley´s British Union (you can read about this on my website).
I really got interested in reenacting the BFC when I started research for my "what if" book "For England and the Reich" (still a lot of work to do).
An exile- Fascist Government on the Channel Islands, and a British volunteer unit on the Russian Front wearing an "Oliver Cromwell" cuff-title.

When I talk about reenacting the BFC, I get some funny looks and then the questions start, most Germans have never heard of the unit, and the few that have need correcting. There are no books on the subject in the German language and no one has heard of Adrian Weale or the 1966 film "It happened here!" (made by reenactors).

I will reenact BFC in the UK given the chance, but as I will be wearing a camouflage jacket over the top, no one will be offended, unless of course they see the three lions on a tunic :wink:

Cheers, Bill


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:22 am 
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Hi Bill and of course Beate

I dont know why we are going down the route of who is a born or 'born again' German...its pathetic....and as for Bill being a German since 1992....its like saying that I am a German now because I have a German birth cert. and was born there in 88. Woo big deal, I have a British accent and speak a passible amount of German, but I'm not forced or feel abliged to re-enact BFC or even a British unit.

And Cookie, I'd like to suggest mate that you go back over what has been written. No one is arguing here with Bill. We dont argue on this forum - we discuss. 8)
My points are in summary:
.You cannot compare BFC to other Foreign Volunteers units. It is NOT a disclaimer for re-enacting the unit.
. I dont let my " pricked British pride" (including that undertone :wink: ) get in the way of 'history', my feelings have been made well clear, I have no interest in re-enacting the unit that betrayed its friends first and country second, I cant see why people should or would want to re-enact the unit, but if you do, then its your right to.

Its just nice to see the other side of the fence for a while, being Axis centric folks I think we can sometimes forget where our right to do what we do sprang from. I am under no ellusions that our side was "squeeky clean", and am all for Bill's research and website and eventual book to which I look forward to.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 7:58 am 
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Sani wrote:
... I cant see why people should or would want to re-enact the unit, but if you do, then its your right to.



Surely the same reason as we get funny about events that don't allow Axis, we always say, "well it's a part of history, the Axis were in the war". The BFC is also "a part of history" and if somebody wants to display/reenact/educate about that part of history then there is your reason, is it not? Or should we just sweep all the bad history under the carpet?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:11 am 
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Sani wrote:
Quote:
I dont know why we are going down the route of who is a born or 'born again' German...its pathetic....and as for Bill being a German since 1992....its like saying that I am a German now because I have a German birth cert. and was born there in 88. Woo big deal


For your information it was a "big deal", taking German citizenship was perhaps one of the major steps of my life. I lost friends and I was dis-owned from my family for being dis-loyal to my birth place.
You see, Germany had become my home and if I was to stay there, then I wished to do it 100%
Having served in Northern Ireland and the Falkland Islands, was it easy to go to the British Embassy and sign away my birth right?
Was it easy to stand in that office and turn my back in a symbolic gesture, on the flag that I had fought for?
When I stood on those steps in Düsseldorf on that rainy day back in 1992, having lost my family, did I feel something that the BFC recruits would have been able to identify with? I believe yes, perhaps I even understand them and why they did it.

Cheers, Bill


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