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 Post subject: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 11:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:26 pm
Posts: 7
I wanted to put a review up of Rockford and HRS ( Historical Reenactment Society ) who was "pulling" the strings for this event. If you haven't gone to Rockford, I would recommend staying away from this event. If you have gone, kudos's to you for avoiding the disaster that was Rockford 2014 for our unit.

From what occurred this past weekend Sept 20, 2014 I believe the Authenticity committee of HRS are composed of 100 + year olds who met and remember every German Soldier both German, and Foreign that served Germany during WWII. They claimed to know every unit, and every part of equipment worn by every member of the armed forces of Germany during WWII. During inspection, they refused to allow entry or participation for reenactors based on an "inspection" that HRS took upon itself to do before the battles. Before I begin listing what occurred, I do wish to say I work on my impression, and try my hardest to look the part, I avoid Chinese products wherever possible, and try to get high quality products. Having said that it is next to impossible to get every reenactor to lay down hundreds if not thousands of dollars on products that are considered to by many to be "top of the line."

During "inspection" by HRS ( led by the president of HRS, at least he said he was ) , they took it upon themselves to inspect every piece of equipment and if you were found "lacking" you were kicked out of the event. Of course they ignored troops carrying Yugo's, but by god if you didn't have the SS belt buckle they were looking for you were kicked out. If you were portraying Nederland, Wiking, or any other SS unit not to their liking, you were kicked out of the event. One member of our unit, a US combat veteran, was kicked out for not being "groomed" to their liking. Mustaches were required to be shaved, if you didn't comply, you were kicked out. So in their minds not one single person in Germany that served in WWII had a moustache ( There are many pictures of this). There are pictures of many different looks for German Soldiers, I can understand a goatee, visible tattoo's or a Mohawk / ponytail etc as there are zero pictures of this, we aren't all 18 year old kids of German heritage HRS. If HRS is going to be a group of hard-asses they should have stated in plain language on their site that if you weren't a hard-core reenactor, and didn't have a full set of equipment, or didn't look "Germanic" you weren't allowed to participate. Amazing how this sounds alot like discrimination. Better yet, why didn't they just shave all our heads upon registration?

Those few who actually survived the "inspection" and got to participate in the battles got to fight a 5-10 minute battle for spectators on a field no bigger than a football field. Rockford is nothing more than a living history to make money on. The battlefield was so small that the organizers/ HRS via a snap judgment prohibited the usage of Kubelwagons and MG42's on the field. So those of us, members of our unit included were prohibited from participating in the battles. So let's get this straight, we travel 500-1000 miles to go to this event, and are told " we don't need you on the battlefield, or your vehicles, but don't drive away in front of the "paying" spectators, but hide until the battles over." It is unbelievable that HRS and the Rockford organizers followed this sort of crap for their event.

In parting, I attended DDAY 2014 and was told to stay away from Rockford by many units, now I know why, and Rockford is by no means the biggest reenactment in the US as they falsely proclaim.


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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 01, 2010 6:44 pm
Posts: 1309
interesting state of events, sorry to learn that you feel short changed and that some where along the line it will be resolved. regards mac

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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:23 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Missouri, USA
I didn't attend for the first time in 8 years this year. I will say a buddy got married this past weekend, so I had to be at that, but over the past couple years I've seen this event really decline in how they treat reenactors. I'll probably not be attending in the future.


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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:17 pm 
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Location: South West England
Moved to ' USA and Canada reenactment and events' section.

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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2014 9:43 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:02 am
Posts: 19
thanks for your sharing contents!i have no ideas!never know that before!


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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:19 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:40 am
Posts: 163
Location: Around Chicago IL. USA
So who exactly got kicked out of the event? I think you may be exaggerating a bit? I dont recall anyone getting kicked out?

Carrying Yugo's? You mean a 98k that has a Yugo crest on it? Though not preferable, I dont think its farbtastic. No one got kicked out for wearing an incorrect buckle.

The HRS has had a no SS facial hair policy for a few years now, have they not? Its nothing new, and has been public for years on their website. By registering for the event, participants are agreeing to to HRS rules, are they not? I dont recall seeing an "I will only follow the rules I agree with" clause in the disclaimer. Being a veteran has no bearing on whether one should be allowed to keep a mustache, that is just nonsense.

It should also be mentioned that the mustached reenactor tried to disguise himself on the field by wearing a toque, when told that he needed to shave previously. When asked to take off the told he said he had a skin condition that was sensitive to light. I guess having a mustache is a skin condition, but I'm not sure how light plays into that.

I think everyone actually survived the inspection, with maybe a few easily correctable suggestions. I think the battlefield has shrunk a bit over the years, due to the number of participants that want to be on for the battles. Unfortunately not all "Kooblekars" that look like battlejeep galacticas, and other vehicles, can share the field with tanks, halftracks, tank destroyer, pak guns etc...

I thought this was a quality event and am looking to attend it in the future. Its unfortunate you dont feel the same way. Best of luck in your future reenacting.

What is the biggest reenactment in the US by the way?


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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:26 pm
Posts: 7
Not exaggerating at all, as I personally saw three reenactors not cleared to be on the field of battle due to belt buckles, grooming, and helmet issues, and that's only the reenactors near me. I don't even pretend to say I saw all inspections like you do. Did you personally inspect all 1000+ reenactors?

How many SS soldiers were below 5'10 in height, and wore glasses into battle? The answer is zero. How many SS soldiers had mustaches, the answer many. HRS may have a policy, and I am here to say it's wrong, and doing nothing but disallowing what occurred during WWII and promoting false impressions.

Unfortunately, Rockford can't plan a battle reenactment to any degree of competency even with HRS's help. Again maybe your website should state due to lack of land, if you have a vehicle don't bring it because we will not let you onto the field of battle.

Rockford isn't even close to Conneaut in terms of size.


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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:23 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Missouri, USA
orey22 wrote:
How many SS soldiers were below 5'10 in height, and wore glasses into battle? The answer is zero.


Don't agree with that, quite a bunch actually.

orey22 wrote:
Rockford isn't even close to Conneaut in terms of size.


I definitely agree with this though. Rockford can't claim to be the biggest event anymore. Conneaut holds that title without question.


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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2014 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 06, 2009 5:40 am
Posts: 163
Location: Around Chicago IL. USA
I never said I saw all inspection, I dont know how that was implied? The belt buckles issue is interesting? Perhaps there should be no rules at all concerning grooming & helmets? No one under 5'10 and no glasses in the Waffen SS? I think you must be thinking of the early SS which is a different beast. Unfortunately, it doesnt sound like HRS events are a good match for you. The show will go on there regardless, like it has for the past 15+ years. Its good to see the Conneaut event is gaining some traction. Its sounds like its getting better every year.


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 Post subject: Re: Rockford 2014
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 4:32 pm
Posts: 6
Wow! That Rockford! You sir seem to be a sour grape. Yes there are inspections and that do try to enforce a very minimum of WWII standards. Many of the troops wear Chinese made, US made, Polish made uniforms and so on. Apparently some were asked to remove fantasy equipment and refused to comply regarding their goatees. This was likely you. One SS unit complained about a few SS reenactors they found to be questionable. Was this you as well? Interestingly enough the SS was represented by the 1st, 5th, 9th, and 12th. If I recall the field battle organizers were trying to cut down on battle star galactica kubel wagons among the various armored vehicles. Also if you are not part of the battle briefing you do not participate in any field battle probably for your own good lest you get squished in some tread. Rockford is not a free for all as some would like. it is not for every unit or reenactor. If one cannot meet the really simple requirements laid down clearly on the event website I really think you need to reassess your living history presentation. No pass the inspection no play. of course only 3 to 4 people failed the inspection leaving quite a few to participate. Hauling in Sherman's, Stuarts, Hetzers, PZ 1, 251s, PAK guns, etc takes some money. As they say no bucks, no Buck Rogers. No large scale reenactment takes place for free. Is Rockford a perfect event? No, but the majority seem to have a pretty good time. In any case we will soldier on at Rockford with the 1200 troops probably without you in 2015. I guess that Conneat allows goatees and possibly neonazi inspired accoutrements?

Sincerely,

A 100 year old Safety and Authenticity inspector

Ps - you never mentioned your unit designation. Also I can guarantee that you never met the WWII HRS president.

orey22 wrote:
I wanted to put a review up of Rockford and HRS ( Historical Reenactment Society ) who was "pulling" the strings for this event. If you haven't gone to Rockford, I would recommend staying away from this event. If you have gone, kudos's to you for avoiding the disaster that was Rockford 2014 for our unit.

From what occurred this past weekend Sept 20, 2014 I believe the Authenticity committee of HRS are composed of 100 + year olds who met and remember every German Soldier both German, and Foreign that served Germany during WWII. They claimed to know every unit, and every part of equipment worn by every member of the armed forces of Germany during WWII. During inspection, they refused to allow entry or participation for reenactors based on an "inspection" that HRS took upon itself to do before the battles. Before I begin listing what occurred, I do wish to say I work on my impression, and try my hardest to look the part, I avoid Chinese products wherever possible, and try to get high quality products. Having said that it is next to impossible to get every reenactor to lay down hundreds if not thousands of dollars on products that are considered to by many to be "top of the line."

During "inspection" by HRS ( led by the president of HRS, at least he said he was ) , they took it upon themselves to inspect every piece of equipment and if you were found "lacking" you were kicked out of the event. Of course they ignored troops carrying Yugo's, but by god if you didn't have the SS belt buckle they were looking for you were kicked out. If you were portraying Nederland, Wiking, or any other SS unit not to their liking, you were kicked out of the event. One member of our unit, a US combat veteran, was kicked out for not being "groomed" to their liking. Mustaches were required to be shaved, if you didn't comply, you were kicked out. So in their minds not one single person in Germany that served in WWII had a moustache ( There are many pictures of this). There are pictures of many different looks for German Soldiers, I can understand a goatee, visible tattoo's or a Mohawk / ponytail etc as there are zero pictures of this, we aren't all 18 year old kids of German heritage HRS. If HRS is going to be a group of hard-asses they should have stated in plain language on their site that if you weren't a hard-core reenactor, and didn't have a full set of equipment, or didn't look "Germanic" you weren't allowed to participate. Amazing how this sounds alot like discrimination. Better yet, why didn't they just shave all our heads upon registration?

Those few who actually survived the "inspection" and got to participate in the battles got to fight a 5-10 minute battle for spectators on a field no bigger than a football field. Rockford is nothing more than a living history to make money on. The battlefield was so small that the organizers/ HRS via a snap judgment prohibited the usage of Kubelwagons and MG42's on the field. So those of us, members of our unit included were prohibited from participating in the battles. So let's get this straight, we travel 500-1000 miles to go to this event, and are told " we don't need you on the battlefield, or your vehicles, but don't drive away in front of the "paying" spectators, but hide until the battles over." It is unbelievable that HRS and the Rockford organizers followed this sort of crap for their event.

In parting, I attended DDAY 2014 and was told to stay away from Rockford by many units, now I know why, and Rockford is by no means the biggest reenactment in the US as they falsely proclaim.


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