Welcome to the At the Front Blog. Despite over 20 years of being on the internet, this is our first official “blog”. Personally, I rarely read anyone else’s blogs, and have procrastinated about setting this thing up for several years. So here we go…
The topics will generally be related to WWII uniforms & gear, WWII reenacting, plus a few random, unrelated things that strike me as worthy of writing about at a given moment. The primary goal will be to provide accurate information about the actual wartime uniforms & equipment, as well as the reproductions and what it sometimes takes to make them. To me, a “correct” product is one that is as close to the actual period item as possible.
As with many other hobbies, there are as many opinions as there are hobbyists or customers. When recreating items from the past, what people want, or assume to be “correct” is often wrong. My standard is based on historical reality, not modern misconceptions or video game screen shots. Field jackets were not actually khaki, M1 bayonets do not fit on M1 Carbines, and shirts and trousers rarely match.
Just about everything we offer, we create or have created for us. I obtain one or more original examples, and set about having it duplicated. After nearly 40 years of owning, wearing, handling, and sometimes disassembling authentic items, I may not know it all, but I have a pretty good idea of what’s right and wrong when it comes to WWII stuff.
I call it as I see it and that’s that. No matter how much lipstick you smear on the pig, it’s still a pig and I refuse to refer to it as anything else no matter how many sensibilities it might hurt. In advance, I offer my less than half-hearted apologies to those with sensitive egos who consider their universe of military cosplay an alternate reality and a space safe from the realities of life. So, if something offends you, grow a thicker skin or change the channel.
If you are truly honoring veterans and saving history for our descendants, you owe it to the real soldiers that fought, froze, bled and died in the War to represent them as accurately possible. If this is just prancing around at a fruitcake convention dressed as a “Feel Marshal” as part of a pansexual mating ritual, by all means, go with the polyester uniform and rubber boots.
Like anything in life, the best path is to do it right- regardless of whether it’s playing the part of a paratrooper, washing the dishes, painting a house or writing some damned blog.