On this page we explain what re-enactment is. After that you can read what makes us do this hobby. An important aspect of who we are is our display. On this page we will explain why we choose to display Grenadier-Regiment 726.
What is re-enactment?
Strictly speaking re-enactment is the replay of historic events. This often has as purpose to show the public how a certain historic battle took place. Participants wear authentic clothes and replay the specific event. In our workgroup we go a bit further then replaying one certain battle for the public. Also for our own experience we clothe and behave ourselves as German soldiers from the Second World War. We go on when the public is gone and we want to fully relive how it was in that time.
This we extend piece by piece through historic research. Every event is an experiment: how can we live more like in that time? This form of re-enactment is developing continual. Every time we learn new things.
Who are we?
Every individual member re-enacts for his own reason, but one thing we have in common: a communal interest in the Second World War. Many of our members read books and visited many musea in the past. Sooner of later we all started this hobby. Our group, as it currently is, finds it origin in February of 2019. From that moment on the current members decided to start a form of re-enactment commited to entire authenticity and immersion. At the moment of writing this, in November 2019, we have 16 members. However, we do not measure our success by the amount of members we got, but by the quality of our display. We believe that, since the start of 2019, we have made big steps forward. We hope to improve our display in quality even further. Recruiting new members is a welcome side issue, but not our goal. About our goal you can read at the end of this page.
Which unit do we portray?
Our main display is the 11th Company of Grenadier-Regiment 726 of the 716.Infanterie-Division. The logo of this division is the oakleaf as seen here. This oakleaf we also made our group logo. Within the Grenadier-Regiment 726 we portray the regular infantry group (Gruppe). We see this unit as a occupation-unit. No boys with political motives, but just common German soldiers with the assignment to defend certain strategic points along the French coast. From 1943, after the fall of Stalingrad in the Soviet-Union, the men of this unit were replaced with older and less healthy men. The young and healthy soldiers were needed on the eastern front.
The soldiers who remained were less experienced and often had no combat experience at all.
We believe that the accurate portrayal of a German unit is a difficult assignment for hobbyists. On average we come together for 8 weekends in a year. It is our opinion that in this time it is not possible to get enough training to portray an elite unit. We also do not want to portray an elite unit. We want to portray the ‘common’ German soldier. Not the fanatics. We want to portray the men who were conscripted. We do the best we can to portray a qualitative good unit, but we also want to stay credible. This is the reason we decided to choose a division from the 7-series (divisions of lower quality in the German army). Because we focus on the basics it is our opinion that we are able to put up a good display that is credible and in a realistic way challenging for our members.
As stated about our display is that of a regular conscripted soldier. Because of this we can also transform ourselves easily to other infantry units. We do this regularly to fit a different scenario.
From the text above you can derive our goal for a big part. It is difficult to translate our goal exactly to English. Though we have tried to make up a proper translation:
“In our workgroup our members are continually busy by means of historic research, during activities of the workgroup, to display in historic authentic ways a reconstruction of the live of the German soldier in the Heeres-Infanterie during the years 1943, 1944 and 1945 of the Second World War.”