352.Infanterie Division Reenacting Unit

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WWII Reenacting Corps

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Unit Policies

The 352.Infanterie-Division is a member Unit of the WWII Reenacting Corps.  As such, all policies of the WWII Reenacting Corps are applicable to this Unit.  The Bylaws of the WWII Reenacting Corps are applicable to this Unit.  

Policies of the 352.Infanterie-Division Reenacting Unit

The following is a list of additional specific policies and regulations to be a member of the 352.Infanterie-Division:


General Rules and Policies
  • To be a member of the 352.Infanterie-Division, you must be 16 years old.
  • To be a member of the 352.Infanterie-Division, you cannot be a felon.
  • To be a full member in the unit, each member must possess and correctly wear authorized uniform and equipment items at authorized 352.Infanterie-Division sponsored events and at events in which the 352.ID attends as a unit.  
  • Remember first and foremost that when you are in uniform, no matter where you are, you are representing an honorable soldier first and the WWII History Center second.  Always be on your best behavior and do what you can to bring honor to yourself and those you are trying to portray.
  • Remember that you are a reenactor because you care about the history and educating others, not because you like to carry guns around, look cool in uniform, or get some “trigger-time.” 
  • Remember that as reenacting units under the banner of the World War II History Center and the World War II Reenacting Corps - we will be held to a higher standard and we expect you to do your best to help us maintain that higher standard of historical accuracy, even when participating in tactical events.
  • Advancement in rank will be decided much the same as it is in the real military.  Decisions will be made by your CO or NCO and will be based on your experience, skill, historical accuracy and the need for higher ranks.  We will never have need for any rank higher than a Major. 
  • For those of you who have prior military experience (in the real world), please keep in mind that some things were done different during World War II and some terminology was different.  You will be expected to learn the “WWII way” of doing things as you will be portraying a WWII soldier.  We are not doing this to minimize your honorable service to our country, but merely to be as historically accurate as possible.
  • Smoking is generally allowed outdoors, unless otherwise prohibited for safety concerns.  It is a fact of the WWII soldier, from any nationality, that smoking was one of the the only ways to relax during the war.  However, if you choose to smoke, you are required to use either unfiltered cigarettes or cigarettes with a white filter.  You must also use a type of normal-looking cigarette similar to Camels or Winstons.  No Virginia Slims or other exotic-looking types.  Cigarettes did not have filters during WWII.  Cigars and pipes are also allowed, although pipes would only have been used in camp.
  • Anyone trained in Emergency Medical Response or as an EMT will be encouraged to portray a Medic.  This way you could actually carry real medical supplies and you would be on the scene instantly if any real injuries occurred.  Real gunshot wounds may be non-existent, but scrapes, cuts, burns, turned ankles and the like are fairly common.
  • Training for our units will be conducted as if none of our members have ever served in the military.  For those that do have military service, we will ask that you be patient with us and the inexperienced, and do what you can to help both. 
  • Training for our units will largely revolve around how to portray a WWII combat soldier, squad-level tactics, marching, rifle drill, and field problems.  Training will include minimal shooting of blank rounds due to the cost of the ammunition; however you will be given a chance to shoot blank ammunition prior to an event if it is your first time.  Live fire target shooting events can be organized if enough interest is shown.
  • Continued refusal to abide by unit policies will result in a warning, then dismissal from the unit.  
  • Any deviation in these policies must be cleared by the unit commander.


Personal Goals
  • To learn all you can about the time period, the life of the particular type of soldier you are portraying, the theater of combat in which he served, and the unit’s history.
  • To acquire as soon as possible, the minimum required uniform/equipment/weapons necessary to fulfill your particular soldier’s impression.
  • To learn basic military discipline including rules for saluting, addressing higher ranks, following orders and all of the other typical rules of order common to military life.
  • To become completely familiar and comfortable with the use and arrangement of the uniform, equipment and weapons of the combat soldier which you are portraying, including equipment and weapons utilized by other soldiers in your unit, such as machine guns and vehicles.
  • To help others achieve the goals as previously stated.
  • To recruit others to enter the World War II Reenacting Corps, thereby increasing our numbers and adding more to our effort to educate the public about life as a soldier during WWII.



Primary Requirements

  • Safety is the number one priority!  If you see an unsafe condition, no matter what the situation (even in the middle of a public battle), do whatever it takes to make the situation safe before doing anything else.
  • You are portraying a soldier from a nationality whose primary language is not English - you are requested to learn basic military commands in German.
  • You are portraying a German Soldier - if you are capable, try to speak in an accent of the nationality which you are portraying when speaking to the public.
  • While in uniform, you will be expected to act as a soldier and follow the military code of conduct.  Officers and NCOs will be saluted (unless in combat conditions), higher ranks will be addressed by rank, and you will follow the orders given to you.  
  • The minimum age to participate is 16, but the maximum age is dependent upon you.  If you are physically capable of portraying a soldier, then you will be allowed to participate.  
  • Never bring live ammunition to any event where you will be carrying a WWII-era weapon.  
  • Live ammunition is strictly prohibited on World War II History Center grounds, even for personal defense.  If you bring any by accident, you will be expected to put it in your POV immediately.
  • Pyrotechnics are to be handled strictly by authorized personnel only.  The only exception to this rule is any grenade, mortar or cannon shell simulator approved by the event Safety Officer and can be demonstrated safely, on the spot.
  • Never aim a weapon of any type, loaded or unloaded, real or fake, at any person ever.  The old rule of shooting, “only aim at what you plan to kill” applies here.  During combat, always aim at the ground in front of the person or off to the side or over his head.  In case the worst should happen and you do have a live round loaded, this will save someone’s life.



Appearance

  • There must be no visible tattoos or piercings of any kind that are visible while you are in uniform.
  • Hair must be kept short and above the ears.  Sideburns must be kept no longer than the middle of the ear.
  • Facial hair is limited to trimmed mustaches that must not hang over the lip, and can not be any wider than the corners of the mouth.  “Five o’clock shadows” are permissible, unless you are an officer.
  • You must keep yourself in at least average physical condition, able to walk at least a few miles per day while carrying weapon and equipment.  You will not be expected to do 50 push-ups and run a timed mile, but you have to be able to keep up on a march without the potential for a heart attack.  Beer guts are not only not allowed, but you won’t find any equipment that will fit you.
Weapons
  • Every unit member is expected to have a German (or foreign similar) Mauser K98k - this is the infantry soldier's primary weapon, and will be the primary weapon in our unit.  Most German infantry Gruppen were rifle squads, contrary to what you might see in video games or movies.  The German Infantry Squad had one squad leader with a SMG (MP-40), one machine gunner, two assistant gunners and 7-8 riflemen to support and protect the machine gun. 
  • In ETO reenactments (European Theater of Operation), none of the unit may use Soviet weapons.  Yes, soldiers did serve on the East Front and were broght back to fight in the West, and yes, they probably brought back weapons from the East Front, but the Reich's Armaments and Munitions almost certainly did not make ammunition for Soviet weapons - they were having enough problems keeping up with providing enough ammunition for German weapons.  Therefore, no Soviet weapons in Western European reenactments, period.
  • In Eastern Front reenactments, 25% of the unit may use Soviet weapons, with priority given to unit Cadre.  
  • In any reenactment, up to 25% of the unit may use an MP38 or MP40, with priority given to unit Cadre - a majority of the squad will be riflemen.
  • In any reenactment, only 10% of the unit may use a light or heavy machine gun.
  • Only one snipper per Zug (30 men) allowed.  Sniper must have a complete sniper impression.  In some reenactments, snipers can be used effectively - this will depend on terrain and whether there are referres or not.
  • Only the Gruppenführer, the machine gunner, heavy gun crews, vehicle drivers and medics may use pistols.  Riflemen did not usually carry pistols.  
  • Any home-built weapons must be cleared by the commander and/or the WWII Reenacting Corps Safety Officer before being used in the unit or at WWIIRC-sponsored events.
Uniforms
  • Modern combat gear is strictly prohibited.  Any item that is very close to what the Germans may have used is allowed as a stop-gap item only.
  • Only a Gruppenführer, a Truppführer or other higher leadership are allowed to wear the M36 tunics.
  • In any reenactment, up to 20% of the squad may wear a camo smock.  
  • In any reenactment, up to 25% of the squad may wear a camo helmet cover.  This limitation does not include breadbag straps, rubber bands, helmet nets or chicken wire, which can be worn by anyone at anytime.  


In Reenactments
  • “Hits” are taken by individuals when you can actually see someone shooting at you from a realistic range (i.e. if you are being shot at by someone using a rifle from no more than 100 yards away, you are “hit”).  Ranges vary depending on weapons, but the general rule is if more than 1/3 of your body is exposed to the person shooting at you, and you are within range, then you are hit.
  • Specific rules vary depending on who hosts the battle, but these should be made clear prior to the start of the battle.  If you are participating in a tactical battle and expecting a perfect system to work every time, you will be terribly disappointed.  In the heat of battle with gunfire going off all over the place, it is often very difficult for participants to hear where shots are coming from, specifically when they are aimed at you.  You could be shot in the back and never even know it.  This situation then places the responsibility on the shooter.  If you really want your shot to count, make sure that you are well within range, and that you only shoot when the person you are aiming at is looking right at you.  Also make sure that a good portion of their body is exposed.  For instance, a machine gunner in a bunker is never going to take a head shot, no matter what the range, except maybe if you are using a sniper rifle and he sees it.  So it is your responsibility to use a grenade or outflank his position.
  • Never shoot directly at a person.  Always aim at the ground at their feet, off to one side, or over their head.
  • Effective rifle and machine gun range is only about 100 yards.  Don’t take a shot beyond that range because it is too difficult for your target to understand that you are shooting at him.
  • Effective submachine gun range is only about 50 yards.
  • Effective pistol range is only about 10 yards.
  • Effective grenade range is about 5 yards.  If a grenade lands within 5 yards of your position, and you are exposed, you are a casualty.
  • Never call your shot!  There is nothing worse at a tactical battle than guys running around yelling, “Hey, I shot you three times!”  Only take effective shots as mentioned above, and keep shooting until the person can see you shooting.  There is almost never a “one shot, one kill” rule.
  • Casualties will be handled different ways at different battles.  The battle commander should explain what you are to do if you are “killed” prior to the start of the battle.



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