Basic Training

Egad! You look at the contents of "basic training" and suddenly it doesn't feel quite so basic. Well, you're half right. This section tries to be as comprehensive as possible, a catch-all for WWII knowledge. However, it also tries to filter out the unnecessary bits that you don't need to know about. It's organized in a manner of what you, as a reenactor, should probably know first, second, third, and so on. Feel free to skip around, but know that there is a method to the madness.

Layout: We start with the overarching basics that you will need to know. Then we talk about a good deal about the duties, life, and actions of a soldier in many circumstances. Finally, this section wraps up with more personal-level detailed items.

Best Learning Method: Read about it, try it out, then review. Lather, rinse, and repeat. It's great you know what a foxhole should look like, but you don't really KNOW what it takes until you dig one yourself. 

Expectations: Nobody expects any new member to learn and retain all of this by their first event, or second, or tenth. We will be more than happy to teach you and help you along (and learn ourselves by teaching). All of us are history buffs to some degree and love nothing more than talking about our third favorite topic (first favorite being ourselves, of course, and second being the weather!).

A Note on Sources: Many a field manual or technical manual is used while compiling information in this section. Sometimes, if not frequently, direct quotes are used.  The author has read and taken out portions from the FMs and TMs he feels is most important and relevant to the average reenactor. Sources have been noted so one can go and read the entire manual for themselves. Consider all material taken out of the FM's to be "all that you'll ever really 'experience' as a reenactor in the field, at an event, or on display." Please also consider that there may be a wide difference between what the manual said to do and what was actually done in the field. 

Photographs will be provided in this section with unit, date, and location (where possible).

The Alpha and Omega of Lessons:

The US War Department in FM 21-5 "Military Training" lays out the winning mentality for the war, the post-war years, future conflict, and life in general. It won the war, what can it do for you?

a.  Training will be so conducted as to develop in the Army the ability and desire to take offensive action in combat. Although training must include thorough instruction in defensive combat, it must be understood that such combat is only a means to a definite end-- offensive action.

b. To develop an offensive spirit a major objective of training must be the development of aggressive, resolute, and thoroughly capable individuals and units whose skill, initiative, and confidence have instilled in them the desire to close with the enemy and destroy him.

Successful offensive action demands that military training develop in the individual and in the unit the following qualities:
Health, strength, and endurance.
Technical proficiency.
Tactical proficiency...."