Charlie Rhodarmer is an extreme historic reenactor.
Camping in below freezing temperatures while pretending to be on the WWII Russian front is a working vacation for him. Rhodarmer says, “We go up into the trench works, build a fire, make borscht, and talk about the history. During the day we do tactical scenarios against the reenactors portraying the German Army.”
Rhodarmer says this WWII Soviet role playing is not a spectator event. The trench works are located on private property in Lugoff, SC, and Marion, KY.
Rhodarmer says, “The only people there are the Russian and German units.” The reenactors in Marion, KY are part of the 19th Guards Mechanized Brigade, which is a member of the 8th Guards Mechanical Corps of WWII Soviet reenactors.
“Reenacting the WWII Russian front reminds me a lot of Civil War reenacting. The conditions are primitive and the equipment the Russian soldiers used was not part of a major technological jump.”
WOMEN AT WAR
Rhodarmer says, “If you are a woman interested in historic reenactments, Soviet is the way to go! You don’t need to conceal your gender like you would when reenacting the Civil War.”
“Russian women were in combat, in the trenches. They were snipers. They were pilots and they operated tanks. Soviet uniforms remained the same from WWII until 1970. There are numerous sources for purchasing Soviet uniforms and accessories.”
SUFFERING IS FUN
So, why go through all this? “I’ve always loved history and have been interested in clothing. I have civilian and military clothes from different periods (see below). When reenacting, you meet like minded people. It’s always a great bunch of people. It’s fun to spend a weekend talking about history.”
Charlie’s Historic Wardrobe
Most modern Cold War/ East German
Vietnam /82nd 101st uniform
WWII/ 6th British Paratroopers; 82nd Airborne; Soviet Mechanized Infantryman; German paratrooper; U.S. Navy; Highland Black Watch.
WWI/ 82nd Airborne; Highland Black Watch
Civil War/ several Confederate and Union uniforms
War 1812/ Malitia, British Colonel; 47th Black Watch
American Revolution/ several uniforms
French & Indian War/ Independent Company of S.C; Sgt.Sumpter
1745 Jacobite Rebellion
Scottish of different periods
Jane Austin time period
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© Debra Dylan, 2014.