Common reenacting mistakes

Listed below are some common mistakes i often see reenactors do/ what to avoid doing. Some of the following may have photographic evidence during the war but were definitely not the norm.

Not having a collar liner on your Gymnasterka. Collar liners were mandatory and reduced the need for washing the tunic hence extending its longevity. Official orders were to replace a new one per day but that did not happen on the front lines. There were collar liners specifically made but more often that not were just folded scrap bits of white fabric. They are sewn 1-2mm above the tunic collar to imitate a high collar undershirt being worn.

Wearing the gas mask bag strap when not in action. Official orders were to only use the integral gas mask bag waiststrap when ordered by an officer in battle.

Wearing modern eyewear. Modern glasses frames can throw a well put-together impression off. Get a period looking frame and get prescription lenses fitted to look more of the period.

Double leather ammo pouches for mid-late war. There is virtually no photo evidence of this as the production of the 2-cell leather Mosin pouch decreased drastically when the war began in favour of the economy fabric ones. In fact most photos show soldiers with only a single fabric ammo pouch or even no pouches (ammunition stored in pockets and bag) during the mid-late war timeline.

Wearing the belt the wrong way round. The belt should be anticlockwise, ie belt prong pointing to the right.

Wearing a telnyashka/ striped undershirt. This is a farby thing as spread by post war uniforms and videogames. During the GPW only naval personell wore the telnyashka striped shirt.

Using too much ‘captured’ German equipment. Unless protraying a specific unit/photograph, having too much ‘captured’ German equipment gives the impression of one doing German as their mainline and not putting in the effort to complete a frontovik impression.

M43 shoulderboards too big/small. Shoulder boards came in a range of specified sizes and soldiers were issued ones that fitted their garment well for a professional look. If they were unavailable unit tailors would alter their lengths.

Not closing the collar completely. They were closed for a professional look (and orders!) at all times. They should not feel restrictive. If they do, get it altered.

Wearing an officer’s gymnasterka when protraying an OR. Yes i know non-officers were sometimes issued M43 gymnasterkas with chest pockets and there is photographic evidence for it but why not stick with the most common case which is them issued with the pocketless type?

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