WWII LIVING HISTORY SOCIETY
FILM - TV - LIVE EVENTS - PHOTOGRAPHY
The group's impression is based upon the 21.Infanterie division which fought on the eastern from 1941. Our impression is based on the late war timeline of 1944 - 1945 which saw the 21st battle from the gates of Leningrad down through the baltic states of Estonia,Latvia & Lithuania to the final battle ground of East prussia.
Our infantry impression covers standard infantry roles such as standard riflemen, MG, Mortar, Panzershreck & Pak 36 teams. Drivers, Sani(First aiders), Motorcycle riders and flak gun crew. We also have a section of infantry who operate the groups Gulaschkanone (Field kitchen). Our Neberwerfer is manned by our Pionier section. Finally our Officers and frontline radio section provides the group with a forward HQ for display.
Alongside our infantry impression we also have a "Pionier" unit which members can join.
Although our sub group, our Pioniere pack a punch with their variety of weapons and the famous Nebelwerfer 41 rocket launcher.
New members have the opportunity to become a member of our "Pionier unit" or our primary "Infantry" unit.
The German Army of World War II collectively referred to its various engineer units as “Pioniere” (combat engineers/pioneers)
Recruits were selected for the Pioniere based on related civilian skills such as carpenters, farmers, masons, road-workers, loggers, bridge builders and those familiar with power-tools, general labours and unskilled were also recruited.
Pioneers employed the same equipment as the infantryman. Mauser rifles, Mg34 machine guns, MP40 SMGs, stick grenades, bundle grenades. They also laid tellermines and s-mines. The flamethrower -first employed in the trenches of world war one by the Germans was used exclusively by pioneer troops.
They were first and foremost assault troops and construction workers second. They were tasked with overcoming manmade and natural obstacles, and in the attack they supported the infantry as specialist assault troops, attacking fortified positions with demolitions and flamethrowers. In the defence they constructed fortifications and shelters, erected obstacles, laid minefields, planted booby traps, cleared fields of fire, erected camouflage, and maintained supply routes.
They were the specialists for such tasks and were attached to the units when needed. The course of war and high casualties often made it necessary that they were used in a normal infantry role. That was not intended and not the best way to use a Pionier unit but necessary in some situations.
As WW2 reached its final stage and the fighting had begun on German soil the pionier role become one of defensive/delaying tactics rather than those of assault. This is where you find our living history groups portrayal 1944 - 1945 East Prussia fighting both as pioniere and standard infantry against the massive soviet assault on Germany's eastern front.
Note-The 21st Infantry Division Eastern Front Living History Group portrays members of the Wehrmacht & Soviet Red Army from WW2, and does so in the interest of historical reality and inclusion, rather than for any political motivation or cause. We are Historians first and foremost, and focused only on providing as realistic an approach to studying the conflict as possible. The 21st Infantry Division Eastern Front Living History Group respectfully requests any neo-Nazi/extremist groups to please look elsewhere for an audience, as we are NOT interested.
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