At the Yorkshire Wartime Experience last year (2015) we met loads of interesting groups and people, including the group 9. Panzer Aufklärung from Norway. Since then they’ve gone from strength to strength. Some of the group members have put together a blog for us which explains how the group got started, what they’ve been up to so far, and what they have planned for the future.
World War 2 re-enactment seemed like a dream for us living in Norway. We were always looking at pictures and hearing stories from the WW2 re-enactors in the neighbouring countries of Sweden and Denmark. A few Norwegians participated in Swedish groups, travelling over the border for events. It was an option we thought of, but at the same time we wanted something within Norway.
The only way to do any kind of WW2 living history here in Norway was to participate in WW2 Airsoft games. Although the standards were high when compared to WW2 Airsofting in other countries, it wasn’t on par with proper re-enacting. Nonetheless, we stuck with it while we were slowly preparing ourselves to get involved with re-enactment.
Tired of waiting for a group to come around, we started our own in 2014 and became Norway’s first WW2 re-enactment unit. We attended a few public events and did work on set for a TV production while we were planning how to grow. In May 2015, during Panserfest’s first annual event, we registered ourselves in the Norwegian Central Coordinating Register for Legal Entities, and taking one big step towards establishing a WW2 re-enactment community within Norway.
Being added to this register allows us to have our own bank account, join several official organisations which gives us further benefits, and actually have influence commercially as a group. It also leaves a lot of the legal responsibilities to the group’s name, and not on any individuals.
Since May 2015, our group has attended several events and have grown from it’s first 3 members to just shy of 20. Two of it’s founders also attended the Yorkshire Wartime Experience, and we are planning a return there with quite a few members this year. This years most important event for us will be Panserfest in June, which is quickly growing into a very large, military history event on an European scale.
We’re still growing, and are starting to see other WW2 re-enactment groups getting established as well. In January this year, we held our very first boot camp, getting the unit’s standards up to an equal level. Our first public event for the year is scheduled for May, and we have great plans for this. In October, we also have a group coming over from the UK to spend a weekend together with us. We are truly stoked for that!
The unit is aiming to acquire a few vehicles in the near future and to get more public recognition. We are very positive that we have brought this fantastic hobby to Norway, and that it will not fade away.