4th Kompanie Groβdeutschland living history and reenactment group bases its impression around February 1945 when the elite Wacht-Battalion Berlin, a ceremonial sub-unit of the elite Groβdeutschland formation, deployed from its duties in Berlin to fight on the front around the Seelow Heights to the east of the city. Here it became engaged in fierce fighting defending the capital and its population from the Russian onslaught seeking revenge.
It fought alongside a wide mix of units from other seasoned formations through to '2nd rate' and Volksturm detachments with every man fighting for his very survival. Portraying this particular period and time allows our display to incorporate a wide range of different things, from the elite men of GD wearing brand new M36s and still issued the very best of kit, through to the later issued 'ersatz' equipment.
It also allows us to showcase our drill displays which would have been a crucial part of every soldiers' basic training, instilling in them a sense of kameraderie and discipline. We have a wide range of elements to our display, from a rear echelon camp, through to an impressive drill and firing display, as well as being able to take part in battle reenactments using authentic commands and manoeuvres with an Sdkfz 251c Halftrack, BMW R71 motorbikes and sidecars, and a whole assortment of weaponry.
The Leutnant is the Commanding Officer (CO) and is responsible for organising and running the group. They coordinate event bookings for the group, making sure that all members are kept informed of any news, organise who and what will be attending each show and then are responsible for the day to day running of the show.
This involves doing roll call in a morning, ensuring that camp is set up and authentic, making sure that everyone is fed and watered, doing drill, attending any meetings or briefings and liaising for any displays or battles.
The unwritten rule with the CO is that they always have to take most of the unit’s kit to events as well!
The Feldwebel is the Senior Non-Commisioned Officer (SNCO) in the group and is responsible for supporting the CO, and deputising for them if they don’t attend. They also coordinate the group members and maintain medical records plus anything else that needs to happen.
At events they are also responsible for drill, safety and keeping camp tidy.