Image by Michael peach
3rd Panzergrenadier Division
A Living History Group


Gefechtstross-9/Gren. Rgt (mot.) 8

1st Gruppe- 9/Gren. Rgt (mot.) 8


Our unit portrayal depicts various elements of the German 3. Panzergrenadier Division, a Heer unit rich in Prussian military history and tradition. This formation served in most major campaigns during WWII from the 1936 annexation of the Sudetenland to surrender in the Ruhr pocket in 1945. Through our depiction of the men of this division we can likewise create countless vignettes that occurred on varied fronts and rear areas throughout the war.

Our living history unit also has rich history. Originally formed in 1996 our organization has undergone a series of transitions that has seen an evolution in our approach to reenacting which often differs from many of our colleagues. It is our sincere belief that the trivial tasks of daily life of a soldier can be re-created to higher degree than the typically inaccuracy of battle simulations. These mock battles thankfully, fail to properly mimic the horrific nature of real warfare forced upon soldiers. Whereas, in 3PGD, we feel a better way to truly, "touch” history is by attempting to recreate the small, even mundane experiences that the soldiers of WWII endured countless times though a process we call immersion. Rather than focus exclusively on tactical prowess and gamesmanship of battle, we also aim to create accurate vignettes of daily life whenever possible. We seek to cultivate a deeper appreciation for the experiences of the individual serving in the WW2 German military. By definition this is a very cerebral experience. It is often achieved without a single blank fired, or a single enemy ever in sight.

Cleaning and mending ones equipment, writing/reading a letter from home, shaving period correct in the field. These are experiences common to every man serving in World War2.

This is not to say our unit does not participate in combat style events. We always have, and always will. Young folks entering the hobby in particular are understandably drawn to experiencing the combat life of the German soldier and we likewise provide this opportunity as an entry point for many new members. Those interested in a combat-based impressions have a home in 3PGD learning German squad tactics, using the weapons and equipment of the infantry soldier, practicing the drill and commands common to all German military personnel, and living life as a frontline soldier. But this is but one small facet of the overall WW2 experience and our Units overall vision and approach to the hobby. Over 20 years of experience as an organization has taught us how essential it is, that a unit be able to adapt to the ever-developing needs of it's membership and provide a range of experiences that keeps pace with the hobbyist.

Such is the lifecycle of the hobby. To this end, alongside more typical combat-based reenactment clubs, 3PGD embraces varied impressions within the divisional context of our unit. A myriad of rear-area support roles existed that allowed German combat divisions to function. A long-held statistic is, that for every man at the front, there are 3 who support him and provide what he needs to fight. We believe it is time this ratio come back into proper balance. Unfortunately, reenactors interested in these support type roles often do not have a place to practice their craft in the narrow construct of the predominately tactically-based infantry platoon oriented reenacting community. They do however have a home in our unit. Both roles were integral to the German Army and both are integral to our success as a club. Whether this is the minutia of paperwork, or recreating the cat and mouse aspects of a combat patrol.


In life people have different tastes and interests. This also holds true in reenacting. We emphasize having fun and building upon what the Germans called the spirit of "Kameradschaft, " or soldierly camaraderie. We encourage our members to pursue what interests them about the time period provided it falls within historical relevancy to our unit impression. Likewise, different styled events will appeal to different individuals. Therefore, we permit our members to attend whichever events they wish (tacticals, immersion, public displays, unit trainings, etc. For every event we attend, we appoint an individual to function as the “Event Coordinator.” This person(s) is the liason for coordinating the details of that event through what we call an "Event Primer." This primer, describes the anticipated activities, appropriate uniform, and historical vignette for each club outing.

Our goal is to recreate a historical activity, place, and time as precisely as is possible; To present an appearance so convincing that it creates the illusion that one has traveled back in time. This requires substantial historical study of every aspect of Wehrmacht life. In addition, it also requires a step outside modern comfort zones, and a willingness to try new things as we continually refine our recreation efforts. A photograph snapped at one of our events should be representative of any that could have been taken during the war years. Observable modern items have no place in our encampments. As such, no modern or anachronistic items are generally permitted. This requires constant diligence and creativity but is part of living life as a German soldier. We seek members who are dedicated, hard-working and passionate about representing history through an authentic portrayal of a WWII German soldier. Further, we seek members who are committed to enhance our collective experiences, and bring new heights of realism through immersive, first-person role-playing adaptations.