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Captains Courageous
June 23, 2009 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever wondered what you would look like dressed as a captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation who fought in World War II? This guy did and then recreated it.

Buried in the pages of what appears to have started as a resource on Diggers (previously) is this amazing collection. The "Captain" has taken a portrait of himself and photoshopped on uniforms, medals, ribbons, and in some cases facial hair and facepaint. Most entries also include a little personal history of the virtual captain explaining why he's wearing certain things.
posted by doctoryes (66 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nope, never wondered that.

I have, however, wondered what I'd look like if I got to model for Canadian Tire money.

OK, yeah, he's not actually wearing a tam o'shanter but it's pretty close.
posted by GuyZero at 3:22 PM on June 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


Poor Gurkhas, forgotten again.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:24 PM on June 23, 2009 [11 favorites]


Man, does he ever like to play "dress-up!"
posted by ericb at 3:29 PM on June 23, 2009


Yes, I have wondered this.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:30 PM on June 23, 2009


(nitpicking here, because he himself doesn't seem to claim to cover *every* nation, but I can't see any of the Eastern European nations who fought under, or alongside the Germans - the Latvian Volunteer SS Division, for example)
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:31 PM on June 23, 2009


Charles Upham takes some beating in the courageous captains stakes.
posted by Abiezer at 3:42 PM on June 23, 2009


(saving this for the next flameout thread)
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:43 PM on June 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is some serious fucking nerdery right here. If nerd was a controlled substance, this would get you locked up for years.

This is the kind of shit you carry around in your back pocket just in case you run into like some goddam mallrats who've ironically "re-discovered" pogs or whatever the fuck and make the mistake of congratulating themselves by claiming the "nerd" title, so you can grab 'em by the ears and stick this under their noses and say, NO, LOOK, THIS. THIS IS HOW NERDS ROLL. YOU ARE WEARING FAUX-DISTRESSED JEANS AND LISTENING TO BRITNEY SPEARS AND YOU SUCK AT MATH. YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR DEPTH. SHUT UP.
posted by cortex at 3:45 PM on June 23, 2009 [63 favorites]


NO, LOOK, THIS. THIS IS HOW NERDS ROLL. YOU ARE WEARING FAUX-DISTRESSED JEANS AND LISTENING TO BRITNEY SPEARS AND YOU SUCK AT MATH. YOU ARE OUT OF YOUR DEPTH. SHUT UP.

You down with OCD?

Yeah, you know me.

disclaimer that I realize that actual clinical DSM-grade OCD isn't funny and that people with odd fixations actually don't have OCD but are merely really into their shit but that comparing behaviours which resemble actual mental illness on a smaller scale can be somewhat funny the same way we compare various people who annoy us to HITLER et cetera

also when I do this I feel like Roast Beef in Achewood

posted by GuyZero at 3:51 PM on June 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm gonna go with this one for the sartorial win.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:55 PM on June 23, 2009


The back stories (yes, I actually read some of this) really elevate this one to true 42nd-level master nerdery. This is all kinds of awesome.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:02 PM on June 23, 2009


You guys are so easily fooled. Those aren't all pictures of him, he just looks like every captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation who fought in World War II.
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:13 PM on June 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


He appears to be in a wheelchair in every one of these photos, which I will assume is some sort of subtle antitwar statement.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:17 PM on June 23, 2009


At the risk of stereotyping, he looks more British Empire than German or Polish though he does have a certain Prince Philip vibe that works either way.
posted by GuyZero at 4:18 PM on June 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I would die before I would make a composite of my head and a Nazi uniform. This is gross. To each his own, and I see where he's coming from. However, I don't want to know how I'd look as a member of the Waffen SS. Yuck.
posted by Mayor Curley at 4:21 PM on June 23, 2009


Yeah, I'm with TwelveTwo. But I don't think it's possible he looked like every captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation that fought in World War II. Surely some of them had mustaches.
Although it's entirely possible he has 80 twin brothers who look just like every captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation that fought in World War II.
Perhaps some sisters if they were mannish. I suppose you could glue a mustache on. But do you notice how none of them have mustaches? That's the big tip off right there.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:23 PM on June 23, 2009


Ashamed of your uniform Commandant Lassard?
posted by pots at 4:23 PM on June 23, 2009


This guy did and then recreated it. lost his fucking mind.
posted by shmegegge at 4:28 PM on June 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm really disappointed that these are mockups. The power of obsession is almost totally washed away by the photoshop.
posted by OmieWise at 4:31 PM on June 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


Have you ever wondered what you would look like dressed as a captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation who fought in World War II?

All at once? Way too warm, for one thing.
posted by gurple at 4:33 PM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Nazis: Yuck
posted by odinsdream at 4:37 PM on June 23, 2009


He's missed out the WAAF, I'm going to reserve judgement til he puts that one up.
posted by Sova at 4:48 PM on June 23, 2009


I've benefited from this man's single-minded obsession.

In the spring of 2006, our theatre company did an outdoor production of Much Ado About Nothing. As remains our trademark, we set the comedy in the latter days of WWII. Swing music. Young men in uniform. It was a concept that really worked. (I.1, II.1, III.2, V.4)

But finding the right look for our officers was a bit of a challenge. While there are so many photos of several courageous fighting men, rarely do you find a portrait that gives a comprehensive look of what insignia goes where.

Lucky for us, I stumbled upon this very website.

And so, I tip a costumed hat to this incredibly single-minded individual.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:49 PM on June 23, 2009 [10 favorites]


Nazis: Yuck

Maybe, but it's hard to dispute that they had the best uniforms.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:50 PM on June 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


... they had the best uniforms.

Hugo Boss. Really.
posted by grabbingsand at 4:54 PM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


Drab green. Drab brown. Drab grey. Drab blue. Drab brown. Drab grey. Drab green. Drab green. Drab grey. Drab green. Drab blue. Drab brown. Drab blue. Drab grey. Drab blue. Drab grey. Drab brown. O CANADA!!! Drab green. Drab grey. Drab brown. Drab blue. Drab brown. Drab grey. Drab green. Drab brown. Drab brown. Drab blue. Drab grey.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:03 PM on June 23, 2009 [15 favorites]


Hugo Boss, huh?

Makes me wonder what cologne* they used - Calvin Klein sounds suitably Germanic.

* Köln
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:05 PM on June 23, 2009


Calvin Klein sounds suitably Germanic.

Yeah, Calvin Klein is Jewish. Also, he was born in late 1942.
posted by jedicus at 5:21 PM on June 23, 2009


Scrub him out, then.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:32 PM on June 23, 2009


* Kölnisch Wasser
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:34 PM on June 23, 2009


Wow, I always thought WW2 officers pants were crotchless vinyl. Things you learn.
posted by mattoxic at 5:53 PM on June 23, 2009 [5 favorites]


I wonder if it would work with Captain Beyond. I'll be back in a bit.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 6:02 PM on June 23, 2009


I'm really disappointed that these are mockups. The power of obsession is almost totally washed away by the photoshop.

I really wanted them to be portraits of him actually wearing all the uniforms, too.
posted by not that girl at 6:12 PM on June 23, 2009


Actually, I would love to see a single portrait of him wearing all the uniforms at once.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:14 PM on June 23, 2009


Distressingly fascinating.
posted by standbythree at 6:20 PM on June 23, 2009


I can never let my husband find this web site. I have to be thankful as it is that he and his buddies no longer play three-day Risk games in my living room.

But who's more the fool, the nerd or she who marries the nerd? Don't answer.
posted by emjaybee at 6:23 PM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


disclaimer that I realize that actual clinical DSM-grade OCD isn't funny and that people with odd fixations actually don't have OCD but are merely really into their shit but that comparing behaviours which resemble actual mental illness on a smaller scale can be somewhat funny the same way we compare various people who annoy us to HITLER et cetera

Aww, thanks!
posted by OverlappingElvis at 6:36 PM on June 23, 2009


When I read nerdery I immediately thought of it as some place to raise nerds.

"... now continuing on our tour, that is the computer lab to the right and the robotics lab next to it. Conveniently placed is the mechanics shop opposite to robotics. At the end of the hall is our very special place where we gestate historical re-enactment nerds. Shhh. Please keep your voices down, they can be quite excitable..."
posted by porpoise at 7:05 PM on June 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


I was totally about to say something SMRT about how US Navy Captains are not the same as Captains in the other branches...but of course this guy preempted that concern.

Anyway...it's interesting how little the uniforms have changed in the last 60 years, at least for the US - is that true for other countries as well? I also would like to observe that I love me some USMC dress blues.
posted by naoko at 7:18 PM on June 23, 2009


Is it weird that I found this kind of adorable, like he's somebody's dotty grandfather? Then I got to Nazi ones which are weird and made me wonder if he just made the others as justificationf or having the Nazi ones on his hard drive.
posted by fermezporte at 7:29 PM on June 23, 2009


Then I got to Nazi ones which are weird and made me wonder if he just made the others as justification for having the Nazi ones on his hard drive.

Surely not. This website is huge. It would be like Michaelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel as an excuse to draw boobies.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:59 PM on June 23, 2009 [3 favorites]


You all missed the Ode!(wav!)
posted by parmanparman at 8:34 PM on June 23, 2009


He appears to be in a wheelchair in every one of these photos, which I will assume is some sort of subtle antitwar statement.

I thought those were just regular chairs, actually. Either that or the wheelchairs back in the day sucked ass.
posted by dead cousin ted at 8:36 PM on June 23, 2009


Well, it's a good start.

Now he needs to add himself in the garb of a:

*Draconian soldier
*Colonial warrior (old style)
*Colonial warrior (new style)
*Hawk-man
*Imperial Naval officer
*Imperial Army officer
*US Colonial Marines officer
*Tech-com
*Soldier
*FORCE: space officer
*Redshirt
*Alpha Moonbase officer

and so on.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:59 PM on June 23, 2009


Shit like this here is why the internet exists.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:34 PM on June 23, 2009


I like how the photos look like colorized black and white photos.

Dressing as a captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation who fought in World War II--except Germany, 'cause Nazis!--would be lame(r).
posted by kirkaracha at 10:04 PM on June 23, 2009


It would be like Michaelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel as an excuse to draw boobies.

That actually happens to be my working theory for explaining the vast majority of that old-time art.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:13 PM on June 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


'S wild that every single uniform has the exact same sleeve shape and cuff length. I almost wonder if they all go to the same tailor or somethin'. It's uncanny, y'know? You'd think "hey, poofy sleeves in the north Atlantic may not have the same advantages as poofy sleeves in the desert, or vicey-versey, y'know, but then here's this guy to try an' prove you wrong.

Go figure.

(doing my best "Bugs Bunny as Hairdresser" voice...)
posted by Graygorey at 11:51 PM on June 23, 2009


Have you ever wondered what you would look like dressed as a captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation who fought in World War II? This guy did and then recreated it.

No he didn't. It's a great website but he is missing a lot of countries, most notably Finland and the minor axis countries Hungary and Romania of the axis and India and Greece of the allies. Also Chinese forces of both sides. In addtion, it includes only a few token Naval uniforms from any side. Indeed he does not even make this claim himself.

Also assuming this person is a weird person because he does not expunge the nazis from his military history website is pretty stupid.
posted by Authorized User at 12:04 AM on June 24, 2009


What an impressive amount of research and work this took to make. Great site. Although, this level of nerdery makes me feel normal. Also, I would like to add that there is no way he's going to ever pass as...Japanese
posted by Skygazer at 12:29 AM on June 24, 2009


What an impressive amount of research and work this took to make. Great site. Although, this level of nerdery makes me feel normal. Also, I would like to add that there is no way he's going to ever pass as...Japanese

That is true, however he has got that covered. Read the description next to the portrait. Nerdery of this level covers all bases!
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 12:44 AM on June 24, 2009


that is some industrial grade nerdery right there. and i mean this in the best way possible.

this is the kind of thing that makes me so very fond of the internet.

it used to be that this kind of weird obsession tended to be restricted to the crafts/hobby building at the big fair, where you could see someone's 300' chewing-gum-wrapper chain, or someone's collection of $OddThing. but now, this level of obsessive hobbying can be shared with the world.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:58 AM on June 24, 2009


Yeah my boss walked in just while I was bringing up the picture of the smiling guy in the SS uniform.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 5:00 AM on June 24, 2009


On the bright side, at least the SS guy in the picture wasn't in the process of, er, sheathing his bayonet.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:42 AM on June 24, 2009


This is some serious fucking nerdery right here. If nerd was a controlled substance, this would get you locked up for years.


In the back of my mind I sususpect this project is like 60% nerdery and 30% weird sex thing.
posted by The Whelk at 7:22 AM on June 24, 2009 [2 favorites]


In the back of my mind I sususpect this project is like 60% nerdery and 30% weird sex thing.

Well, duh....doesn't take a genius to realize that the world be a much sexier place if we all dressed up as WW II Captains.
posted by Skygazer at 7:34 AM on June 24, 2009


I seriously doubt it was a weird sex thing, because of photoshop. If it were a sex thing, he'd actually have gone out and gotten the uniforms so he could wear them.

(unless there's an established fetish I'm unaware of that involves photoshopping your own face into porn, etc.)
posted by Jon_Evil at 7:52 AM on June 24, 2009



(unless there's an established fetish I'm unaware of that involves photoshopping your own face into porn, etc.)



They're called "shoppers" or "stickers" and it's really best to avoid their websites.
posted by The Whelk at 7:53 AM on June 24, 2009


I'm loving this thread. The very best Mefi threads are the ones full of superb jokes, nerd sympathizing, and interesting information about Nazi Youth couture. Good job, guys.
posted by painquale at 7:59 AM on June 24, 2009


I'm glad you all love the Captain as much as I do. And although I may have exaggerated a bit with the every branch, every nation bit, I have this little spark of hope that this is still a work in progress and that somewhere in an Australian basement our brave Captain is fretting over the back story of the lone caucasian fighting alongside Nepalese soldiers...
posted by doctoryes at 9:17 AM on June 24, 2009


Okay, I am obviously not meant to be on the blue, as I find this more on the side of wankery than celebration-worthy nerdiness. Then again, I spent time working in the Australian Defence Organisation and was working on a degree in military history, so perhaps that has skewed my point of view. Or perhaps I am just a misanthrope.
posted by Megami at 1:37 PM on June 24, 2009


Okay, I am obviously not meant to be on the blue

Don't worry, we have room for you guys, too.
posted by shmegegge at 1:41 PM on June 24, 2009


Have you ever wondered what you would look like dressed as a captain in every branch of armed forces of every nation who fought in World War II?

Hey, I just realized that if I get the my face photographed at the right angle and crop it, I can see what I'd look like, too! It's not a final product, it's a template.

Me vested as every priest of the Churches of East and West, anyone?
posted by Gnatcho at 11:09 PM on June 24, 2009


Nah, you'd never be able to pull off a Buddhist priest like Tripitaka.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:05 AM on June 25, 2009


although i'm sure many people would like to pull off a Buddhist priest like Tripitaka, if only the actor wasn't a woman....
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:06 AM on June 25, 2009


skygazer -- doesn't take a genius to realize that the world be a much sexier place if we all dressed up as WW II Captains.

it worked for captain jack harkness!

posted by rmd1023 at 9:38 AM on June 28, 2009


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