National Service

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Nolic
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Re: National Service

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Very enjoyable reading Comrade. Nolic
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Re: National Service

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Thanks Comrade. It's nice when someone responds!
It would be nice if just one guest registered and looked at the donation button....... (Or even said they enjoyed the ride!) Perhaps they don't realise that a few of us donate and support the site and that's why all the good stuff is there free to view.....
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Re: National Service

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Yes indeed Stanley, a good read, thanks for that. Reminds me also that its getting round to financial reporting time. I have just paid a quarterly hosting bill out of the funding pot, full report to follow in the proper thread.
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Re: National Service

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Funny I was only thinking about donations yesterday. Let us know Ian.....
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Re: National Service

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Not been here for a long while. Really enjoyed Stanley's stories of his time in the army - well written.
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Re: National Service

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Thank you Bill!Nice to be appreciated. I know it sounds daft but I really enjoy going back and reading them again, you forget things..... Spandau Gaol is ancient history now but I was there....

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Big Kev
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Re: National Service

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Whilst digging through various documents and photographs, at my mother's house last week, I found this from my dad's national service
20220715_201144.jpg
20220715_201226.jpg
20220715_201316.jpg
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Wendyf
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Re: National Service

Post by Wendyf »

That's an excellent reference Kev!

My dad was stationed at Delmenhorst in 1945/6 after the war in Europe had finished, I wrote about it on another topic here:

https://oneguyfrombarlick.co.uk/viewtop ... 72&t=13612

I now think that the AD in 8304 AD Wing stood for 'Ar Disarmament'.
This is his photo...
175.jpg
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Re: National Service

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Now, there's a coincidence Wendy, must be a popular place for the British army.
My mum has some photos of my dad's time in Germany, lots of missiles on trailers which is apparently what my dad was driving at the time. I'll have to get them the next time I'm in Kent and put them on here.
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Re: National Service

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Big Kev wrote: 27 Jul 2022, 20:01 must be a popular place for the British army.
Indeed - It's almost a suburb of Bremen, and I spent two years down the road at Verden (see map) - but a long time after the period you are talking about. There were BAOR troops stationed all over the area for a long time.
Delmenhorst.png

Well - while we're here - let's get it all in. Here's me doing a bit of "cosplay" in about 1980. It's that word again.
I'll tell you how I helped to avert WWIII another time. :smile:
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Re: National Service

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:good:
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Re: National Service

Post by Stanley »

Image

Both of those obviously much better soldiers than this one.... :biggrin2:
BTW, 'Tremendous worker never tires' sounds like some of the officers I had to deal with...... I got tired every day.
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Re: National Service

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Tripps wrote: 27 Jul 2022, 20:26 I'll tell you how I helped to avert WWIII another time. :smile:
I think that time has arrived. Indulge me here - and I apologise if it's of no interest. I have had it stored on my Treepad memory stick for years, and would like it to get a wider audience. Why? - I don't know. :smile:
******************************************************************************************************
THE GORLEBEN INCIDENT of 1966.

From my memory – and with the corroboration of the other two sources - I think this may well have been the only occasion during the ‘Cold War’ when British and East German troops confronted each other at close quarters across the River Elbe with live ammunition.

********************************

I Was There!


Cpl DT. Oscar Troop, 1 Div HQ & Signal Regiment. British Army on the Rhine.

England had recently won the World Cup. During Summer 1966.

I had just returned from two and a half years in Singapore, and had only been in Germany at Verden Aller for about a month, and I was very much the new boy. I never realised it was so serious. They only told you enough to get by.

A code “Quick Train” - the real thing - was called at around 8.00pm as I recall, Personal kit was always ready, and Vehicles were quickly driven out of garages, and personal weapons were issued. No ammunition for them of course!

We got lost on the way. I remember the Troop turning the convoy around in the dark, and manhandling the (very heavy) 15KVA generator which was not easy on a narrow road, next to a steep bank, in the dark. Seems later that it was said that we narrowly missed entering East Germany, though on reflection, we would have had to cross the River Elbe to do so, therefore unlikely..

On arrival at Gorleben, we set up a communications link (secure teleprinter) over radio relay, for the Brigadier to 'speak' to HQ at Rheindahlen. I seem to recall that the electronic security was deemed not good enough for a real situation, and the vehicle had to be rewired in the field to reduce radiation. I think this why I am so fond of the saying "all plans collapse on first contact with the enemy".

I had an idea that the survey boat was called the Kugelbacher I remember crawling up a grass bank to look over and watch the show. I recall a British helicopter buzzing the east German boat. We slept in a big barn which was adjacent to a very large farm / pub, which was nice. In fact I think the pub, and farm were the same business. I think the boss had let the business go quite a bit.

No bivvies in the woods for the R. Signals - Stay close to the generator and the kettle ! "Make tea not war"

I didn't see any tanks or armoured cars on either side. We stayed there for about five or six days.

Gorleben was later a site for a nuclear power station, which I believe has now closed along with all the others ..

*****************************************************************************************************

From web - site. By a RTR (Royal Tank Regiment) veteran.

I was the Recce Troop Staff Sergeant of 2RTR at the time of the Gorleben incident. Recce Troop 2RTR were due to go on a border patrol when we were alerted to go to the village of Gorleben on the river Elbe. There had been an incident beween the East and West Germans over the rights of navigation when river surveys were carried out. As I understood it, the West German survey vessels were allowed to anchor or moor on the East German side of the river for survey purposes although the border ran through the middle of the river. On this occasion the East German patrol vessels would not permit the West German Survey vessel "Hitzacker" to go near the eastern river bank. To prevent the West German vessel mooring on the east side, the East German patrol vessels formed a barrier in the middle of the river by lashing their vessels from the stern of one vessel to the bows of another vessel forming a barrier. I think they had about six to eight vessels forming this barrier. The West German Survey vessel "Hitzacker" tried to push through the barrier without success. I belive a shot was fired by an East German boat crewman at the survey vessel during this. The water borne Bundesgrenzshutz were brought in to try to reslove the situation and gain access to the east side of the river, without success.
At this point the situation deteriorated diplomatically, so Recce Troop 2RTR and a Centurion tank troop of 3RTR were ordered to Gorleben. We in 2RTR Recce Troop "bombed" up our Ferrets with .30 ammo for our Brownings, rations and water.
Recce Troop 2RTR under command of Recce Squadron Leader Major David Flood moved out of Caen Barracks, Hohne, to Gorleben where we bivvied up. 3RTR moved to Gorleben by transporter and took up a postion in the woods a few hundred yards back overlooking the river and Gorleben. The 3RTR Troop Sergeant was Sergeant Gater. Our little "Battle Group" was under command of Brigadier Worsley. Diplomatic methods to resolve the situation were getting nowhere. It was then decided to have a show of force to the East Germans. 2RTR Recce Troop moved out of the village and formed a line abreast fifty metres apart along the west river bank, wheels up and in full view of the East Germans. At this point the river is only about 150 metres across. The East Germans then reacted by bringing up machine guns and anti tank guns and aimed at us. We sweated a little at this point I must admit! They then tried to read the riot act to us in German over a series of vehicle borne loudspeakers.
Things got a little bit tense so Brigadier Worsley ordered us to put on our steel helmets!! More shouting and abuse followed from the east. After a few minutes of this, Brigadier Worsley ordered us to load our Brownings and to stand by for further orders. The Brigadier then ordered us to remove the fifth round from our ammunition belts. If things got worse he would nominate which Ferret callsign was to engage a target that he would indicate. By removing the fifth round from our ammunition belt would prevent a sustained volley of automatic shots at the other side which would enable the East Germans to reconsider their actions???!!!
I must again admit that had we opened fire I think we would have been in real trouble. This was where the 3RTR troop would have come foward to our aid from the wood to engage the East Germans with their main armament.
The West German Bundesgrenzshutz in the meantime had called for backup and increased their numbers and boats. They decided that they were going to get to the east bank by ramming through the East German vessels barrier. They advanced on to the East German vessels and rammed them hard until they broke through and got to the east bank of the river. There was a lot of shouting and a few fists were flying. Having achieved the aim of the "exercise" and having broken through to the east bank, the East Germans permitted the survey vessel "Hitzacker" to continue its duty of doing the river survey.
The whole incident was filmed from a Wessex helicopter on our side of the river. We stayed one more night in the village of Gorleben before returning to Hohne and 3RTR to Fallingbostel.
As already stated in earlier articles on the "Battle" we were a little worried as I don't think we in our "wheels up" Ferrets would have been much of a match against their anti tank guns.
The above account is as I remember the incident.
Trevor Dady

Read more: http://fearnaught3.proboards.com/thread ... z2uZJIlwP4



Histoire contemporaine
En octobre 1966, en pleine guerre froide, une confrontation eut lieu à Gorleben (alors situé sur la frontière intérieure allemande) à propos des droits de navigation sur l'Elbe. Le navire hydrographique ouest-allemand Kugelbake1 qui posait des sondes afin de déterminer la profondeur du fleuve, franchit la frontière maritime, entrant ainsi en territoire est-allemand, alors que l'Allemagne de l'Ouest et les Forces britanniques en Allemagne revendiquaient la largeur ouest de l'Elbe.
Six patrouilleurs est-allemands furent envoyés sur le fleuve, formant un barrage au Kugelbake2. La situation se détériora rapidement au point que qu'une unité de reconnaissance équipée de Daimler Ferret du 2e Régiment du Royal Tank britannique (2e RTR) ainsi qu'un char Centurion du 3e RTR de la British Army of the Rhine furent envoyés à Gorleben. Des troupes est-allemandes de la Nationale Volksarmee arrivèrent également avec plusieurs mitrailleuses et armes antichars, étant prêtes à faire face aux Britanniques. Finalement, après l'intervention des Britanniques et du Bundesgrenzschutz, chargé de la protection des frontières, les patrouilleurs et garde-frontières est-allemands rebroussèrent chemin, mettant donc fin à l'incident et aucun coup de feu n'éclata.
Après l'incident, une clôture fut construite le long de l'Elbe en 19673. Le village s'est ainsi retrouvé coupé du reste du territoire de la RDA et de la RFA jusqu'en 19894. Ce n'est que par une porte gardée, que les habitants pouvaient entrer ou quitter leur village après la présentation d'un laissez-passer.

Translation
In October 1966, in the midst of the Cold War, a confrontation took place in Gorleben (then located on the inner German border) over navigation rights on the Elbe. The West German hydrographic vessel Kugelbake1, which was laying soundings to determine the depth of the river, crossed the maritime border, thus entering East German territory, while West Germany and the British Forces in Germany claimed the width west of the Elbe. Six East German patrol boats were sent up the river, forming a barrage at Kugelbake2. The situation deteriorated rapidly to the point that a Daimler Ferret-equipped reconnaissance unit of the British 2nd Royal Tank Regiment (2nd RTR) and a Centurion tank of the British Army of the Rhine's 3rd RTR were sent to Gorleben. East German troops from the Nationale Volksarmee also arrived with several machine guns and anti-tank weapons, ready to face the British. Finally, after the intervention of the British and the Bundesgrenzschutz (Federal Border Guard), in charge of border protection, the East German patrol and border guards turned back, thus ending the incident and no shots were fired. After the incident, a fence was built along the Elbe in 1967. The village was thus cut off from the rest of the territory of the GDR and the FRG until 1989. Only by a gate guarded, that the inhabitants could enter or leave their village after presenting a laissez-passer.

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Re: National Service

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A good read :good:
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Re: National Service

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" I never realised it was so serious. They only told you enough to get by."
That all rings a bell David. It was the same in Berlin 10 years previous to your episode. Young men with beards and no insignia on their uniforms used to turn up and tell us lies about the Russians. Our 'incidents' were always unofficial and we didn't need to report, we were under surveillance all the time when we were near the border which was always in our case as Gatow Aerodrome boundary was with the Zone.
We tried to treat it all as a joke but the Russkis didn't!
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