- 04-07-2012, 19:45 #21The older I get, the better I was!
- 04-07-2012, 22:11 #22
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
- The Isle of Innisfree
- 04-07-2012, 22:12 #23
- Join Date
- Apr 2006
- South Africa
Ok, it was a cold dark night at Hohne ranges (bollocks it was daylight and sunny, for once), As part of my duties as SO3 Training and Operations for CRAC at 1st. BR Corps and SO3 Trg & Ops at Recce Brigade, HQ ARRC (all in a days work), it fell to me to arrange jollies for CARRC. One wonders why when his MA was an adonis with SAS wings, his ADC could raise more than a salute at 50 meters, Donna Berta Ficochello (his deputies wife) put Gina Lollabrigida in the shade and he had an AC Cobra (1966 original) to play with, but I digress.
So he says, Tankie arrange visit to ranges and I want to shoot one of those tanks, I duly obliged and 4 RTR were the lucky recipients of the royal visit. The Colonels tank was cleaned and preened and made to look like a Generals chariot, the crew were briefed, he jumped in and set off down the ranges. Now I should, at this point, add that he was an Infanteer of Lowland Scottish persuasion, apparently he had never commanded anything armoured, which is odd when you think he was in charge of ARRC, but once again I digress.
So he is now commanding a Chieftain, his crew are a very experienced lot but not the usual collection of instructors that normally populate OA. We by this time are sat, SAS gods gift, Maroon Beret Tottie (MBT), CO 4 RTR and SO3 Trg and Ops and so on, in the range tower, ready to see short range targets duly biffed by CARRC.
Target appears, we all strain into our binos, what we see is not what we expected, 2 huge fireballs and plumes of smoke erupting from turret hatches followed by the chilliest chill of a silence ever recorded. Someone say's hello OA send sitrep, all is silence, then someone, it could have been CO 4 RTR, said oh fuck. Much haste now to all available vehicles and off we sped down the ranges. The armoured ambulance, inevitably, would not start.
What greeted us at the tank was not pretty and what happened afterwards was even worse. Suffice it to say that CARRC was knocked out and smoldering, gunner was same, driver was same with an additional broken nose and the loader was a burnt mess, nylon covvies were never a good idea.
The inside of the turret was still burning, spall lining drip, drip of molten plastic. Someone in the group remembered something about crew evacuation drills and soon we had them all out. Very soon a helicopter was heard overhead and before we knew it CARRC, SAS and MBT were on their way to hospital. For some reason, they had forgotten all about the loader, who was writhing on the ground next to the tank. He made a slow and painful journey to hospital along with the gunner and driver, both concussed. Once they had departed the Armoured ambulance turned up, so it saved me a long walk.
So what had gone wrong? The tank had suffered, in the words of the investigation, the worst breech failure recorded in the history of 120mm rifled use. A trained commander may have noticed that the Primary Seal Indicator Failure Pin (thanks soprano) was broken and wedging the breech partially open (it is not meant to this, it is supposed to stop the breech from closing and the gun cannot fire), it being one of the checks before ordering fire. But an Infanteer General was not trained to know this, the only saving grace was that he preferred the great big HESH to the less impressive APFSDS, otherwise the results would have been, according to the investigating team; truly catastrophic. What is really sad is that they attempted to blame the loader, as he was defacto commander in the absence of any other trained commander, thankfully CARRC and CO 4 RTR put a stop to that.
So moral of the story is, do not let untrained idiots in the commanders seat, no matter how senior they are.Dry books of tactics are beneath the notice of a man of genius, and it is a known fact that every British officer is inspired with a perfect knowledge of his duty, the moment he gets his commission; and if it were not, it would be sufficiently acquired in conversaziones at the main-guard or the grand sutler's.
Advice to Officer's of the British Army, published 1782
- 04-07-2012, 22:40 #24'You can't polish a turd but..............you can roll it in glitter'
- 04-07-2012, 23:26 #25So moral of the story is, do not let untrained idiots in the commanders seat, no matter how senior they are.If you can't take the RAF, you shouldn't have joined a joke.
- 04-07-2012, 23:43 #26
- 05-07-2012, 00:10 #27
On another occasion; solo senior bod in a hover when his door popped ajar. Rather than stick the aircraft on the ground he took his left hand off the collective and grabbed the cyclic before using his right hand to try to close the door, with the inevitable resultant airframe damage.If you can't take the RAF, you shouldn't have joined a joke.
- 05-07-2012, 01:01 #28
I was thinking of a pilot who gave up his seat. The Tank Sqn OC, he was taking on a recce had wings only very old ones. Incorrect rudder use and a current pilot in the wrong seat not able to recover fast enough.
Sorry for the thread drift guys.
- 05-07-2012, 01:22 #29
Just after the Gazelles were fitted with the Observation Aid (about 30kgs of optics and gubbins mounted over the LHS) I had a kerfuffle with some senior bod who insisted he sat under it. I couldn't figure out why a bloke who was quite happy to sit in the back of a staff-car wanted my chair up front.
The pilot and I resolved the issue by telling him about the ACM who took an almighty walloping about the bonce in a crash in BATUS as a result of impacting with stuff up front, although we didn't tell him about how we managed to kill the Padre who'd been sat behind him.
Army helicopters - not just for jollies.If you can't take the RAF, you shouldn't have joined a joke.
- 05-07-2012, 01:28 #30
More thread drift.
No idea what your all on about, despite 3 years (LAD) with the Royal Hussars (PWO) and their Challys. But I love tanks, big guns and big bangs and whatnot.
Just off for a lie down. Carry on.If you are an ex-serviceman or woman who wants to network mutual commercial interests, you can PM me for an invite to join the new ARRSE Business Group.