As Sahagun Day comes around ...

Discussion in 'RAC' started by AlienFTM, Dec 8, 2006.

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  1. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    ... I went home last night and related to Wor Lass the story (from the Ferrets or CVR(T) thread IIRC) about the 15/19H FSC that got lost in the RTR barracks in Fally and found a snowman. Cue much hilarity and SHMBO relating to nipper about how one Christmastime 15/19H had found themselves proud owners of an extra tank.

    I was concerned when what she was telling me was somewhat at variance with what I'd been told about the incident in Fally pre-73 (just before my time) when a Chieftain was borrowed, safely parked up in 15/19H hangars and forgotten about until first parade after Christmas. It seemed that the RTR (Armoured Farmers IIRC) had been running round like headless chickens for a week trying to account for a Chieftain, creatively. 15/19H hierarchy were aware that there was a problem at 3RTR but thought nothing more of it.

    Come first parade and a squadron of Chieftains are lined up behind a squadron of crews. The OC could see that something was wrong with the scene and eventually a head count (turret count?) of Chieftains exposed the cuckoo in the squadron's nest.

    Now you must understand that I raced yachts for Army with the Unit Paymaster and SWMBO, his nanny, was introduced to me by him on this account. Last night, after much deep discussion about the events, I realised that she was relating an entirely different account of an entirely different event in another German garrison.

    According to her, sometime in the late 70s in Paderborn, this Paymaster had been Orderly Officer (Field Officer?) in the days after Sahagun - hardly surprising, not being badged. He'd been disturbed by a message that an RTR (again Armoured Farmers IIRC) tank had gone missing and we all knew it was Sahagun and could we have our tank back please?

    To which the Paymaster's quick and witty reply was, "I count money, not tanks: go and find someone who cares."

    Apparently, despite there being no records of pertinent vehicle movements in or out of either camp during the intervening period, surprise of surprises, the missing tank turned up and was very quietly returned without waves having been made.

    At this point it occurred to me that Paymaster and his nanny used the word "tank" when on this occasion 15/19H were recce and I hadn't spotted the usual non-RAC faux pas.

    So. I heard this story in the late 70s set in Fally in the early 70s; Meine Frau heard it "from the horse's mouth"* in the early 80s set in Padders in the late 70s. In my story it was definitely a sixteenth Chieftain in a 15-Chieftain Squadron. But what sort of "tank" could a recce 15/19H have successfully liberated from an armoured 3RTR and hide for a number of days? Ferret? Maybe a 432 hidden among those of the co-locatedTask Force Echo Signal Squadron?

    Anybody from either side care to expand on this? Did it happen? Ever? Once? Twice? Or is it all urban myth? Or was it in fact, as stated by the Paymaster, successfully kept hidden to preserve the dignity of 3RTR?

    Anyway. Moral of the story. Sahagun Day is rapidly approaching: people of Norfolk and Armoured Farmers, lock up your vehicles.


    * Not that the Paymaster would ever appreciate being referred on the same breath as anything horsey. I the Spring - early Summer of 1982 it fell to 15/19H to organise the Rhine Army Horse Trials at Sennelager (they were all found guilty and turned into soap ... no, no).

    So every fence had a Con Sig with a 351 to record and report each rider's progress at each fence and an officer to wave his bowler hat at the defaulting horse and rider "... and you, Capt H***, will be on Fence 3."

    "Er, hello, cavalry, horse, big nasty brute ... first one of them comes my way and I am off across the training area. Get your own cavalry officers to do your cavalry type thingy stuff."
  2. Yep Sahagun is not far away but being in Sennelager I may have a problem sneaking up to Fally to liberate an RTR lump of scrap metal. But you never know so Soprano make sure all of your hangers are locked.
  3. Knowing the old 3rd all their tanks will be VOR.
  4. I see they are not biting to this one Boggles.
  5. thats cause they are now 2RTR-and any scrap metal belongs to me not s54.
  6. 2 RTR in name only, the third took it over.
  7. ODWSO.(1)

    (1)Oi, donkey walloper, s*d off!
  8. Donkey indeed, Ill have you know we have propa horses.
  9. is that like a house in geordie speak
  10. A house in Mackem speak.
  11. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Geordie (or Jordie if you prefer), is the slang rubbish spoken by the residents of the second city in the North East (by size if not age).

    Pitmatic is the technically-astute language of the first high-techs in the United Kingdom: those fine brave men who led the Industrial Recolution on the Durham Coalfield, the shipyards that populated every ocean and the railways that span the world.

    Geordie (spit) bad ... Pitmatic good.

    Pitmatic - go and Google it.
  12. so is a hoose a hoose or a horse a horse or a donkey
  13. I see English never made it that far north then.
  14. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    You realise the Romans built their wall not to keep the Sweaties out of the known universe, but the Jordies? They were many miles too far south of the Sweaty border.

    Trouble was, by the time the Romans reached Durham and had struggled to overcome the locals, they had no fight in them to take on their smelly, stripped-to-the-waist neighbours (as witnessed in a Saturday afternoon ritual or war to this day), so they decided to build a wall to keep them out.

    Unfortunately, as we now know, fighting the inhabitants of Durham knocked the stuffing out of the Italians as a fighting force and they have never been the same since. So they all PVRed and went into the catering trade (well have you seen how many Italian restaurants and pizza parlours there are in co Durham?).

    This left nobody in the Roman Legions to build the 72 miles of walls, forts, turrets and milecastles needed to keep the Smellies out, so they turned to the local artisans (who later became famous for digging collieries and building ships and railways all over the world). When asked "Can you build us a line of forts across Northumbria, then 72 miles of wall and ditches, turrets every 1/3 mile and milecastles ... er every mile?" the head artisan replied, "Aye, marra, we can Mack 'em."

    This of course passed into common Latin usage, describing the artisans of the area as Mackum (declines like Bellum), then over time was adopted into Pitmatic as Mackem.

    When BBC2 investigated the word Mackem on their language programme earlier this year, I put this to them, but sadly it didn't get used.
  15. elovabloke

    elovabloke LE Moderator

    Their loss is our :yawnstretch: