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Battlefield Clearing

Use the Russian method: Right, fascist bastards! You fired it/drove it here/laid it, you clean it up. PoWs and/or the residents of the Gulags were used to clear the dead out of vehicles and bury them, collect firearms (on pain of instant death if they tried to squirrel away any), clear rubble from the streets and drag scrap to railheads for onward transport to furnaces. The SS were sent to the uranium mines and the death rate was 100%. Denmark famously used PoWs (whose legal staus was very uncertain) to clear mines, either by hand or with repurposed Panzer IIIs and halftracks.
Vietnamese did that after the war there in the 70s. Was talking to a bloke selling books outside the war museum in Saigon. double amputee above the elbows and one eye gone. Had been ARVN. Put to mine clearance after the war.
 

endure

GCM
Use the Russian method: Right, fascist bastards! You fired it/drove it here/laid it, you clean it up. PoWs and/or the residents of the Gulags were used to clear the dead out of vehicles and bury them, collect firearms (on pain of instant death if they tried to squirrel away any), clear rubble from the streets and drag scrap to railheads for onward transport to furnaces. The SS were sent to the uranium mines and the death rate was 100%. Denmark famously used PoWs (whose legal staus was very uncertain) to clear mines, either by hand or with repurposed Panzer IIIs and halftracks.


They made a movie about that...

 
The Pioneers used to deal with the dead. A shitty, unforgiving task that they carried out very professionally in GW1.

You’d like to think that the MoD had a plan, especially since they‘ve binned the Pioneers, but it would be no surprise if they just dicked whichever infantry Regiment is to hand to do it in future.

A good friend of mine got up to WO2 in the RCT and was put forward for a Commission but had to change Corps ( something to do with manning levels ).

By chance he had met some Pioneer Corps blokes on a task and they said they were short of officers - he applied, got accepted, did a quick Sandhurst and was now RPC.

First course in the Corps was dealing with bodies, burials, Religious niceties, Grave registration and dealing with the Red Cross.

Finished the training and 5 minutes later GW1 started.
On his team along with the Pioneers were Sappers with dozers and volunteers from all across the spectrum of Units left behind as Reserve in one of the Emirates countries.
They wanted to get into the war, one way or another.
I think he said his team No2 was an Irish Guardsman.

Their biggest task was clearing up the carnage after the B52s hit the road on the retreat from Kuwait.
 
A good friend of mine got up to WO2 in the RCT and was put forward for a Commission but had to change Corps ( something to do with manning levels ).

By chance he had met some Pioneer Corps blokes on a task and they said they were short of officers - he applied, got accepted, did a quick Sandhurst and was now RPC.

First course in the Corps was dealing with bodies, burials, Religious niceties, Grave registration and dealing with the Red Cross.

Finished the training and 5 minutes later GW1 started.
On his team along with the Pioneers were Sappers with dozers and volunteers from all across the spectrum of Units left behind as Reserve in one of the Emirates countries.
They wanted to get into the war, one way or another.
I think he said his team No2 was an Irish Guardsman.

Their biggest task was clearing up the carnage after the B52s hit the road on the retreat from Kuwait.
Having seen the Ariel shots of the total annihilation, thousands of wrecked trucks, cars Etc, all with bodies, and bits of bodies scattered about, those men clearing it up have my deepest respect, how in gods name some of them never lost their minds is a miracle.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
It was the same (less quad bikes etc) in Iraq, one or two nasty injuries to the locals scavenging on the ranges, some to children.
...and Afghan
1603035889924.jpeg
 
Having seen the Ariel shots of the total annihilation, thousands of wrecked trucks, cars Etc, all with bodies, and bits of bodies scattered about, those men clearing it up have my deepest respect, how in gods name some of them never lost their minds is a miracle.

I only know Paul M. but can assure you he was absolutely the right man for the job - and sleeps well at night.
 

tgo

War Hero
Out in FE Asia the wrecks of ships sunk during WW2 are being plundered for the steel plating as pre-atom bomb steel is now as rare as rocking horse shit & worth a fortune. I read about an Aussie HMAS war grave being stripped to its bare bones (pardon the pun) over a period of about 8 years.

Can you elaborate on that, what is the significance of pre 1945 steel?
 

endure

GCM

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
A good friend of mine got up to WO2 in the RCT and was put forward for a Commission but had to change Corps ( something to do with manning levels ).

By chance he had met some Pioneer Corps blokes on a task and they said they were short of officers - he applied, got accepted, did a quick Sandhurst and was now RPC.

First course in the Corps was dealing with bodies, burials, Religious niceties, Grave registration and dealing with the Red Cross.

Finished the training and 5 minutes later GW1 started.
On his team along with the Pioneers were Sappers with dozers and volunteers from all across the spectrum of Units left behind as Reserve in one of the Emirates countries.
They wanted to get into the war, one way or another.
I think he said his team No2 was an Irish Guardsman.

Their biggest task was clearing up the carnage after the B52s hit the road on the retreat from Kuwait.
I did a couple of days on clearance of the Basra road, before before the chunkies turned up and took over. By a country mile, the worst experience of my life, and one of the reasons that I can't stand dogs to this day.
 
A good friend of mine got up to WO2 in the RCT and was put forward for a Commission but had to change Corps ( something to do with manning levels ).

By chance he had met some Pioneer Corps blokes on a task and they said they were short of officers - he applied, got accepted, did a quick Sandhurst and was now RPC.

First course in the Corps was dealing with bodies, burials, Religious niceties, Grave registration and dealing with the Red Cross.

Finished the training and 5 minutes later GW1 started.
On his team along with the Pioneers were Sappers with dozers and volunteers from all across the spectrum of Units left behind as Reserve in one of the Emirates countries.
They wanted to get into the war, one way or another.
I think he said his team No2 was an Irish Guardsman.

Their biggest task was clearing up the carnage after the B52s hit the road on the retreat from Kuwait.

I did a bit of BAC work down that road after the war finished. It was one hell of a sight. Literally.

Not sure it was B52s though, mainly helicopter gunships I think. Certainly didn’t see any big craters (though they might have been dozed in I suppose).
 
I did a couple of days on clearance of the Basra road, before before the chunkies turned up and took over. By a country mile, the worst experience of my life, and one of the reasons that I can't stand dogs to this day.

We got to take a troll over to see it before it was cleared, an experience indeed, particularly the burnt out buses with charred occupants in situ. You could smell the place from miles away if the wind was right...

JB
 
Having seen the Ariel shots of the total annihilation, thousands of wrecked trucks, cars Etc, all with bodies, and bits of bodies scattered about, those men clearing it up have my deepest respect, how in gods name some of them never lost their minds is a miracle.
The Pioneer Defence Platoon we had in Yugoslavia towards the end of the war were retasked to do corpse exchanges from various mass graves across the Zones of Separation. Fxxk that!!
 

load_fin

War Hero
Locals were earning just under $1 per kg of scrap.

US dollars? $1000 per tonne? (About £800)

I don't recall scrap price for irony-steel ever being above about £230 per tonne in the UK. Currently south of £150.

If the Chinese were paying that much, then someone in the UK was making a pretty packet. Still, never met a poor scrap metal recycling merchant!
 
A colleague of mine went to the UN tour in Rwanda, after all the killings. To his dismay, he found himself shovelling and dragging bodies out of ditches, cars, houses and so on,to be buried in mass graves. Said he couldnt get the smell out of his clothes afterwards and burned them.
 
US dollars? $1000 per tonne? (About £800)

I don't recall scrap price for irony-steel ever being above about £230 per tonne in the UK. Currently south of £150.

If the Chinese were paying that much, then someone in the UK was making a pretty packet. Still, never met a poor scrap metal recycling merchant!

Well spotted. I forgot the decimal point... should have been about $0.1/kg (1,600 Kip at the then exchange rate).
 
Having seen the Ariel shots of the total annihilation, thousands of wrecked trucks, cars Etc, all with bodies, and bits of bodies scattered about, those men clearing it up have my deepest respect, how in gods name some of them never lost their minds is a miracle.

I believe a few of them have. As @dingerr has stated, a portion of Kineton's 522 Coy RPC was on GW1 Grave registration and a few didn't cope with it well upon return. Some of the stuff they recounted over a beer or two for the Gulf War-dodgers like myself, was not nice to hear, let alone experience
 
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There was a link on here to a film about a US Army salvage operation out east. I think it was WW2, not Vietnam. It might actually have been an Army film. They had it off to a T, reuse, repair etc,. weapons, vehicles, personal kit, absolutely everything. If I can find it again I'll post another link.
 
There were a set of images on here a year ago that a guy had taken (I think he was American) whilst he was on a holiday with his wife soon after the end of WW2 in Europe. The various tank hulks and remains were very thought provoking. Not something that I had pondered before. Must have been bloody awful to wander those battles a day or two after the event.

One of the few films that has shown what it may have been like in medieval times was the Netflix film 'The King'.
There was a lengthy scene where the showed the remains from one of the battles from that era. Just as horrific.
 

load_fin

War Hero
I did a couple of days on clearance of the Basra road, before before the chunkies turned up and took over. By a country mile, the worst experience of my life, and one of the reasons that I can't stand dogs to this day.
I read an account of a cruiser in the evacuation from Crete. A bomb went through the deck and exploded in a compartment where about 300 soldiers were embarked. They sailed back to Alexandra through the heat of the Med in midsummer, and then had to clear up.
Apparently, they were shovelling the big bits into sacks, and sieving the rancid gloop to find identity tags.
The officer in charge was apparently never the same again, but did go on to command HMS Amethyst in the Yangtze Incident in 1947. Lt Cdr John Kerrans.

Clearing up human remains must be the most horrific task in creation.
 

OneTenner

LE
Book Reviewer
Some of the sanitised armour just outside Basra, awaiting conversion to razor blades
TBH. most of the crews gave it legs...
DSCN0053.JPG


More Tanks.JPG


Thats Gotta Hurt.JPG


PICT0072.JPG


DSCN0069.JPG
 

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