BERLIN BRIGADE fv432s

#1
Any Berlin vets out there who could answer a question for me?

FV432 fitted with Rarden Turrets - there were 12 in the Berlin Inf Brigade issue as I understand it on a scale of 4 per Infantry Battalion.

Can anyone tell me how they were employed and what role / purpose the lads used em for ?!

Thanks
 
#2
When I was in Berlin as an infantryman they were driven and manned by our Drums Pl. Basically the were the Bn reserve. These vehicles were painted in that very strange urban camouflage pattern. Always a bit of a head turner whenever deployed in the "Zone" as the rest of FRG was called.

We also has Fox CVR(W) manned by Recce Pl.
 
#3
I remember having seen British (and also American and French on other occasions) practising in busy shopping streets in the 1970s-1980s, setting up e.g. MG positions etc, while covering each other and the German population just walking around them, keeping on doing their daily business... ;-)

Jan
 
#4
#5
niallhall said:
Any Berlin vets out there who could answer a question for me?

FV432 fitted with Rarden Turrets - there were 12 in the Berlin Inf Brigade issue as I understand it on a scale of 4 per Infantry Battalion.

Can anyone tell me how they were employed and what role / purpose the lads used em for ?!

Thanks
Cannot say what they were actually used for in Berlin but they now are part of the fleet belonging to the Warminster Battlegroup in Battlesbury Barracks.

We used them there and they were fukcing lethal as the majority of the turret locks were knackered so the turret used to fly around. They were also not designed for anything other than flat streets because the amount of nasty protrusions in the turret led to a lot of leg bites from the turret monster.

You will see them nowadays lumbering around the plain as enemy vehicles painted in some odd type of dark green and grey camouflage.
 
#6
I remember having seen one of these during the Allied Tempelhof open door day somewhere in the early 80s, with a WOMBAT gun mounted instead of the turret.

Jan
 
#8
Mike_2817 said:
There were I believe also Chieftain Tanks in Berlin Camouflage as well?
Here y'go - a decidedly pathetic looking specimen which has clearly seen better days...



You may also wish to know a little about how this odd paint scheme came to be. In 1982, the 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards squadron in Berlin initiated a series of experiments with replacing a normal Deep Bronze Green paint scheme of the British Army with something giving a more effective camouflage in the urban environment.

The resulting Chieftain paint scheme must still rank as one of the most unusual and visually appealing tank camouflages ever devised. Influenced by the “dazzle” scheme of Royal Navy in WWII, the striking rectangular pattern was intended not only to conceal, but also to mislead, and was reportedly extremely effective.

The scheme was subsequently adopted by all British forces in Berlin. All vehicles were painted exactly to the same pattern, thereby denying the Soviets the possibility of determining the strength of the British Forces by recognizing individual tanks.
 
#9
Wasn't there DPM camo in the same pattern as well (possibly Purple hues?) Seem to remember it featuring on some advert for chocolate a few years back.
 
#10
PTP,

We have experimented with urban camouflage textiles, but it folded when we decided that purely visual cam inside a range of 100m is effectively useless, and we all know how utterly filthy you get doing OBUA anyway, so is there any point? The majority of confirmed kills in OBUA are achieved inside 35m.

The move away from 'splotch' cam to digital screen cam would preclude an urban style in any event...
 
#11
The Berlin Brigade vehicles did, indeed, have to be painted exactly the same. Before the Queen's Birthday Parade the GOC (a Guardsman of course) inspected the new paint jobs on the wagons and compared them to a set of photos bearing the DS solution. Three Fox recce cars were sent back for repainting because the join of brown and white was a few inches off on the sight hoods!

Incidentally, the 432 Rardens were great gun platforms and the trainee gunners did their firing qualifications in them rather than in the much lighter Fox.
 
#12
"The scheme was subsequently adopted by all British forces in Berlin. All vehicles were painted exactly to the same pattern, thereby denying the Soviets the possibility of determining the strength of the British Forces by recognizing individual tanks."


Which genius decided the Sovs couldn't stick their heads around a fence and count to 18 then ?! Weren't the Chieftains based next to Spandau prison so offering the Sovs a perfect view when it was their turn to stag on ?!

As for the remaining vehicles in Berlin - plenty of opportunities to count virtually every armoured vehicle in the whole Brigade !
 
#13
Errr....sorry Niall, but I was about 9 years old when the vehicles were first painted. However, it does seem like the sort of thinking that only the British Army could come up with, IMHO. :D

And it was 4/7 DG, now the RDG - our least operational major unit. Perhaps they have always had a worse than average lack of grip over operational realities...? :D
 
#14
Inf/MP said:
When I was in Berlin as an infantryman they were driven and manned by our Drums Pl. Basically the were the Bn reserve. These vehicles were painted in that very strange urban camouflage pattern. Always a bit of a head turner whenever deployed in the "Zone" as the rest of FRG was called.

We also has Fox CVR(W) manned by Recce Pl.
Our A coy was Mech coy. This was in 84. The AFV 432-30's were used for Fire support. 1 Per Plt, with one with CHQ. I was reunited with them when we were posted to Warminster. Dunno If they're still there.
 
#15
The armoured squadron was indeed based next to Spandau prison (I think the sapper squadron was too), Brooke Barracks (home to one of Berlin Infantry Brigade's three infantry Bns) was just over the road also in full view of the Soviets. Maybe they did get a laugh out of our colour schemes (though that was long after my stint in the walled city) but not as loud as ours at seeing their ramshackle equipment!

What a great posting Berlin was back in the 1970s, if only as a respite from the constant operational NI tours!
 
#17
1 Gordons 91-93 (Brooke Barracks) B Coy was called mechanized coy and spent most of the time in sheds repairing them funny thing was one of the Anti tank lads had a book on tank spotting (or whatever the mongs read) and the 432 that was in the picture from the early 60’s was one of the few that we where working on god knows how many layers of paint have been put on. Oh and every time there was a call out and the troops deployed to the grunny B coy would still be in Brooke because some would not start etc..nice
 
#18
I've seen pics of various vehicles in that scheme in situ and it's astoundingly effective. Didn't they all have an unusual comms fit also?

German SEM kit or some such.
 
#19
I remember they retired a few Cheiftans to Copehill Down FIBUA village. It was interesting because as we attacked in the early morning mist be didn't even spot them until we were in the village.
 
#20
Was at Montgomery,late 80s. Well remember the vehicles,and the tank Sqn at Brooke/Wavell BKS. What the fcuk was it all about, Rhuleben fighting village? Them sewers you had to crawl through in full CEFO with a plastic gat!

Spoke to a mate who went back to Berlin recently,said the Irish Harp is as it was in late 80s.

Hello to any Goucesters who were there at the time. Forward the 42nd!

SCHULTHIESS. :)
 

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