British Tank relics in Denmark?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by DPM_Sheep, Feb 9, 2009.

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  1. Recently, I had a chance to chat with one of the Danish tankies out in Helmand and one of the thing that came up was that they have a heap of Shermans and "around twenty" Achilles tank destroyers just sat outside rusting away, at their armour camp, Oskbole(sic?).

    Does anybody here know anything more about them? He couldn't tell me much and google turns up very little.
  2. Oksbøl, north of Esbjerg on the west coast. NATO range and tank training area. Quite possibly home to a large collection of historic Danish mil vehicles, too.

    From Google.
  3. Cheers, CB. That should aid my searching.
  4. I'd hate to imagine what state the wagons are in after all this time. They're probably a pool of target hulks.

    Go half-dibs on an Achilles???????
  5. Wish I had the cash. :D Then again, I wonder if Kevin Wheatcroft does finder's fees? :wink:
  6. hi
    just been on google earth the town you want is spelt oksböl the o having two dots above rather than a diagonal slash there are some photos of some tanks which although rusty look in reasonable nick ie they have nt been shot to feck .
    was nt been a nob explaining about the dotts and slash cloubbuster as i found a town in another location spelt with the slash wh ich incidently has a photo of an air crew memorial from ww2 to the sw
  7. Cheers mate. I'll have a look.
  8. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    B Sqn 15/19H did joint gunnery ranges with a Danish unit there in 1982 during the early stages of the Falklands War when we sank the Belgrano and then lost a ship a day for several days.

    I remember a total lack of comms between us and them: I could speak Linguist German but the Danes really did not like that. When their papers showed the iconic picture of the Belgrano sinking, it was all thumbs up and rounds of applause. Then when they started sinking ours, the Danes' mood swung along with ours.

    The Danes were all long-haired conscripts and gated about 0200. We were a bunch of British Army p!ssheads and despite our SSM gating us at 0200 so as not to antagonise the Danes, we were off down town every night (to Esbjerg?). Some of the lads had brought cars (it was a very unusual exercise: we later spent a few days in Copenhagen and were allowed to bring wives).

    We worked out our own taxi service. Driver would take four lads down town, return and collect another four (they were charged for petrol cos we were racking up the miles). ISTR the driver would spend two hours between 2000 and 2200 shifting 24 mates into town, he got two hours drinking time (Cola of course orificer) then started ferrying them back over the two hours between midnight (0001 - I think 0000 finally became recognised as midnight by DCI on 1 July 1982) and 0200 in the same order - first in, first out so that they all got four hours' beer time.

    We all used a big place that reminds me of a latter day Wetherspoon - thinking particularly of Thornton Heath South London opposite the station, serving Selhurst Park. Because after a few days me mukker decided he'd like a drink, I did taxi one night. Got the lads in, realised what an effort it was, especially after a day on exercise (the Danes weren't allowed to stay out at night) or on the ranges, sat and relaxed. looked across at the far wall and saw the clock reading 0130: Feck where did the hours go? I couldn't get all these people back to barracks by 0200! Then I realised the clock was back to front and it really was only 2230. It's funny what stays with you ...

    I remember the sign at the entrance to the town being written Oksbøl, but I do also know that it equates exactly to the German Umlaut (ö) - Oksbøl rhymes with girl, or more exactly as they say at this God-forsaken end of the country gu-u-u-url.

    Then again, in 1990 (I think) the French actually brought their language a little up to date and simplified it greatly: maybe the Danes have done the same?
  9. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    Oh and I forgot to add, the Danes were in Cents. ISTR no bore evacuator, assuming 17pdr and being told 20pdr but I could be wrong.
  10. Early Centurion Mk 3s (the ones that were used in Korea) had 20pdr with no bore evacuator. Denmark had Mk3s both with and without evacuators. However according to the Danish military vehicles website those with no evacuators had their 20pdrs replaced with 105mm in 1964, upgrading them to Mk 5/2s. All their Cents had already been upgraded to Mk5 standard before. The only Centurions with 17pdr were the Mk 1 prototypes which never entered service with anyone.
  11. Take a look at this site! then click on Standortliste! :D
  12. Cutaway

    Cutaway LE Reviewer

    Checking the above bollocks on Google Earth it shows both the Danish & German spelling, but as the Danes have three extra letters in their alphabet, none of which use an umlaut, I'd believe the spelling the locals use. Similarly if I was looking for an aerial view of the capital city of England I wouldn't spell it in French.

    Treadheads, check the Armour Museum for some of the vehs there. The name of the camp, Oksbøllejren, is at the top of the page.
    A shedload of sites came up when looking for their armour museums, here's a few:
    Danish Army Vehs
    Bent C15TA's
    Vaious museums
  13. They were probably using the 20 pdrs just for range practice - we did it with our Cents after they upgunned to the 105 in the 50's. Apparently it was fairly easy to swop barrels on the Cent.
  14. AlienTFM - 'The Danes were all long-haired conscripts' I was in Denmark in '79 on AMF(L) and it was exactly that. The last thing that came across was of a professional bunch of warriors preparing for war.

    Went back in the '90s as civvy installing Weapons Training Simulators and the difference in attitude was incredible. At Slagelse, the unit had just returned from Bosnia and came across as a really professional outfit. One of the Danish Sergeant Majors said to me 'Brian, do you know what they should do with Bosnia? Put a big barbed wire fence around the place and shoot the last man who tries to crawl out!' which surprised me a great deal. However, a bit of incoming does tend to concentrate the mind a little.

    Slagelse seemed to be their Infantry training unit and they had photos up of all the courses that had been through for about 20 years. The transition from long haired amateurs to professionals appeared to be the late '80s.
  15. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator