Bundeswehr tankie training area in Wales?

#1
I'm sure a couple of years back I heard/saw a news article on a Bunde training area for armour in Wales? If memory serves me,some of the boxheads took Welsh brides home with them also?
 
#2
Yes there was. I was there for the 40th anaversary in 90 91 ?.

They has the son of Rommell (the fox bloke) as a guest . He had a speech in which even mentioned that a few local lasses had married box heads.

Must say the pack change for the day was amazing, Leopard 2 drove upto the pack waggon - mit crane - screeched to a halt, old out, new in and away in 15 mins or even less amazing.

Then a firepower demo with Leos and Marauders.

After a flypast from the REDS ,beer and bratties.

great place.

outside Tenby.

Closed now though to Germans..
 
#4
I'm pretty sure they used to use Castlemartin, but I'm bu99ered if I know why apart from the 'jolly' factor of a trip abroad, but a trip to Wales ffs? It's not like they were short of a shoite hole in the Fatherland to train in now was it!
 
#5
Correct. They were based at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire.

In 1961 a reciprocal agreement with the federal German Army was made allowing German tank battalions to use Castlemartin Range with a permanent German Army staff based at Merrion Camp. They left in 1996, no doubt due to budget constraints etc.

Not many people were aware of the fact that we had the hun based in Wales full time. :D
 
#6
Yep..CastleMartin is the place. Still lots of references to the hun living there such as the Leopard One near the gate house and various plaques dotted about the place.
 
#7
TheBigUn said:
Correct. They were based at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire.

In 1961 a reciprocal agreement with the federal German Army was made allowing German tank battalions to use Castlemartin Range with a permanent German Army staff based at Merrion Camp. They left in 1996, no doubt due to budget constraints etc.

Not many people were aware of the fact that we had the hun based in Wales full time. :D
well weve got the poles based in london and every other town now..maybe the germans should come back.. the poles might leg it..
 
#8
TheBigUn said:
Correct. They were based at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire.

In 1961 a reciprocal agreement with the federal German Army was made allowing German tank battalions to use Castlemartin Range with a permanent German Army staff based at Merrion Camp. They left in 1996, no doubt due to budget constraints etc.

Not many people were aware of the fact that we had the hun based in Wales full time. :D

I remember watching live panzer firing at CM in the early 90's
 
#9
Airfix said:
I'm pretty sure they used to use Castlemartin, but I'm bu99ered if I know why apart from the 'jolly' factor of a trip abroad, but a trip to Wales ffs? It's not like they were short of a shoite hole in the Fatherland to train in now was it!

Castlemartin was used by the Germans for "recruit firing" i.e. new conscripts would complete their tank gunner training with live firing in Wales. This was because there was not enough range time & space in Germany ( Hohne) due to British units using the facilities.

It made sense to base a cadre of German tanks & instructors at Castlemartin and then sent the recuits over to use them. The other option was to restrict British use of Bergan-Hohne ranges, give this time to the Germans and then transport entire British tank regiments ( men & machines) from Germany to Wales and then transport them all the way back again!.
 
#10
Had a visit there many years ago saw the leopards doing there business
sort of put the idea that the 94mm was an interesting way to commit suicide .
As tanks move very fast and shoot lots of bullets .
Sat on hill listening to tannoy broadcasting the crews radios officers in one group toms at the back .
One individual decides to translate the german radio messages and translates one particulary energetic message as "ACHTUNG we have the polish border in sight " German officer turns round and looks at us
assembled ors gasp in a "oh shit" moment then he has Big grin on face
who says box heads dont have a sense of humour.
 
#11
As I understand it the Germans went down very well there eventually. In the camp they have the front pahes of the local papers from '61 with 'Panzers in Wales!' headlines. Then they came, settled in and spent dosh locally which pleased that remote part of Wales. Quite a few local girls married Germans (wet weekend in Borth compared to ski-ing in Bavaria and night clubs of Hamburg - no comparison really!)
 
#12
My old company had a great day out visiting the Boxheads in Castlemartin. The live firing display was brilliant and I have never seen such clean maintenence sheds. There were a few RTR lads stationed there as well, and they preferred to stick with the Germans rather than be seen talking to an infantry sort - sort of like tankie bum-chums I suppose.

We were told they were in Wales as the Leopard needed a longer safety zone that could be found in Germany, and the Boxheads weren't too pleased that with the reunification of Germany they would return and use the ranges in Eastern Germany - mainly because they loved it in Wales and also because the commies had contaminated all of their former training areas with all sorts of shite!
 
#13
woody said:
Had a visit there many years ago saw the leopards doing there business
sort of put the idea that the 94mm was an interesting way to commit suicide .
As tanks move very fast and shoot lots of bullets .
Sat on hill listening to tannoy broadcasting the crews radios officers in one group toms at the back .
One individual decides to translate the german radio messages and translates one particulary energetic message as "ACHTUNG we have the polish border in sight " German officer turns round and looks at us
assembled ors gasp in a "oh s***" moment then he has Big grin on face
who says box heads dont have a sense of humour.
No they do! 8O ISTR a 'Luftwaffy' F4F Phantom landing in Jersey for the islands annual air display, as the crew were un-strapping and a crowd of airport authority civvies had gathered around the pilot shouts out 'Hi we're back'!!! :D
 
#14
Castlemartin was alright as ranges, pity the rest of the area was full of inbreds, think we had more agrro there than anywere else, some disco we went to was like a throwback to the wild west!!
 
#15
scarletto said:
Castlemartin was alright as ranges, pity the rest of the area was full of inbreds, think we had more agrro there than anywere else, some disco we went to was like a throwback to the wild west!!
TBH i really enjoyed Castlemartin when i went there on range periods with 1 RTR. The disco you refer to i assume was "Paddles". The proper name was The Mississippi Steamboat IIRC. Someone may need to confirm that for me.

I heard stories of RTR banter with the German tankies there, putting the Chinese eye on Leopards etc and Cambrai day shananigans.

When we used to take over the wksp from the outgoing Fitter Sections if someone was there just before they used to hand over the local "friendly" women on a 1033!! The first time i walked in Paddles within 5 minutes some blart had her hand in the front of my jeans to check what i had on offer...

Why i didnt see her again i'll never know! :oops:

I recall getting a lift back to camp one morning just in time for first parade with a Tp Sgt from 1 RTR in a local lasses' 190E Merc. During our drunken stuper the night before we had both ended up back at a particularily posh gaff with 2 local birds.

Good times.....
 
#16
pupgreen said:
TheBigUn said:
Correct. They were based at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire.

In 1961 a reciprocal agreement with the federal German Army was made allowing German tank battalions to use Castlemartin Range with a permanent German Army staff based at Merrion Camp. They left in 1996, no doubt due to budget constraints etc.

Not many people were aware of the fact that we had the hun based in Wales full time. :D
well weve got the poles based in london and every other town now..maybe the germans should come back.. the poles might leg it..
We never legged it anywhere...M8...too busy with the Boxheads in the west 'n' the Ruskies in the east(everyone forgets that 'snippet') of history....'n' of course we were waiting for 'Tommy' & 'Pierre'...somehow they never made the 'party'....the really serious legging was at Dunkirk...
 
#17
Last time I was at Castlemartin all the signs were in Deutch and there was bloody great panzer on the gate. By all accounts they had a good time there.

There was a big POW camp round there aswell in WW2 which was the scene of the German equivalent of the escape from Colditz. Interesting story is someone can be bothered to dig up the story.
 
#18
We were there with Warrior in 95 & 96.Kind of weird seeing a Leopard go past you in Wales!

Think that club in Pembrook was called Tanyards but we called it Farmyards because of the locals that went there!
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
#19
Wench3000 said:
Last time I was at Castlemartin all the signs were in Deutch and there was bloody great panzer on the gate. By all accounts they had a good time there.

There was a big POW camp round there aswell in WW2 which was the scene of the German equivalent of the escape from Colditz. Interesting story is someone can be bothered to dig up the story.
Well the site isn't worth digging up. Wor Lass spent some very young years near Bridgend and two years ago while she was recovering from serious illness, we spent a couple of weeks there.

Bloke in the local Tourist Information pointed out the existence of the remains of this POW camp. We went for a nose. The guy could only give me rough directions and the whole area was plastered with dogsh!t. Eventually, her being worn out in the sweltering heat, I left her sat in a portable chair while I nosed around the one remaining grid square I hadn't yet checked.

What I found amounted to a single hut with steel fencing all around: all that remained of the camp and essentially destroyed by yobs.

Here's the website. Sadly it's probably more interesting than the site itself.

http://www.islandfarm.fsnet.co.uk/

Back to Castlemartin. We drove out to check out the coastal path. Drove past the front gate and the tank. My memory is screaming Conqueror at me, or a meringue? We reached the car park and observation area and I took a read of the Notice to Coastal Path Users, which directed them to contact the Range WO on a given telephone number. The name, WO1 K***n B*****y (dunno why I have to OpSec this since it's on a public notice board in Wales, but there you go) didn't half remind me of a young lad who was a fresh-faced Trooper in B Sqn 15/19H in 1981.

Maybe GeordieHussar, if he sees this, can confirm? Or anyone else who has been near Castlemartin in the last handful of years?

Walking the cliff path at the bottom of the range, I was quite choked to find the target area littered with Saracens, Scorpions and Ferrets.
 
#20
Alien FTM - I bet the Boxheads loved the irony of firing at Brit AFVs after all this time! :)
 
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