Bundeswehr tankie training area in Wales?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Random_Task, Feb 25, 2008.

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  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..
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  3. castlemartin..
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  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. Aha,thanks, for a moment I was worried I'd imagined it!

    Any photographs at all please?
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. well weve got the poles based in london and every other town now..maybe the germans should come back.. the poles might leg it..

  9. I remember watching live panzer firing at CM in the early 90's

  10. 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!.
  11. 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.
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  12. 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!)
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  13. 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!
  14. 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
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  15. 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!!