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Cold War Photos.

Back in 1986 the Soviet External Relations Branch (SERB) sent us about 100 photos of Brixmis cars caught in Vopo speed traps. (They actually cammed up their speed traps - a useful source of Western Deutschmarks). We tended to ignore the East German police and once got over 100mph, which is funny amongst a carriageway filled with Trabants.
I did a flag tour in East Berlin in in the mid 1980s with an RCT driver and two of THEM as the other passengers. We were spotted near a Soviet barracks and chased by the Vopos. Our souped up Range Rover left them standing and the driver had some fun with them before we headed back. I'll have to see if I can find the photos... :)
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Here's our stone at the National Arboretum. I was privileged to be the project officer for that one:

1610963141351.png
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Have you ever felt the urge to revisit any of the places you snuck about for a sort of 'then and now'? Just looked up Beelitz - very interesting, a hospital that treated Hitler is now an aerial walkway theme park, a sort of urbex lite.

Nice Soviet statue:

View attachment 540472


I have been back. One of my muckers (SCOTS DG) is a tour guide and lives in Berlin with his German wife (his second German wife, actually, these things happen).
 
I did a flag tour in East Berlin in in the mid 1980s with an RCT driver and two of THEM as the other passengers. We were spotted near a Soviet barracks and chased by the Vopos. Our souped up Range Rover left them standing and the driver had some fun with them before we headed back. I'll have to see if I can find the photos... :)
The rules obviously changed since my last Flag Tour in 1980. We had (IIRC) refurbished ex-mission Opel Admirals and the SOP was to obey all road rules. Then there was nothing to be gained from attracting the crabs VOPOs. If we were followed (by VOPOs) we just went for the longest drive (easily done) until the following car had a fuel problem. Personally I had no problems with VOPOs, NVA or Sovs, but I found it difficult to have any time for a force whose ROE covered when to shoot your mate (ie GKM). Our drivers were in the main very good, but the odd one needed a 'chat'.
 
Have you ever felt the urge to revisit any of the places you snuck about for a sort of 'then and now'? Just looked up Beelitz - very interesting, a hospital that treated Hitler is now an aerial walkway theme park, a sort of urbex lite.

Nice Soviet statue:

View attachment 540472
Was about to ask the same question!
 
The drivers were the most important guys in the crew. They really knew how to throw those wagons around. Saved our skins on a number of occasions.

There was certainly a chemical weapon concern in about 1983 or '84, just before my time. Hence the cancellation of that particular rubbish heap searching.

ETA. You may recognise one or two of this mob:

View attachment 540473
Is that W**** F*** on the right?
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
@fantassin

You may recognise the French officer and his wife here. Also guests from USMLM (which we rather rudely pronounced as 'You smell, 'em').


FMLM was turned into 'Flim Flam'. Malheureusement. Sorry for that. I had a chat with him and recounted a tale from 1986 when I chanced upon him at the dead of night, having almost driven over a sleeping Soviet sentry.

The target was the new artillery piece, 2S-7. It was a British area of activity and the French were not meant to be in that part of the country that week.

He smiled and gave me a classic Gallic shrug.
 
Last edited:
@fantassin

You may recognise the French officer and his wife here. Also guests from USMLM (which we rather rudely pronounced as 'You smell, 'em').


FMLM was turned into 'Flim Flam'. Malheureusement. Sorry for that. I had a chat with him and recounted a tale from 1986 when I chanced upon him at the dead of night, having almost driven over a sleeping Soviet sentry.

The target was the new artillery piece, 2S-7. It was a British area of activity and the French were not meant to be in that part of the country that week.

He smiled and gave me a classic Gallic shrug.

I do not recognize anybody on those picture as l had not joined yet when the MMFL was operational.

Nevertheless l served later in my career with COL S. who, as a Capt. was in the car in which adjudant-chef Mariotti was killed. He still bore the physical scars of that incident.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
I do not recognize anybody on those picture as l had not joined yet when the MMFL was operational.

Nevertheless l served later in my career with COL S. who, as a Capt. was in the car in which adjudant-chef Mariotti was killed. He still bore the physical scars of that incident.

Yes. I knew him as a Captain. I last saw him in Brussels but that is 30 years ago. I was meant to be in a lecture but we went for a few beers instead and my instructor thought that was a good choice.
 

Niamac

GCM
The only tale I know about Brixmis was told to me by a R Sigs Colonel who had been there in the early Sixties.

He was on his first "tour" and they had successfully slipped into Soviet exercise area. It got a bit hot so they decided to leg it. They came round a corner at speed and sideways across the road was a T54 blocking the entire carriageway. The driver did not hesitate but drove off the road, up a bank and round the back of the tank. When they got back on the road and round the next corner the driver slowed down to a reasonable speed.

He said to the driver "Shouldn't we get a move on , they'll know where we are now>"

"No chance, if you were a Russian tank commander would you report that you failed to stop us."
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
The only tale I know about Brixmis was told to me by a R Sigs Colonel who had been there in the early Sixties.

He was on his first "tour" and they had successfully slipped into Soviet exercise area. It got a bit hot so they decided to leg it. They came round a corner at speed and sideways across the road was a T54 blocking the entire carriageway. The driver did not hesitate but drove off the road, up a bank and round the back of the tank. When they got back on the road and round the next corner the driver slowed down to a reasonable speed.

He said to the driver "Shouldn't we get a move on , they'll know where we are now>"

"No chance, if you were a Russian tank commander would you report that you failed to stop us."

Yes. I nicked a bit of kit from inside a Sov tank and got told off for doing so by the Brigadier. I said 'Do you think he will report the theft?'.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
The only tale I know about Brixmis was told to me by a R Sigs Colonel who had been there in the early Sixties.

He was on his first "tour" and they had successfully slipped into Soviet exercise area. It got a bit hot so they decided to leg it. They came round a corner at speed and sideways across the road was a T54 blocking the entire carriageway. The driver did not hesitate but drove off the road, up a bank and round the back of the tank. When they got back on the road and round the next corner the driver slowed down to a reasonable speed.

He said to the driver "Shouldn't we get a move on , they'll know where we are now>"

"No chance, if you were a Russian tank commander would you report that you failed to stop us."

A similar dit from 1986. Reccing a Sov barracks and we were spotted. They'd prepared the ground and the ambush so we legged it, hotly pursued. We ended up driving up the bund by the side of the Elbe and had just 400m to push to leave the training area. There was already a URAL wagon blocking the road. Very well executed on their part.

So I climbed out of the wagon and saluted the officer who had done this so cleverly. It was a fair cop. He was of the Mongolian branch.
 

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