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Cold War Photos.

We usually had a team of up to 4 Stasi cars on our tail. Losing them was a very balanced game and could take several hours.

The car had a magic box which could turn off various lights and a kill switch which would turn all of them off. No brake lights, nothing. For example, one night at dark o'clock, the Stasi were chasing me down the autobahn. Hit the red button, drive on the other carriageway and disappear up a slip road the wrong way.
One of your cars at Cosford Cold War Museum .
This a most interesting thread, you just don't know what's going on.

CFB
 

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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
John Learmont is around the back...the hand is JB's.
I wondered about that - staying in the car to avoid the humiliation!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Bad move...I tried 3 times to get JB posted. Met him in London after he was demobbed, no improvement in his driving skills.
He did well though (apart from one incident, reported elsewhere on Arrse!).

He was no cowboy and I had no time for cowboys!
 
@Brotherton Lad.
Ramming seemed to be a popular method of detaining tours in the DDR, was this just over enthusiastic conscripts or a deliberate act to intimidate the missions?
Was it just the Soviets asserting their rights to detain anyone found in a PRA by any means they deemed legitimate?
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
@Brotherton Lad.
Ramming seemed to be a popular method of detaining tours in the DDR, was this just over enthusiastic conscripts or a deliberate act to intimidate the missions?
Was it just the Soviets asserting their rights to detain anyone found in a PRA by any means they deemed legitimate?

It was both. There were deliberate ambushes such as the one that killed Philippe Mariotti and also off the cuff rammings. The two I had were off the cuff. No big drama in my case.

Philippe died.

We very rarely entered PRA. I only entered once (to get the first photos of SA-11) and ran the borders of PRA twice in my two years..
 
He did well though (apart from one incident, reported elsewhere on Arrse!).

He was no cowboy and I had no time for cowboys!
The system of selection changed 76-78. It used to be on merit and all round driving ability. Most RCT drivers were Cpl's due for promotion to Sgt (RAF about the same). Some,for whatever reason didn't have all their quals. and this created problems for M&Rs in Glasgow when they were due for posting out.

At the same time,the CO of 8 Regt suggested to M&Rs that,to ensure all potential Mission drivers had their quals. and to facilitate their PV's, they should all go through his Regt (Empire building at it's worst).

Looked great on paper but...he recommended to M&R, who he thought would make a good driver. Given that,he had never been in the Mission and, wasn't privy to any of driving skills required, I personally thought it stank.

I met him at the Mission in 80 and, when asked what I thought of the system...I told him. When I was a driver,the average age was 25-27, most had been through Div units and, picked up their skills for x-country driving etc. When I went back for the second tour,the average age was closer to 22-23, with a skills gap.

The RAF maintained the supply of mature drivers,that said I had to get one of their drivers posted out, whilst he was a superb staff car driver, his skills in other areas,left a lot to be desired. The problem with getting rid of unsuitable drivers was...their replacements.

All selected drivers,were required to attend a 'Special Duties' course, which included a number of subjects and skills,not normally associated with driving,the course lasted a month and, roughly 2 or 3 a year. This meant that there was a reluctance to post an unsuitable driver out and, be shorthanded. Even with the 'new system', drivers still had to attend the course in Ashford before coming to the Mission.

One of the biggest problems with new drivers was...slowing them down. The myths abounded in Munster...souped up cars,rally driving cross country, the thrill of the chase,etc.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
The system of selection changed 76-78. It used to be on merit and all round driving ability. Most RCT drivers were Cpl's due for promotion to Sgt (RAF about the same). Some,for whatever reason didn't have all their quals. and this created problems for M&Rs in Glasgow when they were due for posting out.

At the same time,the CO of 8 Regt suggested to M&Rs that,to ensure all potential Mission drivers had their quals. and to facilitate their PV's, they should all go through his Regt (Empire building at it's worst).

Looked great on paper but...he recommended to M&R, who he thought would make a good driver. Given that,he had never been in the Mission and, wasn't privy to any of driving skills required, I personally thought it stank.

I met him at the Mission in 80 and, when asked what I thought of the system...I told him. When I was a driver,the average age was 25-27, most had been through Div units and, picked up their skills for x-country driving etc. When I went back for the second tour,the average age was closer to 22-23, with a skills gap.

The RAF maintained the supply of mature drivers,that said I had to get one of their drivers posted out, whilst he was a superb staff car driver, his skills in other areas,left a lot to be desired. The problem with getting rid of unsuitable drivers was...their replacements.

All selected drivers,were required to attend a 'Special Duties' course, which included a number of subjects and skills,not normally associated with driving,the course lasted a month and, roughly 2 or 3 a year. This meant that there was a reluctance to post an unsuitable driver out and, be shorthanded. Even with the 'new system', drivers still had to attend the course in Ashford before coming to the Mission.

One of the biggest problems with new drivers was...slowing them down. The myths abounded in Munster...souped up cars,rally driving cross country, the thrill of the chase,etc.
What a mess. Who was CO 8 at the time? Can't see the direct relevance of that task at all. For my lot in 26, they were almost all already CP qualified and the balance were A/Staff Car qualified. We occasionally got an 'ordinary' driver. Standards varied but by the time they'd done a pre-select and a CP course and had some 'mentoring' they were pretty good. After all, 177 would let me know straight away if somebody wasn't up for it.
 
What a mess. Who was CO 8 at the time? Can't see the direct relevance of that task at all. For my lot in 26, they were almost all already CP qualified and the balance were A/Staff Car qualified. We occasionally got an 'ordinary' driver. Standards varied but by the time they'd done a pre-select and a CP course and had some 'mentoring' they were pretty good. After all, 177 would let me know straight away if somebody wasn't up for it.
Didn't remember his name. I do remember he wanted me posted from 18/26 in 78,to join his cabal in Munster but, wouldn't let me bring my dog ! :mrgreen: I'd already had the 'gypsies warning' on the grapevine and, I'd written a letter to the Mission,expressing a wish to come back to take over the MT/trainingso,ended up in Minden for a year. He mentioned it during our very brief tete a tete, I explained...love me, love my dog !

Second tour was the best of all worlds...nearly. MT, Tour driving and, occasionally Tour Nco and...Berlin.
 
Occasionally one had to use the tirfor winch. Well, not me...the Tour Nco that chose to use this 'track'! ;-)

It was only two-wheel drive !

ludwigslust3 - Copy.jpg
 
When they play really rough...September 76,I'm assured that a Ural 375 has a square sump drain plug ! :mrgreen:
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Image3[1].jpg
 
When they play really rough...September 76,I'm assured that a Ural 375 has a square sump drain plug ! :mrgreen:
View attachment 540815

View attachment 540817
There used to be a very badly bent pair of spectacles (frames only) pinned to the wall behind the desk of my liaison POC upstairs at the Mission. I was told they were being worn by an NCO when they were hit by a URAL 375. 1979 - 80 so could have been from this incident.

Unlucky 13!
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
One of your cars at Cosford Cold War Museum .
This a most interesting thread, you just don't know what's going on.

CFB
The Senator was my favourite tour vehicle and suited my style. Low profile, very quiet and very quick. (My wife agrees.)

The Mercedes GW was much more spacious, chunky and comfortable, but also very obvious. The Range Rover ended up rather top heavy and made me sea-sick. Fortunately it was usually used by the RAF.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
There used to be a very badly bent pair of spectacles (frames only) pinned to the wall behind the desk of my liaison POC upstairs at the Mission. I was told they were being worn by an NCO when they were hit by a URAL 375. 1979 - 80 so could have been from this incident.

Unlucky 13!

13 was the recovery trailer. I may have had reason to call it out to rescue us in 1986.
 
The Senator was my favourite tour vehicle and suited my style. Low profile, very quiet and very quick. (My wife agrees.)

The Mercedes GW was much more spacious, chunky and comfortable, but also very obvious. The Range Rover ended up rather top heavy and made me sea-sick. Fortunately it was usually used by the RAF.
This is an ex-BRIXMIS car, suitably de-modded and used for Flag Tours 1979/80. I do remember when we were parked up one day a little boy looking in at the speedo and being very impressed by the numbers "zwei hundert achtig!" I didn't tell him that that was a bit optimistic given the car's age (and history).

img943.jpg


No idea what that is behind the car.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
This is an ex-BRIXMIS car, suitably de-modded and used for Flag Tours 1979/80. I do remember when we were parked up one day a little boy looking in at the speedo and being very impressed by the numbers "zwei hundert achtig!" I didn't tell him that that was a bit optimistic given the car's age (and history).

View attachment 540829

No idea what that is behind the car.


It's a T-34 and may be down at Treptow Park. You need to establish comms with @RoofRat to discuss the car.

I had an interesting moment with the bonnet up at a petrol station. A chap brought his teenage son over and started teaching him about fuel injection, power steering and all that jazz.
 

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