Cold War Photos.

I thought it was the snow and freezing weather that stopped them. Froze up the engines and coolants. The mud buggered them up in the spring when the snow melted. Oh and Zukov's Siberian divisions played their part as well.

Sorry, but this is Arrse after all.

Keep your steeenkin facts. We don’t need no facts.
 
I thought it was the snow and freezing weather that stopped them. Froze up the engines and coolants. The mud buggered them up in the spring when the snow melted. Oh and Zukov's Siberian divisions played their part as well.

Sorry, but this is Arrse after all.
I think it was here that I read something similar, this time about wheel size:
"The snow gets deep near Moscow", or words to that effect.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
For some reason this thread reminds me of an encounter in West Germany on an exercise in the summer of 1987.

The Bn had Saxon 'armoured taxis' and arms control inspections had just begun. Two East German Army Colonels came to visit so I warmed up my German. I mentioned my previous work in East Germany.

They then told me the name of the then SO1 and where he sent his children to school. I thought that was impressive.
 
I thought it was the snow and freezing weather that stopped them. Froze up the engines and coolants. The mud buggered them up in the spring when the snow melted. Oh and Zukov's Siberian divisions played their part as well.

Sorry, but this is Arrse after all.
And of course having to keep stopping for 'anti-partisan' operations.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Pedant hat on. Just General Paulus walt. He wasn't a Von as he was never part of the nobility. He was the son of a treasurer. Pedant hat off.
He may not have been a 'von' but he had a lovely house after the war:


Villa_und_Wohnort_von_Generalfeldmarschall_Friedrich_Wilhelm_Ernst_Paulus_in_Dresden_Oberlosch...jpg
 
I thought it was the snow and freezing weather that stopped them. Froze up the engines and coolants. The mud buggered them up in the spring when the snow melted. Oh and Zukov's Siberian divisions played their part as well.

Sorry, but this is Arrse after all.

1614678688280.jpeg
 
I’ve been working on an East German version of my West German cold war location map and boy, it is a lot harder to try and find almost any kind of cold war locations there now!
It’s like they have almost erased everything dating from that period. As Google maps only goes back to 2010 in some cases it’s not a lot of help when trying to locate things.
Also not helped as there is not as much information about them on the net unlike West Germany. I’m guessing this may be down to a lack of personal cameras being used by WP troops based there as well as that people like the Soviets gave their camps numbers and not names. I do wonder if Russian soldiers had much awareness of where exactly they were in the old DDR too.
So far I have found the following:

  • Airbases: Most have been left to return to nature and many are hard to spot due to the Soviets taking their runways with them in several cases.
  • Ammo depots: There are not as many as I can find in W Germany and the ones I can locate tend to be very poorly built or simply open-air types. I can’t figure out why there are so few compared to what we had. Possibly due to them keeping vehicles bombed up and ready to go?
  • Barracks. Most have been levelled and the only hint of what they once were is the layout of the industrial/housing areas they have since become and perhaps some remaining buildings and square concrete road paving. The easiest ones to find are the old Wehrmacht types, and even then, they are being rapidly demolished if not reused for housing.
    Many though still exist but are in remote locations and have become overgrown with crumbling buildings still visible in the trees.
  • Air defence sites: Unlike the NATO static setups, they seem to be few and far between. As they tended to use rather rough and ready locations (a bit of horseshoe shaped revetments and off you go) and these are now either overgrown now or levelled.
  • Training areas: Many of these can still be seen easily on Google Earth, but in a lot of cases, unless you are zoomed in on a particular area, you would overlook them completely.

I’m currently marking up what I can (almost) positively identify, and once I fill out the map a bit more I’ll post it up. Given the level of WP forces based there it is shocking how little now remains and after a visit to Berlin the other year it is clear that the German Govt want as much of this period of history removed it seems.
It may be I’ll have to pick the brains of the old BRIXMIS types once I get a feel for how things are laid out and for any important locations I may have missed.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
There was half a million Soviet military in the DDR in my day (the Civpop was 16 million). A lot of infrastructure was taken back to Russia in the early 90s, including plumbing, electrical fittings, windows and roof tiles. Many Sov troops and their families ended up living in tented accommodation.

There's a number of websites with photos of barracks, taken by people who climb over the fences and evade the security guards.

Many of the training areas are now overgrown with trees.

 
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For some reason this thread reminds me of an encounter in West Germany on an exercise in the summer of 1987.

The Bn had Saxon 'armoured taxis' and arms control inspections had just begun. Two East German Army Colonels came to visit so I warmed up my German. I mentioned my previous work in East Germany.

They then told me the name of the then SO1 and where he sent his children to school. I thought that was impressive.
Did they say whether he was fiddling his Boarding School Allowance ?
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
I’ve been working on an East German version of my West German cold war location map and boy, it is a lot harder to try and find almost any kind of cold war locations there now!
It’s like they have almost erased everything dating from that period. As Google maps only goes back to 2010 in some cases it’s not a lot of help when trying to locate things.
Wall down, Communism gone, in 1996 we took the children on a three week grand tour. Having taken Alien Minor 1 to (at this point the browser took a brain fart and by the time I'd restarted the tablet I'd forgotten I'd started this reply) Braunlage at the age of a couple of months, we went back. Surprised to find the landlord of the restaurant was ex-13/18H and after amalgamation, we shared a regimental association.

From the top of the derelict ski jump, we looked into the East and remembered how 13 years earlier, we'd not been allowed at the bottom, sitting within 1Km of the IGB. It occurred to me that the Brocken was only a few kilometres distant, and no longer proscribed, so we headed off.

Crossed the former IGB from Niedersachsen into Sachsen Anhalt and the class 1 western road instantly became candystripe due to generations of neglect in the east. On the bend on the former border was either a genuine or a faithful reproduction Gulaschkanone in use as something akin to an Imbißstube.

Got to the village at the foot of the Brocken. Like something straight out of Hansel and Gretel. Where to park the car? It seemed like every house in the village had turned the garden into a rather expensive car park. They may have been Commies for fifty years, but they'd always been Germans, and now they were capitalists again.

In German, "Isn't there a funicular railway to the top of the Brocken?" There was. Gadgy gave me directions. "It will cost you an arm and a leg."

"So how do we get to the top?"

"You can walk" (it was mid-afternoon. The nippers were 14 and 12...) "or you can pay."

We didn't go up the Brocken. Pity. Then it occurred to me that there was no hint that the Commies had ever been. Except, we learned, at one end of the village there had been a barracks, built of wood, now comprising nothing but postholes. I've ever since imagined the Red Army living in Stalag Luft III style accommodation .
 
A lot of infrastructure was taken back to Russia in the early 90s, including plumbing, electrical fittings, windows and roof tiles.
Thanks, that would account for all the derelict camps I've found where the roofs are missing on all the buildings. There is definately a distinct diffence between the opposing forces, with the NATO side having lots of very well built infrastructure (ammo depots and static AD sites come to mind), whilst the attitude in the east seemed to be to build as cheaply as possible and not to try and make any permanent defensive structures, which does show which way they were looking to head.
 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Thanks, that would account for all the derelict camps I've found where the roofs are missing on all the buildings. There is definately a distinct diffence between the opposing forces, with the NATO side having lots of very well built infrastructure (ammo depots and static AD sites come to mind), whilst the ttitude in the east seemed to be to build as cheaply as possible and not to try and make any permanent defensive structures, which does show which way they were looking to head.

Many of their barracks were from 1930s Germany. The Sovs just stripped them bare as they withdrew in the early '90s.

On my stay in St Petersburg to further my Russian language, my hosts were proud to say their apartment block had been built by German POWs in the early 1950s, because that meant a better quality building.

(The wife would think nothing of joining me in the bathroom in her underwear, not that I'm complaining.)
 

Choux Bun

Clanker
He was quite the beast, but he also gave me the job. So mustn't grumble.

I did have to do a cold weather and gear talk for an hour first, but I must have passed that test. Having spent 5 winters on exercise in Norway may have helped.
Many years ago 'The Beast' gave me my first stripe. Some years later he was being dined out of the Mess at Woolwich as a General as I was being dined in as a Captain. Chuffed he mentioned me in his farewell speech and stood me a bottle of Port!!
 
Wall down, Communism gone, in 1996 we took the children on a three week grand tour. Having taken Alien Minor 1 to (at this point the browser took a brain fart and by the time I'd restarted the tablet I'd forgotten I'd started this reply) Braunlage at the age of a couple of months, we went back. Surprised to find the landlord of the restaurant was ex-13/18H and after amalgamation, we shared a regimental association.

From the top of the derelict ski jump, we looked into the East and remembered how 13 years earlier, we'd not been allowed at the bottom, sitting within 1Km of the IGB. It occurred to me that the Brocken was only a few kilometres distant, and no longer proscribed, so we headed off.

Crossed the former IGB from Niedersachsen into Sachsen Anhalt and the class 1 western road instantly became candystripe due to generations of neglect in the east. On the bend on the former border was either a genuine or a faithful reproduction Gulaschkanone in use as something akin to an Imbißstube.

Got to the village at the foot of the Brocken. Like something straight out of Hansel and Gretel. Where to park the car? It seemed like every house in the village had turned the garden into a rather expensive car park. They may have been Commies for fifty years, but they'd always been Germans, and now they were capitalists again.

In German, "Isn't there a funicular railway to the top of the Brocken?" There was. Gadgy gave me directions. "It will cost you an arm and a leg."

"So how do we get to the top?"

"You can walk" (it was mid-afternoon. The nippers were 14 and 12...) "or you can pay."

We didn't go up the Brocken. Pity. Then it occurred to me that there was no hint that the Commies had ever been. Except, we learned, at one end of the village there had been a barracks, built of wood, now comprising nothing but postholes. I've ever since imagined the Red Army living in Stalag Luft III style accommodation .
Gadgy, there’s a word I haven’t heard in years. Thank you for the smile.
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer

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