Cold War Veterans: Berlin.

Discussion in 'Old & Bold' started by JoshuaJames, Apr 28, 2013.

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  1. Hey everybody, I am history student at Bath Spa university and the time has come for us to work on our dissertations for the third year of study. I have sent a message to one of the site administrators,and Bad CO was kind enough to reply to me and permit me to post on this forum regarding my work.

    I am looking to find out as much information as I can regarding British soldiers in Berlin during the Cold War; I don't want to focus on the great power politics of the day, but I want to focus on the soldier's life. Just to tell you a little about my proposed dissertation, I would like to find out what British soldiers thought about the situation they were in whilst stationed in Berlin during the Cold War. I would like to know what they did in their spare time, how they felt about being in Berlin and what the atmosphere was like, how they felt about Russian soldiers and German Civilians and the relationships they had with them, their views on Communism,their views on events that occurred else where and so on and so forth. It a nut shell, I want to do my best to research the experiences of British soldiers in Berlin. The idea for this research came to me when I spoke to my Dad one day about his army experience,and he told me of his time in Berlin, 1983-1984. To say the least I was surprised by the stories he told me, as the image I had of Berlin was one of popular culture, were nuclear war is constantly imminent and every one is on edge. I am not saying this wasn't the case, I am just pointing out my Dad tells me stories of drinking with friends and trying it on with local women, and this is the side of Berlin I would like to explore.

    Any information any one can give me I would deeply appreciate. It is of course your own decision to post here, but if you would be willing to post any stories, thought, pictures or just add to any discussions please feel free, I would like to see as much variety as possible.

    Thank you for your time, Josh.

    P.S.I would be extremely interested in conducting interviews, any one who would be willing to be apart of one please message me and we can arrange something.
  2. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

  3. Spanish_Dave

    Spanish_Dave LE Good Egg (charities)

    Stucky Platz, Mon Cheri et al
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  4. Spent a month in Berlin in '65,part of 11H Relief Sqn.Stationed at Spandau,next to Prison,aside from 1 week as standby troop when we were supposed to be out of the gate in 30 minutes,it was a memorable time,especially after being stuck in Hohne for a few years.Routine was very relaxed,start up Cents,roll out of hangars,check net and that was it really.Went for a cabby round Grunwald once a week,oh,and we had a troop of Cents parked up at Olympic Stadium.Pic shows us turning into Grunwald,past the Polizei selling ice cream.

    Attached Files:

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  5. Berlin as a peace time posting was up there with Hong Kong and Singapore. In some respects Berlin, at least in the 1960s and '70s, was like turning the clock back to Colonial times - married families received rations (FRIS) and many had Maids working in their homes (their wages paid by the Government to create employment). Loads of Guards of Honour, Quarter Guards, the annual Queen's Birthday Parade, Spandau Prison Guard, Train Guard. The ceremonial aspect balanced with realistic training, fitness, and constant practice for a serious role. The opportunities for sport, adventure training, and the off duty high life of cosmopolitan Berlin were endless and f*****g great! I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
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  6. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    Still had a Hausfrau in the mid 80s. Ours was a Chinese girl, 2 x 5 hour shifts each week (for a Capt). She cleaned everything 'no ploblem,. This included vacuuming the curtains each week. All funded by the BRD's Berlin budget.

    Cosmopolitan and wealthy Berlin was a big change from Bulford and its pre-fab quarters, plus LOA, duty free, petrol coupons and DM4 to the £.
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  7. The Officers Club was fandabidozy. Get pissed and then down grotty Charlotty. God I'm getting old.Where were the "baths"?
  8. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    Mon Cheri?

    The Officers' Club; geriatric string quartet.
  9. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    And FRIS, IIRC. As they had to keep a certain ration store in case of blockade again, the old stock was sold on. You put your order in and it arrived on the doorstep, a few days later.
  10. Brotherton Lad

    Brotherton Lad LE Reviewer

    Yes. FRIS mentioned earlier. Tea-cakes, Danish milk and yoghurt.

    We also used to get Soviet rations delivered, as well, for Mission personnel. A box of cabbage, potatoes, gherkins, good solid bread and excellent pork every few weeks.
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  11. Fang_Farrier

    Fang_Farrier LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    As we lived down by the Wannsee, the occasional broken night of sirens and gunfire from the other side as someone's escape attempt didn't quite work out.

    Or a rabbit hit a tripwire!
  12. Wonderful the life of a flaming ********! Life expectancy not a lot when three shock army came cruising through the wall.
  13. Good luck with your dissertation. My wife's uncle did his National Service in Berlin guarding Hess in the 1950s. I am seeing him at the weekend and will sound him out about being interviewed. Please PM me to exchange contact details.

  14. As a Blackhat with 11H stuck back in Hohne we DREAMED of getting the Berlin experience. Happy days; seeing the Cent pic brought back memopries.
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