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Ex Iron Hammer Footage

Just come across this which has some great footage I'd not seen yet (this is quite a recent upload) and had some horrible flashbacks of an 18 year old Speedy freezing his nuts off (OK, I was driving P Info bods, so not that cold!).


Apologies if this has been posted before, but not found it after a quick search. Very interesting to see the Warsaw Pact observers towards the end and mismatched kit as SA80 and the new helmets were coming into usage.
 
Just come across this which has some great footage I'd not seen yet (this is quite a recent upload) and had some horrible flashbacks of an 18 year old Speedy freezing his nuts off (OK, I was driving P Info bods, so not that cold!).


Apologies if this has been posted before, but not found it after a quick search. Very interesting to see the Warsaw Pact observers towards the end and mismatched kit as SA80 and the new helmets were coming into usage.
I didn’t realise there was so much snow during the exercise as I was in HQ 4 Armd Bde so never saw the outside world for the whole exercise, was very cold though as you mention.

The WP observers were interesting, we had to host a lunch for them in the field, conversation was difficult as most claimed not to speak any English and there were not many interpreters with them though once the vino did it’s work some did reveal their linguistic abilities.
 
Brill, I think I umpired on that one. Did it end early because heavy snow made the roads dangerous? I remember infantry trying to warm up round fires of wet/damp wood until they were allowed to go home. We had a 9x9 which we pitched round the back of a Gasthof and a kero heater so we were pretty comfortable
 

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Just come across this which has some great footage I'd not seen yet (this is quite a recent upload) and had some horrible flashbacks of an 18 year old Speedy freezing his nuts off (OK, I was driving P Info bods, so not that cold!).


Apologies if this has been posted before, but not found it after a quick search. Very interesting to see the Warsaw Pact observers towards the end and mismatched kit as SA80 and the new helmets were coming into usage.
Sterling hung on back of Panzer , surprise contact , next thing to happen ?
 

partyr

Old-Salt
I was on that with 16/5L. I recall it was bloody cold, I'm pretty sure the Ex got suspended for a couple of days and we were told to find a barn to lay up in because of the snow and temperature. My veh comd wasn't too happy about that as he thought it wasn't realistic enough, we were happy though. Great to see all the old kit, surprised there were Scorpion there, I can only think they were Inf close recce, as we as cav had got rid of it by then.
 
I was on that with 16/5L. I recall it was bloody cold, I'm pretty sure the Ex got suspended for a couple of days and we were told to find a barn to lay up in because of the snow and temperature. My veh comd wasn't too happy about that as he thought it wasn't realistic enough, we were happy though. Great to see all the old kit, surprised there were Scorpion there, I can only think they were Inf close recce, as we as cav had got rid of it by then.
I believe that Scorpion was still in service as the close recce vehicle for the Armoured Regts at the time, whilst the Inf Bns had Scimitar, as did the formation recce regts.
 
You know your old when you see the Imperial War Museum logo in the corner.
I wasn't there, but the wooded starting scene was a flash back to BAOR and combat team hides in the early 80s.
Thanks for posting.
 
Where was Wolfgang? :dance::hungry:

Screenshot_20201029-114919_Free Adblocker Browser_copy_1080x951.jpg
 
Brill, I think I umpired on that one. Did it end early because heavy snow made the roads dangerous? I remember infantry trying to warm up round fires of wet/damp wood until they were allowed to go home. We had a 9x9 which we pitched round the back of a Gasthof and a kero heater so we were pretty comfortable
I don’t think it ended early, but it was effectively suspended for a few days. We (Close Support Engineer Squadron) were lagered up on top of hill for a few days; nothing could go down the hill because the routes were too icy.

IIRC it was supposed to end with a Divisional Counter Stroke but Endex was called as the lead Brigades hit the line of departure.

Happy, but very cold days....
 
I don’t think it ended early, but it was effectively suspended for a few days. We (Close Support Engineer Squadron) were lagered up on top of hill for a few days; nothing could go down the hill because the routes were too icy.

IIRC it was supposed to end with a Divisional Counter Stroke but Endex was called as the lead Brigades hit the line of departure.

Happy, but very cold days....
It sounds more like Operation Typhoon in 1941. All you needed was the counter attack by the Siberian Divisions.
 
It sounds more like Operation Typhoon in 1941. All you needed was the counter attack by the Siberian Divisions.
IIRC it would have been the first (and only) time the British Army had attempted a Counter Stroke since WW2, albeit (and obviously) only in training.

Iron Hammer was supposed to be the culmination of the doctrinal shift from positional defence to manoeuvre warfare that Bagnall started. Of course, that shift ended up as a blind alley because the Berlin Wall fell within months.

The exercise was supposed to be quite different from previous Divisional FTXs, with a lot more Brigade level manoeuvre. Not very sensible holding it in November though; IIRC a lot of the manoeuvre never happened because of the weather. We ended up shivering in the woods.
 
I don’t think it ended early, but it was effectively suspended for a few days. We (Close Support Engineer Squadron) were lagered up on top of hill for a few days; nothing could go down the hill because the routes were too icy.

IIRC it was supposed to end with a Divisional Counter Stroke but Endex was called as the lead Brigades hit the line of departure.

Happy, but very cold days....
Never met an Engineer who didn't like getting lagered up.
 
Just looking at the pics of the troops wearing the bloody awful issue kit we had back then makes me realise just how cold winter excercises were, and they must have been utterly baltic.
I'd only just arrived in Germany in June from training and a month or so after Iron Hammer I was on Winter Sales (major corps HQ winter excercise) and still remember just how freezing it was in my first German Winter.
All standard issue cold weather kit (cotton thermals and the gilet style quilted jacket) was pretty much useless and seeign troops on the ex wearing the crips packet waterproofs shows just how desperate they are to stay warm.
IIRC Iron Hammer was held in November?
 

XPara Mugg

War Hero
Thinking if inadequate kit.

We were out on Thetford area one snowy December playing enemy to US special Forces. Endex called and we drive into their admin area complete with giant pantech kitchens. Standing about after (mahoosive) breakfast we are chatting with the Yanks. One of our number, who was into Yank kit for going down the pub and was very much on the cadge for buckshee 'leisure wear', said how much he liked their Winter clothing (Heavy boots, overtrousers, woollen shirt, pullover, liner, heavyweight combat jacket, lined cap, insulated leather gloves and scarf). "Hell, this isn't our winter equipment," sais Gomer, "this is our Fall issue. In the winter we get the mukluk boots, the heavy overtrousers, a parka with the furry hood, gauntlet gloves..... What do you guys get in Winter?" Reply from one of our Sgts replete with: boots DMS, puttees, lightweights, KF shirt, woolly pully, DPM para smock (no liner, not issued, they came with the combat suit:rolleyes:), Green woollen gloves, face veil and beret. No waterproof, not issued, "This is our Winter equipment." "Jeezuz, it looks like Summer Issue." "No, in the Summer we take our pullovers off"

Illustration: A couple of years later I found myself standing in Norway, in December, dressed just as above; about five weeks later I was in Hong Kong, similarly attired, but sans gloves and pullover.

Admittedly, in both situations the system did produce the right kit for both environments but it did require the 'de-kitting' of casualties or bounced home REMFs. Not great if you are not 'standard size.
 
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Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Just come across this which has some great footage I'd not seen yet (this is quite a recent upload) and had some horrible flashbacks of an 18 year old Speedy freezing his nuts off (OK, I was driving P Info bods, so not that cold!).


Apologies if this has been posted before, but not found it after a quick search. Very interesting to see the Warsaw Pact observers towards the end and mismatched kit as SA80 and the new helmets were coming into usage.
I missed that exercise as we were in West Belfast at the time - good to see Andy Speight briefing the Soviet Marine at the end!
 
Thinking if inadequate kit.

We were out on Thetford area one snowy December playing enemy to US special Forces. Endex called and we drive into their admin area complete with giant pantech kitchens. Standing about after (mahoosive) breakfast we are chatting with the Yanks. One of our number, who was into Yank kit for going down the pub and was very much on the cadge for buckshee 'leisure wear', said how much he liked their Winter clothing (Heavy boots, overtrousers, woollen shirt, pullover, liner, heavyweight combat jacket, lined cap, insulated leather gloves and scarf). "Hell, this isn't our winter equipment," sais Gomer, "this is our Fall issue. In the winter we get the mukluk boots, the heavy overtrousers, a parka with the furry hood, gauntlet gloves..... What do you guys get in Winter?" Reply from one of our Sgts replete with: boots DMS, puttees, lightweights, KF shirt, woolly pully, DPM para smock (no liner, not issued, they came with the combat suit:rolleyes:), Green woollen gloves, face veil and beret. No waterproof, not issued, "This is our Winter equipment." "Jeezuz, it looks like Summer Issue." "No, in the Summer we take our pullovers off"

Illustration: A couple of years later I found myself standing in Norway, in December, dressed just as above; about five weeks later I was in Hong Kong, similarly attired, but sans gloves and pullover.

Admittedly, in both situations the system did produce the right kit for both environments but it did require the 'de-kitting' of casualties or bounced home REMFs. Not great if you are not 'standard size.
I don't know what it was about the British Army back in the late 70's/80's that kit simply wasn't up to task and how this went on until combat 95 started to get issued (even then not the best, but stepping in the right direction).
I really am surprised that after the Falklands clothing seemed to step back even further. I know that one of the problems reported was that the issue combats at the time got too heavy when wet and wouldn't dry out easily, so the answer was to make them thinner, lighter and less well made. Who on Earth made this decision and why did it seem like a good idea?
I had done a winter tour in Bosnia without a winter kit issue (our new parent unit had to strip their bottlewashers at DJ Bks of their kit to give to us), but even then most of us received very little. Thank god I'd bought a brand new DPM parka inc. liner from Famous Army Stores for a paltry £37!
And before anyone asks, back in the late 80's own bought warm kit largely consisted of Noweigen shirts, German para boots and, if you were rich enough, Gore-Tex.
I'd very much like to hear just how good the new MTP kit is when it comes to fending off the elements and keeping the wearer cosy.
 

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