How accurate is Contact (1985)?

As it happens I ended up in IBM by a string of accidents. In the 6th Form, 1971, we spent a term of Wednesday sport afternoons playing with some Heath Robinson computer at Sunderland Poly. As we left for the last time, I told my mucker they were very clever, but they'd never catch on

In 78 another mucker invited me adventure training at Kiel on yachts with the Paymaster. Instant rapport with Paymaster and yachts. He tried to headhunt me. I fucked him off.

Two years later on my Linguist course, the Int Corps tried to headhunt me. Another year later, Paymaster had introduced me to Zero Alpha and I'd decided I was getting bored in recce. Int Corps or RAPC? I decided if was married, RAPC made more sense.

Twice did ADP Aptitude in RAPC, never told I'd passed. End of tour, 1985, "posting preferences?" Well if I can't do Computer Centre, how about Cost and Management Accounting? (Well they'd started asking the stupid questions.) They posted me to the Computer Centre.

Left in 89. I got into mainframe consultancy. 97, in another rut, I'd accepted a job at HQ Sainsbury near the OXO tower. I got a call inviting me to work at IBM Hursley, 9 miles from home. No brainer.

It's a sh¡t life.
It seems you were a bit of a gentleman ranker Alien. Got to the sixth form and all.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
It seems you were a bit of a gentleman ranker Alien. Got to the sixth form and all.
Failed RCB 1974 (travelled home through Birmingham day of the Birmingham pub bombing).

Obviously a Sunderland coal miner's son didn't have the right accent (or income) for a cavalry officers' mess.

But I didn't (in the 70s) want a desk job in the army, and I'd rather not carry my weapon into battle if it could carry me).

Edit. Idiot careers teacher talked me mum out of signing me up for Welbeck. Grr.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer

Oyibo

LE
Failed RCB 1974 (travelled home through Birmingham day of the Birmingham pub bombing).

Obviously a Sunderland coal miner's son didn't have the right accent (or income) for a cavalry officers' mess.

But I didn't (in the 70s) want a desk job in the army, and I'd rather not carry my weapon into battle if it could carry me).

Edit. Idiot careers teacher talked me mum out of signing me up for Welbeck. Grr.

I failed my (first) RCB as well. Luckily a Col Charles (IIRC) who was President of the Board or some such wrote to my CO giving a mild bollocking for not preparing me well enough. I got a Reg C pass on my second attempt.

I consider it to be akin to Nigel Mansell who failed his first driving test.
 
An epic fail though was that they were wearing DPM Para smocks and combat trousers where in 1976 they were still wearing the incredibly ally Dennison smocks and OG's. I would delete five points or more just for that.
Contact was made in 1985 , so I am guessing it was set in at least the 80's , hence the DPM?
Given the trouble they went to make everything else realistic , raiding the costume department from the Wild Geese for the Dennison smocks would have been no trouble ?
 
Contact was made in 1985 , so I am guessing it was set in at least the 80's , hence the DPM?
Given the trouble they went to make everything else realistic , raiding the costume department from the Wild Geese for the Dennison smocks would have been no trouble ?
Nope. It was based on 3PARA’s tour Apr-Aug ‘76. I got my first DPM smock mid ‘77.
 
One thing that came across particularly well in Contact was the numbing fatigue brought about by the endless patrols, duties and working hours. When the guys came in they were like zombies.
4hrs sleep a day ..... but not all at once.

We had limited drivers per platoon and they were doing both mobile and foot patrols, and when leave came around it made it farcical. Having the driver fall asleep at the wheel was not unusual.

The lack of banter, and the staring at walls by the actors in 'Contact', is unrealistic in my opinion/experience.
 
4hrs sleep a day ..... but not all at once.

We had limited drivers per platoon and they were doing both mobile and foot patrols, and when leave came around it made it farcical. Having the driver fall asleep at the wheel was not unusual.

The lack of banter, and the staring at walls by the actors in 'Contact', is unrealistic in my opinion/experience.
Oh, I don't know. Sometimes we just too tired to do anything, especially on guard multiple. 24 hours on, 12 off. Although 'off' was debateable, GD's around camp and cookhouse fatigues.
 
You know this of course, but there’s a big difference between ‘undercover’, ‘plain clothes’, covert, overt etc. Stand fast the early days of the Wild West in the 70s, nobody in a normal ‘green army’ unit would have been doing anything ‘undercover’. They will have mounted ‘covert OPs’ or ‘lurks’ in uniform and certainly mounted more conventional ambushes - in uniform. Operating in scenarios and places (other than just ‘blending in’ on an admin run), where the locals are meant to think you’re local was (and is) the province (SWIDT) of Tier 1 SF.

Having said all that, the Province was a mess of agencies and disregarded rules in regard to this for a long time. It’s a miracle more soldiers weren’t killed just going to pick up the Sunday papers.

Infantry units DID conduct plain clothes operations...I did, some were quite successful!
In the very early years of 'The Troubles' way before COP there was the Squirrels... covert OPs, 'sneaky beaky' patrols, ambushes...we were operating on old methods tried and tested in the likes of Aden and to an extent Borneo...operating against white folk uncommonly like us was new to us.
In my mind, despite the poor direction of our political masters, we were remarkably successful in a lot of ways.
 
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