Must stop winging – it’s not that cold

Discussion in 'Old & Bold' started by MorseMonkey988, Dec 9, 2010.

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  1. Finished early today but before I left, I was at a meeting and as it finished we got onto the subject of the present weather and we all recounted stories of how we had fought through the cold (and for those in the south) the recent snow. The office was warm and we had the coffee machine next to the room, we were happy. We all commentated of how we were suffering so much, boasting of having to wear extra clothing and having the central heating on all day etc.

    An hour or so later, I was driving down the M3 as it approaches the M27 near Southampton when the traffic started slowing down, tailbacks started to form and there was obviously something slow moving ahead. After a few minutes we passed the cause of our tailback, a small convoy of 432’s of various types.

    What they all had in common was the commanders were wrapped up like the Michelin men. Some were hanging over the right side as they tried to guide the driver across the multiple lanes of the junction but one or two were hanging over the left of the commander’s hatch.

    I was suddenly taken back to early 1988, bombing down the N7 near Kassel (nearly hitting 26mph!!) on the first big exercise of the season. And I suddenly remembered why you would hang over towards the left. That was where the louvers were and emanating from them were diesel fumes, brimming with carbon dioxide/monoxide and anything else nasty but at least it was warm. Standing in the commander’s hatch in winter on the move was seriously f**king cold and hanging over the louvers was one of the few ways to get some extra heat. I can still remember trying to put up the cam nets and masts on arrival in location before trying to thaw my fingers back to life and the pain as they did so.

    Your legs and feet were ok but it was the top half that froze. Lots of brews passed forward by whoever was in the back helped (Oh dear BV, gods greatest invention), but it only raised yet another problem. What goes in must come out. And as I hung over the right hand side to water the kerb, the wind chill factor nearly froze my battle tackle and caused it to shrink back into my body so much, I thought it was going to get stuck in my windpipe.

    So, as you scrape the frost of the car tomorrow and complain about the cold, remember some poor bast**d is really suffering in the cold. As for me, I will keep my grumbles to myself and thank god I don’t have to do that again.
  2. AlienFTM

    AlienFTM LE Book Reviewer

    In February of ... probably 1979 I found myself stagging on, as we did. Front gate of Alanbrooke Barracks, Paderborn. The Guard commander looked at the thermometer and pulled in the prowler guard so that they and the gate sentry taking it in turns to do 20 minutes on, 40 off through their 2-hour stag, the 40 minutes off defrosting in the guardroom.

    Come the morning, back to basha, on with BFBS radio and a weather forecast. "Last night a deep anticyclone centred over Sennelager brought temperatures down to minus 40, making it the coldest place in Europe."

    So I can honestly say that I was the coldest person in Europe and that the English have no idea of cold.
  3. I was a ferret driver in Germany- **** I that could be a cold job in winter
  4. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    MorseMonkey - thanks for that you cnut :) That took me back to some painful memories from *Ahem* years ago. It did not matter what amount of clothing or number of layers - still cold as cold thing on a freezing morning. Mind you, there were some good moments when doing same during those lovely German summers (in between the rain).

    In fact I was commanding 432s before I had passed my driving test. All we had to do was pass a matrix test of the Boxhead's version of the Highway Code.
  5. On an E & E exercise in Norway in the early '60s. Trogging around the mountains in Winter. No really waterproof kit. We were damp, cold and miserable. I was glad to get caught before succumbing to frost bite!
  6. Did E&E at AMTC Siberhutte. Dear God was I really that mad to go on that course in the Harzwald in January/February. Was seriously tempted to surrender to the hunter force of German paras, till I met the nice guy that hid me in his barn for 3 days!!! Was just a shame he didn't have a gorgeous daughter. Thanks for the Bohnensuppe and the venison Lothar .... wherever you may be now!!
  7. Lucky sod! In Norway they'd asked the great unwashed in newspapers and on TV and radio to report any sightings of insurgents to the old bill.
  8. Flying Falcon 86 was the coldest I recall in Germany. Middle weekend was reported to be -36c, and a rum ration was issued. Feck me it was cold, could hardly grip the tillers on the 43, iirc I steered down the A7 using my forearms at one stage.
    I also remember being advised by a local farmer of a certain age to put newspaper in my boots whilst stagging on - veteran of the ostfront.
    Happy days!
  9. Sitting on top of 309 in early February and stagging on watching the frost growing on the trees and then trying to get down off the hill and needing about 10 trailers full of grit/salt before we could get even the first of the Bedfords down.

    **** that was cold.
  10. christ on a bike JTO that was freezing, my feet were like iceblocks for days, I thought I was going to die, mind I always hated the cold or at least my feet did.
  11. QM broke out the rum ration at Long Kesh Christmas 71-didn't think it was quite that cold!!!!
  12. Beer mats in ammo boots helped on Hohne Tank Park.First winter ex on Soltau,time for a brew,jerry can had frozen solid.Left it inside turret after that.Gear selector rods sometimes froze solid, REME poured anti-freeze on them to free them.Think the only concession to cold weather consisted of string vest.
  13. I tried to warm my feet using the spotlights in the back of the panzer!

    1 man det as well, which was fun!
  14. My coldest was -32 in Bosnia. So cold the wee plastic window thing in the canvas on the Landrover cracked when we tried to unroll it to retain what feeble heat the blower produced.
  15. ha ha ha didn't work I thnk, we had some 1 tonnes we used to hop in with heaters blowing to thaw out.

    tbh its no fun in the cold but when it became arctic it was funny in a way cos we were all in the same shit state!