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Nicked Stolly or urban myth?

#1
An ex-RCT cpl was telling a group of us a story about a bloke who stole a Stalwart in BAOR and drove it to the channel with the intention of fording it!
So my question is did this actually happen and if so when and what happened to this alleged driver?
 
#2
I don't think it is an urban myth. If I am right, it happened in the late 70s and he was halfway across the Channel before he turned back.

It might be worth checking the index to the Times for that period to see if it was reported.

As most vehicles in Germany were stored in what were little more than sheds or stables, theft was relatively easy. This was before the IRA campaign, so most camps were relatively open. The occasional Chieftain and 432 used to go AWOL!

Litotes
 
#3
True but hanged if I can remember all the details.

Another good one was one of the CVRT series nicked and driven through the assembled druids etc at Stonehenge during the Summer Solstice.
 
#4
Versionof the story I heard wasthat the young driver got confused when toldto go on a detail to Buller Bks being not long out of training and a bit confused was heading for Aldershot!
 
#5
The version I heard was a prank was played on a driver who thought he was signing off .And he when he was told he couldnt sign off for another 3yrs so he went and stole a stolly and got halfway across the channel .
 
#6
lots of versions, i do remember something about it doing the rounds late 70's, RCT bod from Duisburg/Wuppental stole a stally POD,apparently had previosly same day asked his ssm if he could go to his bank, his only bank was in UK.

how he got across borders and found a decent place to wade in fact to make sure he had all the right equipment, before fording the channel.... makes me wonder a bit if it was just a myth.
 
#7
Bohs, pretty sure part of it is true. The regt in question was 3 ADTR based in Duisburg and the bloke stole a Stally but got nicked at one of the channel ports, Zeebrugge I think. Bearing in mind how long it takes a crew to make a stally water ready, I doubt whether one bloke would have had time before getting nicked. I'm sure one of the ex 3 Divites can shed more light......?
 
#8
Did the Stalwart need that much preparation before swimming? As long as it wasn't heavily laden, it would have swum automatically, unlike the 430 series which needed a lot of work to erect the canvas.

And, if he drove it to any of the beaches at Ostende or along the coast, he could have driven straight in!

Litotes
 
#9
It is true he got half way across the channel and bottled it the last i heard he got out and was working for the company which trials the vehicles anyway whatever has happened respect and what a big set of ballacks he must have.
 
#10
I remember the nicked stolly story doing the rounds late 1970's early 1980's, never did really know if it was myth or not but it made a good story over a few beers.

Are any of you familiar with BATUS c1981? pull up a sandbag...

A fusileer who drove a 432 on range safety (remember the orange one's) committed some trivial crime so when he came in from the prairie had to carry out some bone punishment task rather than going to the Jerk (kind of Canadian NAAFI bar) and getting slaughterd with the rest of us. However he was not to be put off, it seems a thirsty fuslileer and a beer are not easily seperated. He climbed into his 432, drove it across the tank park and straight through the ten or twelve foot high fence, across the main road through another ten foot fence, continued on for about 100 metres till he came to the front door of the jerk, he parked the front of the 432 touching the front doors of the bar, he climbed out slid down the front and into the bar. The Canadian orderly officer allowed him a beer before he was carted off to nick...

I'll never forget him, what a star.
 
#12
There are 2 nicked stalwart stories - the crossing of the channel one and the other that was taken from 3 ADTR and driven into Holland and eventually stopped by dutch police. The second one is definately true as I met the soldier in question after he had eventually been promoted to LCpl - some years later! He eventaully ran out of fuel and had several holes in his vehicle caused by the dutch police emptying their pistols at him. He was/is a good bloke - just a moment of madness!
 
#13
Litotes said:
I don't think it is an urban myth. If I am right, it happened in the late 70s and he was halfway across the Channel before he turned back.

It might be worth checking the index to the Times for that period to see if it was reported.


Don't bother checking mate. This story was doing the rounds in the late sixties so your timing is a bit off.

hamster_man I lived in Holland for many years and I do assure you that there is no way the Dutch police will empty their pistols at you. Instant suspension and possible loss of job and earnings after a very lengthy enquiry. Not worth the hassel unless your own life is in real danger.
 
#15
terdal said:
Litotes said:
hamster_man I lived in Holland for many years and I do assure you that there is no way the Dutch police will empty their pistols at you. Instant suspension and possible loss of job and earnings after a very lengthy enquiry. Not worth the hassel unless your own life is in real danger.
Point is this happened (allegedly) before the borders all came down. He would therefore presumably have been shot at because:

a. he was in a military vehicle that had no right to be there.

b. He hadnt stopped at a border crossing.

I am sure the correct thing on spotting an unauthorised foreign military vehicle "invading" your nation is to shoot at it!
 

diplomat

War Hero
Book Reviewer
#16
It was certainly a solid myth in 3ADTR in the early 80s. Story then though was he got half way across the channel, but as not that au fait with Stallie couldn't switch tanks when fuel ran out. Don't know enough about fuel system to say whether any truth in this rumour though
 
#17
I've tried to attach a photo of a paper cutting. Not sure if it'll work but it confirms some of the Myth.

It wasn't unusual for vehicles to leave camp without having the work ticket signed but swimming the channel ????? A lot of the stallies had issues getting out of Duisburg.
 

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#18
I knew him well - he had regained his LCpl by the time I met him in Berlin.

Excellent chap!
 
#19
I was in Gemany before that had happened, yet had still heard of another incedent. Perhaps Duisberg put funny ideas into peoples heads?
 
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