Nostalgic about the Cold war anyone ?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by dogs_bollox, Feb 22, 2011.

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  1. I'm sufficiently old enough to remember the Cold War from when I pitched up in the UK from Oz as a lad in 1972 'til the wall fell in '89/'90.

    I served in the Cold War. I travelled widely even into the Eastern Bloc as a backpacker. Rarely felt in danger.

    No matter how hard I try, I can't feel anything other than a sad longing for those days.

    The Iron curtain that was supposed to keep us out, actually kept 'them' (no, not 'Them') out.
    There was a Defence Industry (in capital letters). And lots of construction works on bases.
    Very little immigration and a lovely spalsh of multi-culturism but not overwhelmingly so.
    We had the SLR, puttees, '68 patt clothing and DILAC caps (OK the latter three are maybe counter-intuitive but work with me here).
    The skies were full of Phantoms, Bucaneers, V bombers and later Tornados cris-crossing and flying low.

    Has anyone else got something they think was better 'back then' ? Or will I be bitch-slapped and told that it's all so much better now ?

  2. Things have got harder. If you heard two Russians speaking on a bus, you knew they were probably spies. Now you can't be so sure.
  3. I'm nostalgic about having more spending money and the time in which to spend it! My stomach was stronger (so was my liver) and drinks were cheaper - pint in the NAAFI in BFG (or a double Bacardi and Lemonade in a half-pint tumbler) was 1 DM. In 1979, 1 DM was about 25p!

    Barbra Streisand sums it up nicely:

    Like the corners of my mind
    Misty water-colored memories
    Of the way we were
    Scattered pictures
    Of the smiles we left behind
    Smiles we gave to one another
    For the way we were.

    Can it be that it was all so simple then?
    Or has time rewritten every line?
    If we had the chance to do it all again
    Tell me - Would we? Could we?

    May be beautiful and yet
    What's too painful to remember
    We simply choose to forget.

    So it's the laughter
    We will remember
    Whenever we remember
    The way we were

    So it's the laughter
    We will remember
    Whenever we remember
    The way we were
  4. Mr_Fingerz

    Mr_Fingerz LE Book Reviewer

    There's a whole thread devoted to this; search for "I want my cold war back".
  5. Aha, sadly my search for 'End of Cold War' didn't yield that one and 'Cold War ' threw up too many but no nostalgia threads.

    Never mind, I'll wallow alone :)

    Pete, that was so moving .......... Babs, eh ? Magic !
  6. Ah, such memories: Joining Dad in Osnabruck, feeling part of BAOR. Harold MacMillan telling us: "You've Never Had It So Good!" National Service winding-up. The Berlin Wall (which btw, d_b, was built to keep "them" in - or else the DDR would've emptied overnight). Joining the ROC aged 15 - loved the classy RAF BD they issued us with, as well as the exercises and the aircraft-spotting competitions. (Paid hobby, really.) Learning to use an Individual Dosimeter and a Radiac Survey Meter and a Ground Zero Indicator. The sky full of Javelins, Lightnings, Vulcans and Victors. MacMillan and Kennedy retiring the V-Bombers and putting Britain's nuclear deterrent in SSBNs. Lectures on NATO's planned response to Soviet aggression against West Germany. Training films on how to survive a nuclear weapon attack. Wilson's withdrawal from East of Suez (so we could put all our eggs in one NATO basket). The RN becoming a specialised ASW fleet, patrolling the GIUK gap to guard the North Atlantic against Soviet submarines. The overarching paranoia of MAD ... Yep, I remember the Cold War. And I remember - as a young person - feeling as though I had a purpose in life and a focus on a particular outcome. That outcome was achieved in 1989; there has never been the same focus and clarity of purpose since.

  7. I looked at Berlin, photos from by the Wall, online last night. Big changes since 88-89 and hardly recognisable. That's progress. Nostalgia for those days certainly. The 80's, best days of my life, and also the worst. Flitting between BAOR and the province, as we often did, and a big row down south, my kids were born in that decade too. Spent hardly any time in Blighty so I have no idea what it was like. Frankly, the whole cold war seemed boring, in practice, then again I'd be reading every Deighton and Ludlum spy porn . Oh and I enjoyed blighty much more than I do now. It's lost too much since the cold war.
  8. Ah, yes, the Cold War Years. As a young lad of 19 or so being posted to BAOR. Detachment to '3JCS' in the 'Caves' near Maastricht. The underground bunkers and the stale smell of unwashed bodies, stale wee, stale breath etc when coming off night shift. The posting to Northag just outside Oslo, Norway in the mid 1970s.

    Again, working in an underground bunker under a mountain that had been constructed by the Germans during WW2 as a Command Bunker. The drunken nights in the NAAFI wondering if the Russians were doing the same... in their Canteen getting drunk on vodka. I always thought from a strategic point of view, the best time of the Russians to attack was in the early hours of a Sunday morning after a heavy night out on the booze. Most Squaddies probably would be still too drunk to know what was going on. Then I realised the Russians were also still drunk after their Friday and Saturday 'knees up' in their canteens. Most of them being conscripts, they probably wouldn't have the same motivations of a professional Army such as in NATO (except for all the National service geezers of the various NATO Forces).

    I still like to wander around some of the old RAF Airfields in the east Anglian area that have been turned over to Civilian use. One of two of the old US bases have 'Cold War' Museums established in them to show what it was like etc. All quite interesting and worth while a visit, even for Old Cold war Warriors now retired and a bit long in the tooth. (The Imperial War Museum at Duxford near Cambridge is worth while a visit).
  9. There you go all 29 pages of it. Have fun
  10. My Bold:

    Sov 'grunts' weren't allowed to have,or drink alcohol in Barracks,and were only allowed out of Barracks on supervised 'cultural' visits,pretty bleak existence for your average grunt in the DDR.

    The Group Soviet Forces Germany had a problem with antifreeze being diluted in their vehicles,due to the grunts siphoning it of,to distill the alcohol out of it to drink,the issue boot polish was basically black dubbin,as normal polish could be another source of 'hooch'

    Best time to hit the Sov's: New Years Day,May Day evening! 8)
  11. What a load of cock it turned out to be: we were all supposed to die in one gigantic nuclear fire ball --either that or get run over by Russian tanks on the Watford Bypass in the ultimate blitzkreig. No wonder we all got pissed instead of saving up for a mortgage.

    I wonder what we'd have said if some Professor claimed he'd looked into the future and yes, there would be a an invasion -- of Russian billionaires and Russian tennis players.
  12. I remember going on exercise early eighties into the same bunker, doing the night shift then going back to nearby barracks to sleep, bar was open 24 hours to cope with night shift!, very surreal. In the zero's got posted to shape and got to see a very expensive whole in the ground, the civvies were not best pleased when made to go and work there when it was redesignated office space!
  13. Mutually Assured Destruction was the order of the day, where everyone was potentially going to die in a nuclear holocaust. Those people who survived the blasts all around the world would starve, and disease would spread like wildfire to take it's terrible toll on the human race...Strange then, that since the iron curtain came down, the world is in greater peril than ever!?