Sapper gun battle??

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by REHELP, Mar 11, 2008.

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  1. Im sorry for the arguing in the last thread i didnt mean any1 to get into a heated convo i was just very curious about what the trades were like in the re. i was alsso just wondering how oftern a sapper got into a gun battle with the enemy?? thank you very much for your responses to the last thread by the way.
  2. Sorry mate, but.....

  3. sorry if that didnt really make any sense. i was just wondering like if its a comon occurence for a sapper to become involved in a fire fight with the enemy becasuse reme are engineers and arent armed so i was juts wondering howmany times the re liek got into batles wether its alot or a very rare occurance?
  4. The 'enemy'? RSignals, REME, Redcaps or Bundes Polizia...?
  5. Why does everyone ask this?

    Reme aren't armed? Where do you get this from?

    Yes, 90 percent of the two field sqns out in afg now have been shot at. Even then it was mainly an infantry guard at the fobs that would return fire.Notice, the words 'shot at', some not many went on fighting patrols/advanced to contact. Most never even fired there personal weapon, mainly GPMG,50 CAL, GMG if they fired a weapon and probably because the asked to for fun.

    Do you want to get shot at? You want to roll over IED's? If you want to fight go join the infantry.
  6. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    You may recall a story from Afghanistan of and Apache flying with 4 men strapped onto its weapon mounts to attempt to recover a missing marine. One of those men was a Sapper.

    On the last Operational Awards list a Sapper JNCO was awarded a Conspicous Gallantry Cross.

    On TELIC 1 two Sappers were awarded Military Crosses for actions in contact.

    'nuff said.

    Believe me, these days it matters not what badge you wear, you will have plenty of opportunity to have your ears ring.
  7. Not your fault so far as I could see.

    All soldiers are expected to be able to defend themselves and are armed at some stage. Your exposure to the enemy depends really on your part in the plan. If RE or REME pax are engaged in any significant way they are not doing RE and REME things which is not a good use of them so the answer should be not very often. If there is a threat they should have infantry protection. Though its not always possible to do tasks in a totally safe environment.

  8. ah mate depends entirely on the person, one of my fullsscrews 18yrs done no tours...

    me 7 yrs no op tours...

    a few ppl i know havent even left uk!!

    time and place mate time and place..anyway there's only been one Engineer who faced the enemy and they made a film about him..called Zulu!!

    seriously though you dont get a fax through sayin you havent been shotat enuf so off you go!!
  9. Woah mate what do you mean theres no fax
    My RCMO said there was and i had to go on
    Op Telic "Again" (For a 3rd time)
    The lying barsteward you mean he's making it up.
    But seriously it is just a case of wrong place wrong time you can go on
    Ops come back be posted and go on Ops again it all
    depends which unit you are with.
  10. I'm glad I joined REME so I wouldn't be armed. Now can someone tell me what that funny thing with the bullets was that I frequently carried for 15 years?
  11. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    You obviously don't need them. If you have any mates in the Scottish Infantry pass them over, and they will find someone to buy them.....

  12. Ohhh thats a low blow..Us selling rounds....??? 8O

    Much you want for them out of interest only of course? :wink:
  13. May I? Sappers in action? In WW2 quite often.
    From sniper killing patrols, to defending Pegasus bridge from direct attack, And on many other occasions. Certainly when we were cut off and surrounded in the Goodwood offensive ...(the left hook round Caen)

    The most interesting was on the flat wet lands that surrounded the river Maas in Holland. We were sent out on fighting patrols in the deserted villages. The rule? get there first! and set up with the Bren. I did have the dubious pleasure of watching a section of Germans flitting through the village. But that was a watching brief. We spent days out there on offensive patrolling.
    I would add that very often Sappers would accompany the Infantry through the lines on fighting patrols, and when we went on reconnaissance forays across the river.
  14. You are as always a modest gentleman swordman.
  15. Do Sappers get involved in gun battles?

    Let me tell you a little story. Back in the early seventies I was a young sapper serving in Northern Ireland. One hot summers day we loaded up the stores and set off in convoy for a construction job in Belfast. As we entered the city, we knew that there was something not quite right ... too quiet. Within minutes the road ahead was blocked by an IRA T34 tank and we came under fire from every rooftop; it was apparant that PIRA had mounted a Battalion strength attack against us. They opened up with automatic rifles, heavy machine guns and RPG's instantly killing about 10 of our number. And we were trapped in the street. The T34 began shelling the lead vehicles and it was absolute carnage. We all hastilly dismounted and began returning fire but it was obvious we were hugely outnumbered and well exposed. In those initial moments of contact, I was able to account for at least six of the devils and my muckers were doing equally well. But it seemed we were doomed as every time we took one out a new man would step up into his place. I knew that if we stayed in this place we would die, so raced back to the Bedford truck and, despite it being on fire, was able to grab one of the explosives satchels. I then raced toward the T34 firing my SLR on automatic as all hell broke loose around me. Out of the corner of my eye I could see fellow sappers being hit from the relentless gunfire from the roofs. I don't know how, but I managed to get on to the tank with only several flesh wounds. I armed the satchel and threw it into the turrret just managing to leap clear before the tank exploded. I had cleared a way out. But suddenly all was quiet and there were no figures on the rooftops. We looked down to the other end of the street only to see our worst nightmare; hundreds of them lined up with bayonets fixed. So, this was it then, the final battle. Suddenly the air was rent by the scream of a jet aircraft overhead and a huge ball of fire appeared where PIRA had been formed up for their bayonet charge. When the smoke cleared it was obvious that their numbers had been decimated; those that weren't dead were horribly injured. I found out later that Dinger had managed to get a message back to base and had called up the Phantom ... bless them RAF boys. Shortly after, a battalion of Paras parachuted in and relieved us. It was a hard day and a hard battle but we came through ok; we lost a lot of boys that day but the enemy lost 3 times that number. I was later awarded the Royal Couragious Medal for my part and at least three of the guys got VC's.

    So, the answer is yes, when sappers have to fight they do so with courage and ferocity.

    Edited to add: Are there any other survivors of the 'Battle of The Falls Road' out there????