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Slow March - Now what was that all about?

I forget where I read a quote from Lord Alanbrooke about seeing a body of the FFL heaving into view and marvelling about how the impression it would give as a relieving force would be a massive morale boost, or to an enemy force of "Oh fúck, they're just going to keep coming."
Here. I quoted it from Alanbrooke’s diary.

“Of all the sights that we had seen that day the one that remained most rooted in my mind was the march past of the Foreign Legion battalion in the falling light and amongst fast falling snow flakes. We had just been inspecting units of Maquis personnel, good tough looking boys that promised well, when de Lattre said he would like to march past us a battalion of the Legion which he had in reserve. They had their own band and out of the darkness came the wildest strains of a march, played on some wind sort of up pipes, which transported one to North Africa. Then out of the fast falling light and the falling snow flakes came a sight I shall never forget. The grandest assembly of real fighting men that I have ever seen, marching with their heads up as if they owned the world, lean, hard looking men, carrying their arms admirably and marching with perfect precision. They disappeared into the darkness leaving me with a thrill, and the desire for a division of such men.”
 
Not a drill move, but on some old suspension footbridges there can still be seen a sign 'TROOPS BREAK STEP'. This was to prevent a sympathetic wave building up, ultimately causing the bridge to collapse.

I think that the Millennium Bridge over the Thames suffered such problems without any troops being within miles of it - until some very expensive modifications were made.

IIRC Hammersmith bridge in London used to have one of those signs. I remember asking my dad what it meant.
 
I think that the Millennium Bridge over the Thames suffered such problems without any troops being within miles of it - until some very expensive modifications were made.

I did. The architect spent a further few million of public money over budget, corrected his errors, then marched off to Buckingham Palace for a knighthood . Those were the days.
 
As a cadet i saw change step used a lot* - mainly because my mate could be out of step with himself and another lad who naturally tick tocked



*Once to the great amusement of all as he was marched to a fence and thus marking time and no one had ever adressed how you changed step under said circumstances - kicking the heel doesnt work

IIRC there is a drill movement for changing step during mark time. It involves bringing the right knee up twice in succession. But a former woodentop would know better I’m sure.

Paging @ACAB...
 

Mufulira

War Hero
Not a drill move, but on some old suspension footbridges there can still be seen a sign 'TROOPS BREAK STEP'. This was to prevent a sympathetic wave building up, ultimately causing the bridge to collapse.

I think that the Millennium Bridge over the Thames suffered such problems without any troops being within miles of it - until some very expensive modifications were made.
IIRC in Illustrated London News in 1950's a body of spare Guardsmen were marched over a footbridge to test this stress theory --- if a great big lot of 6 footers 'full of beer, beef and lust' can't destroy a bridge by marching in step -- then it requires stronger measures from RE alone
 
Not a hi-vis jacket to be seen, not a health and safety audit taken, no tape sealing off the area, no life jackets, just a bit of practical common-sense physics, all done in a jiffy and everyone back to the lab or barracks for elevenses.

Thread drift.

Though I get what you mean, no such thing as common sense since this varies from group to group and culture to culture. Also, common sense changes over time.

At 55secs, you'll see a bloke walking on an unprotected roof edge just for the camera.


Old suit jackets, flat caps, no respirators, safety glasses, etc., lead to long term ill health and injuries. Hard hats, high viz, safety harnesses, warm canteens instead of tin huts and a brazier, has lead to reduced injuries and dust/hazardous materials related health.

H&S gets a bad press from mongs overegging requirements, but I've given seminars on the CDM Regs to clients for our practice, and looking through the HSE and other accident stats for these, construction had a high fatality rate but which over time has come down. Still has an issue with long term ill health and sickness but that was improving.

Apologies for thread drift and being a dweeb. Back to interesting stuff now.
 
Was anyone taught the 'Hands & Feet' marking time?

From a CG of 50s vintage, was used when waiting ages on the square in BD in freezing conditions, Arms grounded, and mark time at the halt, bringing the hands up smartly to the front of the body and clapping smartly downwards as the left foot strikes the ground. Arms are snapped to the side, ready for the repetition.

For change step you executed two claps to match the consecutive left feet before lowering the hands.

It only came about because we were waiting in mid-80s during cold weather for some numpty general, and I have to say it was very effective. One minute in five was enough to keep the circulation.

Enjoy.
 
Thread drift.

Though I get what you mean, no such thing as common sense since this varies from group to group and culture to culture. Also, common sense changes over time.

At 55secs, you'll see a bloke walking on an unprotected roof edge just for the camera.


Old suit jackets, flat caps, no respirators, safety glasses, etc., lead to long term ill health and injuries. Hard hats, high viz, safety harnesses, warm canteens instead of tin huts and a brazier, has lead to reduced injuries and dust/hazardous materials related health.

H&S gets a bad press from mongs overegging requirements, but I've given seminars on the CDM Regs to clients for our practice, and looking through the HSE and other accident stats for these, construction had a high fatality rate but which over time has come down. Still has an issue with long term ill health and sickness but that was improving.

Apologies for thread drift and being a dweeb. Back to interesting stuff now.
Oh Jaysus, that scene of the guy, in his nice leather shoes too, standing on half a foot of scaffolding pole, enough for me.

You do make a good point though, we have health and safety measures for good reasons. Too many blokes who thought they were invincible (or whose bosses didn't care whether they were or not) paid with their lives or limbs for a lack of cheap, simple and effective equipment and easily enforced sensible rules.
 
Oh Jaysus, that scene of the guy, in his nice leather shoes too, standing on half a foot of scaffolding pole, enough for me.

You do make a good point though, we have health and safety measures for good reasons. Too many blokes who thought they were invincible (or whose bosses didn't care whether they were or not) paid with their lives or limbs for a lack of cheap, simple and effective equipment and easily enforced sensible rules.

Yes, the standing on the scaffold pole in leather shoes made me gulp as well when I watched it.

It's not just accidents, but ill health. Silicosis from breathing in concrete and stone chippings, bad backs and other musculoskeletal injuries from lifting/carrying too heavy weights day in day out, lung problems from sawdust, white finger from using jackhammers too long, painters cholic from lead in paints, concrete burns from wet cement, the list goes on.

As you say, sensible rules and the right PPE has reduced a lot of this.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
On National Service during ABTU we had to learn to march slowly - now what was that all about?

Back in the C18th the slow march pace was the one used for military manoeuvres. These images are from ex Tartan Musket a 1994 40th Field Regiment Battlefield study. The C18th re-enactors used the proper drills and taught the DS.

The fellows marching with the staves had just disembarked from some white buses when a shouty sergeant ordered them into three ranks and to shoulder staves. A small band with flutes and drums appeared and played a slow march or two.

Its the only pace to maintain a company sized unit in three ranks across ploughed fields and up a 45 degree wooded slope. The slow march is the pace that won an empire - thought it might have lost the 13 Colonies.
 

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Thread drift.

Though I get what you mean, no such thing as common sense since this varies from group to group and culture to culture. Also, common sense changes over time.

At 55secs, you'll see a bloke walking on an unprotected roof edge just for the camera.


Old suit jackets, flat caps, no respirators, safety glasses, etc., lead to long term ill health and injuries. Hard hats, high viz, safety harnesses, warm canteens instead of tin huts and a brazier, has lead to reduced injuries and dust/hazardous materials related health.

H&S gets a bad press from mongs overegging requirements, but I've given seminars on the CDM Regs to clients for our practice, and looking through the HSE and other accident stats for these, construction had a high fatality rate but which over time has come down. Still has an issue with long term ill health and sickness but that was improving.

Apologies for thread drift and being a dweeb. Back to interesting stuff now.

Many building sites around Europe and the Med still operate without the merest sign of H&S, no hi Viz, hard hats and standing around beneath slung loads.

It's almost as if they don't give a shit for legislation.
 
Our term at IJLB had a guy who could not march, he always swung right arm with right leg and left with left. No amount of shouting would do, so after a day or so, one of the woodentop drill sgts took him aside for some personal instruction.

Now this was not of the shouty shouty type but he gently got him walking normally, which the lad could do fine as it was only when it went stiff and formal that he started walking out of step with himself. Having got him walking the DS got him to gradually smarten up and by the end of that drill session the lad could join the squad and march the same as the rest of us. A bit of gentle instruction worked way better than a lot of shouting. Quite a lesson to the lad, and the rest of us young Juniors.
I have seen it cured by getting the poor sod to march with one hand in his pocket and the free hand moving in time with the opposite leg in the prescribed manner.
Once he gets the hang of that, change hands, then try with hands not in pockets.
It seemed to work a treat.
 
Back in the C18th the slow march pace was the one used for military manoeuvres. These images are from ex Tartan Musket a 1994 40th Field Regiment Battlefield study. The C18th re-enactors used the proper drills and taught the DS.

The fellows marching with the staves had just disembarked from some white buses when a shouty sergeant ordered them into three ranks and to shoulder staves. A small band with flutes and drums appeared and played a slow march or two.

Its the only pace to maintain a company sized unit in three ranks across ploughed fields and up a 45 degree wooded slope. The slow march is the pace that won an empire - thought it might have lost the 13 Colonies.

The quickstep was not in great use other than parades, as roads/fields weren't up to much. Slow & quick march weren't in evidence as such.

I cannot trace the reference, but each nation had its own march - distinguishable mainly by the drumming and tempo. A Frog once remarked to an English noble that the English march was quite boring and slow, but got a reply to the effect of 'slow and ponderous it may be, but it has been heard from one end of your master's country to the other'.
 
Many building sites around Europe and the Med still operate without the merest sign of H&S, no hi Viz, hard hats and standing around beneath slung loads.

It's almost as if they don't give a shit for legislation.

Assuming there is any legislation.

Many years back, was in Cyprus with the in-laws who had booked an apartment which, apart from the sea view, also overlooked a bridge being built. From the time we arrived to when we left 2 weeks later, nobody worked on it, except for one morning waking up to kangos, cement mixer, trucks, banging and crashing and workers on the site. Hard hats? Pah. Not even safety boots, or even shoes for some. I saw one guy working in flip flops and shorts.

We went out for lunch, came back, and it was deserted again.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
One of thje
The quickstep was not in great use other than parades, as roads/fields weren't up to much. Slow & quick march weren't in evidence as such.

I cannot trace the reference, but each nation had its own march - distinguishable mainly by the drumming and tempo. A Frog once remarked to an English noble that the English march was quite boring and slow, but got a reply to the effect of 'slow and ponderous it may be, but it has been heard from one end of your master's country to the other'.
In those days foot drill was the cutting edge of tactics. One breakthrough was to have the whole army march at the same pace and use the same drill. The British doesn't manage this until David Dundas imposes a drill book.
 
I have seen it cured by getting the poor sod to march with one hand in his pocket and the free hand moving in time with the opposite leg in the prescribed manner.
Once he gets the hang of that, change hands, then try with hands not in pockets.
It seemed to work a treat.

Do you think it would have worked for this one?

 
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