Soxmis

Back in the early 60's there were a number of incidents. Perhaps one of the more amusing occurred when a classified message was mistakenly delivered late one night to SOXMIS rather than the British Liason Offiecer. A Russian in military dress (green uniform with black jackboots) signed for the package which was opened "to ensure that it was not meant for them". After some delay the package was handed over to the correct addressee!

During the following enquirey, the deliverer of the message was asked why he hadn't noticed that he was handing over the message to a Russian soldier. The deliverer explained that he thought he was delivering to someone from the GOC's regiment....Such were and presumably still are the oddities and varieties of British military uniform that in poor light the GOC at the time did appear to be dressed not too unlike a Russian soldier.
 

old_rat

Old-Salt
Back in the 50's not long after Stalin died Hunt The Soxmis was virtually a blood sport.
 
There was an episode of " Abandoned Buildings " or somesuch about Wunsdorf recently .
Is there a particular reason , such as contamination for example , preventing the Federal Government from flogging that site off ?
It would make an excellent university campus , or simply housing .
There are loads of these sites ringing Berlin and I imagine other towns , that also lie abandoned .
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
There was an episode of " Abandoned Buildings " or somesuch about Wunsdorf recently .
Is there a particular reason , such as contamination for example , preventing the Federal Government from flogging that site off ?
It would make an excellent university campus , or simply housing .
There are loads of these sites ringing Berlin and I imagine other towns , that also lie abandoned .
Soviet barracks were very heavily contaminated with the likes of diesel and oil.

Brixmis used to work the rubbish dump outside the military hospital in those parts in the dead of night. Lots of casualties from Afghanistan went there. That operation stopped when a tourer found a discarded forearm and there were also fears of exposure to chemical agents.
 

superstab611

Swinger
Soviet barracks were very heavily contaminated with the likes of diesel and oil.

Brixmis used to work the rubbish dump outside the military hospital in those parts in the dead of night. Lots of casualties from Afghanistan went there. That operation stopped when a tourer found a discarded forearm and there were also fears of exposure to chemical agents.
@Brotherton Lad - thanks first of all for your insight, great to hear these stories from the horse’s mouth.

Was just wondering - I seem to remember that Steve Gibson’s book indicates that the bin diving near the hospital was actually done deliberately, to find confirmation that the Soviets had used chemical weapons against the Afghans, based on intel reports that some had actually blown back on their own troops, and that the casualties had been evacuated to East Germany iot. keep it secret from the Soviet public.
Do you know if there’s any truth to that? Think it was called Op Tomahawk, IIRC.

Funnily enough I randomly ended up chatting to an ICorps/BRIXMIS type a year or so ago, and he was sure he’d never heard of anything like that going on.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
@Brotherton Lad - thanks first of all for your insight, great to hear these stories from the horse’s mouth.

Was just wondering - I seem to remember that Steve Gibson’s book indicates that the bin diving near the hospital was actually done deliberately, to find confirmation that the Soviets had used chemical weapons against the Afghans, based on intel reports that some had actually blown back on their own troops, and that the casualties had been evacuated to East Germany iot. keep it secret from the Soviet public.
Do you know if there’s any truth to that? Think it was called Op Tomahawk, IIRC.

Funnily enough I randomly ended up chatting to an ICorps/BRIXMIS type a year or so ago, and he was sure he’d never heard of anything like that going on.
Work on that site stopped before I arrived at the end of 1984. I simply know it was considered too dangerous to continue. Whether it started again after I left 2 years later is not something I would know.
 
Best job ever, tovarich.
One or two familiar faces and names in that film. I was hoping to head in that direction on my next posting but was persuaded that my best interests would be better served elsewhere in 1987.
 
Great story i read at the Museum about a guy using his growler box apple to use as an impromtu impression kit to measure the gauge and rifling of a piece of Sov Kit (APC) of some description.
Bloody good drills eh!
I read that as well
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
I read that as well
BMP-2. SSgt Ken Wike RA. Actually the apple was too hard so a photo was taken using the mini tape-recorder for scale. Came out at 30mm, same as Rarden. Some had thought it was 25mm.

I later did the inside of one, on a military train.
 
Work on that site stopped before I arrived at the end of 1984. I simply know it was considered too dangerous to continue. Whether it started again after I left 2 years later is not something I would know.
I remember, a tour overnighted relatively close to a dump, the RAF part timer was bitten sometime during the night by a 'mozzy'. In the morning his arm had started to swell, the Tour was aborted and, RTU'ed very quickly. By the time it reached the BMH (without doing a highlight), his arm looked like 'Popeye's' ! Pumped him full of everything and, into an induced coma for 48 hours, discharged 5 days later with the BMH instructed to forget what was wrong with him and, discourage any speculation.
 
One or two familiar faces and names in that film. I was hoping to head in that direction on my next posting but was persuaded that my best interests would be better served elsewhere in 1987.
And yet, most people suffered no adverse effects to their careers, some being greedy and coming back for more 'go's' ! :mrgreen:
 

Truxx

LE
My first quarter was in a place called Hubbelrath, just outside Dusseldorf which was built for Soxmis (it was relatively close to HQ BAOR)

But the sovs said no thanke we want to be up country.

So they built a compound in Bunde instead.
 
And yet, most people suffered no adverse effects to their careers, some being greedy and coming back for more 'go's' ! :mrgreen:
In my circumstances, it was a lack of perceived skill in a necessary area. My tour at the time, caused me to avoid Recognition Wing as often as possible and which in those days, was an a NATO recognised school of excellence amongst it's other courses.
I was subsequently 'offed' to Ashford to a world of dark environments with a single bright lamp and a recent former tour officer as my specialist boss. :)
 
In my circumstances, it was a lack of perceived skill in a necessary area. My tour at the time, caused me to avoid Recognition Wing as often as possible and which in those days, was an a NATO recognised school of excellence amongst it's other courses.
I was subsequently 'offed' to Ashford to a world of dark environments with a single bright lamp and a recent former tour officer as my specialist boss. :)
My last posting was Templar, to run the Tpt Troop. On my first day in post, I was warned that the CO was a bit of a b******d, 2 hours later the RSM phoned me and, told me that said CO wanted to see me, to give me his thoughts on how the MT should perform.

Shown to his door by a 'smirking' WO1, polite knock on the door, went in and, congratulated Lt.Col (Barry) Grace on his promotion and, just as I closed the door he managed to shout "2 NATO coffees RSM"! We then spent a very pleasant hour reminiscing old times. Needless to say,once it got around that the CO and I were both ex-Mission, my life improved no end ! ;-)
 

Truxx

LE
To be fair, Stonker, there was quite a bit of boozing. I agree with you on the rest though.

In fact, I recall, as well as the usual Mess and NAAFI bars, there were also Keller bars at most levels. I even had the luxury of a Platoon bar at one stage (though I have vague memories of using it for map reading and first aid lessons, too).

I remember the Senior Subaltern, a certain Lt GJ Binns used to say, 'If you can't hack it pissed, you won't be able to hack it sober'.
Funny thing about the booze. In our truckie mess no one, but no one, drank during the working week

But we might have had a bit at weekends.

Only I can't remember.
 

QRK2

LE
In my circumstances, it was a lack of perceived skill in a necessary area. My tour at the time, caused me to avoid Recognition Wing as often as possible and which in those days, was an a NATO recognised school of excellence amongst it's other courses.
I was subsequently 'offed' to Ashford to a world of dark environments with a single bright lamp and a recent former tour officer as my specialist boss. :)
Still got my course report from that one (signed by JC I think), not for the first time I suspect some of the internationals were a little put out by a part timer getting the top score. Though by that time it was all becoming a little too late to do anything interesting with it.
 

superstab611

Swinger
I remember, a tour overnighted relatively close to a dump, the RAF part timer was bitten sometime during the night by a 'mozzy'. In the morning his arm had started to swell, the Tour was aborted and, RTU'ed very quickly. By the time it reached the BMH (without doing a highlight), his arm looked like 'Popeye's' ! Pumped him full of everything and, into an induced coma for 48 hours, discharged 5 days later with the BMH instructed to forget what was wrong with him and, discourage any speculation.
Jesus Christ.
 

superstab611

Swinger
Work on that site stopped before I arrived at the end of 1984. I simply know it was considered too dangerous to continue. Whether it started again after I left 2 years later is not something I would know.
My apologies - on checking the book again, Gibson is clear that that work was done around 1981 - Gibson, ‘Brixmis’, 114-115
 

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