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The Panzerringstrasse

The Panzerringstrasse is a ringroad for the Bergen-Hohne training area in Northern Germany. It's like 7th Armoured Brigade's own M1 Motorway.

It's fame stems from the fact that the Panzerringstrasse has no road surface marking or street lights and has a 80km/hour speed limit for most of the way. It's NATO's own Nuernburgring! And perhaps because of that, known for lots of crashes and fatalities.

panzerringstrasse.JPG Map of the Panzerringstrasse

What's on it?

The ringroad has a length of about 65 kilometers and completely surrounds the "NATO Truppenübungsplätze Bergen und Münster-Süd". I should perhaps mention that the Panzerringstrasse is not an actual road, but a wide, metalled tanktrack. The width of the road and it's surface (concrete and asphalt) invite fast driving. Which can -especially over there- be dangerous. There are dozens of bivouac areas; barracks (Bergen-Hohne; Fallingborstel; Langemanshoff and Oerbke); impact zones and off course (rifle-)ranges on the road and the surface is always covered in sand and mud. When its freezing, snow and ice make the surface even trickier.

manovergebiet.jpg A sign telling you some of the above

Strangely for such an important stretch of asphalt, there are hardly any roadsigns and streetlights around the 65 kilometers of Panzerringstrasse. What it does have is lots of soft shoulders, or even drainage ditches nex to the road, which coupled with an often negative cant in the road, makes for 'interesting' results in high speed cornering.

Is it fun?

Did I mention the wild boars? And the deer? Lot's of those and they don't look left-and-right (It's the continent, remember) before walking onto the road. Nor do loggies driving ten-ton truckloads full of tank rounds; squaddies in lannies and vans, or anyone else for that matter.

Before going on deployment, it makes sense to spend a few days' driving on the Panzerringstrasse, getting used to the Post Apocalyptic driving found in the Worlds' trouble spots.

Jeremy Clarkson should actually take a spin on it whenever he's around the Nuernburgring with that German bint he likes so much! See how he copes...

Some of the info in this article came from here.