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  1. Hi I want to run a shellscrape activity for some kids, I was in the Infantry T.A. in the early 90's and the shellscrape was a common overnight shelter for 2 soldiers. The basic hole dimentions were roughly the size of a poncho or a long double bed mattress 7ft x 5ft x 2ft. The removed soil made a mound that surrounds the hole(apart from a small slope at the rear to crawl in and out), The mound/wall at the front (facing the enemy) was slightly longer and had a built in shelf you could use as an arm rest. The surrounding mound/wall aprox 1ft tall and wide gave the shelter more internal head height and provided further protection from all directions, If you got the size right the poncho would sit just above the mound/wall so you could see out and aim your rifle without touching the poncho. Also you'd need to get the size right so the poncho would shed rain on the outside of the hole. I've done a Google search and asked several veterans I know that served in the British Army and RAF regiment from 70's up to the 1st Gulf war, and kosavo, and they all remember making and sleeping in the shellscrape but, were like me, were taught in the field word-of-mouth. My question is this, was there ever an official document or even a line drawing with specific measurements of how the shellscrape should be built? I'm guessing perhaps if there were a document it would probably date back to post WW2 when Platoon harbours type overnight camps became common, perhaps after 2 man tents were a common sight, or perhaps when 58" gear with the poncho and shovel were issued? just a guess. apart from 2 leaky shellscrapes I stayed in I found them really quite comfortable to sleep in, you could adapt them slightly to make more space and because of the surrounding soil they were always quiet and well insulated against wind and cold. once you got a hexy going they were really cosy. It would be dead easy to just make a shell scrape the way I was taught, but it would be nice to know if there is an official document. I've looked in British Army issued MoD Aide Memouires, field guides and MoD training pamphlets but the only thing they ever show is a few trench designs, never the shellscrape. any ideas? cheers
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