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BlueBelle last won the day on January 11 2019

BlueBelle had the most liked content!


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Personal Information

  • Location
    Calgary, Canada, for now!
  • Interests
    British Army vehicles 1945-66. Unit histories 1945-66. Mil hist. Writing. Music. Cooking. Libya
  • Occupation
    Brit Businesswoman and owner at www.taylorandtaylorconsultants.com

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  1. So you see Stableboy, I was right....I told you there would be someone on here who would know for sure what your collimator was for...even if it took ten years to get the answer! Now you just need a Centurion to fit it to. 😊
  2. Me too. I sent a message to Admin to inform them and to request reinstatement of my previous to the 19th, status. 'They' had also awarded me some badges....so said the new 'never been seen before' type of notifications. Weird or what?
  3. You understand correctly Gordon though I'm afraid your Saladin did not serve with 2RTR in Libya. All of their Saladins, 36x brand new, were in the main ERMd 07BB** with a few in the 00CC** range. In service some were BLRd or worse, replacements issued were still in the ERM category I've mentioned. I have what I believe to be the complete list of ERMs for 2RTR. Their Saladins were subsequently handed over to 14/20KH, then to 5RIDG. Cold trail thereafter though I have photos of some of them with the 3Carbs at the very end of the British prescence in Libya, El Adem 1969/70. 😊
  4. You are important. Your address is as per regulations, 2nd Lieutenants are 'Mr' (not quite 'real' officers yet) and in the field are taken under the wings of experienced other ranks to learn the basics of being an officer.....of course they are not entrusted with being in command of anything, least of all in the making a brew or cooking anything in a BV or other stove for those nominally under their command. They 'watch and learn' , they do as they are told but do get to scrub the cooking vessels and soldiers plates. Should they moan about their lowly and seemingly demeaning tasks, they don't get fed. Learning is rapid. They inevitable grow into being super 'proper' officers. I need to incorporate this into my Libya tread and the woes of the subaltern in the desert. 😊 PS. Grilled bangers are best but like fried ones are impossible to do in an armoured vehicle. You must wait until you stop for long enough to get out the even more 'dangerous' petrol or camping gaz stove! Hence the 'banger on the go' is done in a full-temperatured BV..... if you have one.
  5. Clearly Mr Caddy you nothing of what goes on in a tank turret or what has gone into BVs for the last 70 years or so. πŸ˜‰ I have eggs-cell-ent sauces that inform me.....you'd be suprised at what has been thrown into BVs and then down the gullets of appreciative hungry tankmen on the move. The sausage, German variety, was a favoured delicacy and still is apparently as despite the few bits of armour remaining and being based in the UK, so too are the German sausages and special sauces (look up the source of the curry wurst sausage dish sauce...very interesting).πŸ˜…
  6. The most important aspect is as reported here, the BV. To make a proper brew one requires boiling water and indeed to boil sausages known as 'bratties' one requires boiling water again. I am told if you left most of the water out you could cook other foodstuffs in it too....would that be range stew? But an RHQ RTR approved forum reports that the latest BVs and the ones going into C3s do not boil! The Elf n Safety zealots seem to have struck and deemed boiling water a hazard to our brave, tough troops who are so 'deserving-of-the-best equipment and essentials'. An adjustment has been performed in manufacturing to prevent the water reaching boiling temperature. If REME still have the ECE or Control Equipment Technician trades, perhaps they'll override the thermostat or whatever mechanism that must be 'fixed' to enable a perfect brew and/or sausage to be delivered, fit for purpose.
  7. Hello Bootandsocks....Suprise Suprise! I know you from another forum world! Good to see you on here and in the best forum thread ever! Yes, your long swan was Ex Crescent Moon to the Toummo water hole in the Tibesti Mountains. My father was on the exercise too, the ASM REME sharing the spares RL binner driving with the TQMS Tosh Hamm. Mr Bunce was the accompanying boffin. Let's play a game..... you were in either 4 or 5 Troop, your commander was either 2Lt. Scrutton 4 Tp or Lt. Pugh 5Tp. You want more? Ok, your Saladin was named either CHINDWIN or CHAMPION. Both vehicles spent a long time adrift with mechanical poorliness but I really think it was CHINDWIN 07BB68 that was yours as I know it was at Uig El Chebir VOD (Vehicle off Desert...a term I've just invented for VOR as there were no roads beyond Sebha) from 28th Apr until 8th May 1960. More? No, you tell us more please. I have the full report of Crescent Moon. Oh, I was there too, not at Toummo obviously but there playing in the sand, sea and Roman ruins of Homs and Leptis Magna. Other grown ups who were there too correspond and many have sent their photo collections of 2RTR in Libya to me. Feel free to do the same and if you like, to p.m me...... 😊
  8. Oh. I feel compelled to do a little Saladin Bridge Plate thing here. Last four photos are of 2RTR, 14/20 and 3rd Carbs in the deserts of..... yes, Libya. All four Saladins shown were first issued to 2RTR in Aug 1959 and all had yellow bridge plates painted on the right hand wing with the same Romanesque number 11. All had the RTR cap badge on the other wing. No RAC AoS flash, no Formation flash (Trip Dist Dhow). Within weeks, the bridge plates had been painted out, never to be seen again whilst the Saladins, all 36 of them, remained in 2RTR's hands. The RAC cap badge was repositioned on the LH side of the mantlet and bright new RAC AoS flashes (with white headers and black stencilling 2 R TKS) and Trip Dist Dhow Formation flashes (shield-shaped but later became a mix of shield and rectangle shapes) were applied. When the Saladins were handed over to succesive regiments (14/20H, 5RIDG, poss 17/21L and finaly 3Carbs) each painted the bridge plate on again! Good job we're just 'doing' bridge plates as I could go on and on about Libya Formation flashes and 2RTR Saladin (and other vehicle types) names. Top three photos are on the web, bottom three are mine.
  9. No, not really. Camp Chatham, 20 miles west of the Knightsbridge cross tracks. Troops would often leaguer at a twin rock feature known as 'Pindar's Tits' near Wadi El Mra. The two 'hillocks' to be seen from afar were so named long before the big-boobed model, Lucy Pinder of allegedly Page 3 fame was born. Some well-read wag in a WW2 or soon thereafter Cyrenaica HQ saw the likeness of the breast-like mounds to lines orated by the Greek poet Pindar when he claimed that Cyrene was to be built upon the chalk-white breasts of Libya. If you also look at a map of Libya, the 'lump' on which Cyrene and surrounds protrudes into the sea is also breast shaped. Hence, Pindar's Tits and certainly not Lucy Pinder's Tits or with an 'e'. History is a mystery, even when written down ..... somewhere! ☺️
  10. Yep, I bought some too! Most of the batches on offer are not up to much and the photos are in the main, not of 2RTR but are of 3RGJ ....taken by a 3RGJ person I suspect who was an officer trying to impress his CO.... I didn't buy the COs photos! The Capt. with the CO in two of those photos lives. The occasion of the exercise was for 2RTR's Battlegroup to practice their warfare skills, unfettered by BAOR/UK constraints as that's where they were ordinarily based. The vehicles you see are not 2RTR ones but are those of the exercise stockpile at 10 Ord Depot El Adem..... Camp Alpha or sometimes known as St Barbara's Camp..... she being the RAOC patron saint. The APCs, Ferrets and Wombats (yes, Wombats, not Mobats or anything else) were not 3RGJs either, just more stockpile stuff. Everything picked up from the stockpile and returned, even more worn out, at End Ex. Anyway....this was not Tripolitania πŸ˜‚
  11. 12 Ridgebacks and Mastiffs re-engineered (take a look at hugely improved ground clearance) for UCR in Mali. I thought it was news... the website says contract was awarded last May. https://npaerospace.com/ridgback-and-mastiff-upgrade-for-mali-operation/ So maybe not all the 'armoured' trucks and Warriors will be sold off/cut up? Ajax doesn't have the same capability as Warrior in that it can't carry a full infantry section....if I've read correctly. Boxer? Don't know. Everything is under-armed and a muddle of wheeled and tracked. No capability to fire a missile from under armour. No long range/smart heavy artillery to count of (AS90 is a relic, the few left in service) , no long range thermobaric missile systems, no anti-aircraft/missile protection, no armoured divisions, no armoured brigades, no agreement for 20 years on strategy, formations etc. We'll be safe though, we have laptops and the 'invulnerable' interweb. Apologies, it's not Libya-sand-coloured stuff.
  12. Dear Ploughman, if you want to wade through nearly 800 pages of The Desert Railway, try this https://www.nzsappers.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/The-Desert-Railway.pdf Stuff in there too, on Staniers.....steam puffers which may pop corks for some! The website has been a great source of British Royal Engineers reference material for my RE research in Libya since I embarked upon my 'crazy' project...... have a good look around it. https://www.nzsappers.org.nz/introduction/heritage-material/ This is the best place for anyone to start on anything Royal Engineers.....journals with much high-brow stuff and so on but unfortunately there are no 'Sapper' magazines which are really really full of more useful useable information. Again I suggest, turn to the RE Museum.
  13. Oh, I wish I did have something to tell you Ploughman of your interest 169 Rly Sqn Wksp ...... especially in Tripolitania and the 'keeping going' of the old Italian rail lines and stock running from Tripoli (four lines). The squadron would have been a Royal Engineers one and even the workshop too. An approach to the Royal Engineers Museum? It wasn't long before our army lost interest in keeping railways going (probably as early as 1951) as by 1956/7 with the Libyans in 'charge', it was a mere shadow of it's former glory with just a few diesel railcars running to a 'make it up as you go' timetable (one a day in either direction). Benghazi's railway lines out of the city to Barce and Solluch suffered a similar fate. The line from the Egyptian border to Tobruk was ripped out very soon after the war..... suggested by one article I fell upon by chance....prior to which I hadn't realised Tobruk had been served by a rail link from Egypt! I can tell you lots about 79 Railway Sqn RCT Wksp REME....who were never in the desert! Yes, you had asked me before about 'trains in Libya' but I'm saddened I've not come up with anything useful for you..... or myself. I will try harder!
  14. Great shots, not seen these views of the church before. Plenty to be seen of what it looked like later up until 1970 and even later after the Arabs 'converted' it into a museum of Daesh weaponry. Thanks for posting them. ☺️
  15. 22 Regt RE ....and one of their squadrons, I believe (without digging out my RE files) it was 23 Fd Engr Sqdn completed the bridge seen here in 1948. Thanks for posting and your message. Have a look here for some interesting photos of the bridge opening : https://libocolors.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/a-story-of-two-bridges/
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