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BlueBelle

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Everything posted by BlueBelle

  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/
  16. Well......YES.... Jim7321.... you have an attentive recipient here.....anything Libya please. Thank you for offering to post what you know about a very interesting time in Libya and an episode of quite some intrigue.
  17. Libya vehicle markings (and uniform patches) in a world of their own indeed! The above photo is one of a series of originals of that incident I have. However I think you may be reading too much into what you see around the white Rhino. The black-ish area is I believe, part of the camouflage applied onto which the Rhino was applied.....no need for the black oval perhaps. The blackishness of the camouflage varied all over the tanks.... some parts looking like freshly applied...almost wet, whilst others as varied shades of black into grey. Shadows played a big part too when tanks were photoed....leading one to think....ooh, another patch of camouflage. I can though dispel your theory that there was another marking adjacent to the Rhino.... it's just scuffing or fading. Here's a little of the front view of same tank 06BA09 (note the sloppy 50) and another part view of a Centurion with a shadow effect, Barce 1954:
  18. Formation patches on vehicles in Libya did seem to have an extended expiry date, even when 10 Armd Div wound up in July 1957 those white Rhinos could still be seen as late as Oct 57. The winding up of 10 Armd Div also meant that it no longer remained in an Order of Battle, nor did any of the regiments or units of 25 Armd Bde or from elsewhere that had been taken in. Did 25 Armd Bde still exist now? No, it didn't. There was a period of several months where dithering occurred as to what Formation Libya based regiments and units should be in if any, compounded by a Defence Review and massive down-sizing of the Army in Libya (10,000 troops down to 2,000 in a matter of 12 months). To the end of 1957, vehicles could still be seen with the previous 'fighting' Formatiom rectangles with numbers (white numbers 50 etc on red rectangles for Armoured regiments of which there was now in Dec 1957, only one and that being 6RTR) and at the same point in time, the black oval was all that remained of the 25/10 Armd white Rhino for it had been blacked out. The new 'non-Order of Battle' markings began to appear late Jan/early Feb 1958.... the Red/Yellow RAC patch Arm of Service and white bar atop with abbreviated regiment name stencilled black stencilled therein. Tripolitania District Barbary dhow as a 'Formation' patch......shield shaped or rectangle depending on ....whims for Tripolitania based regiments....all two of them. The Cyrene Pillars were for units (only one complete regiment, INF) based in Cyrenaica post 1958 and even then, squadrons and companies from those few remaining regiments were forever being sent out of Libya on deployment. What remained post 1958 was really to provide 'protection' to the Libyan throne and to a lesser part, fulfill defence treaty obligations with the minimum of military and financial input. Higher formation for the Army in Libya had always been HQ MELF in either Egypt or Cyprus. With the 1957/8 near demise of the Army in Libya, the two Districts were formed/reformed (Tripolitania and Cyrenaica) under 'Malta and Libya Command' which reported to HQ MELF in Cyprus..... until formation of NELF as HQ MELF moved to the Gulf. Simon, you wrote elsewhere about white Rhinos and Cyrene Pillars being on the same vehicle at the same time. HQ units of 25 Armd Bde in both Cyrenaica and Tripolitania bore both Formation flashes and that also occured within 10 Armd Div. Oh yes, both sets of Formation markings and note which way that pesky Rhino to the front is facing in this press photo! πŸ˜† I have 30 or so original photos (non press owned) of the occasion...on the parade ground with a myriad of interesting Bedford QLR-type lorries and recording/pa system equipment.
  19. Oh yes, both sets of Formation markings and note which way that pesky Rhino to the front is facing in this press photo! πŸ˜† I have 30 or so original photos (non press owned) of the occasion...on the parade ground with a myriad of interesting Bedford QLR-type lorries and recording/pa system equipment. HQ units of 25 Armd Bde in both Cyrenaica and Tripolitania bore both Formation flashes as also occured within 10 Armd Div.
  20. 25 Armd Bde were formed in Libya in 1952 post exodus of 1 Inf Div, and adopted the similar white Rhino symbol or Formation marking of the defunct 1 Armd Div....which was the non-rampant white Rhino on a black oval exactly as now seen on the uniform shoulder patches below. 10 Armd Div was uregently reformed in Libya around May 1956, incorporating 25 Armd Bde. It made sense not to revitalise the 'dead' fox of the previous 10 Armd Div and instead incorporate the white Rhino on a black oval of the subsumed 25 Armd Bde as the Formation flash.... worn on uniforms, vehicles, stationery, notice boards etc. On tanks, vehicles etc; the white Rhino appeared on a black oval, no surrounding white ring or other adornment. On tank and vehicle fronts, the Rhino always seems to have faced to the left as looked at from in front whereas on the rear the Rhino faced which ever way the signwriter chose. It follows therefore, that the RSG, based in Barce, were in the formation of 25 Armd Bde as were many other regiments and units throughout the then M.E.L.F. The RSG at that time were the senior armoured regiment of the brigade and as such their tanks and vehicles bore an Arm of Service marking to reflect their position.... a white 50 on a red rectangle. All those regiments in theatre at that time were subsumed into the 'new' 10 Armd Div which in reality at first, was only a slightly expanded Brigade. When 10 Armd Division came to be disbanded after a nominal year of existence.... units in Tripolitania adopted the black/white/blue Barbary Dhow as the formation marking (shield or rectangle) for Tripolitania District. Units in Cyrenaica adopted the twin white-ish pillars of Cyrene on a black rectangle as the formation marking of Cyrenaica District. Uhmmm, no, I'm not presenting photos of the RSG in Libya Centurions, Halftracks, Champs and suchlike here either so its just the Rhinos.☺️
  21. May I enquire as to the source of your information please? Surely not Wiki? Some facts that may help with your research. I too am a researcher of the British Army in Libya post WW2. 25 Armd Bde were formed in Libya in 1952 post exodus of 1 Inf Div, and adopted the similar white Rhino symbol or Formation marking of the defunct 1 Armd Div....which was the non-rampant white Rhino on a black oval exactly as now seen on the uniform shoulder patches below. 10 Armd Div was uregently reformed in Libya around May 1956, incorporating 25 Armd Bde. It made sense not to revitalise the 'dead' fox of the previous 10 Armd Div and instead incorporate the white Rhino on a black oval of the subsumed 25 Armd Bde as the Formation flash.... worn on uniforms, vehicles, stationery, notice boards etc. On tanks, vehicles etc; the white Rhino appeared on a black oval, no surrounding white ring or other adornment. On tank and vehicle fronts, the Rhino always seems to have faced to the left as looked at from in front whereas on the rear the Rhino faced which ever way the signwriter chose. It follows therefore, that the RSG, based in Barce, were in the formation of 25 Armd Bde as were many other regiments and units throughout the then M.E.L.F. The RSG at that time were the senior armoured regiment of the brigade and as such their tanks and vehicles bore an Arm of Service marking to reflect their position.... a white 50 on a red rectangle. All those regiments in theatre at that time were subsumed into the 'new' 10 Armd Div which in reality at first, was only a slightly expanded Brigade. When 10 Armd Division came to be disbanded after a nominal year of existence.... units in Tripolitania adopted the black/white/blue Barbary Dhow as the formation marking (shield or rectangle) for Tripolitania District. Units in Cyrenaica adopted the twin white-ish pillars of Cyrene on a black rectangle as the formation marking of Cyrenaica District. Hope this helps rather than hinder. I may copy this post to put it where in really belongs on here....yes, you know where!
  22. Oh yes, 16th Signal Regiment it is! Good, Wally spot on, as usual, hurrah! Put 16th Signal Regiment in the machine and lots of results to show the patch as them...... though still not a photo to be found by me of a 16th Sigs Regt member wearing either versions of the patch. Do you know what, it's getting harder to see 'at a glance' on my machine, soldier photos in DPM combat suits.... it's all this uber-modern scruffy stuff. A far cry from smart KDs & BDs ....of 1 Inf Div, 25 Armd Bde, 10 Armd Div, MELF, Tripolitania District, Cyrenaica District, Malta & Libya Command. HaHa!
  23. Blue+White = Royal Signals, yes. But why 16 R.Sigs? Why 12 Armd Bde? How do you know? Looking at every permutation of web images for those two Formations, there are no Formation flashes that remotely match the one on your jacket. Hmm, where to next? I did think at one stage the patch photo was upside down, so twist and flip image this way and that, including the ones in the link (which didn't paste in as a proper live link.... apologies). One thing though, many units are now allowed their own 'private' non-higher formation approved regimental/squadron/troop patches to be attached to combat uniforms.... the latest to do so, the 1st QDG ,are running competitions to design such for at this stage, different squadrons. Your jacket predates this practice. Though I cannot disprove your deduction, I cannot say RM, Commando or anything else either! Oh bother! It was so simple in the deserts of Libya and surrounds!
  24. With a handle of BlueBelle..... think about it..... I can say beyond doubt that the colourful TRF (Tactical Recognition Flash) is that of REME (Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers) and, we're viewing correctly, the TRF left to right. The other patch is 'something' Royal Marine or Army Commando..... though what is perplexing is that it's an upsidedown dagger! I trawled the web and found no evidence of such a patch being available or worn, except a picture from a badge dealer of....the same upsidedown dagger patch but when opening up the shop, there's no such badge or reference to it, see link google results here: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=trf+commando+black+green+patch&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwjN0r-xhojsAhWxiZ4KHY_fDcwQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=trf+commando+black+green+patch&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQA1CAlwVYtakFYK2uBWgAcAB4AIABV4gB7AKSAQE1mAEAoAEBqgELZ3dzLXdpei1pbWfAAQE&sclient=img&ei=0thvX82hFrGT-gSPv7fgDA&bih=633&biw=1280#imgrc=pPImmF0FdO6qgM With the REME TRF as well, I suspect the jacket belonged to a REME person in an Equpment Support Squadron of the Commando Logistic Regiment...the unit dealing with recovery and 2nd Line Repairs..... RM (Royal Marines) tradespersons ably assisted by REME of the same/similar ilk. I don't believe the dagger patch is representative of any of the other elements of the RLC (Royal Logistics Corps) within the Commando Logistic Regiment (no REME attached ) nor of any of the Commando Artillery or Engineer elements. Not knowing anything much about the RM of recent years, I'll exit here. Now, if you want to know about the AWS (Amphibious Warfare Squadron) of the 50s and 60s in their Mediterranean exploits 'invading' Libya & Sardinia from LSLs, LCTs, Commando Carriers with RMs and Lt. Stone-coloured Centurion tanks from 14th/20th KOH, The Bays, 5RTR and 6RTR ..... then we could go further! Later, much later.
  25. Take a look here: https://www.nationalcoldwarexhibition.org/research/collections/saracen/ The photo they have has an army VRN but they don't say if they have the Saracen itself nor do they say what purpose it served. I would have thought it's for service in a terrorist-active environment ..... the vision blocks could be 'bullet' proof....ish.
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