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Everything posted by AlienFTM

  1. Reminded of something I read many years ago. The Churchill servicing schedule said to put ¼ turn on the wheel nuts to make sure they were tight. Over the Channel, into combat, first time they were put under extreme load, a lot of Churchill roadwheels fell off. On Scorpion, we were issued with a torque wrench.
  2. Rather less than I was an hour ago! IMDb suggests I'm wrong. Consider my previous post retracted and my addled brain fed with humble pie.
  3. Wot no mention of the dedication at the end (I think) of the film to the crew killed when their Mosquito piled in? I suspect caught on camera and used from multiple angles at various points in the film.
  4. Vehicles' squadrons (companies, batteries, etc) can be identified by symbols painted on. 🔺 A Squadron ◼ B Squadron ⚪ C Squadron 🔸HQ Squadron We didn't have a D Squadron in my day. Shrug. Note the size, colour of symbols is not represented here. This Android tablet gives me a limited selection of shaped characters and I bothered to use them. They were all of similar size, hollow and painted the same colour (in my time. In earlier times, symbols in red or yellow might indicate senior/junior unit in a brigade.) If I remember correctly they were in gloss white, though when bridge plates changed from yellow to grey sometime around 1980, I think squadron signs (and vehicle callsigns) may have also changed to grey.
  5. When I was in, a long time ago, we carried four flags, blue, yellow, red, green. From memory, green was flown by the lead vehicle in a packet of 5-8 vehicles*. Blue was flown by the rear vehicle of a packet. (Note blue and green may have been the other way round. It WAS a long time ago.) On the ranges: A vehicle with guns clear flew green. A vehicle at Action flew red. A vehicle being handled for a misfire (of the main armament) flew yellow. Vague recollection that a vehicle being handled for a stoppage (of the co-ax) may have flown red and yellow. Obviously, being professional, we didn't have much need for the yellow flag. 😉 Any other sort of flag would have been for ceremonial purposes only and there were no rules, only the imagination of the grownups. _____ * Move a division in one lump, nothing else would move. Convoys were broken in 5-8 vehicle packets.
  6. Nipper has bought tickets for Tankfest at Bovvy in a couple of weeks for Father's Day, like every year. He's not stupid, he gets his personal chauffeur and tour guide. All he has to do is buy tickets and burgers. I'll have the big beast camera. See if I can get a half decent pic.
  7. Pretty sure 15/19H were 9 Armd Div before joining 11. They certainly did Normandy to the Baltic in 27 Armd Bde and they certainly spent the mid-war years on Covenanter. Busy at the moment. Will check the Official History 1939-1945 later and get back to you. If you don't hear from me (I don't get on here as often as I did) PM me and I ought to get an email.
  8. "Have you got any more information on date, theatre, etc that this vehicle was with 15/19H?" asked an ex-15/19H who crewed a Saracen ACV in 1979 between crewing CVR(T) and Ferret. If it also lists 17/21L, my guess is this vehicle may have been based in Omagh. 17/21L were in Omagh early in the troubles, followed by 16/5L, 1RTR then us. It was only toward the end of the tour (I joined from training very late, in 76) that I discovered we actually had Saracen APCs. Our troop never took ours out. Apart from once guarding and recovering a breakdown, I only once travelled in company with Saracen. Both events at night. The latter, end of tour, all the drivers had left early with the advance party for CVR(T) conversion and I got an hour's training before taking out a Ferret, driven on my Group A civvy licence. Driving past an RUC station somewhere like Fivemiletown, Sixmilecross, Augher, Clogher (when your instructions are "keep up with the Saracen" you don't really care where you are). Object lesson. When a six-wheeled Saracen glides over speed bumps and through a chicane round an RUC station, don't try and do the same in a much smaller Ferret. Least it taught me how to take speed bumps at speed.
  9. Wrt bins. Once the grown-ups worked out that German rivers were not suitable for wading by CVR(T) because the banks were all wrong, and besides, the screens didn't get maintained, so if you did swim, chances are it'd sink, we removed them. This left a surprising amount of space for extra bins, storage always having been at a premium. So we fitted as many Chieftain bins on the float screen mounts as we could. Before the midlife upgrade, including bigger headlights above the screen mount, this included along the front, above the headlights. Those were great and in the early 80s for carrying plenty of yellow handbags. The midlife upgrade addressed some of these issues, but I was long gone.
  10. The original RAF uniforms in Prussian Blue had been an export order for some of the Tsar's troops (if memory serves, the palace guard). After his overthrow, they were surplus and issued to the nascent RAF. As intimated elsewhere, the Prussian Blue closely resembled the ointment then being used for the treatment of crabs. I well remember, as alluded, Sail Army, Fly Navy, Walk Sideways, as I regularly sailed Army, and have a trophy collection to prove it. Your book might be better received this side of the pond if, instead of Desert Storm, you don't use the American designation and refer instead to OP Granby. Many a supposedly British Army photo has been outed as fake for using the term Desert Storm. I have a friend, ex Scots Guards, whose book ACAB, necessitated his registering with the US IRS before Amazon would release it on Kindle. Every year, he told me just last night, the IRS send him an invoice for tax on US Kindle sales, a big fat Zero.
  11. Apropos of nothing, I drove 02 CC 76 in 1978, mark 1, Larkspur rebro. Until I passed my Control Signaller at Bovington and was moved to the back of a Saracen ACV. I think we might also have had 02 CC 74. Or maybe I had 74? Whatever.
  12. You read it here, posted by me. That was wrong. It was Totem Pole. Chieftain, totem pole, geddit?
  13. Wrt the sleeve patch, I have absolutely no idea. In my day, we deedn need no steenkeen badges, as they served to provide information to our enemies (the Commies). Wrt to a stable belt, it is tied to the cap badge you wear. Nothing else.
  14. With that number, it started life as a Scorpion. The earliest Scorpion i number I can remember is 02FD14, which I crewed in 81. It was not old and worn, however, as I had a vehicle in iirc the 04FD** range taken from me for Scorpoling during the summer. 02FD14 had evidently been Scorpoled more recently.
  15. After my father in law died a couple of years ago, I learned that he had been instrumental in getting the Fairey Delta 2 to the start of her legendary record-breaking flight, having been up all night at Boscombe Down sloshing epoxy resin about to seal leaks in the fuel tanks. Sadly this is all I know, and 60 years on I doubt I'll ever know any more.
  16. I am long past trying to explain to civvies who don't want to be told why Scorpion is not a tank. My life is too short.
  17. 15/19H got our Sultans hmm — must have been early 1980. By mid 1982 we were tearing off the flotation screens from the Scorpions at least. Somebody had finally clicked that none of the floatable rivers in the corps area actually had banks that would allow you float a CVR(T). It was becoming apparent that firing a Scorpion caused damage to the front of the screen (even though there was a hardened cover over the front half). I cannot say for certain that we ever bothered removing the screens from the Sultans (that only sealed off the engine and driving compartments: the rest of the vehicle was naturally buoyant without the need for a screen).
  18. To be fair the bloke in the video says exactly that, so small it creates different challenges. Thing is on exercise, the river traffic would tend to get upset if their living was brought to a halt by an M2 bridge blocking their way (like the family in the inflatable in the video.) As far as the exercise is concerned, you only need a line. A drainage ditch fills this purpose as well as the mighty Weser. In fact on Salisbury Plain, where there are no meaningful rivers, the roads are used. The crossing points you'll see, hardened to allow tanks to cross without destroying the road surface, are designated as bridges and the roads are generally out of bounds to heavy exercise traffic. Many's the time we spent the night in an OP observing the "bridge". In the Corps area, the Leine regularly represented a stop line of far more significance than it deserved.
  19. Not close enough. On a Saracen appreciation forum on Facebook today, I saw reference to iirc 00 DA 00 and 01 in, again iirc, the early 60s.
  20. If memory serves, all ordnance carries the Royal Armouries badge (Honi soit etc). I know that all Scorpion barrels did.
  21. Call it a Classroom Instructional Module or CIM, pronounced simm?
  22. Apropos of nothing, a couple of days ago I rediscovered Lionheart 84 on YouTube. About day 10, Blue started the counteroffensive and BFBS spent a lot of that day's report watching 28 Ambitious Engineer Regiment* putting in an M2 bridge over the Leine for the Chieftains to cross. Always worth a watch. Sadly, I could only find ten days' worth. A subsequent report again featured Tpr Valentine, Royal Hussars to close, and his end of report was longer and even funnier. _____ * If you think that's a typo, you weren't there, man.
  23. Is it me, 30 years on, or is that front underglacis a nonstandard appliqué?
  24. Strictly, UIN are Unit Imprest Numbers, identifying the public purse imprest account run by that unit's pay services. Said a former member of army pay services.
  25. Correct. I am pretty sure it was ditto for the also-long-barrelled Chieftain, but other way round for short-barrelled Scorpion.
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