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PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:40 pm 
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Posts: 73
Location: Alabama
Hello all,
Back in the early '70s I was stationed at Illesheim, W. Germany with the 1/6th Infantry, 1st Armored Division. Anyway, we had what they called Major Training Areas and Minor Training Areas. At our Minor Training Area, which was not far from our Kaserne, there were old buildings, sort of like a blown up town or village untouched since WWII. We used to target practice at old knocked out WWII vehicles. I shot my first L.A.W. round at an old knocked out M24 Chaffee tank. I remember feeling sad that those old vehicles were being wasted instead of being restored as historical pieces.

Anyway, I was an M-60 Machine Gunner for my squad and was told to "set up" in a certain small areas and then align my fire radius and cards with the other squad machine gunners. I decided upon the end of the wall of a building that was busted up. The far corner of it was up hign, but the wall, blown up or fallen down, sloped at an angle to the other corner until all that was standing was about a foot off the ground. I set up at that end, to shoot over and around it. As I dug into the pile of rubble, parts of the wall, etc, to clear out my spot, I uncovered an old rotten M1 Carbine. It was pretty rusty and the wood was in bad shape, some of it rotten. I could only imagine how it got there. I figured someone might have gotten killed at that same spot back in '44 or '45. Another time I found a clipper strip of 8mm mauser ammo sticking up out of the peatmoss beside a big fur tree over looking a small narrow valley with a dirt road that we were planning on attacking when Charlie company passed through. When I found them I figured some German soldier had knelt in that same spot in a similar ambush and had dropped a stripper clip of his ammo as he loaded or reloaded his rifle. Fascinating to me!

As far as the old blown up villages, villas and farms we used as training areas go, we were told to stay out of those old buildings as they were apt to fall in on you or you might fall into an unknown cellar, etc.. A guy in another platoon or possibly another company did. And he found the remains of an SS Captain, complete with helmet, uniform, boots, etc, etc.. He took the helmet and pistol back to the barracks with him and thanks to him running his mouth he was arrested by U.S. and German authorities. The SS Captain was given a formal military burial by the W. German government. I don't know what they did to the young fellow who had found the remains. They confiscated my M1 Carbine and clip of ammo I had found too.

If anyone is interested, I will tell you about my "straying" beyond the row of "death stakes" on the Iron Curtain along the Czech and E. German borders. That Iron Curtain and those communist forces were dead serious back in '73 and '74!

Just thought someone might find that interesting.
Later,
Freebooter,
Alabama,
Formerly of 2nd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Bravo Co., 1/6th Inf, 1s Armored Div, Illesheim, W. Germany

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:13 am 
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Location: Poland / aus Tirol
Thats some story, mate ! I would be interested in other stories you may tell... Funny though we were on different sides of that Iron Courtain at that time (however I was just a small boy). I can tell similar stories of the other side... Maybe I will...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:05 pm 
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You both should, I for one would love to read them!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:18 pm 
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Indeed

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:47 pm 
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Location: Alabama
Hello all,
OK, y'all asked me to so here goes: I turned 18 with an M-60 machine gun in my hand on a patrol. My battalion (1st bn, 6th Inf) or possibly the whole regiment, was an AMF Battalion (Allied Mobile Forces). We wore this neat enamaled metal pin to our left breast pocket on both our dress uniforms and our field jackets. Later it was a sewn on patch on the pocket. In theory every NATO country had an AMF battalion that was supposedly able to go into combat on a moment's notice. Man, all we did was train and stay in the field.

Anyway, my battalion took its turn at patrolling the Iron Curtain along the Czech and East border, around the area of Fulda, etc.. Anyway, we had like a little convoy of our Jeeps, trucks, and "Tracks" (M113 APC) and we just eased along that old trail or road along the "Curtain". Every so often we would park, get out and make a foot patrol, just a show of force I suppose. Well one time we parked and got out to just take a chow break. We sat in the treeline and rested, ate our C-Rations, etc., took pictures, etc.. That Iron Curtain was awesome right there, three rows of fences and concrete walls around 50 to 75 yards apart, constantina wire all over, booby traps all over them, mine fields and vehicle traps and stops in between the walls and fences. And on the far side if I remember correctly was a tall watch tower manned by Communist troops. They had guns poking out of windows, etc.. We had stopped right across from one of these towers.

Now we had been trained or taught all about the curtain and those on the other side, how to watch out for stray shots that came over and hit a GI here and there (that no one but us ever heard about, not in the news, etc.). The rarthest out reach or outcropping of this boundry was a row of foot or two foot high white stakes. We had been severely warned not to stray past them or we were apt to get shot. Well, every one was lounging in the shade of the tree line on the other side of our vehicles other than some guards or lookouts, and I started taking pictures with my little Codacolor II camera. I had my big M-60 haning off my shoulder by its shoulder strap hanging down my back while I did this (I daren't lay it down somewhere and just walk off and leave it!). Suddenly I heard my 1st Sergeant holler, "Gomer, get your ass back over here! Look at where you are!! Just look at your self!! What's more, look at their tower!!"

Well I lowered my camera and looked around and I was a few yards on the "wrong" side of the line of stakes. I looked up at their tower about one or two hundred yards away (it has been since 1973) and it seemed every weapon that side of the Iron Curtain was pointed right at me! I could see the white spots of their faces as they aimed and looked at me, one, an officer no doubt, watching me through binoculars. Something went sort of cold and tight inside me. I almost bolted and ran. But I just stood there and stared back at the Commies, with my sergeants and all hollering at me. I was young and determined not to let them know I was scared, so I just casually waved at them, and believe it or not one of them waved back (his comrads turned and looked at him when he did, whether out of disdain or approval I know not) and I slowly turned around as if I was studying other things, and slowly walked back to my command. Now y'all I am here to tell you; I might not have seemed scared, but I could feel the back of my neck and the hairs at the base of my skull prickling as I could just feel those sights and crosshairs on my back or my skull!! I bet you could not have drivven a nail up my ass with a hammer as I walked back to our vehicles. I got a major ass chewiing when I got back too.

My nickname was "Gomer" because I was from Alabama, with a "Deep South" accent in a platoon full of mostly yankees. I reckon I reminded them of that comedy character from the South with a Southern Accent, "Gomer Pyle".
Later,
Dave

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:38 am 
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nice one.the good old bad old days.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:40 pm 
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:D Facing "commies" is one thing,but for a Southern boy having to endure "Yankees"is not
right.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:03 pm 
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Location: A foxhole somewhere in East London
Brigardefuhrer wrote:
:D Facing "commies" is one thing,but for a Southern boy having to endure "Yankees"is not
right.



:lol: :P :D

Ashley

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:34 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:17 am
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Location: Alabama
Hey y'all,
Yep, I had a blast over there in Germany in my infantry unit. I joined when I turned 17 in June of '72. It is funny how you remember a lot of little insignificant things, or lessons, as if it just happened. As I said, we were always in the field on manouvers, road marches, etc.. Some old funny tales you hear have a happened to more than one guy, such as the following story (please forgive the grossness):

I remember one freezing cold, snowy, snow covered day we were out in the boonies. I had to "GO" real bad!! I had on my underwear, longjohns, some sort of weird wool shirts like the Cobra pilots wore, my OD Green phatigues, winter field pants w/suspenders, my field jacket and winter parker with furlined colar, plus my webgear with H-strap suspenders, butt pack, etc. over all that. Man, I went running off to find a private spot, and having to "go" so bad, having to stop ever few yards and concentrate to avoid having an accident in my britches!! Well, I found me a spot and leaned my weapon against a fir tree, threw off my webgear and my parker and field jacket to one side, and in a panic litterally slung off my outer winter field pants suspenders and quickly dropped all four long pants I had on (including longjohns) and dropped to a quick squat. First of all, I had forgotten just how deep the snow was and when my rosy Alabama butt plopped down and plopped right into that snow I almost jumped over the moon! Then I rose in a half squatting position and did what I had to do.

When I was done I commenced to get dressed in reverse of how I took it all off. I pulled my longjohns and the wool pants and phatigue pants into place and reached down and pulled up my big winter field pants, and I reached back and grabbed the suspenders to them without looking and sort of snatched them up over my shoulders, running the straps through my hand as I did. About that time I got a tell tale odor! You can imagine what was in my hand and on my shoulder. I was so disgusted, standing there freezing and not knowing what to do, not haveing any way to clean my hands (I had used up my bit of tissue), I just wanted to cry. Of course I cleaned my hands and suspender straps with snow the best I could, threw away my "Sh-tty" phatigue shirt, and finished getting dressed. Man what a miserable moment in a desolate frozen spot of German wilderness. My hands got so cold and numb and stiff I could barely fiinsh getting dressed. I have often wondered if that happened to others. I am sure it has because we have all heard similar stories.
Later,
Dave

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:39 pm 
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Up on Sennelager training area was an old hospital, long since disused. Rumour was it was used during the war by SS.

It was used as a logs park from time to time for Harrier deployment exercises. We used to enter the building and head down to the cellars where there were a series of white tiled rooms, some with what were rumoured to be hardpoints for securing chains. The trick was to use GS claspknife and prise tiles off the walls. If you were lucky there would be an eagle with a "crooked cross". One cheap "gizz it". If memory serves the name was Haematoff or similar. There was an orchard next to the hospital where you could pick really tasty apples.

I was fortunate never to have an accident like freebooter, but a certain member of our wing HQ used to follow those disappearing into the woods for a "number 2". Shep would wait whist the victim disrobed, wrestled NBC suit down etc and would silently slide a shovel under the exposed rear end, catch the offending waste product and whisk it away. There then followed several minutes of looking for the missing "Richard".

You have to take into account Compo rations slowed down your metabolism so that you would only poo every 3 days or so.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:48 pm 
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Freebooter> Ah yes, the good ol' 'suspenders in the crap' :)
It's soo funny to see fellow soldiers comming back from a 'showel patrol' without their suspenders "I think I lost them" or "No, I never use those", while you know that they have 'lost them' in that dark pile.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:56 pm 
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Ha Feck Ha you infantry have it easy in our Scimitar the commaners seat was the tolet. It had a hole in the center that you removed then put a black bag in the Hole It Fecking stank in that small area :shock:

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Franz repper wrote:
Ha Feck Ha you infantry have it easy in our Scimitar the commaners seat was the tolet. It had a hole in the center that you removed then put a black bag in the Hole It Fecking stank in that small area :shock:

INFANTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was an RAF Regiment Gunner :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:28 pm 
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cartoss wrote:
Franz repper wrote:
Ha Feck Ha you infantry have it easy in our Scimitar the commaners seat was the tolet. It had a hole in the center that you removed then put a black bag in the Hole It Fecking stank in that small area :shock:

INFANTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was an RAF Regiment Gunner :wink:

Oh sorry, RAF Regiment having a hard time on FTX was the showers not getting hot !

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2009 8:21 am 
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The one and only time me or the squadron I was with had a shower on exercise it was provided by the army. Dont judge every one by your standards :lol:

Best we stop this before we go too far off topic.

Regards Jamie


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