COLD WAR MEDAL
Forum thread for campaign COLD WAR MEDAL
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we should be reconised in someway.
i don,t think we scared the Russians much but we did not realize we were on the front line
although they said we might last twenty minutes if the balloon went up
as it was we had quite a few casualties that never went home We deserve a medal
When this kicked off, at Tofrek military base, home to the 2nd regiment RHA and 157 Locating Battery outside Hildesheim, the whole garrison were assembled on the airfield and the Lt. Colonel CO of the 2RHA gave us a pep talk.
If the shiite hit the fan and hostilities kicked off between NATO and our Russian friends, we would relocate from where we were, and head for the Rhine, where a new defensive line would be established.
We were to return to our barracks, pack up all equipment, load it on our transport, and be ready to move at a moments notice.
If I remember correctly, we only kept minimum gear at hand, eating irons, bedding, and toiletries, we were on one hours notice for about ten days.
I think the Suez crisis exacerbated the problem, all recently demobbed regulars were recalled to their units, in fact I was demobbed before the regulars recalled to my unit.
I have always suspected that the threat of the Americans having a cannon capable of firing nuclear shells based somewhere in Germany kept Ivan at bay.
We heard many rumours regarding this wonder weapon, and in the 50s when on manoeuvres there were always Russian personnel driving around observing all the allied forces.
Personally, I think the yanks were shooting the shitzer.
We actually went on one manoeuver in 1955 and were billeted in one of the villages, barns, outbuilding, etc in the vicinity of the dams, and as we moved in, the inhabitants moved out, I wonder why?
"Atomic Annie", there is quite a fair amount of info, also video of troops preparing it for action.
There were four of these monsters swanning around West Germany in the 50s, but considering the size (weight) of the two bombs dropped on Japan, I am still skeptical as to the practicability of reducing the size down to an 11inch artillery shell at that time.
I still think all the hype was to keep the Russians at bay,
One other thing comes to mind, being at HQRA we were able to have sight of what the Russians had in respect of manpower, armour, and heavy artillery, and it was quite scary.
Also on maneuvers which involved all NATO forces, the expected loss of troops due to fatal accidents was often 5%, with other numbers getting injured higher.
We very rarely saw, in British Newspaper reports the number of injuries or deaths to British troops in BAOR 1954/56.
There were many instances we, as a unit became aware of.
Working where I did I saw all the Orders published for the Canal Zone but which were restricted to certain people allowed to see them. There were no medals issued to anyone until I think about 1953 - 1956 yet we were subjected to drive-by shootings, anyone straying outside the zone was hardly ever seen again until their bodies were discovered floating in the Sweet Water Canal and usually tortured. It was hazardous to walk alongside the Canal Road for fear that some lorry driver would swerve across and flatten you. We went out but never alone at night - always in twos or threes but never had any recognition or acknowledgement of what we went through in tatty old tents, crap food and regular soldiers who treated us with contempt.
We moved to Libya which was better in that we had ex Italian army barracks, better food but there were still isolated incidents from time to time although generally it was preferable to Egypt - at least there was plenty of grass and trees where we were stationed instead of just bloody sand.
The statistics for Egypt were an average of one man killed per week plus upwards of forty woundings from 1947 onwards. The number of families who were advised that ....'your son has met with an unfortunate accident in training when he fell beneath the wheels of a heavy truck/tank tracks/armoured car/a grenade went off/ and so on were so numerous that it beggars belief. Imagine the outcry if that were to happen today!
The Sheikh of Kuwait it was rumoured mentioned medals to the British Government but was turned down.
I also was involved in the Cuban crisis based at Gaydon as a air electrician i worked in the armoury on nuclear bomb gear and carried out all the tests prior to loading did'nt actually know anything till it was all over, my presence was requested yes i mean requested on at Sunday lunch time to go into work by a Flight Lieutenant who then assisted me in doing my tests, did'nt get home till 01.30 Tuesday morning. Have to admit the old ticker missed a few beats when i found out.