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 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952

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ritter
Maj
Maj
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Number of posts : 265
Age : 88
Localisation : North Huron Township, ON,Canada
Cap Badge : Royal Canadian Artillery
Places Served : CFB Valcartier, CFB Borden, AFVR Meaford, Ipperwash, CAN; Hannover, Putlos; 21 Fd Regt RCA(M)
Registration date : 2011-07-09

PostSubject: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   2/4/2012, 23:03

Baor(27CIB)surfers,
Installment No. 32, 27 Brigade Exercise at Putlos, 1952
In mid August 1952 all units within 27CIB were transported to what was deemed to be an obscure base somewhere on the Baltic Sea. This base at Putlos is approximately 280 km north of Hannover(see inset map below); it is situated ca 45 km east of the former strategic base at Kiel and 50 km north of Lubeck and Travemunde on the River Elbe which formed part of the Iron Curtain Line between East (GDR) and West Germany. This was the line where the Western Forces met the Eastern Force at the end of WW2 leading to the historic stand off called the Cold War.


Few of us realized how close we were to the Russian Shock Army on the east side of the Elbe. The base at Putlos was known as the ''Truppenubungplatz'' meaning manoeuvring ground and was the base where Rommel, Guderian, and others of their notoriety practised their craft and armored Blitzkrieg tactics. The Putlos ranges were ideally suited for the brigade exercise not only because of the size of the base but also because of their proximity to the Baltic Sea where live firing could be carried out safely up to 22,000 yards into the bay.



The idyllic sunset shown above belied the deadly nature of the training carried on there.
The talk in the battalion mess in Hannover seemed to indicate that there would finally be some live firing on the upcoming brigade exercise, something that had not been possible in the bases outside of the GHA. Prior to the brigade move from Hannover there was an air of great secrecy about the exact departure date and the times of the various unit moves but all was in a state of readiness when the movement order came down. The Rifle Battalion left just after dark but inspite of the great secrecy an amusing incident took place at the well lit main gate at Brigade HQ. Suddenly out of nowhere about 6 or 7 of the usually scantily clad and familiar hookers arrived and lined a section of the street
outside the entrance, cleverly timing their arrival just after the escorting Military Police passed. They formed a line , stood at attention , and whipped up salutes for the drive past which would have put the QOR riflemen to shame. It elicited roars of approval from each passing transport. And while it became a very raucous and unseemly event, it was very funny and obviously well planned and coached by some dissident former military person. Their only oversight was their failure to alert No. 27 Public Relations Unit LOL. But this was not the finale. When our convoy arrived at the main gate at Putlos Ranges in the early morning , surprise! surprise!, the same group of hookers appeared like an advance party welcoming their sex starved customers. These women were the same group who were always present at the main gate in Hannover. However not even the Brigade's No. 2 Field Security Unit got a whiff of this well coordinated operation.
My memories and my subsequent outline of the Brigade Exercise at Putlos which followed pales in comparison to the events just described. There were good looking barracks at Putlos but they didn't figure into Brigade planning for us. Tents, sleeping bags, ground sheets, shovels, cooking gear, ad nauseam were issued and we were directed to prearranged sites for the encampment and vehicle parks.


No 2 Platoon RHLI preparing a meal
Much of the first week of the exercise was given over to platoon and company training with a heavy dose of digging in defensive positions and then filling in trenches for the next phase. Personnel and vehicle camouflaging were practiced as well as the care and cleaning of platoon personal weapons. The training was moving forward to the ultimate goal of the exercise, the live firing stage with all personnel looking forward to this with great enthusiasm. For the live firing all platoon weapons i.e. Lee Enfield No. 4 rifles, Mk 1 .303 Bren guns, Sten Machine Carbines, and 9mm Browning pistols were issued. Excluded were the No 36 Grenades and the 2 inch mortar. Support Company weapons , the Vickars .303 Machine guns and the towed 17 pdr anti tank guns were not used in conjunction with the platoons but they may have been used at the sites where the artillery and tanks were firing from concrete firing platforms. In a brigade size exercise one has a very small window
of what is going on adjacent to one's own position. WEather for the excercise was sunny and cool and there was no desire to try to get over to the nearby resorts of Tarvemunde and Lubeck
The next submission will be a brief summation of Rommel's fall from grace and his subsequent interment with personal photographs taken in March 2012.


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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen


Number of posts : 1034
Age : 76
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   10/4/2012, 10:46

Bob,

Thanks for your latest contribution which brought back memories of my schooldays in Ploen not far from Todendorf, incidentally the Norwegian Brigade based elsewhere in Schleswig Holstein also used the facilities a great deal. In the mid 50s the facilities were further expanded to include the new Todendorf NATO Artillery Range (doubtless some of the other contributors to this site will recall Annual Firing Camps on the Baltic
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jim
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   11/4/2012, 10:48

Lovely, interesting post there bob.

JP, nearly went to Ploen, but as it was closing I went to PRS instead, lovely north sea winds. LOL
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
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Number of posts : 2998
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   11/4/2012, 14:32

Excellent stuff, Bob.
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Hardrations
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   11/4/2012, 15:47

Geting more interesting all the time Bob.
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brum
FM
FM


Number of posts : 2808
Age : 76
Localisation : Sandbach Cheshire
Cap Badge : RA/QOH
Places Served : JLRRA (Hereford) Nienburg Paderborn Colchester Munster Maresfield (Cyprus) Hohne Hemer Op Banner x4 Woolwich
Registration date : 2010-03-02

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   11/4/2012, 17:15


Those men waiting for their food, Bob.

Are they wearing some form of coveralls ?
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Shelldrake
FM
FM
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Number of posts : 2998
Localisation : Camberley
Cap Badge : Royal Artillery
Places Served : Troon, Lippstadt, Devizes, NI, Paderborn, Dortmund, Colchester, Belize, Canada, Cyprus, Gutersloh
Registration date : 2010-10-26

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   11/4/2012, 18:00

The Cooks look cleaner than ours! lol!
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Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   11/4/2012, 22:44

Right up until 63 coveralls were a stantdard thing for wear over the Wool. B.D. Only in the summer we had bush issue. Wool B.D. was part of ones kit expense, so the saving on damage when on exercise. You couldn't turn in B.D. for exchange as one did when Combats came into issue in 64.
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TonyE
WOI
WOI
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Number of posts : 112
Age : 86
Localisation : Woodbridge Suffolk
Cap Badge : RASC & RCASC,later CF Logistics Branch
Places Served : Hannover, Bielefeld, Camp Borden, Camp Petawawa, CFB Kingston, Korea, Soest, Cyprus, Lahr.
Registration date : 2009-01-09

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   13/4/2012, 23:46

Hardrats,
You forgot to mention that the coveralls were always black,and I never had a pair that fitted properly being a short arse.Having been in Cyprus you must have done the free exchange on the BD,I got some extras from retired friends and came back with four complete new sets,never had time to wear them all,when we changed to the greenies I gave them to my landlord in Wamel Dorf,the last time I saw any of them his wife had apair of trousers on under her skirt out in the fields.
Tony
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Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1026
Localisation : Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Cap Badge : RC Sigs (RTG Op) / CF Logistics (Cook)
Places Served : Germany, Egypt, Cyprus, CFS Alert and some other strange places
Registration date : 2007-12-16

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   13/4/2012, 23:59

TonyE wrote:
Hardrats,
You forgot to mention that the coveralls were always black,and I never had a pair that fitted properly being a short arse.Having been in Cyprus you must have done the free exchange on the BD,I got some extras from retired friends and came back with four complete new sets,never had time to wear them all,when we changed to the greenies I gave them to my landlord in Wamel Dorf,the last time I saw any of them his wife had apair of trousers on under her skirt out in the fields.
Tony

Hi Tony,

That would have been in the days of B.D. and a UN posting would qualify for exhcange on B.D. as combats were not in issue yet. I was in Germany when Cyprus opened up and didn't see Cyprus until after combats were on issue. All my old B.D's ended up in the land fill at CFB Shilo soaked in gasoline and fired up.
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jim
Let Gen
Let Gen
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Number of posts : 1291
Localisation : Sutton Coldfield
Cap Badge : RAOC
Places Served : Dad, Hamburg, Bad Oeynhausen, Iserlohn, Bury, Osnabruck, Worcester. Me Detmold, Bielefeld, NI, HK
Registration date : 2008-01-03

PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   15/4/2012, 06:55

I still think BD's were smarter than No 2's myself
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PostSubject: Re: 27 Cdn Infantry Brigade Exercise -1952   15/4/2012, 08:29

Not wrong there Jim
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