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 SOXMIS STORIES

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recce83
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PostSubject: SOXMIS STORIES   13/6/2009, 20:17

There must be thousands of these stories out there, some of which have found their way into 'Operational Routes". I've seen photos of the pocket card that BAOR apparently issued to everyone. I don't remember ever seeing them in my day, but we were subjected to many indoctrinations on arrival in BAOR and 'reminders' as time went on, including posters displaying the plates.

We were admonished to contact the nearest MP unit or any establishment that was handy and say: "rubber glove", followed by the pertinent details. I got all excited the first time I got to report a SOXMIS car, although on reflection I suspect I was probably the 50th person to report the same sighting. None the less the RMP sargeant who took my statement patiently wrote it all down and politely thanked me. I guess they didn't want to discourage us eager young bucks.

The story is told of a camera set up through a hole in a garage door across from the entrance to Fort Beausejour in Iserlohn (Epsom Barracks prior to 1957; Corunna Barracks after 1970) where our armoured regiment was stationed, but whether that was a SOXMIS op or run by STASI wasn't stated.

On another note, Tony Gerahty published an excellent history of BRIXMIS about 13 years ago. Don't know if it's still in print, but, like anything of Gerahty's, is an excellent read. (Published by HarperCollins. ISBN 0 00 638673 3.)
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ciphers
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Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   13/6/2009, 21:50

You know there must be something missing in my military education. Until I joined this site I had never heard of SOXMIS and as for seeing a Russian Military vehicle, if I had I would probably buggered off sharpish. I know the agreement for exchange Military Missions came into being in 1946, but I never personally came into contact with them, even though at the time 1952-1954 I was stationed in Herford, Bunde (we were the first unit stationed at the newly constructed Birdwood Barracks .. HQ 6 Armoured Div and HQ 6 Armd Div Signals Regt) and then Munster. Hell I was a cipher op and never heard of them. The only presence they had was when one of our 5 figure cipher groups came up with six digits or characters, showing we were being monitored ..

Len (Ciphers)
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recce83
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Registration date : 2009-06-04

PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   13/6/2009, 23:56

Anytime I saw them they were driving unmarked (except for the red and yellow SOXMIS plates) civilian pattern Opel Kapitan sedans (saloons if you will).

By the way, were Birdwood Barracks the Waldfrieden Kaserne that was the home of 7 Sigs in the '60s? I have a lot of memories about the place.

Rod


Last edited by recce83 on 18/6/2009, 22:03; edited 1 time in total
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   14/6/2009, 19:33

Carried over from another post made to the RMP Operational Signs thread:

Hmmmm...I could have sworn someplace on this site I had posted, several months ago, some stuff about reporting SOXMIS, but can't find it.

I think, instead, I posted it to a Canadian Army Brat site (Lahr Revisited), with hardly any response.

Somewhere I have a small framed postcard given to my father after he reported seeing SOXMIS in the 60's. The postcard was an official acknowledgement of Dad's "contribtution" to the NATO effort or some such thing.
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graham wright
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   14/6/2009, 20:10

you did stphen,and you got some replies including mine...graham...
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   17/6/2009, 00:36

Oh good...I don't quite have the trust of my memory or perceptions of things I once did LOL.

I was pretty sure I had posted it here, someplace, but couldn't find it...that tendency to drift off the original topic of a particular thread being the culprit, I suppose :-)

Thanks, Graham. It's a relief to know I haven't totally gone off my rocker quite yet!
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   17/6/2009, 08:13

Quote :
By the way, were Birdwood Barracks the Waldfrieden Kaserne that was the home of 7 Sigs in the '60s? I have a lot of memories about the place.

Maresfield Barracks was the home of 7 Sigs in the 60s.I too have a lot of memories of the place drunken
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recce83
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   17/6/2009, 19:49

I suspect our paths probably crossed in the early 60s Gordon. I had some very good friends in 7 Sigs and spent a lot of my weekends helping the the landlords at Schmidt's and Companions make ends meet with my enthusiastic patronage (to say nothing of the NAAFI and Cpl's mess). We'll have to get together by e-mail and toss a few names around. (Wish we could have a cold Herforder while doing it.)
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   17/6/2009, 23:18

I was there from Jan 62 till Oct 65..Fell out of Schmits a few times but more often than not it was the Companions..a typical night was Cpl`s mess.Companions.Autobahn Cafe (or guardroom) then pit.And if you were really unlucky an Ex Quicktrain was called.I tended to avoid the "flying tumbler" (NAFFI) unless on duty,and that usually lead to a morning with the RSM.

Happy Daze

BTW ....I was in 5 Squadron..
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Ian-redcap70
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   19/6/2009, 04:22

There's a bit about SOXMIS on my web-site at:
http://www.redcap70.net/SOXMIS.htm

Ian.
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ciphers
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Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   19/6/2009, 05:20

Hi Redcap70, I see you were in 6 Armoured .. did you know the Knowlton twins, Arthur and David, they were also 6 Armd at the same time I was there 52/54. One of them, I think it was David also went to Oz. We grew up together in West End, Southampton.
Regards ..
Len (Ciphers)
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Ian-redcap70
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   19/6/2009, 05:42

Hi Len,

I was 1 Corps Bielefeld! I do have a A.Knowlton on my files, but don't know if he is related to the guys you refer to? He was in Army during the early 1950's though. OZ is a big place. Any idea which State?
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ciphers
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Number of posts : 961
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Localisation : Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada V2S 7C5
Cap Badge : Royal Signals
Places Served : Catterick (1951) - BAOR (1952 -1954)-(Herford - Bunde - Munster) - Japan (Kure) - Korea (Pusan - Seoul) - Cyprus (Nicosia) - Suez Op (1st Guards Brigade) - UK (63 Sigs Regt TA, Southampton)
Registration date : 2008-06-30

PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   19/6/2009, 18:03

Sorry Buddy, I think he was living in Sidney but can't be sure .. I did hear that one of the brothers had died and I think it was Arthur, his other twin David was still in the UK. One of my drinking pals in Munster in the 50's was Sgt Ernie Early RMP and I bumped into him again in Kure Japan about 1955 ..

Len (Ciphers)
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   27/7/2009, 11:06

We had Brixmis, the Reds had Soxmis.
What did the Yanks and the Frogs have?

I spotted a large truck outside York Barracks in Munster in the 80s with what looked like Cyrillic (Russian ?) script on it. Reported to Int Corp, never heard anything more. I know it wasnt Soxmis, they had Izuzu Troopers at that time, saw one of those at another time and reported that.
Did the Reds stray as far as Munster? confused
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   27/7/2009, 20:18

"We had Brixmis, the Reds had Soxmis. What did the Yanks and the Frogs have?"

United States Military Liaison Mission (USMLM)
Mission Militaire Francaise de Liaison (MMFL)
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   28/7/2009, 10:30

Claymore wrote:
"We had Brixmis, the Reds had Soxmis. What did the Yanks and the Frogs have?"

United States Military Liaison Mission (USMLM)
Mission Militaire Francaise de Liaison (MMFL)

Thanks Claymore.


Last edited by Chemist on 28/7/2009, 15:37; edited 1 time in total
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nobby clark
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   28/7/2009, 11:09

http://www.bunkertours.co.uk/BRIXMIS.htm
An interesting link.
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   28/7/2009, 23:10

Funny how growing up in the circumstances surrounding being a Dependent of the Canadian Armed Forces colours ones perceptions or even awareness.

for instance, while quite familiar with SOXMIS, it never occurred to me, even all these decades later, that the NATO troops would probably have something similar bipping around the Eastern Sector/East Germany. I'd never heard of BRIXMIS, for instance. Well, colour me naive!! LOL

The site offered up by nobby is quite interesting. Nice cars too! Better than what I remember the poor slobs who were SOXMISers having to put up with.

I also wasn't aware the Americans and French had parallel outfits. Did the Canadians and Belgians have any? I doubt the Belgians did...a more impoverished Army would be hard to find!

the Cold War was an interesting time, more so actually when we all just viewed it, as children and teens, as completely normal!

LIke having tanks rolling down the Ringstrasse in Soest...no big deal to us, but when my mother mentioned it, totally in passing, to her mother in a letter, the next letter from home was full of alarm...Nana was sure my Mom was describing some sort of invasion and was worried sick.
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recce83
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Registration date : 2009-06-04

PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   29/7/2009, 17:14

Only the four occupying powers had military missions: Britain, USA, France and the USSR. It was before your time, Steve, but up to the mid or late 1950s the three western zones were quite clearly defined although the word 'occupation' was avoided. Canadians weren't allowed into Berlin at all, except under special circumstances (we had an intelligence unit at the Olympic Stadium in the latter cold war years). Can't speak for the Belgians. As for the books cited on that excellent web page: I've found used copies at both Barnes & Noble and Chapters web pages. They want the earth for them, though. Still debating how badly I want to read them. Glad I got my copy of "Brixmis" by Tony Gerahty when it was in print.


Last edited by recce83 on 30/7/2009, 16:11; edited 1 time in total
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MIKE S
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   29/7/2009, 19:49

Once saw a soxmis vehicle forced of the road just down from 24 missile in Paderborn. The officer that got out was a six footer and looked very smart ,he seemed unperturbed by the event but was obviously outside his allowed inspection area.
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   29/7/2009, 20:27

recce83 wrote:
Only the four occupying pwers had military missions: Britain, USA, France and the USSR. It was before your time, Steve, but up to the mid or late 1950s the three western zones were quite clearly defined although the word 'occupation' was avoided. Canadians weren't allowed into Berlin at all, except under special circumstances (we had an intelligence unit at the Olympic Stadium in the latter cold war years). Can't speak for the Belgians. As for the books cited on that excellent web page: I've found used copies at both Barnes & Noble and Chapters web pages. They want the earth for them, though. Still debating how badly I want to read them. Glad I got my copy of "Brixmis" by Tony Gehratty when it was in print.

Ah yes...I do recall that now re the 4 "occupying powers" (the former Allies) and I do remember the 4 "zones" with the Soviet Union holding a huge swath of East Germany, East Berlin, and various Eastern European countries (Soviet Bloc/Behind the Iron Curtain) and Britain, US and France divvying up the rest, although France's share was down around Metz and airforce and not particularly large. They had Lahr too before the Canadians took it over (and the Canadians had a small presesence there with the Canadian Air Force in the very late 60's as I recall). Made sense since Metz and Lahr were so close to the German-French border. One could bip over to Strasbourg from Lahr quite easily.

In about 1970 some of our teachers did a trip to Moscow which surprised many of us as Moscow was definitely off the radar to all of us!

Ditto for East Berlin, although my parents did make a trip one weekend into West Berlin. I remember Mom saying the descent into Templehof was a bit unnerving as the plane literally flew between hi-rise apartment buildings and she could see people sitting at their breakfast table and what they were having for breakfast! Yikes.

I didn't pay much attention to my parents' Berlin trip as I wasn't included (it was a Parent Get-a-way, if you get my drift) but as I think back Dad may have had to arrange for some sort of special dispensation or some such. They did go to Checkpoint Charlie but of course were not allowed into the Eastern Sector at all.

Dad managed to snap a picture of the Soviet guards on ceremonial duty at the Brandenburg Gate (then in East Berlin and not accessible to Western Tourists) as the bus drove by on the West Berlin side and slowed down, despite everyone being told the Soviets didn't like photos being taken of their soldiers. Dad did a bit of that sort of stuff LOL

I really don't know under whose authority the Royal Belgian Army fell. They were concentrated in Soest and Werl and, at least at one time in Iserlohn (by my time there was a married quarter area known as the East Belgiques but lived in by Canadians--the Belgians were long gone). IN Soest they had at least 4 Kasernes, a couple of married quarter areas (maybe 3), and a hospital along with a quite 'posh' Officer's Club just west of the main Soest PMQ's, across Arnsberger Strasse that Canadians often went to (at least senior NCo's and officers did). It's still there but I think derelict now, sad to say.
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dandc
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   30/7/2009, 12:55

i still have my thankyou card from the RMP for reporting a soxmis car,i still remember the day it happend,i had just picked my mother up from the airport and i sppotted him on the way back to detmold,itold my mother what was happening it was the most exciting part of her stay,[her words not mine her stay wasent that boring].
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   1/8/2009, 20:08

In reference to BRIXMIS I've read some where that there were Canadian Officers on secondment to them. Would make sense as were were part of BAOR. Which believe it or not we were still technically after we moved to Lahr.
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Stephen Lock
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   5/8/2009, 05:10

dandc wrote:
i still have my thankyou card from the RMP for reporting a soxmis car,i still remember the day it happend,i had just picked my mother up from the airport and i sppotted him on the way back to detmold,itold my mother what was happening it was the most exciting part of her stay,[her words not mine her stay wasent that boring].

My dad got one too and framed it. I inherited it and whenever friends were over and noticed it, they'd sometimes ask what it was. These friends, btw, were all civilians so when I told them what SOXMIS was, they thought I was making it up...it was, as one said, just too James Bond LOL Silly civvies....
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PostSubject: Re: SOXMIS STORIES   6/8/2009, 16:10

There was nothing more fun than a 5 ton wrecker bearing down on a SOXMIS car. The drivers look on his face was priceless. Took some fine judgement when to brake, but our guys were good at it. The SOXMIS always took great interest in the SSM Bty as they were a nuculear delivery out fit.
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