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 Battle Royal

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coley
LCpl
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Number of posts : 8
Registration date : 2009-09-13

PostSubject: Battle Royal   13/9/2009, 09:05

Anyone remember Battle Royal in 1954? The first NATO exercise.
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PostSubject: Re: Battle Royal   13/9/2009, 10:35

In 1954 I was a National Service Elec Mech Air stationed at RAF Waterbeach with 56 Sq RAF.

There was one hell of an exercise where we worked dawn to dusk for I think two weeks,slept in the barracks but everything else was done in tents out at the edge of the runway.

On one day two Belgian Thunderjets appeared and dropped flour bags on us. Great we thought, we're out of this war. No such luck, carry on lads

That must have been Battle Royal ,but nobody told us, we were just gash NSA bloody nuisances.

There are a couple of articles on Battle Royal in the Flight Magazine Archives web site
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TomM
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Cpl
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Number of posts : 11
Age : 81
Localisation : Benfleet Essex
Cap Badge : RASC
Places Served : Kettwig Germany
Registration date : 2009-11-19

PostSubject: Battle Royal   7/12/2009, 16:19

I was on battle royal and my memory isn't good!! But I've a faint recollection,I was the driver that lead the convoy with 2IC (captain of transport) Captain Wilson, I was his driver come batman(No Guard duties), I lead the convoy of 130coy(motor ambulance)RASC from Kettwig to Osnabruck I think !!!. (But i know one of chaps will put me right), There was about 50 Ambulances and REME LAD coming up behind, I remember I had to keep the speed to about 20mph or the poor sod on the end got lost, I herd one chap say he was doing 60mph to keep up with us, We had to stop a few times, But we got there in the end, I remember the rain and mud, That's where the LAD came in handy, Because our ambulances wasn't any good in the mud(They were to light), Remember sleeping in a 2man Bivouac on the wet grass and getting up before dawn for Stand2 and jump in your trench (Which had a foot of water in it). and wait for stand-down, I was very busy because I had to run messages from camp to camp all hours of the day or night, The ambulance drivers were busy too with casualties and they did look real, I felt sick some times it was only make up but very real with there legs and arms hanging off, After 14days of that we made our way back to our ex-girls home, centrally heated with nice warm beds, Then after all that we started to train for the 4day Nijmegem marches Tom
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ciphers
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
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Number of posts : 952
Age : 83
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: Battle Royal   7/12/2009, 17:46

In a 1953 exercise, 20 Armoured Brigade made a fast deployment from Munster where we were garrisoned up to the American enclave at Cuxhaven/Bremmerhaven where we gave tactical support for them. On the way back to Munster after the exercise we were 'flour bombed' by the RAF who had not been told the exercise was over. Supposedly, and I cannot confirm it, but one of the guys from the Brigade was killed when hit by a flour bomb as he was riding with his head out the hatch of a three tonner. Tell you something for nothing though, those RAF boys were bloody good shots, most of our convoy was hit, and the bloody resulting mess took some cleaning up.

Len (Ciphers)
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arbor
Sgt
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Number of posts : 29
Registration date : 2009-10-10

PostSubject: Re: Battle Royal   9/12/2009, 22:23

gosh ! battle Royal my first exercise ever .can't remember much about it except we were deprived of sleep for what seemed an eternity and having to drive my tank in a stange enviroment we ended up in Holland where we fell asleep where we stopped .when we woke we had been made comfortable by the local Dutch residents ,who made us welcome untill we returned to Munster
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Stitch.
Sgt
Sgt


Number of posts : 29
Age : 81
Localisation : County Durham, England.
Cap Badge : Gunner, Royal Artillery.
Places Served : Oswestry Shropshire, Kirkee Camp; Mac-Munn Bks, Colchester Essex. West Riding Barracks, Dortmund Germany.
Registration date : 2009-11-20

PostSubject: Re: Battle Royal   11/12/2009, 15:38

Reading these postings, really dose stir `the old memories, `some good, and others, not so. I also `took part, in that exercise, `bits of which, I still have fond recollections of.

Battle Royal, was thought to be, the greatest undertaking the military of the day, had ever setout to achieve, for it entailed the bringing together, of all manner of the various troops, a real mix.

When that exercise took place, it would have to have been the `latter months of 1954, for it really was such dreadful weather, it was constantly wet, `raining all the time, bloody miserable. I can see those `infantry soldiers now, huddled up, in the hedges, and dike-backs, all with there capes, on.

`I fond memories indeed.

Stitch.
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Ian-redcap70
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Number of posts : 65
Age : 85
Localisation : Brisbane, OZ
Cap Badge : RMP
Places Served : Bielefeld, Colchester
Registration date : 2007-08-16

PostSubject: Re: Battle Royal   9/3/2010, 19:57

What was the exercise which was held in the Munsterland in January/February 1954 called. Anyone remember?

The weather was bitterly cold and we were billeted in old rat infested farm barns. We were dirty, wet, cold, hungry, starved of proper sleep and food and bloody well fed up with the whole darned business! The exercis had been very badly planned.

The exercise was cut short because of numerous complaints from the troops of all units-including RMP!
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donald
WOI
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Number of posts : 156
Age : 87
Cap Badge : 1st The Royal Dragoons - The Blues and Royals (RHG/D)
Places Served : UK,BOAR,Egypt
Registration date : 2008-04-04

PostSubject: Re: Battle Royal   11/3/2010, 16:14

I remember being on it too.As I recall we were warned that "Atomic Weapons" might be used,and with my Troop I reported,with grid reference,what I thought was a mock Atomic explosion.Shortly afterwards I was in great demand on the air as a jet had gone down(think it was Dutch)in the area I had reported.It was found near the GR I had given,but unfortunately the pilot died,I think it was a "Starfighter?)We had very little sleep on this exercise,and when it ended I know I slept for 48hrs solid!
-------
Don
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Battle Royal   12/5/2011, 18:56

Battle Royal ? My first exercise after landing up with 16 LAA Regt RA in
July '54. With training on field radar & pushed in a unit with no kit of that nature I was a spare part. I helped out in the Battery Office mounted in the back of a Bedford QL and was trusted ro take bits of paper to outstations on a 350 cc. Matchless....... All good fun, except we never had enough maps and, in any event, they didn't think I'd be able to read one. I got lost and ended up in a German village where I was looking for a booze outlet and a couple of bottles of Pils for the BQMS. For identification we had a piece of paper with a black cross on a yellow background. It was stuck on the windscreen of the trucks & put in the headlight of a bike. Bloody Silly! I took mine out with the aim of being to see where I was going after dark.

There was a troop of Daimler armoured cars in the village square, I asked if I could view their maps to put me on track. Quite scornful, they were, that one such as me should be wandering about mapless, but they helped. It soon dawned on them that I was with the opposition........ I left that square in a mild 50 mph panic. ignoring their pleas to stop. And thinking of maps, I remember that on Battle Royal we had the first and last issue of Goings Maps.....the standard 100,000 sheets overprinted with various coloured sections to gave an indication of the nature of the ground. As a bonus the coloured bits obscured other necessary detail and Goings Maps were quietly withdrawn. The printers were kept busy in other directions, too. From somewhere back from the sharp end they put together a daily newsheet every copy full of propaganda just as it would be in a full blown war.

I was killed on Battle Royal, so were the others in my troop. I was on guard in the middle of the night, a jeep pulled in the farmyard just as my mate was replacing the rum bottle which we'd found in the 2 i/cs Champ. "See that flash ?" asked the older of the two in the jeep. Indeed we had, thought the blue flicker on the horizon had been thunder. We said so, not unduly concerned for we were billetted in a substantial barn. The visitor grunted. "Take me to your leader", he said or words to that effect. We been warned of such things, but not of the existence of umpires. Some commanders had been eliminated by the opposition pretending to be friendly. My more senior companion made one or two brief retorts in Anglo Saxon and shoved his Sten into the front of the jeep. I fetched the BSM as instructed.

The flash was the first simulated nuclear device detonated in a NATO exercise. We were all out of action before the war had got under way, gleefully anticipating a return to barracks and clean sheets. Not so. The battery stayed in the farm yard for three days, the time it would take to get a replacement out from UK. The time was spent usefully with blanco brush and shoe polish.

My companion on guard, the one who had prodded a major with a machine carbine, was singled out for special attention. He was deemed to be one of the wounded, his injuries were such that he had to be medevaced away. We didn't see him again until some days after Battle Royal was over. He finished up in a POW compound, for such things were erected for realism. The guards were Canadians, they weren't chuffed at the role when everyone else was playing fighting soldiers, but they went for realism. He lost his cap badge and most of his kit, he lost an appetite for the food dished up and eventually his dignity. Yes, Battle Royal was a dirty war !
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cartav
Maj Gen
Maj Gen


Number of posts : 783
Age : 86
Localisation : s. yorks
Cap Badge : RA (ns) RA, R.Sigs, RE ( TAVR)
Places Served : Oswestry, Tonfanau, Woolwich, Osnabruck, MT School Bordon, Bulford, Manorbier, Hameln, R.Sigs Blandford, RSME Chattenden, Western Highlands.
Registration date : 2011-04-26

PostSubject: Re: Battle Royal   15/5/2011, 12:07

More thoughts on "Battle Royal", it's funny how much comes to mind when I start thinking of it................

As Battery HQ Tp. we usually kipped in one of those huge German barns. The farm yard, with its stinking pit of domestic waste & animal droppings was our parade ground. The RCT chap had gratefully seen our night sign of a blue & red painted tin with holes punched in the white figure "73" to let a faint glow escape from the hurricane lamp inside. The guard on the entrance pulled him to a halt, ensured he was in the right spot and parked him up beside a lean-to shed

Driver jumped down, wad of paperwork in hand. He said "I've got a delivery........ 50 boxes of 40mm...... " then, without a pause " Is there a brew on?" Guard sniffed, ignored the question & countered "Gorra fag?" An exchange was made. "Your lot have got to unload it" said the driver, for that activity was outside his job specification. Battery storeman was roused, clerks, signallers and GD men were outed and got stuck in without much enthusiam.

It was heavy work. There were no clips of shells for the Bofors guns in the boxes but, for exercise reality, each steel box was half filled with sand. ( Not sure of the weight...... but if there really had been 5 clips of 4 rounds in every box, each would have been in excess of 50lbs.) Job done, boxes neatly stacked under cover, the stores bombardier signed for delivery. " Want another brew before you go?" he asked the driver. " Sure!" he grinned back and reached in his cab for a brown enamel mug. "......... But I'm not going yet. Them boxes is on my charge, you can't keep them!"

It sank in. The neat stack of simulated 40mm rounds had to be reloaded. The driver was lucky he didn't finish up in the compost pit.


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