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 TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL

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soprano54
Mike_2817
Stephen Lock
ciphers
BobG
TonyE
Ian-redcap70
dandc
JPW
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen



Number of posts : 1119
Age : 81
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

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PostSubject: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime25/1/2010, 11:35

I have been asked to help a model railway enthusiast whose theme is a German railway branch line in the early 60s in the Verden area. He would like to include a couple of Centurions on WARFLATS in a goods train

He has recieved conflicting advice, some say this never happened, on the contrary I believe this was a familiar scene.

In particular I believe many tanks of the BAOR Armoured Regiments were taken by rail to and from their peacetime locations (Detmold/Munster/Osnabruck/Paderborn) to the annual Firing Camps on Hohne Ranges in the 50s and 60s and similar arrangements were made at the start and end of the Autumn major Exercises

The practise ended with the electrification of the majority of the DB mainlines in the late 1960s and the introduction of Chieftain which being British designed was out of gauge in peacetime

We do have a number of RAC veterans of that era. Can anyone confirm my theories? (Same rules applied to the Canadians except that the later Leopard was within gauge and was often transported by rail)
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dandc
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Lt Col
dandc


Number of posts : 383
Age : 72
Localisation : gateshead
Cap Badge : 15/19H.ARMY AIR CORPS
Places Served : tidworth, fallingbostle, detmold, hongkong, minden
Registration date : 2009-05-22

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime25/1/2010, 12:15

i cant be certain but it was roumered another reason the old cents were not liked on the roads was they had all metal tracks,not a problem with chieftans etc,dave.
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Ian-redcap70
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Number of posts : 65
Age : 91
Localisation : Brisbane, OZ
Cap Badge : RMP
Places Served : Bielefeld, Colchester
Registration date : 2007-08-16

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime25/1/2010, 18:30

Long time ago now, but I remember the loading of Cents. on to rail flat-tops during Exercise in August 1953 in area Paderborn/Geseke/Lippstadt-direction Ruhr. (We policed the loading).

They had to go by rail (Diesel locos) because their tracks ripped up the road cobblestones!
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http://www.redcap70.net
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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime25/1/2010, 20:21

Oh yeah ! Didn't they make a mess though ?
I remember our OP party following a troop of Cents into a village, which might have been Wietzendorf, many moons ago.
They were on "advance to contact", had moved up to a crossroads keeping well into the left with their tracks on the pavement. About 50 tons wasn't it, a Cent ? Guess what was under the pavement-yep, a sewer. Trouble was, they just kept on going !

Baz.
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TonyE
WOI
WOI
TonyE


Number of posts : 112
Age : 91
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

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime25/1/2010, 23:34

We had Centurions(known as Agony Waggons) into the 70's.When they were at Iserlohn the MSO TT Coy from Hamm hauled them down to Hemer Station. In Lahr they just drove through the base to our own railhead,these were Mk11 and the DB instructions always stated that the infa red searchlights had to be removed and stored in the baskets on the turrets.Loading them was a pain they had to have a 3cm overhang on each side even down the whole length to make them in guage.Once we had a go at French Army traing areas and to get the Cents to Camp Val de Honne up into the hills near Besancon they had to be routed via Paris, and they drove over the city roads and out into the country for about 30 kms,we never went back there again.

For JPW. Tell your rail modelling friend that if he wants to be accurate the railcars used were Deutsche Bundesbahn Rlmmp wagons.
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BobG
Lt Col
Lt Col



Number of posts : 330
Age : 84
Localisation : Northumberland
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg, Verden, Liebenau, Hohne, Hamm, Duisburg, Minden, Hannover, Fallingbostal, Kuwait, UK, HK, USA/Can.
Registration date : 2008-02-27

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime26/1/2010, 17:42

Peter, in 1971/2 I was with the QOH in Hohne and remember Units equiped with Chieftain arriving at the Hohne railhead. In 1971 we deployed on an ex to the Kassel area and all our tracked vehicles, including MBTs, moved by rail to and from the ex area. This was the only rail movement we did.
Bob
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen



Number of posts : 1119
Age : 81
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 18:31

Gentlemen

Thank you for your interesting and authoritive comments which I will pass on to the individual concerned. I am relieved that my memory was not at fault!!

I too remember Centurions charging through the centre of villages on the SLTA and the general relief when they were bypassed by ring roads

Anybody remember the incident in the mid 60s when the Troop Leader of a well known Cavalry Regiment stuck the barrel of his Centurion through the open window of one of the local gaststatte pubs and ordered beers all round for his Troop (obeying the order that no soldiers in uniform could enter them in uniform during FTX). When this was refused he ordered his Gunner to load and fire a smoke cannister and instantly cleared the place.
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ciphers
Maj Gen
Maj Gen
ciphers


Number of posts : 978
Age : 89
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

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 19:11

Well don't want to burst your bubble JPW but that yarn was around in the 50's when I was at 20 Armoured Brigade who were equipped with Centurions later to be replaced by Chieftains .. good yarn though, I can remember the cartoon in the Soldier magazine depicting a Cent with its gun stuck through the pub window ..

Len (Ciphers)
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http://lenpayne.com/Len_Payne/Jim_Chapman.html
JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen



Number of posts : 1119
Age : 81
Localisation : Berkshire
Cap Badge : REME
Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 19:21

Ciphers

Just goes to show us youngsters have a lot to learn from our elders and betters.

The incident I described did happen but I am going to plead the American 5th Amendment and will not disclose the Regiment and individual concerned


Last edited by JPW on 1/2/2010, 21:06; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 20:11

By the time that story reached us, a blank was fired into the gasthaus (imagine !)
Yet another urban myth !

Baz
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Stephen Lock
Maj Gen
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Stephen Lock


Number of posts : 937
Age : 69
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Cap Badge : Pads Brat
Places Served : Father -- Canadian Army. Served Hemer, Soest, and Wetter
Registration date : 2007-12-28

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 21:06

redcap70 wrote:
Long time ago now, but I remember the loading of Cents. on to rail flat-tops during Exercise in August 1953 in area Paderborn/Geseke/Lippstadt-direction Ruhr. (We policed the loading).

They had to go by rail (Diesel locos) because their tracks ripped up the road cobblestones!

Again, as a dependent, I don't specifically recall rail transporting but I do know various vehicles (generally what I thought of as 'tanks'...but of course some were and some weren't) tearing up cobblestones.

I also remember when living in Soest circa 1961 or so we lived just off the Ringstrasse, in a upstairs flat of a German house owned by Frau Elizabeth (of Sally Ann fame) in behind the Coca-Cola plant. Our kitchen window looked right down the lane past the plant to the Ring Strasse and it was not unusual to see -- and feel! -- large armoured vehicles rumbling along.

Now, I can't say how long the lane from the house to the Ring Strasse was but it was probably at least a block or so in length...maybe a 3-5 minute stroll, so somewhat lengthy. I mean, it wasn't like we were right on the Ring Strasse or anything. Even at that, the whole place shook when these behemoths rumbled down the Ring Strasse enroute to or from where ever it was. The plates would shake in the kitchen cupboards and pictures on the wall, the smaller ones anyway, would slide sideways. Mom had to go around straightening pictures after.

Just another normal day in North-Rhine Westphalia!!
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Mike_2817
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Mike_2817


Number of posts : 643
Localisation : North Yorkshire
Cap Badge : RAOC
Registration date : 2009-08-27

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 23:08

I served at Sennelarger in the late 70's and witnessed several trains loaded with Tracked Vehicles, mainly APC's but also German Army Leopard Tanks. British Cheften MBT's were always transported by road and a TT Regt was based at STA

As for tanks ripping up the cobbles. They were OK when driven in a strait line or curve, and junctions where they needed to do a 90 Degree turn were concreted to stop damage. The Traffic Lights at the end of Sennelarger Strip was the crossover point to the STA as they were not permitted to transit though the camp itself. Many a night we were woke up with vibrations of long rows of Tracked Vehicles crossing over and passing the quarters on there way to the training area. Woh betide anyone who wanted to use the roads that night! and I would take a wide detour to avoid them.
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TonyE
WOI
WOI
TonyE


Number of posts : 112
Age : 91
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

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 23:13

Stephen,the only outfit with tanks in Soest were the Belgian 4th Lancers in the barracks just above the married quarters,but you often saw them going along the B1 with a strange collection of armoured tracked vehicles never sure what they were light tanks or some ancient type of APC.When they moved by rail they had to retrieve old nails out of the rail car floors to fix their wooden chocks,I saw them doing it at Werl station while I was waiting to attend the Van Doos loading for exercise.Our guys had metal chocks with pointed cleats that went into the floorboards with weight of the vehicle, and chains with tensioners same as used by loggers on the Yukon Highway. My boss had worked up there at Dawson Creek and his adaptation got him a lot of bucks from the suggestion award programme.
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soprano54
WOI
WOI
soprano54


Number of posts : 168
Age : 64
Localisation : Gloucestershire
Cap Badge : RTR
Places Served : Fallingbostel, Tidworth, Paderborn, Cyprus, Bovington, Hemer, NI, Coltishall, Incirlik, Benson
Registration date : 2007-03-10

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 23:37

Mike_2817 wrote:
I served at Sennelarger in the late 70's and witnessed several trains loaded with Tracked Vehicles, mainly APC's but also German Army Leopard Tanks. British Cheften MBT's were always transported by road and a TT Regt was based at STA

As for tanks ripping up the cobbles. They were OK when driven in a strait line or curve, and junctions where they needed to do a 90 Degree turn were concreted to stop damage. The Traffic Lights at the end of Sennelarger Strip was the crossover point to the STA as they were not permitted to transit though the camp itself. Many a night we were woke up with vibrations of long rows of Tracked Vehicles crossing over and passing the quarters on there way to the training area. Woh betide anyone who wanted to use the roads that night! and I would take a wide detour to avoid them.

Thats if the TTs were available! When I was based in Barker Bks 79-86 we nearly always let the train take the strain! I remember arriving back in Paderborn Nord in the early hours having been up on Soltau for a few weeks. We got off only to be told by some RCT WO2 that we could take the tanks off the flats but we were not able to drive back to Barker so we would have to leave a guard and come back some time later. Word soon went around that all the drivers are to rev the nuts off thier panzers, in the end all the locals in the area were awake wondering WTF was going on and the RCT WO2 wasn't a happy bunny either! ISTR we ended up moving back to Barker after all and as far as I can remember that was the last time we ever came came back into Paderborn Nord!!! Twisted Evil
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Mike_2817
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Mike_2817


Number of posts : 643
Localisation : North Yorkshire
Cap Badge : RAOC
Registration date : 2009-08-27

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime1/2/2010, 23:44

Cannot say I ever saw Chieftains on flats, but I am willing to believe it happened. I was with 1 CSB based at Barker Barracks, but lived and worked at Sennelarger, and saw many a Chieftain on the main drag, in fact I seem to remember one getting a speeding ticket LoL
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BobG
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Lt Col



Number of posts : 330
Age : 84
Localisation : Northumberland
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Places Served : Rotenburg, Verden, Liebenau, Hohne, Hamm, Duisburg, Minden, Hannover, Fallingbostal, Kuwait, UK, HK, USA/Can.
Registration date : 2008-02-27

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime2/2/2010, 17:24

There was only one TT Regt in BAOR. 7 TT Regt RCT had its HQ and 3 TT Sqn at Sennelager - they were all regular Brits. The other two Sqns were MSO - 612 Sqn in Fallingbostal and 617 Sqn in Hamm, both of these had a small Brit element in key posts. I was ASM of 617 TT Sqn Wksp 1972 - 74. The problem was that each Sqn could only lift one Regt and during major Exs we did not have enough lift capacity resulting in some movement having to be by rail.
Bob
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burgess720
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Number of posts : 147
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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime2/2/2010, 22:52

Hi all,

Slightly off topic; but during a major exercise in 1952; 40 Field RE built a american type inflatable pontoons joined together bridge over the Weser at Hameln

A very large number of tanks moved over that bridge during one night; from what I remember they were almost all the British Army had at that time, and I am under the impression it was a few hundred.

My job all night was to watch for any problems with the foundations on the north bank. In the morning I picked a bucket of mushrooms.

Anyone know the name of this exercise, and approx quantity of tanks?

Cheers
Tony
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soprano54
WOI
WOI
soprano54


Number of posts : 168
Age : 64
Localisation : Gloucestershire
Cap Badge : RTR
Places Served : Fallingbostel, Tidworth, Paderborn, Cyprus, Bovington, Hemer, NI, Coltishall, Incirlik, Benson
Registration date : 2007-03-10

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime2/2/2010, 23:04

Mike_2817 wrote:
Cannot say I ever saw Chieftains on flats, but I am willing to believe it happened. I was with 1 CSB based at Barker Barracks, but lived and worked at Sennelarger, and saw many a Chieftain on the main drag, in fact I seem to remember one getting a speeding ticket LoL

You have now!

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TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Paderbornnordgunnhearnwoody

BobG wrote:
There was only one TT Regt in BAOR. 7 TT Regt RCT had its HQ and 3 TT Sqn at Sennelager - they were all regular Brits. The other two Sqns were MSO - 612 Sqn in Fallingbostal and 617 Sqn in Hamm, both of these had a small Brit element in key posts. I was ASM of 617 TT Sqn Wksp 1972 - 74. The problem was that each Sqn could only lift one Regt and during major Exs we did not have enough lift capacity resulting in some movement having to be by rail.
Bob

I could have sworn it was 16 Tk Transporter Sqn in 'Falling-Bar-Stool'! Rolling Eyes
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Ian-redcap70
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Ian-redcap70


Number of posts : 65
Age : 91
Localisation : Brisbane, OZ
Cap Badge : RMP
Places Served : Bielefeld, Colchester
Registration date : 2007-08-16

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime3/2/2010, 02:33

"....stuck the barrel of his Centurion through the open window of one of the local gaststatte pubs ...."

Reading this brought back vague recollections of The Queen's Coronation parade in Osnabrück in 1953 when a Cent. gun barrel took out the corner of a building during a right hand turn!

Does anyone else remember this incident?
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http://www.redcap70.net
Hardrations
Let Gen
Let Gen
Hardrations


Number of posts : 1062
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

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime3/2/2010, 02:41

Mike talks about the Chieftan getting a speeding ticket. Apparently this really happend in the Lahr Airbase where the tanks were posted. On recieving their new Leopards one driver was ticketed by the Meatheads (M.P.'s) for speeding. So the story goes that the Brigade Commander paid the ticket as he was so pleased that they now had a reliable tank. I tend to believe the story.

While on tanks I remember the Isralie Centurion tanks that were built up. Man they were huge, but the Egyptians had no problem destroying them. Little hole in the sucker on one side and huge torn out hulk on the other side. Even in the thick built up part on the front of the turrent was just a mess.
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BobG
Lt Col
Lt Col



Number of posts : 330
Age : 84
Localisation : Northumberland
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Places Served : Rotenburg, Verden, Liebenau, Hohne, Hamm, Duisburg, Minden, Hannover, Fallingbostal, Kuwait, UK, HK, USA/Can.
Registration date : 2008-02-27

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime3/2/2010, 09:54

Paul, you are partially right. Due to the run down of the MSO, 612 gradually became a regular army unit and was retitled 16 TT Sqn, I cant remember the year this happened but it was after I left 617.
Bob
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Mike_2817
LE Maj
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Mike_2817


Number of posts : 643
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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime3/2/2010, 12:27

Hardrations wrote:
Mike talks about the Chieftan getting a speeding ticket. Apparently this really happend in the Lahr Airbase where the tanks were posted. On recieving their new Leopards one driver was ticketed by the Meatheads (M.P.'s) for speeding. So the story goes that the Brigade Commander paid the ticket as he was so pleased that they now had a reliable tank. I tend to believe the story.

There was indeed a picture of said Chieftain in the QRIH Mess at Barker Barrarks, Padderborn in 1978 where it was clocked on the slip road outside the camp. The Squadron had the picture framed!
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jerry
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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime3/2/2010, 22:27

burgess720 wrote:
Hi all,

Slightly off topic; but during a major exercise in 1952; 40 Field RE built a american type inflatable pontoons joined together bridge over the Weser at Hameln

A very large number of tanks moved over that bridge during one night; from what I remember they were almost all the British Army had at that time, and I am under the impression it was a few hundred.

My job all night was to watch for any problems with the foundations on the north bank. In the morning I picked a bucket of mushrooms.

Anyone know the name of this exercise, and approx quantity of tanks?

Cheers
Tony
Hi Tony check with Ciphers he replied with this to me on the holdfast 1960 thread cheers Jerry
Exercise Holdfast must have been a popular name 1 Corps held one of the same name in 1952/3 with 2 Inf Div, 6 Armoured Div and 11 Armoured Div ..

Len (Ciphers)
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JPW
Let Gen
Let Gen



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Age : 81
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Places Served : Rotenburg Ploen Lippstadt Hamm Wetter Minden Munster Bielefeldt Dusseldorf
Registration date : 2008-11-09

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime6/2/2010, 18:03

Gentlemen

Many thanks for the additional information

If a picture is worth a thousand words I have more than enough ammo to silence any critics from the opposit
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AlienFTM
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Number of posts : 53
Age : 67
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Registration date : 2007-12-07

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PostSubject: Re: TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL   TRANSPORT OF BRITISH TANKS BY RAIL Icon_minitime16/2/2010, 13:01

TonyE wrote:
Stephen,the only outfit with tanks in Soest were the Belgian 4th Lancers in the barracks just above the married quarters,but you often saw them going along the B1 with a strange collection of armoured tracked vehicles never sure what they were light tanks or some ancient type of APC.

15/19H were stationed in Paderborn 1977 - 1984. I remember one day stumbling across a couple of Scorpions somewhere in the vicinity of Paderborn during the first couple of years of that tour and being surprised by the rather lighter-brown camouflage on the squaddies and the Scorpions until it occurred to me that they were Belgian (Belgium having been one of the first countries to buy CVR(T)). I am guessing that this is what you saw.
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» Centurions tanks in service in Berlin area

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BFG/BAOR/RAFG Locations :: General-
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