Let's hear your BAOR stories

Discussion in 'Postwar' started by Owen, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Just reading this about where the troops will be now we're pulling out of Germany.
    BBC News - Army bases: Hammond to announce future plans

    I'm sure we have lots of members with memories of being in Germany with the forces or forces families.

    Let's here some tales.

    edit: Yes I know it hasnt been called BAOR for along time now but for this thread it'll do.
  2. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    I served in the Catering Corps stationed in the BAOR from 1976-1978. We were issued with these cards.


    Attached Files:

  3. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Another document we were issued with. I was attached firstly with 1 Bn Irish Guards in Munster and then with 5 Fd Force HQ & Sig Sqn in Osnabruk, we shared base with 3 Para.


    Attached Files:

  4. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Families - or as they were unofficially known, excess baggage. My wife joined me as I flew back from leave in the UK, great airline Caledonian. My wife's first flight she was just about relaxing as the wheels came down on the approach to RAF Gutersloh - The throttles opened wide and the wheels came up as we turned hard. finger nails digging into my arm. The captain spoke, 'we are in the middle of an exercise and have to slot in with it'. When we landed a stream of Lightnings were landing 92 squadron I recognized the badge (my father was attached for a short time in the DAF). My wife needed convincing that this was the place to be! When in BAOR there was a lot of time where not much happened. truth be told nobody really believed that Ivan was going expeditionary and visit Germany, if the politicians believed it after 1979 they would have given us some ammo. The higher echelons had to keep up a pretence of sorts and we had 'Active Edge' this was in the gift of the top soldier and he could on a whim at any time of day and night call it. St Andrews day, in fact late on St Andrews day, that time of day when we see better through one eye and listen to drunks being boring as no doubt they are equally as bored with your havering . Somebody burst into the mess with that scary look of a sober person and shouted come on it's Active Edge. He was invited to see the MT section and travel. Its bloody NODUFF I tell you! JHC we were soon heading to the company lines where the guardsmen were just a shade miffed married men were brought in from quarters . Get the vehicles loaded - every item of war kit had to be loaded on the 432s and support vehicles. The CSM stood by his door. oh &&& the keys! Kick it in, a big Jock applied the boot and was hanging with his leg through the panel. The Q bloke was issuing the keys to the door padlocks on the 432s - there was very few drivers able to drive as we who had mess kit on struggled to get out of it - something that a good wife does for you - get you out of your mess kit when wasted! got my active edge kit and back to the vehicle - the lads were at the armoury drawing weapons - bloody weapons! I can remember sitting in the vehicle setting up my No 5 mic and switching on the two C42s and thinking whats the frequencies. The KK (company commander) stuck his head in all OK? This did not look good he was suspiciously sober looking - not true he was just a good actor. My driver was out of it, so our trusty lance corporal Mac took the tillers. At this point a team arrive and select a crew or two and ask to see items of kit and check to see if the Tels (radio) shop and all war stores are loaded, then its mount up and go, we left in packets just as the first left Waterloo Barracks and turned left - the recall was sent - so it was all back to where we had just left. We could not have managed it without the training! The tankies (4RTR) down the road at Gremmendorf were in much the same state. Happy days, there were many! On other active edge call outs we did go to our hide areas once for two days and then a long drive to our start line. The Russian SOXMIS boys would tag along too! In fact they had to be told what we were doing. I served here again! I should point out that I only drank on religious holidays - I was in fact a moderate drinker - I saw what it could do.

    General Sir Sean Hackett suggested in his book that we the starting the vehicles stage when a tactical nuclear device would have removed the battalion from the Orbat and Waterloo barracks from the map.

    Waterloo baracks.jpg
  5. gliderrider

    gliderrider Senior Member

    Soltau, Paderborn, Red House Hohne, Wolfgang, Tripartite, Tin City, Yellow Handbags, and the list goes on and its all gone. Happy days then.
  6. Medic7922

    Medic7922 Senior Member

    BMH Munster and other dodgy looking military hospital in Germany, also Medical cover in Belgium and some other seedy looking places:D
    One joke that went around was when the RSM/Ward Master would ask have you your SOXMIS cards and your Train ticket & Ferry timetable back to the UK when the Balloon goes up.
    A funny sight I saw was while stopping off in an Autobahn service station near Hanover, a Chinook landed in the car park and out troops a squad of soldiers who went inside to buy tea and fags, All I can remember about BAOR was the Boozing,Black-marketeering and every con & scam that the British soldiers could manage :D
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  7. Joe Brown

    Joe Brown WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    In the last five months of my War service, my duties as a Staff-Captain at GHQ 2nd Echelon included posting parties of men to camps sites in forests in the BAOR so that they could cut down trees to provide wood for shipment back to Britain. This was part of the 'reparations' agreed in the settlement at the end of the War by the Allies and Germany. An RAF unit refused to move from a hutted camp that had been ear-marked for occupation by a detachment of Army tree-fellers and went (as a day out!) to GHQ at Hamburg to report the situation to my superior Staff Officer.

    Shortly afterwards the Army Commander visited the Holding Camps at Belefield, where I was attached to the Colonel Commandant's staff. Apparently the G.O.C.-in-C. arrived 15 minutes before he was expected, which made my arrival some ten minutes after the Lieutenant-General. Approaching the Commandant’s office I saw a crowd standing outside frantically signalling to me to 'double-up'. Thinking it was a leg-pull I did not react at once but increased my pace as I sensed their panic. On reaching the Nissen hut was quickly pushed through the door and found myself in a dark room crowded with red-tab generals, brigadiers and full colonels. I heard the Colonel Commandant say: 'Sir, this is Captain Brown!

    Saluting the Army Commander and mumbling an apology for keeping him waiting, he asked me about the hold-up being caused by the RAF and what had I done about it. When I told him, he reached for the field telephone and asked to speak to the Chief-of-Staff at Rhine Army Headquarters and in angry tones outlined what I had just reported. Question after question was fired at the Chief-of-Staff about why GHQ had not taken action on my report. He paused in the middle of his tirade to confirm a brief point with me and then ordered the Chief-of-Staff to have a full report on his desk by the time he returned to GHQ. Terminating the telephone call, turned and looked in my direction and thanked me.

    Later was told about the political background that had made the matter so sensitive and urgent. The newly elected Labour Government were anxious to keep up the momentum of their house-building programme which was in danger of being held-up because of the shortage of wood. Consequently they were breathing down the neck of the War Office and they in turn were putting pressure on the Commander of the BAOR to get a move on! It provided a distinctive high-note to end my seven year’s War-time service by keeping the Commander-in-Chief of the BAOR waiting for about ten minutes . . . for me!

    Joe Brown.
  8. sparky34

    sparky34 Senior Member

    spent only 4 months in GERMANY [ B,A,O,R ] ,DEC52/MARCH53 at VERDEN the H.Q
    of 7TH ARMOURED DIV SIGNALS REGT .. a right bullsh-t camp ,,a volunteer was called
    for , for KOREA ,luckily i was chosen , and was i glad to get out of there ,,
    it was also the coldest 4 months of my life ,,it took the next couple of years in MALAYA
    to defrost ..
  9. chrisgrove

    chrisgrove Senior Member

    When posted to the big house at Rheindahlen, one was often (with family) accommodated in one of the hostels until a quarter became available. Though both my wife and I had served in BAOR before, we were quite surprised on our first night to be woken by the Active Edge siren right outside our window. Just arrived in BAOR, no kit issued, not reported to place of duty, we had no idea what to do or where to go, so we pulled the bedclothes over our heads and went back to sleep!

  10. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

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  11. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    I remember those 2 Barracks was stationed in Buller Barracks (Att 1st Irish Guards)

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  12. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

  13. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    I was stationed in

    Hameln from 1984 to 1993 (42 fd Sqn then 44 Fd Sp Sqn, 35 Engr Regt)
    Berlin 1993 to 1994 (MWF S working at RAF Gatow)
    Rheindahlen 1995 to 2000 (ARRC Sp Bn, HQ ARRC)

    Loved my time in BAOR, we were always out on an exercise or tour - I averaged 9 months out of camp each year for much of my time at Hameln
  14. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD


  15. ploughman

    ploughman Junior Member

    We were an RE Airfields unit based in UK at Perham Down near Tidworth but had a BAOR Deployment if and when required.
    This was practised every year with a 2 - 3 month stay on RAF Bruggen.

    All 200 of us other ranks were accommodated in one bedroom - Hangar One.
    Of course this caused a favourite game with the RAF lads and newbies being told to take that Jag and put it in Hangar one on a Sunday morning.
    The welcome they usually got was a hail of thrown boots.

    While we there The Border Bar outside the camp got burnt down. Who us mister, never.
    Every task we undertook outside of normal training was priced in crates.
    Bolting down tyre racks in the tyre bay was 2 men for half a day equals 2 crates.
  16. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hopefully most of this will be correct as it is based off the bits and pieces my dad has told me regarding his national service in the early 1950s. I prefer not to question him on it as he sees it as only a small part of his life.

    As far as I can tell he served with 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment which at the time was part of the Area Troops Berlin / British Troops Berlin - later known as the Berlin Brigade (Berlin Independent Brigade / Berlin Infantry Brigade).

    He would have joined the Manchesters at Wavell Barracks in Berlin after their arrival in early 1950, by mid 1951 his unit was moved to England for re-deployment to Malaya. As dad was close to finishing his service he was moved across to the 1st Battalion, The King's Regiment (Liverpool) who were at Brooke barracks.

    The only stories he has recalled, besides mentioning the unit being part of the guard detachment for Spandau prison, was of encounters with Russian units on the streets of Berlin. Of standing with his squad, awkwardly holding his 303 rifle, behind a British officer who was arguing with his Russian counterpart regarding some infraction of the rules. The fact that the Russian troops behind their officer all had "burp guns" and looked mean as hell didn't cheer my dad up. Neither did the fact that the blokes the Manchesters had positioned with a Bren gun in what today would be called an overwatch position more often than not fell asleep and would be useless if things did go sour.

    While looking on the internet for info on the British troops in Berlin at that time I have come across a few snippets, searching is complicated by the American unit also being known as the Berlin Brigade for some period of time. One snippet of interest is that the comedian Bernard Manning would have been in Berlin with the Manchesters for some of the time my dad was there.

    I have saved a few photos I found of the barracks (then & now) - not too sure now if they are of Wavell or Brooke barracks.....

    Attached Files:

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  17. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    We Have Ways of Making you Talk - podcast - audio - 35mins - Germany Post War

    Or alternatively: Germany Post War from We Have Ways of Making You Talk | Podbay

    Germany Post War
    Al Murray and James Holland examine life in post-war Germany as the British forces start the process of rebuilding the broken nation. The discovery of Bergen-Belsen and the divided city of Berlin are also discussed with the National Army Museum’s curator Dr Peter Johnston.

    Nato and the British Army | National Army Museum

    British Forces in Germany: The Lived Experience | National Army Museum

  18. rodbender

    rodbender Junior Member

    My father was a lance courpral in the West Kents during the 50's.
    He spent a lot of his time riding on the back of a 7th Armour centurion tank. His tank comander was a good shot, he put a smoke grenade through the same farmers roof twice! Apparently.
    He also guarded the end of war monument on Lüneburg Heath, it had been returned after being stolen.
    He also was in one of the first units to get the FRN Rifle. Apparently the cocking handle kept breaking.
    He then went to Suez and Cyprus.

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