Crewing the Cold War Chieftain tank


Alan Hodges was a Royal Tank Regiment Chieftain tank commander and troop SGT in West Germany. Mick Hadfield was his 17-year-old gunner. The affection between the two is still apparent even today and Mick still calls Al his army Dad.

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts

Mick met Al in 1987 straight out of his armoured corp gunnery training at Catterick.  They served for 3 years together in 1st Royal Tank Regiment in Hildesheim from August 87 to December 90. 

They share detailed insights into the operations of the Chieftain, the training, the camaraderie of a crew as well as important details like how you go the loo in a tank…

As part of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment they were at the time (the most forward-facing Tank unit in BAOR  and given a 2-hour life expectancy. They were told that if the Soviet 3rd Shock army crossed the border, each Chieftain would have to knock out a minimum of 10 Soviet tanks before they got overrun.

Cold War history is disappearing; however, a simple monthly donation will keep this podcast on the air. You’ll become part of our community and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history. 

Just go to

If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, We also welcome one-off donations via the same link.

Support the project!

Follow us on Twitter here