Cold War Chieftain tank deployment at the East German Border

 

 

We’re back with Alan Hodges, a Royal Tank Regiment Chieftain tank commander, and Mick Hadfield who was his 17-year-old gunner. 

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In this episode we talk in detail about their deployment within a kilometer of the East German border and their tasks should H Hour have come as well as emergency deployment from barracks.


There is no affection for their main training area at Soltau described as “the moon with a few trees and also in less polite terms. However, these training periods are made better by the regular appearance of Wolfgang, a German entrepreneur and British Army legend who was uncannily able to place his snack vans whenever the British Army deployed.


We also hear how the crew was also trained on how to evacuate the tank if it was hit as well as how to evade capture and resist interrogation.


It’s anecdotes galore again including a visit from a Swedish Major who unwisely was given the chance to drive Chieftain.


There’s also sadness as we remember those that never came back from exercises due to accidents. It’s the continuing story of the close bond that soldiers forge that still lasts to this day.

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