Pendraken Miniatures Forum

Wider Wargaming => Genre/Period Discussion => 20th Century => Topic started by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 10:21:13 AM

Title: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 10:21:13 AM
Hi all - having been inspired by the Berlin Camo painted Cold War Brits in the latest batch of photos on the Pendraken website - I am looking at putting together a small skirmish level CWC force to play out some Cold War (WW3) scenarios - or just 'incidents' in Berlin.

Can somebody point me at an OOB for the UK Berlin forces in the 1980's and any ideas on what vehicles I should be using (& suggestions on numbers) would be great.
Also, are there any conversions I need to think about?

Many thanks
Mark
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Steve J on 02 March 2021, 11:06:24 AM
I found this Mark, which should be a good starting point via this site:

https://wiki.baloogancampaign.com/index.php?title=NATO_OOB_1989 (https://wiki.baloogancampaign.com/index.php?title=NATO_OOB_1989)

3. UK Berlin Infantry Brigade - is an independent unit from the BAOR: 4 Sultan, 4 Spartan

a. 1st Bn, The Royal Highland Fusiliers: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan

b. 1st Bn, The Queen's Regiment: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan

c. 1st Bn, The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regt: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan

d. 1 Armoured Squadron: 17 Chieftain, 1 Sultan, 1 Spartan, and 1 Ferret

Hope this helps?
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Steve J on 02 March 2021, 11:10:02 AM
This site is really useful and looks to have similar info to the above. The Berlin Brigade is about half way down.

http://www.orbat.info/history/historical/nato/oob1989.html (http://www.orbat.info/history/historical/nato/oob1989.html)
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 11:18:51 AM
Many thanks Steve - great info - and a good range of interesting vehicles and equipment.
Quite a reasonable sized force - I am pleasantly surprised.

Much appreciated

Mark
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 02 March 2021, 01:00:10 PM
Famously 12 of those 432's have a rarden turret, rest were at Warminster. Useage is problematic, each change of Brigade Commander mean a change of use. One thing i can garentee is that they were not used as troop carriers, turret took up to much space.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 01:17:05 PM
Quote from: ianrs54 on 02 March 2021, 01:00:10 PM
Famously 12 of those 432's have a rarden turret, rest were at Warminster. Useage is problematic, each change of Brigade Commander mean a change of use. One thing i can garentee is that they were not used as troop carriers, turret took up to much space.

That's great Ian - I like a bit of conversion - which other vehicles use the Rarden turret - so I can use these for conversion please? Thanks
And then what do I do with the vehicles I take the Rarden turrets from .... hmmm.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 01:26:12 PM
I pulled this off Wiki -

The Rarden turret was also intended to be retro-fitted to the FV432 armoured personnel carrier, but when fitted with Rarden and its turret there was too little room left to accommodate the necessary infantry. 13 vehicles were fitted with the Fox turret, as an experimental fire support vehicle. There were problems with the long-barrelled weapon fouling external fittings (which meant that the turret had to be mounted on a three-inch spacer) and with blast damage to the flotation screen. They were deployed with the Berlin Infantry Brigade.

My confusion is whether it was the Fox turret fitted to the FV432 or was it a different turret?
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 02 March 2021, 01:35:15 PM
Its a Foix turretb Mark. H&R used to make it, probably in the 70's though. The original intent was to have 1 Rarden, 2 Peak MG turrets and 1 Flat-top. Played with both the Rarden and Peak ones.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 02 March 2021, 03:41:37 PM
There is this one in the MicroMark collection over at the Wargames Vault:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/85471/B41M-British-Berlin-Garrison-19861994-Berlin
plus the Yanks and French:
https://www.wargamevault.com/product/138720/A145M-American-Berlin-Brigade-Berlin-Germany-19841988
https://www.wargamevault.com/product/209129/F85M-French-Berlin-Brigade-Berlin-19851990

Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 04:11:23 PM
Much appreciated Mark.

I fancy the idea of some urban CWC armoured conflict based on a 'flare-up' in Berlin in the mid to late 1980s.

I have a lot of urban ruins that might make for an interesting game - especially against some East German border forces.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Steve J on 02 March 2021, 05:18:27 PM
I think the Berlin Brigade feature a bit in the Red Storm Rising novel, by Tom Clancy. Years since I read it but I remember it as a great read.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 05:30:15 PM
Quote from: Steve J on 02 March 2021, 05:18:27 PM
I think the Berlin Brigade feature a bit in the Red Storm Rising novel, by Tom Clancy. Years since I read it but I remember it as a great read.

Good shout Steve - I am looking for something different to re-read - having been immersed in Sassanid Persian stuff for a conference presentation for last 6 months.
A while ago I looked at a Shetland Island Cold War scenario - a bit like the Falklands - called 'Mind the Gap' about a small Soviet force occupying the Orkney's and Shetlands ahead of a major Cold War 'flare up' - so I'll check out Red Storm again.
Cheers
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: pierre the shy on 02 March 2021, 06:19:57 PM
If you want to get some ideas about the East German (and some Soviet) opposition you might be facing you can download this PDF copy of Armor magazine from Dec 1994 which outlines the WARPAC plan to invade West Berlin during the 1980's:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwj43_CVmpLvAhWpyzgGHWz-CZsQFjAAegQIAhAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.benning.army.mil%2FArmor%2FeARMOR%2Fcontent%2Fissues%2F1994%2FNOV_DEC%2FArmorNovemberDecember1994web.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1oTmPbtAJsNVQZwkaRnQ22

Its only about a 8Mb download, hope its of some use to you.

Cheers
Peter

Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 02 March 2021, 07:10:28 PM
Much appreciated Peter
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Westmarcher on 02 March 2021, 11:14:23 PM
On the same theme, this reminds me of one of the free board simulation games I got when I subscribed to Strategy & Tactics. I never played the game, eventually selling it to a buyer whom I arranged to meet in the village pub where we swapped the goods and the dosh and had a drink together discussing wargaming.

The game was called Berlin'85: The Enemy at the Gates. Here's a link to give you an idea what it was like:-
https://boardgamegeek.com/image/244129/berlin-85-enemy-gates (https://boardgamegeek.com/image/244129/berlin-85-enemy-gates)
The link includes images of the counters. I can't make them out but, if anyone can, it might be of interest to those who are more interested in this era than me to compare the speculated Warsaw Pact OOB with the Border's Edge OOBs. 
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: pierre the shy on 03 March 2021, 02:32:58 AM
SPI issued Berlin 85 in the mid 80's using best guess info about the composition of the Warpac forces represented on the game counters. After the fall of the Berlin Wall further information came to light about the Warpac OOB that would have been used (as outlined in the Armor article above).

Some one subsiquently made up a alternative counter set based on the actual OOB but please note that there are a lot of differences between the two counter sets. I played the original game a few times way back and remember the West German polizei units managing to be very robust even when fighting mechanized opponents.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: pierre the shy on 03 March 2021, 08:34:37 AM
And a very well researched 1989 BAOR OOB from the Tanknet forum, including the Berlin Brigade:

https://www.orbat85.nl/documents/BAOR-July-1989.pdf
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 03 March 2021, 08:47:23 AM
I may still have the game
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 03 March 2021, 08:47:47 AM
Quote from: Steve J on 02 March 2021, 05:18:27 PM
I think the Berlin Brigade feature a bit in the Red Storm Rising novel, by Tom Clancy. Years since I read it but I remember it as a great read.

I remember the Americans in Berlin being featured, and then the Brits in West Germany fighing the Soviets. Don't think the Berlin Brigade is mentioned explicitly. And agree, a great read, definitely one of Clancy's best.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 09:20:01 AM
Right ... after much bed-time pondering here is my converted OOB for 10mm CWC (I might also use AK47 sometimes as well):

Original OOB:
UK Berlin Infantry Brigade - is an independent unit from the BAOR: Brigade Command - 4 Sultan, 4 Spartan
a. 1st Bn, The Royal Highland Fusiliers: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan
b. 1st Bn, The Queen's Regiment: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan
c. 1st Bn, The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regt: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan
d. 1 Armoured Squadron: 17 Chieftain, 1 Sultan, 1 Spartan, and 1 Ferret

OOB 1989 translated into a CWC force:
1 x CO -  1 x Sultan + 1 x Spartan (APC)
1 x Ferret (Recce)   

3 x HQ – 1 x Sultan
3 x Ferret (Recce)
3 x Scimitar (armoured support - I might field these as Recce Support)
16 x FV432 (4 x 4) including 4 x FV432 with Rarden turret conversions
24 x Infantry bases + CG upgrades
2 x 81mm mortar + crew
3 x Milan + crew

1 x HQ -  1 x Sultan +1 x Spartan (APC)
1 x Ferret (Recce)
4 x Chieftain MBT

As the FV432's are APCs - I'm carrying 2 infantry elements in each of the 'normal' ones. That would equate to 24 infantry bases (as it excludes any being carried in the Rarden turret conversions) - is that too many?
However, I also need to include the 3 x Milan Teams or should they be in the Spartan APCs?
Likewise, are the mortars carried within the FV432s - alongside an infantry base and is 2 bases too much (1 might work)?

My traditional approach to the conversion is to divide roughly by 3 - but that would give me 6 Milans which seems a lot?
As this is primarily an urban combat force I might well as 1 x Sniper to the CO formation.

Also, there also appear to be no Landrovers, which seems odd to me.

I am thinking of using the Falkland range British Infantry - although I suspect that in Berlin the infantry would probably not have a great need for the big back-packs.

Ideally, I'd have liked to have had the MBTs as Centurions rather than Chieftains ... but not sure I can then have the FV432's with the Rarden turrets ... more research required there.

All thoughts welcome.

Cheers
Mark



Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Speedy of Leighton on 04 March 2021, 09:44:30 AM
Int Corps had Mercedes and Opel cars and vans...

Timecast AFVs are perfect BTW, I use them with Pendraken infantry.
Only a few if the infantry have packs, most dropped theirs when the action started...
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 09:59:00 AM
Interesting Lemmey - thanks

I have found an interesting blog on the Berlin Brigade - the comments section at the bottom is very interesting:
http://sparkerswargames.blogspot.com/2015/11/some-notes-on-british-berlin-brigade-of.html

Looks like I might need to replace some of the Milan teams with Wombats (might go for 1 Milan and 2 Wombat) - I rather like the RCLRs myself - and at close quarter street fighting they might be a better option anyway - being very effective against buildings apparently - although I had read that Milans were also very capable of taking out enemy occupied building (?)
There also appear to be some landrovers - some used to transport the Wombat teams - which makes sense.

Also the Ferrets were used more for liaison and 'running around' and that the Scimitars were the primary Recce vehicles (& replaced the earlier Fox A/Cs which were withdrawn due to instability issues).  At this 'skirmish' level I'll run the Scimitars as Recce Support, to allow them to take on a more offensive role as necessary.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 10:16:19 AM
Quote from: pierre the shy on 03 March 2021, 08:34:37 AM
And a very well researched 1989 BAOR OOB from the Tanknet forum, including the Berlin Brigade:

https://www.orbat85.nl/documents/BAOR-July-1989.pdf


Agreed - this is really helpful. Berlin Brigade can be found on Page 109:

But there is also this interesting note on the unique composition of the Berlin Bigrade Infantry Bns (Page 110):

Note on Inf Bns: All three Bns assigned to the Berlin Bde had a unique organization for their Sp Coys.
The Recce Pls each had 8x FV721 FOX CVR (W).
The AT Pl was equipped with 6x WOMBAT and 6x MILAN all in LAND ROVERS FFR.
The Mortar Pl had 8x 81mm MORTARS also transported in LAND ROVERS FFR.
Finally each Bn had 4x FV432 with a Rarden Turret plus 2x FV432 and a FV434 ARV.

Which answers my question about transport for the AT PLs and Mortars  - so I'll need some Landrover FFRs.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 04 March 2021, 12:16:38 PM
Mortars were in dedicated 432's and normally operated in pairs attatched to the companies. Mortar platoon commander, together with the DS battery commander and an ALO if it had one formed the Fire Support Cell, each rifle company would have an FOO with it. A company would normally be cross attatched with a tank troop swaped in and an infantry platoon attatched to the tank squadron. I would therefore use 1 432 per platoon, rather than 1 for 2. MIlan sectiions had 4 firing posts in 2 432's. The Strikers were the Btn CO's reserve, and could be substituted with Milan MCT as at times all the swingfire vehicles were under RA command.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 01:23:44 PM
Thanks Ian

Is this 'normal' UK deployment or Berlin?

What is interesting from the blog (and the OOB) is that they both state that in Berlin the Milan/Wombat teams and mortars were in Landrovers?
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 04 March 2021, 01:30:38 PM
Standard tactical method
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 04 March 2021, 02:08:22 PM
Quote from: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 01:23:44 PM
What is interesting from the blog (and the OOB) is that they both state that in Berlin the Milan/Wombat teams and mortars were in Landrovers?
I quoted the standard "offical" methods for BAOR. It is possible that Berlin was differnt, and LWB Rovers could have been used in which case they would have a trailer . Check the Airmobile Infantry Btn organisation. Cross attatchment was doctrine but "slick" companies could be used. It would be down to circumstances. There was considerable flexibility in the tactics used. One interesting point is that 6 105's were consiered to be equilvalent to 2 81mm mortars in fire effect.

Sorry about previous breif reply, feilding 2 calls - one canceling the Covid testing - school has found enough staff.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 04 March 2021, 07:47:22 PM
Quote from: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 09:59:00 AM
At this 'skirmish' level I'll run the Scimitars as Recce Support, to allow them to take on a more offensive role as necessary.

Eh? What? No Scimitars in Berlin, or any other member of the CVR(T) family.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 04 March 2021, 07:57:41 PM
Quote from: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 09:20:01 AM
Ideally, I'd have liked to have had the MBTs as Centurions rather than Chieftains ... but not sure I can then have the FV432's with the Rarden turrets ... more research required there.

No idea when they changed from Centurion - somewhere around 1970 I'd guess - but it would certainly be long before the FV432/30 came about.

Info available about the Berlin Brigade seems to all be concentrated in the '80s. I'm interested in around the time the wall went up, but have so far found nothing online :(.

Also, there's what looks like an FV432/30 parked alongside the M5 just before exit 17 going northwards. Advertising a paintball 'park' I think.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 04 March 2021, 10:05:45 PM
in August 1961 the Berlin Infantry Brigade Group had:
1st Battalion Kings Regiment
1st Battalion Welch Regiment
1st Battalion Durham Light Infantry
B Sqn, 14/20th Hussars (replaced November 1960 by C Sqn, 4th RTR
38th Berlin Squadron, Royal Engineers
229th Signals Squadron

A 1958 Infantry Battalion had:
Bttn HQ: 64 men inc 6 man intelligence section, 7 man sniper section, 1x No.62 VHF radio, 2x No.31 radios
Medical Group: 21 men (also form HQ defence platoon?)
HQ Company: CHQ: 14 men, 2x No.31 radios
Signals Platoon: 55 men, 2x No. 62 VHF radios, 3x No.31 radios, 6x spare No.88A radios, 1x spare No.88B radio, 3x telephone exchanges
Admin Platoon: 88 men
Mortar Platoon: 33 men, 6x 3" mortars, 3x No.31 radios, 6x No.88B radios
MMG Platoon: 35 men, 6x Vickers MMG, 5x No.31 radios
AT Platoon: 6x 120mm MOBAT, 28 men, 1x No.31 radio
Assault Pioneer Section: 8 men

F echelson: 16x 1/4t trucks, 12x 1t GS trucks, 1x 1t APC, 1x 3t lorry
A echelon: 1x 1/4t truck, 1x 1t water tanker, 12x 3t lorries
B echelon: 1x 1/4t truck, 2x 1t trucks, 4x 3t lorries

4 Rifle Companies@ CHQ: 11 men, 2x Bren, 1x 2" mortar, 2x No.88 radios, 1x 1/4t truck & trailier, 1x 1t APC & trailer,
3 platoons@ 36 men, 2x 2" mortars with 18x smoke, 2x 3.5" M20 bazooka@ 4 rounds, 3 Bren, 2x Energa 73 rifle grenade launchers

In CWC it would look something like this:
Bttn HQ CV9 (1/4t truck)
4 Companies@
CHQ CV8 (infantry)
3 infantry stands (Bren, 3.5" RL)

1 Support Company:
CHQ CV8 (3t truck)
1x 3" mortar stand
1x Vickers MMG stand
1x 120mm MOBAT stand
1x 1/4t truck (gun tow)
2x 1/4t truck (transport for mortars and MMG)

What variations the Berlin Brigade at the time had I don't know. And whether 1961 TOE was different from 1958 TOE is another question I haven't found the answer to yet.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 04 March 2021, 10:24:15 PM
No Ferrets? Must have been Ferrets.

Also Saracen or Humber Pig APCs? Maybe even Saladin?

I presume the armoured squadron had Mk. 5 Centurions (20-pdr) at that time?
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 04 March 2021, 10:25:44 PM
Photo hear of Centurion in Berlin in 1961:
https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-a-british-centurion-tank-during-a-fight-exercise-in-berlin-spandau-56890219.html
and
"The 4th Royal Tank Regiment was in the British sector of West Berlin to provide armored support for the 3000 British infantry stationed there. Since 1945 and with the division of Berlin the US, France and England administer sectors of West Berlin and station armed forces there as a deterrent Soviet aggression. On August 22, 1961 the British 4th Royal Tank Regiment was one of the military units stationed there. This is the day of the first casualty of the crisis when a woman fell to her death from a window while trying to escape to the West. Tensions mounted and one of the British tanks standing ready for any action was the Centurion Mk. 5 of 10 Troop, C Squadron, commanded by Sgt. "Jake" Jacobs. His tank had several distinguishing features. First the main gun had a "Type A" barrel when most Mk.5's had a "Type B". The paint color of overall US Olive Drab was very unusual for a British tank in Berlin at this time. Keeping with 4th RTR tradition of using the letter "D" to name their tanks "Diehard" is painted on the track guard stowage bins. Keeping with another tradition started in WWI when a Chinese businessman covered the cost to have a tank built, there is a "Chinese Eye" painted on the front face of the turret stowage bins.

Here is the actual link:http://www.crossroadsdiecast.com/hm46.html"
and link for this article and couple of photos, showing 20pdr gun Mk.5
https://bfg-locations.editboard.com/t151-centurions-tanks-in-service-in-berlin-area
https://servimg.com/view/16304333/14
https://servimg.com/view/16304333/13

Video here:
https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVA807GJXZU80R6MMI89H8J3QVSD-GERMANY-BRITISH-ARMOURED-EXERCISE-IN-WEST-BERLIN/query/CENTURION
Some great footage in there! Infantry with SLR, 3.5" M20 and Brens, Centurion with extra seats for 2 infantry tank riders.
Also shows Ferret with turret MG, can't find APCs though.

By 1962 the tank squadron had Centurion Mk.5/1, which has the uparmoured glacis plate.

Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 04 March 2021, 10:31:03 PM
Cool, thanks for that, especially the video. Good stuff.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 04 March 2021, 10:32:24 PM
Some interesting details here:
https://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=261077

"The Berlin Brigade was able to equip itself with a variety of vehicles not normally seen in British Army service (not least as it had its own budget)such as Unimogs used by the Infantry battalions, seen in Bronze Green, VW minibuses, VW Beetles and even the Munga field cars, used by, amongst others the Royal Military police and finished in gloss black."
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 10:33:30 PM
Quote from: Raider4 on 04 March 2021, 07:47:22 PM
Eh? What? No Scimitars in Berlin, or any other member of the CVR(T) family.

Oh yes - lots of Scimitars and Sultans and Spartans, but no Scorpions
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 04 March 2021, 10:39:28 PM
There were Ferrets as well and they appear to have lasted into late 1980's - being used for liaison and run-around and one suspects they be drafted into use in an emergency.
But from the blogs I've found ex-Berlin Brigade service personnel (from the 80's) say that the Recce function was carried out by the FV432's with the Rarden turret and the Scimiters, not the Ferrets.

There are also images of Fox armoured cars in Berlin Camo - but they appear to have been withdrawn due to stability issues when the Rarden was fired. It was their turrets that went to convert some of the FV432s I suspect.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 04 March 2021, 10:46:10 PM
The Berlin Brigade book by Tankograd shows Foxes in service until 1974-1994, they weren't replaced by Scimitars out there. It also shows no photos of any of the CVR(T) family, and I've never seen any of the Berlin camo on CVR(T) series.

Mark
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Speedy of Leighton on 04 March 2021, 11:22:34 PM
When were Vickers phased out?
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 05 March 2021, 12:18:52 AM
Quote from: sultanbev on 04 March 2021, 10:46:10 PM
The Berlin Brigade book by Tankograd shows Foxes in service until 1974-1994, they weren't replaced by Scimitars out there. It also shows no photos of any of the CVR(T) family, and I've never seen any of the Berlin camo on CVR(T) series.

Mark


The OOBs state that Scimiters were used - see below  :D

https://wiki.baloogancampaign.com/index.php?title=NATO_OOB_1989

3. UK Berlin Infantry Brigade - is an independent unit from the BAOR: 4 Sultan, 4 Spartan
a. 1st Bn, The Royal Highland Fusiliers: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan
b. 1st Bn, The Queen's Regiment: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan
c. 1st Bn, The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regt: 71 FV432, 4 Sultan, 7 Ferret, 8 Scimitar, 8 81mm Mortar, 24 Milan
d. 1 Armoured Squadron: 17 Chieftain, 1 Sultan, 1 Spartan, and 1 Ferret
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 05 March 2021, 07:02:51 AM
Ok to answer an earlier question the klast Vickers Guns were removed in 1968, but that was from the Marines. Also I rather suspect that the 4 rifle company organisation was long gone by 1958 but remained in the ORBAT as a wartime intent rather than a reality. By 1945 most battalions only had 3 companies + support company due to manpower shortages.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 05 March 2021, 07:29:21 AM
Quote from: Big Insect on 05 March 2021, 12:18:52 AM
The OOBs state that Scimiters were used - see below  :D

https://wiki.baloogancampaign.com/index.php?title=NATO_OOB_1989

That goes against everything I've ever heard about the Berlin Brigade - it's always been no CVR(T) in Berlin.

Another OOB: https://www.fireandfury.com/orbats/modcwbritish.pdf (https://www.fireandfury.com/orbats/modcwbritish.pdf).
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Speedy of Leighton on 05 March 2021, 08:29:05 AM
Wonder how it compares to the modern shrunk armed forces...
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 05 March 2021, 08:33:13 AM
Quote from: mad lemmey on 05 March 2021, 08:29:05 AM
Wonder how it compares to the modern shrunk armed forces...

Back in 2017 it took us 6 months to raise an infantry battalion battlegroup for deployment to Estonia, consisting of 4 tanks and about 700 personnel. I let readers work out the ramifications of that, but I would say that having only 4 tanks would at least make it difficult for the Russian drones to find them in the border forests.....
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 05 March 2021, 09:45:21 AM
I found this on another blog - might be of interest if painting up the Camo:

According to the Tank Museum the correct colour references for Berlin Brigade camouflage using the German RAL system are as follows:

White = RAL9010,

Blue-grey = RAL7031 (Humrol no. 21)

Brown = RAL8025 (Humrol no. 62)


The best source on the Berlin Brigade is the Tankograd book `British Infantry Brigade Berlin (which I am trying to source) which has a large number of photographs of AFVs in Berlin urban camouflage scheme.

However, here is the colour mix for ICI polyurethane spray paint for Berlin camo:

1. RAL 7031 Blue-grey:-
White 59%
Ferrite yellow 6.5%
Permanent blue 2.5%
Blue-black 32%

2. RAL 8025 Brown:-
Venetian red 33%
Bright yellow 19%
Blue-black 16%
White 32%

It appears that a couple of landrovers in original Berlin camo are in the hands of some historic vehicle enthusiasts
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 05 March 2021, 09:50:25 AM
Link to a couple of Defenders painted up in Berlin Brigade camo: https://hmvf.co.uk/topic/13666-british-berlin-brigade-urban-camo-paint-scheme/

Apparently, the original idea was that the Landrovers were painted up in the scheme at the same size as the armour - but that proved to be really tricky - so it appears to have been scaled down slightly to fit.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 05 March 2021, 09:51:40 AM
Quote from: Raider4 on 04 March 2021, 10:24:15 PM
No Ferrets? Must have been Ferrets.

Also Saracen or Humber Pig APCs? Maybe even Saladin?

I presume the armoured squadron had Mk. 5 Centurions (20-pdr) at that time?

Rule for cold war - if in doubt add a Ferret to British units, for WWII it's add a carrier or Dingo, similarly for US stuff add a Jeep or Mutt.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Matt J on 05 March 2021, 02:18:57 PM
If its any help I use the following paints for Berlin Brigade camo -

Blue/grey = GW Fang or Vallejo Oxford blue (807)
Brown = GW rhinox hide/mournfang brown or Vallejo burnt umber (941)/flat brown (984)

I'll follow this with interest as it something I'm planning to do myself at some point.

Also were Centurions ever painted in the berlin brigade camo? I've only seen hypothetical images.

Matt
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 05 March 2021, 02:35:09 PM
I very much doubt it Matt, last gun tanks were gone by 1970, probably eariler. The only way I can see it woulkd be if there was an FOO tank - which the Cents were used for until mid 80's.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 05 March 2021, 02:53:31 PM
When was Berlin Camo introduced? I need to do some more research.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 05 March 2021, 03:15:48 PM
Mid to late 80's ?
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 07 March 2021, 10:01:18 PM
Quote from: sultanbev on 04 March 2021, 10:46:10 PM
The Berlin Brigade book by Tankograd shows Foxes in service until 1974-1994, they weren't replaced by Scimitars out there. It also shows no photos of any of the CVR(T) family, and I've never seen any of the Berlin camo on CVR(T) series.
Mark

My Tankograd book arrived over the weekend - it is very good - and (as is more often the case) you are 100% correct Sultanbey - no CVR(T) family vehicles were stationed in Berlin.
I also had that confirmed on an old soldier on a blog/forum. The chap who answered my question off-line stated the following:

a) Most of the infantry was transported in Landrovers - there were only 4 x FV432/30s (with the Fox turrets) and only 2 ordinary FV432's per infantry battalion; the FV432/30s were supposed to be for fire-support (not recce). Recce was carried out by teams in Ferrets, Landrovers and Fox a/c's (but the Fox's were phased out in 1987. They were universally not liked).

b) The Landrovers were mostly painted up in standard BAOR British Black & Green camo - because they were what was used around the outer perimeter of Berlin in what little countryside there was & the urban camo made them stand out like a sore thumb. There might have been a few in urban camo colors, but he couldn't recall seeing any during his tour of duty.

c). There were FV432s varients used - light recovery, command and also ambulance - but not very many and they hardly left the barracks even for training

d). There were Wombat recoilless rifles, 81mm mortars and Milan ATGW - these teams were each transported in Landrovers. There was at least 1 man-pad SAM team - he thinks it was Blowpipes but they might have had a Javelin - but that was also run-around in Landrovers.

e). When he was there, the Chieftains had the Stillbrew armour augmentation. He was very disparaging about the Chieftains - they were noisy, smoky and broke down a lot, and were really too big for some of the smaller roads in the city. They also tended to throw tracks when they went over the old tram lines - which the FV432's didn't do. There were only 18 Chieftains in total - 17 of which standard MBTs, which were split into squadrons of 4 and 3 were attached to 3 the infantry battalions, with the remaining 4 and the command tank held back as a mobile reserve. The tank used by the tank CO had a dozerblade fitted to it - he remembers that as it was used a lot in exercises to clear vehicles blocking roads. There was also a Chieftain ARV - making the force up to 18. His view (& he was an infantryman) was that the tanks were "over-weight" for the job and that Scorpions or Scimitars would have been better as the Chieftains were so unreliable and such big targets ("mobile pill-boxes").

All this is backed up by the Tankograd book.
The armour was mostly in the urban camo - certainly all the FV432s and Chieftains and all variants were painted up in that, the Ferrets and Fox's were a mix of urban and standard BAOR and the Landrovers were nearly all the standard Black & Green camo. Civilian lorries were also used for light maintenance and supply running tasks - they were painted in standard BAOR camo colours. The Tankograd book also states that the camo was applied rigorously to a standard pattern on all vehicles - the idea being that it would deceive the enemy into not knowing the true numbers of vehicles in operation. Which seems to me to be pure fantasy, as the Stasi had spies all over West Berlin and there were regular annual parades of vehicles.

So this force bares no relation, what so ever, to the OOBs I've seen about it. Mostly Infantry in Landrovers, supported by FV432/30s and FV432s and Chieftains, with the Ferrets and Fox's as recce and liaison. So that is significantly fewer standard FV432's required, no CVR(T)s and a lot more Landrovers.
I'll need to re-do my army list.

But I now need to start researching the opposition - which might prove to be a lot harder.

Cheers
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Steve J on 08 March 2021, 07:02:43 AM
That's useful info Mark, thanks for sharing :). It makes sense to have the infantry in landrovers, as they would be much more manouevarable in an urban setting, than an APC, as well as being much smaller targets.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 08 March 2021, 08:27:57 AM
Quote
e). When he was there, the Chieftains had the Stillbrew armour augmentation. He was very disparaging about the Chieftains - they were noisy, smoky and broke down a lot, and were really too big for some of the smaller roads in the city. They also tended to throw tracks when they went over the old tram lines - which the FV432's didn't do. There were only 18 Chieftains in total - 17 of which standard MBTs, which were split into squadrons of 4 and 3 were attached to 3 the infantry battalions, with the remaining 4 and the command tank held back as a mobile reserve. The tank used by the tank CO had a dozerblade fitted to it - he remembers that as it was used a lot in exercises to clear vehicles blocking roads. There was also a Chieftain ARV - making the force up to 18. His view (& he was an infantryman) was that the tanks were "over-weight" for the job and that Scorpions or Scimitars would have been better as the Chieftains were so unreliable and such big targets ("mobile pill-boxes").

That should be 1 troop of 4 Chieftains were attached to each of the 3 infantry battalions (not squadrons)  :)
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 08 March 2021, 08:35:41 AM
Quote from: Steve J on 08 March 2021, 07:02:43 AM
That's useful info Mark, thanks for sharing :). It makes sense to have the infantry in landrovers, as they would be much more manoeuvrable in an urban setting, than an APC, as well as being much smaller targets.

You see similarly equipped formations with some of the smaller Royal Marine deployments elsewhere in NATO - the Dutch Marines are a good example.
It also makes sense of the support weapons being in Landrovers as it would potentially have seemed odd to have the bulk of the infantry protected in FV432s but not the AT/Mortar/AA teams.

Interesting that there was no artillery - not even 105mm guns - but as we have seen in some of the urban fighting in Syria, it is the mortars that are the most effective long-distance area weapon.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 08 March 2021, 09:21:35 AM
Interesting the Hayes military landrover 'enthusiasts' manual shows an image of a Berlin Brigade camo Landrover: https://choicegear.org/index.php/product/military-land-rover-enthusiasts-manual-by-haynes/
What I cannot see is if the photo is of an actual military landrover, in service, or one of the enthusiast restored landrovers that appears at military vehicle shows.

The accompanying text implies that this was a landrover assigned to the 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards - so maybe the Tank Squadron landrovers were in the urban camo.
I can see some sense to that as the armour is painted in the urban camo you might as well use the same scheme (same paint stock) for the attached landrovers.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 08 March 2021, 09:57:34 AM
Quote from: Big Insect on 07 March 2021, 10:01:18 PM
My Tankograd book arrived over the weekend - it is very good - and (as is more often the case) you are 100% correct Sultanbey - no CVR(T) family vehicles were stationed in Berlin.

*cough*

Quote from: Raider4 on 04 March 2021, 07:47:22 PM
Eh? What? No Scimitars in Berlin, or any other member of the CVR(T) family.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 08 March 2021, 10:31:24 AM
Quote from: Raider4 on 08 March 2021, 09:57:34 AM
*cough*

Yes - Raider 4 - no CVR(T)s at all - I can find no evidence - no photos and no written info.
I had misread your comment as a question ... so yes you were also correct that there were no CVR(T)s - sad as it may seem  :o
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 08 March 2021, 07:36:20 PM
Quote from: Big Insect on 05 March 2021, 02:53:31 PM
When was Berlin Camo introduced? I need to do some more research.

Some time from 1982 on, according to this page:

https://web.archive.org/web/20090412114113/http://www.emlra.org:80/articles/berlin_brigade.htm (https://web.archive.org/web/20090412114113/http://www.emlra.org:80/articles/berlin_brigade.htm)

Also pics of a couple of Land Rovers.

On artillery, I've got the following quote: "Two batteries of Abbot SP 105mm howitzers are listed in 1982, but these seem to have been withdrawn soon after. The Berlin Brigade had no artillery element in the late 1980s."
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 09 March 2021, 01:13:04 PM
Really helpful on the landrover camo - as I was coming to the conclusion that maybe they were only painted up in the BAOR camo.

Shame about the Abbots being withdrawn  but I can understand why  :D
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 09 March 2021, 01:35:19 PM
Quote from: Big Insect on 09 March 2021, 01:13:04 PM
Really helpful on the landrover camo - as I was coming to the conclusion that maybe they were only painted up in the BAOR camo.

Yeah, they look like genuine 'in situ' pictures, rather than after-market repaints, as it were.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Raider4 on 15 March 2021, 07:39:08 PM
Some useful info on BAOR organisation in the early 80's here (http://www.jemimafawr.co.uk/2020/05/18/active-edge-building-a-cold-war-baor-battlegroup/).
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 15 March 2021, 08:34:10 PM
Thanks Raider

NB: does anybody know what scale the QRF moderns are - looks like they might be 15mm
Also - just saw that they have been trying to sell the range.
Interesting

Cheers
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Lord Kermit of Birkenhead on 16 March 2021, 06:49:49 AM
Yes they are 15's. Can be a bit of a pig to put together, some nice figures though.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 16 March 2021, 09:11:48 AM
Quote from: ianrs54 on 16 March 2021, 06:49:49 AM
Yes they are 15's. Can be a bit of a pig to put together, some nice figures though.

Thanks Ian - I was all over the new QRF website last night and just couldn't find the scale - probably my incompetence.
Shame they are 15mm as they have the FV432/30s and the Fox A/C which are hard to find in 10mm.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 16 March 2021, 09:17:34 AM
Red3 do a large number of metal 10mm Cold War items, including the Fox and FV432/30mm.

I won't post a link to a rival company here, but am sure your google-Fu is up to it.......
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 16 March 2021, 09:18:05 AM
I bought 3 x UR67 (BTR-50) Mine Clearance Vehicles from Battlefield3D on ETSY - it will be interesting to see the quality and the size.

They are a nice addition to my 10mm cold war soviets - my Murmansk Brigade to fight my planned Swedes - especially as it is a 'funny' and I doubt other mainstream manufacturers will include it in a core range.

Cheers
Mark
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 16 March 2021, 09:21:08 AM
Quote from: sultanbev on 16 March 2021, 09:17:34 AM
Red3 do a large number of metal 10mm Cold War items, including the Fox and FV432/30mm.

I won't post a link to a rival company here, but am sure your google-Fu is up to it.......

Thanks Mark  :)
I work on the principle that when Pendraken have the model I'll be loyal  :D But I also understand that some of the 'funnys' are just not worth Leon having made ahead of the core vehicles.
There are just so many varients of vehicles in a Cold War range you can get bogged down with the odds & ends.
I'll take a look at Red3
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 16 March 2021, 09:27:54 AM
I've had some nice WW2 models off Battlefield3D, now he's printing in resin they look great - he did me some Churchill 3" Gun Carriers, M2A1 Mediums and M2A2 Light tanks, FCM F1, Tracteur C M39, Lorraine 38L APC and Renault R40, and a company of Is-7 all in 1/160 for me.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 16 March 2021, 09:51:25 AM
Quote from: sultanbev on 16 March 2021, 09:27:54 AM
I've had some nice WW2 models off Battlefield3D, now he's printing in resin they look great - he did me some Churchill 3" Gun Carriers, M2A1 Mediums and M2A2 Light tanks, FCM F1, Tracteur C M39, Lorraine 38L APC and Renault R40, and a company of Is-7 all in 1/160 for me.

Is 1/160 true 10mm?
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: sultanbev on 16 March 2021, 09:59:33 AM
It's N gauge outside the UK, so means I can use model railway scenery to match. So I order all my 3d printed vehicles for 10mm gaming in 1/160. Butler 3D charge me the same as 12mm. Battlefield 3D are always competitively priced too.
Title: Re: Berlin 1980s British OOB
Post by: Big Insect on 16 March 2021, 10:14:27 AM
Helpful Mark - thanks