Berlin 1980s British OOB

Started by Big Insect, 02 March 2021, 10:21:13 AM

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Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

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.
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Matt J

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.

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Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

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.
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Big Insect

When was Berlin Camo introduced? I need to do some more research.
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Lord Kermit of Birkenhead

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Big Insect

07 March 2021, 10:01:18 PM #50 Last Edit: 07 March 2021, 10:31:27 PM by Big Insect
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
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

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Steve J

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.
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Big Insect

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)  :)
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

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Big Insect

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.
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Big Insect

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.
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Raider4

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.
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Big Insect

08 March 2021, 10:31:24 AM #56 Last Edit: 08 March 2021, 10:38:14 AM by Big Insect
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
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Raider4

08 March 2021, 07:36:20 PM #57 Last Edit: 08 March 2021, 07:38:48 PM by Raider4
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

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."
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Big Insect

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
'He could have lived a risk-free, moneyed life, but he preferred to whittle away his fortune on warfare.' Xenophon, The Anabasis

This communication has been written by a dyslexic person. If you have any trouble with the meaning of any of the sentences or words, please do not be afraid to ask for clarification. Remember that dyslexics are often high-level conceptualisers who provide "out of the box" thinking.

Raider4

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.
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