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Cold War Custom Builds


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#1 gwb123

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Posted 07 October 2018 - 06:32 PM

I posted a 1/4 ton trailer that had been modified for special use.

 

Here are a couple of M880 series trucks that basically had tar an wood additions on the back of them.  These belonged to the 708th Maintenance Bn. / 8th Infantry Division in Germany around 1982.  These generally would have been frowned upon in stateside units that would have been subject to air or sea deployment.

 

Not the best photos, but I will post more as I find them.

 

Note the corrugated tin overhang over the windshield.

Attached Images

  • bb 1.jpg
  • BB 2.jpg


#2 earlymb

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 12:16 AM

I think that corrugated metal is the roof of a structure behind the truck, not attached to the truck itself?



#3 gwb123

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Posted 08 October 2018 - 07:35 AM

Good eye!  I believe you are correct.  The added on box does extend over the roof of the cab however.



#4 gwb123

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 07:16 PM

This is not so much a custom build, but a custom paint job.

 

This is a Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) belonging to B/ 708th Maintenance Bn. I believe in the Spring of 1981.

 

During that time, we experimented with "hiding in plain sight".  For one thing, it would have taken a lot of camouflage nets to cover this machine.  So we painted it yellow, and parked next to civilian trucks.  Despite areal recon, the opposite side never did spot them.

 

For those of you who are sticklers for paint authenticity, if you look close you can see where the yellow does not quite cover up the standard camo paint beneath.

 

Attached Images

  • HH 1 small.jpg
  • HH 2 small.jpg
  • HH 3 small.jpg
  • HH 4 small.jpg


#5 gwb123

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 07:20 PM

More hiding in plain sight.  Back in the day, German farmers would harvest and bail their hay into bundles.  Then they would cover them over with a blue or green tarp to keep the rain or snow off of the hay.  It was quite common to drive through the country side and see what looked like giant blue cubes out in the field.

 

This is again B Company, 708th Maintenance.  It may not look all that convincing close up,  but looking downward from the air, these managed to elude detection.

 

We also did simple things like rent a building or maintenance shed, and just park the vehicles inside when not in use or on the road.

Attached Images

  • HH 10 small.jpg
  • HH 11 small.jpg


#6 artur95

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:31 AM

I love the 'hiding in plain sight' photos. Was this activity limited to the 708th, or was it part of a wider experimentation in the army at the time?

 

Thanks for sharing!



#7 gwb123

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:10 AM

I know we experimented with it in the 708th.  I think other 8th ID DISCOM units might have been encouraged to do so.  The combat units were more mobile in their operations, and I don't recall them doing such things.  But the support units tried hiding vehicles inside of existing structures, such as factories, civilian facilities such as road depots, etc.  

 

Units trained a lot in Europe, so probably other things were tried as well.

 

I just know as a supply officer, our units just had a ridiculous amount of camouflage nets because of the size of our vans and equipment.



#8 Ewart

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 10:57 AM

Thank you for sharing these photographs. I have been long interested in the Cold War turning hot scenarios, I find these images fascinating. 



#9 12A54

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:28 AM

Heres my tank, M48A5 C-21, C/1-72 Armor, 2ID Korea hiding in plain sight:

90B15E62-2B43-47E5-8201-D95DD3D78DB2.jpeg

#10 Proud Kraut

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 11:32 AM

Gil, regarding your pictures I couldn't believe my eyes. First I noticed the letters on the number plate of the blue truck standing next to the HET: "MR" is for the Hessian district "Marburg", the area where I grew up. There's a writing at the top of the truck. Kreisverband 164 K***N. It's for sure "Kreisverband 164 Kirchhain" (pigeon breeders, lol). Kirchhain is my former hometown. Last picture in post # 5 shows a hill in the background. I know this hill very well: Amoeneburg, I went to school there.

 

https://www.amoenebu...Startseite.html

 

I very well remember the large exercises in our area very closed to "Fulda Gap" in the early 80's. Seems we were neighbous for at least a brief time these days. Gil, this is a small world; thank you for your service in my country during the cold war! I will never forget!

 

Lars


Edited by Proud Kraut, 12 October 2018 - 11:32 AM.


#11 gwb123

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 03:00 PM

Lars, you make me blush.  Thank you... it was my honor to be there.  

 

I am sure many of our exercise areas overlapped.  I will send you some of the photos I have of various locations and maybe you can identify them.

 

The worst one I was on was Capstone 1, in the winter of 1980 I believe.  Much of the maneuver was cancelled due to harsh conditions.  I was quite happy to be heading back to Baumholder.  But as we were going back, your Bundeswehr compatriots in their six wheeled winter camouflaged recon vehicles were heading out!  I wasn't sure if they were crazy or if they were somehow warmer than we were.



#12 mikie

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 03:49 PM

Heres my tank, M48A5 C-21, C/1-72 Armor, 2ID Korea hiding in plain sight:

attachicon.gif90B15E62-2B43-47E5-8201-D95DD3D78DB2.jpeg

Tank?  What tank?  Where?  :D



#13 ArtyScout

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 10:00 PM

Tank?  What tank?  Where?  :D

It looks like a big wooley mammoth.

 

Semper Fi.

 

Manny




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