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Cold War Reenactors? Reforger anyone?


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The 3-36th Infantry, 3rd Armored Division Scout Platoon wore ERDL camo when I was with the unit in 1975-78. I also recall some agressor details having ERDL camo. I always asumed it came from Training Aids.

 

 

Ditto for the scouts in CSC 3/33 Armor 1978-80 when I ETSed.

 

ERDL's were available at the Clothing Sales store at Giessen. I bought several sets of ERDLs there and subsequently wore them out hunting back home when I returned to the land of round door knobs. I also bought a couple of camo poncho liners there just before I ETSed. Looking at what they are bring on the market now, I regret using them. :)

Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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Me on the left, in bad need of a haircut, wearing mechanics coveralls and corcorans, in a forest near Stadt Allendorf. Operation CONSTANT ENFORCER, August 1979. I was the driver on the LTC's tank in HHC 3/33 Armor.

 

It's a small world! Stadt Allendorf, an ugly little town I grew up and lived in from 1966 - 1980 - I'm speechless.... :blink:

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It's a small world! Stadt Allendorf, an ugly little town I grew up and lived in from 1966 - 1980 - I'm speechless.... :blink:

 

 

It certainly is!

 

During that same exercise there was this little kid that would bring us pastries and trade them for C-rations. I would let him crawl all over the tank, and got a good rump-chewing by the Plt Sgt for letting him do so. We got to be pen pals for a while. IIRC the kid's name was Peter Fischer. He was probably 10 years old in 1979.

Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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Nope, I was too busy driving! I do remember driving through the town in NBC gear, getting up on a curb and hitting a street sign with the right track. That certainly scattered the crowd! Manöverschaden indeed! :)

Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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the irony. my dad has those 5 buckles boots, AND a 1970 dated Wet Weather Parka..... I guess I'll have to do a reforger exercise set up :D what uniforms were the norm for the last reforger exercises? right around Woodland or RDFs? :)

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It certainly is!

 

During that same exercise there was this little kid that would bring us pastries and trade them for C-rations. I would let him crawl all over the tank, and got a good rump-chewing by the Plt Sgt for letting him do so. We got to be pen pals for a while. IIRC the kid's name was Peter Fischer. He was probably 10 years old in 1979.

 

Unfortunately Fischer is a name that's seldom like Schmidt. But I remeber having some contacts with GI's as well. 1981 we moved to a neighbour village - Kirchhain - and when the Herbstmaneuver began there was a kind of CP 200 meters behind the house. Not too hard to find because it was illuminated like the Barum circus. We talked to some "guards" and traded grapes and fruits for c-rations lol. One gave me his newspaper, I still have it today. another one asked for my address. After some months I received a big letter from Kennewick, WA. Obviously this soldier was a recruiter or so, sending me dozen of brochures, stickers from all services and branches. I still have them all today too, nice memory.

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You can see Sgt (Ja)ckson with his buddy Hamlet or Hanslet, both 8th InfDiv "Pathfinders" (patch with tab). On the right sleeve Jackson wears the patch of the Americal Div, also with tab.

 

Inside the newspaper:

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Here's what Dwight was verbally conveying - there really wasn't a whole lot of room (for M-60s) in these ancient towns. The drivers ALWAYS earned their pay. How would you like for your living room to be just to the left of that tank's fender? This was our big attack, first daybreak of the FTX. Dorfen (east of Munich), Oct '70

 

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Twilight, the 4th day....... here comes Lars and his "Badie Brothers", lol. The fall crops are in (we can manuever cross-country), the fog is forming and it's going to be a lonnnng night. That night, around 2AM, these guys sucked us into the slickest ambush I've ever seen. At a natural choke point, my tank threw a track in an ancient oxcart trail (read: a vee notch, on a hill). The entire troop was blocked - then it got incredibly foggy (read: HC smoke). Having already range-carded us; they proceeded to pick us off, like a shooting gallery at a carnival. Can you spell U-G-L-Y? Oct '70, south of Amberg, in the "Hops Country".

 

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I know, I'm repeating myself again, happens more often the older I get. :( But these pictures and "Cold War " stories bring back good and bad memories, but the bads ones are almost all gone now. As I look out my window now, Saterday, 28th March, it's raining and cold right now in my part of Germany it is definately Reforger/field problem weather! w00t.gif

Back to Cold War reenacting, you can't forget the ever observing enemy, the East german Border guard.

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Ok, I know we are not supposed to talk about non-US stuff. But I "repatriated" a great deal of East German uniforms and insignia in 1991 after 6 years in the Army in places like Berlin and Hanau. So perhaps folks here will give me a pass on my comments below.

 

D.A.T - What you have is a put together franken-(stein) Border Guard (Grenztruppen der DDR) uniform with a combination of officer, warrant officer and NCO insignia. Stuff like this was commonly sold in Berlin and West Germany in the early 90s with insignia added to increase it's appeal and price tag.

 

It probably started as an unissued standard wool non-career enlisted uniform because of the enlisted collar tabs. But it also has the Warrant Officer arm patch and NCO shoulder boards, but does not have the NCO silver collar tress. It's also got an officer's academy badge on the right pocket. On the left pocket it has an incorrect Kampfgruppen qualification badge. I can't really make out the ribbon bar but from what I can see its a combination unlikely to be worn by the border guards.

 

So you have several pieces of Cold War history, just none of them go together.

Kevin

 

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You can see Sgt (Ja)ckson with his buddy Hamlet or Hanslet, both 8th InfDiv "Pathfinders" (patch with tab). On the right sleeve Jackson wears the patch of the Americal Div, also with tab.

 

Inside the newspaper:

 

Okay, now too many coincidences here. I arrived in Germany in August 1981 and I believe I was given that same newspaper as part of orientation. I remember looking at these open pages, and seeing that unit crest for the 709th MP. I am not sure if I still have it or not as we had a household goods warehouse fire on our next move.

 

It took me a couple of days to get quarters on Baumholder. The BOQ's were located on a hill above the main tank trail. This was a work of engineering. It was extra wide and reinforced paving bricks that stood up to the weight of the vehicles. I was still jet lagged from my trip over the big pond, but that night elements of a German Panzer division moved out under darkness starting around 10 pm and continuing until 3 pm. The next day I sought quieter quarters elsewhere.

 

I am going to have to look up Allendorf on a map now. It has a familar sound, but I might be thinking of Alsfeld.

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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I know, I'm repeating myself again, happens more often the older I get. :( But these pictures and "Cold War " stories bring back good and bad memories, but the bads ones are almost all gone now. As I look out my window now, Saterday, 28th March, it's raining and cold right now in my part of Germany it is definately Reforger/field problem weather! w00t.gif

Back to Cold War reenacting, you can't forget the ever observing enemy, the East german Border guard.

cimg0926v.jpg

I think heer Leutentant would be dressed more like this;

 

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One good thing about reenacting the Cold War and REFORGER is that everyone can play a part! Here are some kids greating us during REFORGER 1989.

 

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" We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm. "

View my website honoring the men and women of Indiana: http://indianavets.wix.com/indiana-at-war and follow my updates on Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/IndianaModernAgeofWar/
Interested in US uniforms? Join the Association of American Military Uniform Collectors! http://aamuc.org/or find us on Facebook! facebook.com/AAMUC.ORG

 

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Reforger: USN/NATO afloat version

 

STANAVFORLANT (Standing Naval Forces Atlantic) squadron, Flagship is the USS LUCE (DDG-38) with yours truly aboard. It was doubtful that the Soviets would use nukes in central Europe, before using smaller tactical nukes at sea. There would be much less outcry nor reaction if they were only killing sailors and fish, rather than irradiating European soil.

 

Reforger exercises in the USN were laughable.....we always lost the standing force when it was vaporized (on paper thank goodness) early on. The follow up Carrier fleet would then defeat the Reds in our memory.

 

USS LUCE (DDG-38) as Flagship (centre) accompanied on her starboard side by the Dutch frigate Isaac Sweers (F 814) and the Norwegian frigate Stavanger (F 303). Astern of Luce is the Canadian Nippigon. On Luce's portside is the RN frigate HMS Bacchante (F 69) and the West German frigate Karlsruhe (F 223). Picture taken during a Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT) Exercise in 1979.

STANAVFORLANT_1979.jpg

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I am going to have to look up Allendorf on a map now. It has a familar sound, but I might be thinking of Alsfeld.

 

Gil,

 

I've killed a few brain cells since 1980, but if I remember correctly, Stadt Allendorf is about 20 km east of Marburg. To make things a little confusing, there is a smaller village called Allendorf in the vicinity, but it's about 15 km south of Marburg and southwest of Stadt Allendorf.

 

Speaking of killing brain cells, I miss Licher Bier.

Judges 1:19- And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

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Gil,

 

I've killed a few brain cells since 1980, but if I remember correctly, Stadt Allendorf is about 20 km east of Marburg. To make things a little confusing, there is a smaller village called Allendorf in the vicinity, but it's about 15 km south of Marburg and southwest of Stadt Allendorf.

 

Speaking of killing brain cells, I miss Licher Bier.

 

Kirner Pils was our local brew. Good stuff. Shock of shocks, I walked into a German restaurant in Plano, Texas and saw they had it in stock, along with 120 other European micro-brews.

 

One positive thing about being permanently stationed at Baumholder was that we were within easy drive of three of the five primary wine regions in Germany. I developed a taste for Nahe Valley wines, while my wife swears by the Mosel wines.

 

They had programs for some of the Infantry units where they would take stellar troops and loan them out to the vinyards during harvest time. Some of these were on hillsides with a 45 degree or steeper slope. These guys would go out in the morning an rapell down the sides of these hills picking grapes with local farmers. Part of the deal in this labor exchange was a home cooked lunch and dinner, with the evening spent sampling the local wines. And then up at the crack of dawn to do it again! This went on for about a week or so and everyone who I ever talked to thought it was a blast and a half! (They also gained a lot of respect for those farm families who spent their entire life hauling things up and down those slope, including the farmer's daughters who could outclimb most of them!)

 

When people ask me what I did for three years in Europe, I tell them that I defended the wine regions of Germany from Communist aggression. During my tenure, not one drop fell into their hands! Of course, quite a bit fell into mine!

Gil Burket
Omaha, NE
Specializing in Fakes and Reproductions
of the Vietnam War

burkcats@hotmail.com

 

"One is easily fooled by that which one loves."

 

Moliere: Tartuffe

 

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is there a reliable way of knowing which units drew REFORGER exercises from the first year till the last year, which I believe is 1983? (correct me if I'm wrong) I'm trying to find out what year my father went over to Germany for an exercise, and the descriptions seems to match a REFORGER exercise, as he's mentioned communicating with M60 tank crews, learning the beers, some of the language, brought back some souveniors (a childrens book in german, a Lufthansa travel bag of some sort, etc)...I'll have to dig through the storage for his stuff and see what I can find with his permission :)

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D.A.T - What you have is a put together franken-(stein) Border Guard (Grenztruppen der DDR) uniform with a combination of officer, warrant officer and NCO insignia. Stuff like this was commonly sold in Berlin and West Germany in the early 90s with insignia added to increase it's appeal and price tag.

 

It probably started as an unissued standard wool non-career enlisted uniform because of the enlisted collar tabs. But it also has the Warrant Officer arm patch and NCO shoulder boards, but does not have the NCO silver collar tress. It's also got an officer's academy badge on the right pocket. On the left pocket it has an incorrect Kampfgruppen qualification badge. I can't really make out the ribbon bar but from what I can see its a combination unlikely to be worn by the border guards.

 

So you have several pieces of Cold War history, just none of them go together.

 

I see you "know your enemy". When I went in my basement and dug out the 5 buckle boots yesterday, I saw the DDR uniform, forgot all about it. Like you said, it's pieced together, it had even more medals on it, I've been living here over half my life now, but I'm still an AMERICAN and I like souvenirs, after the "Mauerfall" East German militaria was everywhere, and I had a pretty decent collection going, helmet, jack-boots, service hat, belt, holster etc., but when family & friends came over to visit me from the States, I like to show off my "war-room", I gave alot of it away,(what a jerk pinch.gif) including chunks "of the wall", I should clean the uniform up, right insignia etc., and build up all the stuff I gave away, it is Cold War history, like me, you and alot others here in the forum, it was a crazy time, to say the least, I was young and indestructible!

And as to "destroying brain cells", Deutches bier ist IMMER noch gut!

Looks like T-Bone has a decent DDR collection himself. thumbsup.gif

"Old tankers never die, they just smell that way!"

A co. 4/73rd Armor, 1st Infantry Division (Forward)

 

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