war stories - vehicles

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Beach Landing

It was one of those perfect tropical days out in the Pacific, the landing craft crashed onto the beach, the bow door opened, then the next wave picked up the craft and carried it back out to sea. On the next attempt the bow door opened and the driver of the first vehicle on the craft stalled it. Close the door and back out to sea for another try. After several attempts tempers were getting frayed and the air was turning a lot bluer than the sky reflected in the sea. Being a keen sort of bloke the driver of the first vehicle decided that whatever happened, the next time the craft landed he was leaving. He revved the engine and rolled forward so that the vehicle was tight against the bow door. The craft hit the beach, the driver revved the engine, the bow door opened and the land rover its trailer and crew of four men shot forward. Unfortunately, at that moment a wave picked up the craft and dragged it back out to sea. The rover and its contents all ended up on the long descent to the oceans bottom. The crew merely bobbed to the surface but everyone else had a birdseye view of the driver desperately trying to get his seat belt undone. Luckily he managed it, no lives were lost but at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean near a lonely coral atoll a British Army land rover lies quietly becoming part of the reef.

Staff car 1

Standing around gossiping, as we did, a Staff Car with pennants flying passed us. Unfortunately an officer saw us and gave us a right chewing out saying that we should have come to attention and saluted the car - or rather its occupant. Half an hour later we see the same car coming back up the road, so we lined up on the verge and as it approached smartly came to attention and saluted. This got us another ear bending as its only occupant this time was the driver. Some days you just can't win.

Staff car 2

One day, we were busy blowing things up on one of the ranges when someone came running down to our position. "Sir, sir", he said, "come quick, there's a tank in your car". We ran back up to the control point and sure enough there stood more than a few tons of tank and underneath the tank, I would say very badly damaged, though I'm no expert, was our officers staff car. How we laughed, but not within sight of our officer, who was a bit miffed.

Fire

On my first ever exercise abroad I was unlucky enough to see someone on fire. He'd been using a petrol primus stove in the back of a vehicle when it caught fire. Luckily there were plenty of quick witted people about and he escaped with superficial burns. I hope he didn't do what the person involved in the next story did ... About a half dozen or so of us were in the back of a four ton lorry, and we did what any group of soldiers do if given a chance, we decided to have a brew. The primus stoves we used have a filler hole about a half inch in diameter, the top of a jerry can of petrol is about an inch and a half across. To make filling easier the stoves come equipped with a funnel, but being hard men we didn't bother with it. The result was the back of the waggon got covered in petrol. This was bad enough, but not so stupid as the bright spark who decided to light the stove anyway. There was a whoosh, followed very shortly, if not instantaneously, by a group of blokes throwing themselves as far away from the lorry as we could. Having a canvas cover the lorry was very shortly ablaze, but funnily enough during the subsequent enquiry not a single witness could be found!

Rescue

Although not a vehicle instructor, now and then I was asked to help out teaching our new guys the rudiments of driving army land rovers. Although designed for rough all terrain driving there is a skill needed to driving them safely. This involves really simple things like keeping your thumbs out from between the steering wheel spokes. The reason being that if the front wheels hit an obstacle and the steering wheel turns then your thumbs are liable to get broken if they're in the way of the spokes. Now and then people manage to get these vehicles bogged down and they have to be taught how to winch themselves out of trouble. So finding a suitable lake on one of the driving ranges I drove a landrover up to the edge of it. The idea was that I'd drive the vehicle into the lake so that the front wheels were completely covered in water. The new guys would then be shown how to safely winch it out. As I edged the rover forward the whole bank collapsed and the rover went in far deeper than we'd calculated. It was still there two days later, completely flooded, waiting for a heavy breakdown truck to hoist it back out.

Rover in a lake

Bike

The squadron leader of a tank unit I was attached to liked to keep his motorbike strapped to the back of his tank. He'd use it for getting to 'O' (Orders) groups and the like. This worked quite well until one day his driver reversed the tank into a tree. Absolutely no damage at all to the tank, only a few scratches to the tree, but you should have seen the bike!

A joke

When I first heard the following joke, I thought it was one of the funniest I'd ever heard.

The soldiers were lined up waiting to pick up their rifles from the stores. Everything went well, except that when the last guy went to get his, there was none left. "Never mind" said the QM, "just pretend you're holding one and go bang, bang." The soldier looked a bit perplexed, but who questions a QM?
A little while later they are getting their bayonets, the same soldier is last in the queue and again they run out. "Never mind" said the QM, "Just pretend you've got one and go stab, stab."
"mmmm" thought the soldier, but didn't say anything.
The next day they are collecting grenades, the same soldier was last again, and again they run out. "Never mind" said the QM, "just pretend you're throwing one, and everything will be alright."

The unthinkable happens and within a couple of weeks war breaks out and our squad of soldiers is sent off to the front line.

The soldier without any weapons is very dubious, but he pretends to be holding a rifle and says "bang, bang." To his amazement, enemy troops start falling down all around him. Within a couple of weeks his kill rate is phenomenal, far better than anyone else in the squad. He's running around, shouting "bang, bang" or "stab, stab" or throwing pretend grenades around. He really was a sight to see.

One day, our soldier sees this giant of an enemy soldier coming towards him. The man is huge, at least 6' 4" in his socks. "I'll settle him" said our soldier, picks up his pretend rifle and goes "bang, bang." Nothing happens, the enemy is still advancing on him.

"A grenade will get him" thinks our hero, and throws a pretend grenade. Nothing happens, the enemy is still advancing on him.

The enemy soldier is very close now, so our hero fixes his pretend bayonet to his pretend rifle and runs at the enemy shouting "stab, stab."

The last thing our hero ever hears is the enemy saying to himself "tank tank, tank tank."

War Stories | War Pics 1 | War Pics 2 | Recruits 1 | Recruits 2 | Dumps | Exercise 1 | Exercise 2 | Exercise 3 | Exercise 4 | Vehicles | NBC | Danger UXB | Dangerous | By Air and by Sea

HomePage | Optical Illusions | War Stories | QBasic | Dads Navy Days | Bristol | Bristol, USA | Bristol, Canada | Terre Haute | Miscellany | Web Stuff | About Ray | Site Map | Site Search | Messages | Credits | Links | Web Rings