Kategorienarchiv: 71 Amphibious Engineer Support Squadron

1984/06/23 – 1984/06/30 – 700 Jahre Rattenfänger – 71 Amph Engr Sp Sqn

© Derek Mitchell, Glen Goodfellow

In 1984 the town of Hameln celebrated the 700th anniversary of the Pied Piper legend, while I was OC 71 Amph Engr Sp Sqn, part of 28 Regt. The town invited Hameln sports clubs, local towns and villages and associated organisations and us to play a part in the celebrations by having floats in a parade. My CO decided that the Robin Hood legend was of a similar date and ordered me to design the 28 Regt float with that as its theme.  Having done some research, we reckoned that the Robin Hood story is a compilation of a number of different folklore tales but many may indeed be of about that date. Our float depicted the trees of Sherwood Forest with the Sheriff on his horse, a prisoner in tow, with Maid Marion, Friar Tuck and Robin’s merry men roasting a sucking pig on a BBQ on the deck of the Bedford 4 tonner. A likely suspect was being „hung“ from the tree overhanging the tailgate!  Though wearing a full harness under his costume and with a safety break link in case his neck was actually stretched, he found the ride so uncomfortable that he only did the hanging for short periods. The trees were a „pi“ shaped construction of Christchurch Cribs with playwood „cartoon“ trees on either side. The fire was real. I instructed the guys that they had to keep the spit turning by hand and that they were not to eat the pig before returning to barracks. The procession took far longer than planned but my instructions, with theatrical effect in mind, luckily resulted in a delicious slow-cooked suckling pig – eaten in the Sqn bar afterwards. You will see the front of the truck had a sign „ROBIN HOOD 1584“, in case of doubt to its relevance. We had collected the wrapped boiled sweets from Army Compo Rations for weeks beforehand and these were thrown to the children lining the several km route. These photos were taken from the balcony of a hiring overlooking the road approaching the Weser bridge.

1984 feierte die Stadt Hameln das 700. Jubiläum der Rattenfänger Sage! Örtliche Vereine, Institutionen, umliegende Dörfer und Gemeinden wurden eingeladen um an den Feierlichkeiten teilzunehmen und sich auch aktiv daran zu beteiligen! Natürlich auch die in Hameln stationierten britischen Einheiten. Derek Mitchell bekam von seinem damaligen kommandierenden Offizier den Auftrag einen Umzugswagen zu gestalten. Als Thema bekam er „Robin Hood“ denn diese Sage hat ein ähnliches Datum wie das der Sage aus Hameln. Derek seine Männer bauten einen 4t Bedford um mit einer Szene aus der Robin Hood Sage. Auf der Ladefläche wurde aus Pappe und Sperrholz der Sherwood Forest dargestellt und Bruder Tuck, Robin und Maid Marion und einige andere wurden durch Männer der 71 Amph Engr Sp Sqn dargestellt. Ein Geächteter wurde sogar live aufgehängt. allerdings natürlich mit den nötigen Sicherheitsvorkehrungen, das dem armen Mann nichts passiert. Er trug unter seinem Kostüm ein Hosenträgergurt, der die Schlaufe um seinen Hals vollständig entlastete.

Während des Umzuges wurde auf dem Fahrzeug ein Spanferkel gegrillt. Welch Folter, denn Derek warnte seine Leute nicht von dem Schwein zu essen, bevor sie wieder in der Kaserne sind. Weil der Umzug länger dauerte als geplant, hatten die britischen Streitkräfte ein wohl gegrilltes Ferkel, welches sie dann in der Kaserne zur Feier des Tages verspeisten.






In 1984 as part of the Royal Engineers’ contribution to the Rattenfanger 700 celebration, the famous Robert Browning poem “The Pied Piper of Hameln” was read by Maj Noel Mulliner RE (OC 64 Amph Engr Sqn) and my wife Mrs Jill Mitchell – both in black. The British children were the rats and our families were the citizens of the town.  Regrettably I cannot remember the name of the British Pied Piper – perhaps someone can?
Auch die britischen Kinder beteiligten sich aktiv an der 700-Jahr Feier. Sie studierten das Rattenfängerspiel ein und das Gedicht von Robert Browning wurde durch Maj Noel Mulliner RE (OC 64 Amph Engr Sqn) und Jill Mitchell, Derek seiner Frau vorgetragen. Derek konnte sich aber leider nicht mehr daran erinnern, wer den Rattenfänger gespielt hat, vielleicht weiss es jemand von Euch?




1991 – EXERCISE IN BERLIN – 71 Amph Engr Sp Sqn

© Berlin Bulletin - Privat Collection of Jörg Zindler, Berlin-Spandau

Some weeks ago I got of the private archive of Jörg Zindler, Berlin Spandau the Berlin Bulletin issue 27. The number was published on 12th July 1991 and reported about an exercise in Berlin! If the informations are correct, it was the very first exercise of amphibious troops from hamelin in Berlin. The 71 Amph Engr Sp Sqn took part in this ex! I’m curious to see who still remembered this exercise. Would be great to hear more about!













Herzlichen Dank an Jörg Zindler, Berlin-Spandau!

1990/09/21 – A memorable visit……

© Arnd Wöbbeking & Karl-Heinz Wunderlich

Die Soldaten der in Hameln stationierten Einheiten mussten nicht nur Ihren Dienst absolvieren. Einige Freizeitprogramme standen auch auf dem Plan. So auch der Besuch der 71 Amphibious Engineer Support Squadron am 21.09.1990 in der Einbecker Brauerei! Karl-Heinz Wunderlich machte mich darauf aufmerksam und sendete mir ein Foto der Erinnerungstafel die als „Dankeschön“ der Einbecker Brauerei übergeben wurde! Vielen Dank Karl-Heinz! Vielleicht kann sich ja noch jemand daran erinnern?


The soldiers stationed in Hameln units had not only to do their service. Some recreational programs were also on the agenda. So the visit of the 71 Amphibious Engineer Support Squadron on 21.09.1990 in the Einbecker brewery! Karl-Heinz Wunderlich made me aware of it and sent me a photo of the plaque that was passed as a „thank you“ to the Einbecker brewery! Thanks Karl-Heinz! Who remember the visit?





1982 – 64 & 71 Amph Engr Sqn Exercise between Hagen-und Kirchohsen

© Arnd Wöbbeking © all photos by Graeme Smith

Der „Kalte Krieg“ war auch in Emmerthal! Vor einiger Zeit habe ich Graeme Smith kennengelert, Er war von Februar 1982 bis Juli 1983 bei der 64 Amphibious Engineer Squadron des 28 Amphibious Engineer Regiments in Hameln stationiert! Danach wurde er abkommandiert, kam aber 1986 wieder zurück. Auch erst wieder in der 64 Amph Engr Sqn und dann in die 71 Amphibious Engineer Support Squadron! Sehr überrascht war ich, als ich seine Photos gesehen habe! Wurden diese 4 doch während einer Squadron Exercise zwischen Hagenohsen und Kirchohsen aufgenommen! Ich hätte nie gedacht, das es davon Photos gibt! Die Übung lief im Jahr 1982, damals war ich in der 8. Klasse und habe diese Übung sogar gesehen als ich auf dem Heimweg von der Schule war!!

Vielen Dank an Dich Graeme für die Photos!


The „Cold War“ was also here in Emmerthal. A few weeks ago I met Graeme Smith! He was at 64 Amphibious Engineer Squadron of 28 Amphibious Engineer Regiment from February 82 – July 83. After three years he comes back and started again in 64 Amphibious Engineer Squadron as a clerk then going to RHQ in the intelligence cell then onto 71 AESS as leave & movements clerk. I was very surprised when I saw his pictures! They were taken during a Squadron Exercise between Hagenohsen and Kirchohsen! I never thought that there are photos of them! The exercise was in 1982, when I was in 8th grade and on my way home I saw this Exercise!

Many thanks Graeme for the photos!







Für alle die nicht wissen wo diese Brücke gebaut wurde und natürlich auch für meine britischen Freunde, hier der Kartenausschnitt:

For those who do not know where this bridge was built and of course for my British friends, here the map:

1984/09/10 – 1984/09/28 – EXERCISE „LIONHEART“ – Real Recovery Operation – Memories of Derek Mitchell

© Derek Mitchell


Exercise Lionheart 1984 – Real Recovery Operation.
During Exercise Lionheart in 1984 an Army fuel tanker full of diesel was parked at Upnor when the RCT driver apparently did not put his handbrake on securely when he went for his food.  It was at night and he did not notice his unmanned vehicle slip backwards quietly into the dark, fast flowing river.  He thought his mates were playing a trick on him hiding his truck.  Slowly the truth became clear and next morning the vehicle was discovered, though completely submerged, standing upright on the bottom of the river about 1 km downstream half way to Fischbeck!  It could only be detected by the disturbed water above it.  Luckily there was no spillage of the diesel from the full tanker.
A major recovery operation swung into action, though this was for real, not just part of Exercise Lionheart.  28 Amph Engr Regt had to recover the vehicle and without spilling the diesel! The river was closed to river traffic, the Regt’s divers undertook a reconnaissance, this was dangerous work as the river was so swift, the divers had to be restrained on ropes from upstream and „lowered“ onto the vehicle.  They confirmed that it was relatively undamaged and standing on its wheels facing upstream. The German authorities had been informed and were most concerned about the huge impact of potential pollution on the many settlements downstream on the Weser which relied upon the river Weser for their clean water. A ramp was cut by the amphibious Combat Engineer Tractors (CETs) working half in the water and a firm stone base was brought in and spread by them on the ramp.  The Bundesstrasse 83 was closed so that winching gear on 28 Regt’s REME workshop’s wrecker could be positioned for a straight pull on the vehicle from the other side of the B83.  Divers attached the winch ropes to the vehicle’s strong points. Before winching commenced several oil skimming booms were placed across the Weser downstream, some several kilometres away.  One of these was supported on a M2 amphibious bridge built across the river by 28 Amph Engr Regt. The recovery was successfully completed the same day before dark and without spilling the diesel.

Thanks Derek for the text and the photos! By the way, Derek was the CO of 71 Amphibious Engineer Squadron!

Hier ungefähr war die Bergeaktion:


1982/06 – 1985/12 – 71 Amphibious Engineer Support Squadron – Memories of Dean Grice

© Dean Grice









1982 – 1985 – 71 Amph Engr Sp Sqn – Challenger 1 Test at Upnor – Memories of Dean Grice

(c) Dean Grice

Testing the M2B on Upnor with Challenger 1! These photos are from Dean Grice! He served with 42 FLD SQN between Feb 1978 and September 1979 and between June 1982 – Dezember 1985 he served with 71 AMPH ENGR SP SQN!
Thanks a lot for these historical photos Dean!







1997 / 12 / 03 – Partnership 97 – 20th anniversary 28 Engineer Regiment and sPioBtl.130

© Arnd Wöbbeking and Eckhard Uhde

In 1977, a partnership was launched to improve the level of education and quality of training at the M2 vehicles of the amphibious troop. It involved the 28 Amphibious Engineer Regiment RE from Hameln and the heavy Pioneer Battalion 130 of the Bundeswehr from Minden. During the maneuver Neptunes Trident in 1977, a bridge over the river was built in Artlenburg on the Elbe and in 1997 both units relocated to this historic location to confirm and renew the partnership. Eckhard Uhde was there at the time and brought along the following pictures, which he has kindly provided to me for my site.

1977 wurde eine Partnerschaft ins Leben gerufen die den Ausbildungsstand und die Qualität der Ausbildung an den M2 Fahrzeugen der amphibischen Truppe verbessern sollte. Daran beteiligt waren das 28 Amphibious Engineer Regiment RE aus Hameln und das schwere Pionierbatallion 130 der Bundeswehr aus Minden. Während des Manövers Neptunes Trident erfolgte in Artenburg an der Elbe ein Brückenschlag über den Fluß und im Jahr 1997 verlegten beide Einheiten wieder an diesen historischen Ort um das Bestehen der Partnerschaft zu bestätigen und zu erneuern. Eckhard Uhde war seinerzeit dabei und brachte die folgenden Bilder davon mit, die er mir freundlicherweise hier für meine Seite zur Verfügung gestellt hat.


















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