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Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Forum for discussion relating to the Chietain MBT
Mark Heaps
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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:47 pm

Tiffy, not TIFI ! John

Recovery mechanics were the only trade that regularly "slated" the crew. If you needed their assistance, you had screwed up by getting bogged in.
Other trades did not charge for fixing the tanks as that is what we were there for. However we could raise an NMD ( Neglicence Misuse Damage ) if the fault was caused by neglicence and the person responsible would have to cover part of the cost of repair. I never experienced one being raised because as John has said, the crewman came in sheepishly with an "offering" and his problem turned into a routine fault to be fixed.

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by John-Heaps » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:39 pm

Hi Mark,
please note i said when a CREWMAN HAD SCREWED UP and broken something it was crate time, not the wagon had broken, when something goes wrong as they do it was normal form to report to the fault to the fitters with as much detail as possible and they would swing in to play to fix it, woo betide those who had just been clumsy and had knackered something and tried to cover it up, better to be honest and admit it with a crate.

I remember a new troop leader who jumped into a panzer and scraped his boot across the CCMU breaking switches, "its ok i will just tell the fitters to fix it" says he, he strides into the fitters section and demands "Staff send one of the boys to fix 30, some switches are broken when i stood on them", Tiffy reaches down to some draws and mutters " i am sure there is an NMD pad here somewhere" cue me dragging new troop leader out of the section by his collar and retiring to a TCPL office,( round the back of a tank) and giving words of advice, half hour later, back at fitters section, KNOCK KNOCK, " Hello Tiffy, may i come in"
"yes Sir"
" Tiffy may i offer a peace gesture for my mistakes earlier" handing over a bottle of good scotch.
" no problem Sir, how can i help"
"well Tiffy, its like this(handing over crate) i have had a mishap, could you chaps possibly help"
"ok Sir, we will get onto it"
with the words of, say thank you Tiffy and get out of his office and dont be such berk again or it could cost you tens of thousands Sir, we left the section.

Mind you, that new officer turned out to be a real good guy who had the respect of his men.

Yes you are right its tiffy, i was tired and not thinking as i was also answering my works phone at the same time.

cheers

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John Clarke
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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by John Clarke » Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:12 pm

A word of warning to all, when brothers are arguing discussing something let them get on with it. It's healthier that way :D

The Big C at the 2019 open day's looking great, even with that massive gun stowed.

Can't wait to see that huge turret swing round and start aiming at something. :lol:
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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:34 pm

John Clarke wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 8:12 pm
A word of warning to all, when brothers are arguing discussing something let them get on with it. It's healthier that way :D
Army banter is what it is. My brother John would be dissappointed if I had not pulled him up for his mistake. We do the same with our father who served 22 years in the Royal signals. It is expected and normal for us.

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Stephen White » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:17 pm

While we’re at it Mark, capital S in Royal Signals...... all the best.

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by John Clarke » Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:18 pm

I stand corrected. Father and sons with the greatest respect, let them get on with it :lol:

Have you considered what your going to put in the equipment bins? Compared with any other model, the Armourtek Chieftain has the best storage facilities than any other Tank they've built so far.

Where it will be difficult to detail the inside of the R/C version of the model, the equipment bins present an opportunity of interest.

I've got a copy of the standard tool set, a fair idea of tiffy's, various coffees, nippy sweeties and cooking devices, anything else?

These days you can see what the army supplies in their single ration boxes, was it similar during the 80's?
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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Tue Sep 17, 2019 6:35 pm

Stephen White wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 10:17 pm
While we’re at it Mark, capital S in Royal Signals...... all the best.
Shows you were an officer. You corrected me politely. Us enlisted men would have added some derogatory comment or insult. :)

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:31 pm

For John Clarke, you may wish to look at http://www.crusader80.co.uk/ration.html for pictures of the rations.
In my experience, the tank crews always got the 4-man packs with being a 4-person crew. The REME fitter-section vehicles also generally got the 4-man packs but occasionally we got the 10-man packs, if the stock of 4-Man packs was low as the tank crews had priority on them, or if we had a fifth person on the vehicle. The ambulance FV432 with being a 2-man crew also had higher priority on the 4-man packs than a fitter-section vehicle as a 10-man pack would have had them eating the same menu for 5 days in a row.
The SQMS would try his best to provide us with a varied selection of the available menues.
We also got issued 6 days worth at the start, and then another 4 days worth at a ration resupply every 4 days, the extra 2-days worth being emergency rations to tide you over if you couldn´t hit the resupply due to break-down or tasking and until a vehicle could get to you with them. Or at least that was the plan.
On one resupply in BATUS whilst commanding the CRARRV, we got the four days worth and I then asked for another 4 days worth as we needed to replenish the emergency rations as we had used them and the crew were hungry. The LCpl storeman issuing them flew into a rage, how dare we have consumed the emergency rations, they are issued for emergency situations only and he would have us charged for having done so. He was told in no uncertain terms that he could either hand them other or we were coming to take them. We had missed the last two ration re-supplies due to continuous taskings, had used up the two days worth and spent the next 6 days scrounging food and water from whatever vehicle we were recovering or fixing, and taking fuel from them to keep going to the next tasking.

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:00 pm

And I had an opportunity to trial some of the "boil-in-the bag" meals that were later introduced. We got issued these trial packs on an exercise during a promotion course and afterwards we were put together with a rep from the manufacturer. So that we could give honest feedback and our views not be influenced, no member of the DS ( Directing staff) was present. We proceeded to inform the rep that they were s**t, not one of the packs we were issued contained a can-opener, every one of the old-style packs did. He duly noted it down as a matter that needed to be urgently rectified by the company.
10 minutes after he left the DS stormed in and we got beasted around the square but it was worth it.

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by John Clarke » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:51 pm

Great info Mark, I plan to put a four man ration pack together, a couple of daft questions. I take it there were still a few cans in the packs with boil in the bag kits which is why you still needed the tin opener? And what is "beasted" in modern British army terms? Running around in full kit? :?
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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:44 pm

No tins with the boil in the bags at all so obviously no need whatsoever for a can opener. It was a wind-up, the civvy rep fell for it and was going to report it back to his company that it needed to be included as an urgent and important change if they were to get the contract.

He obviously showed his report to the DS for their comments and feedback. They realised what we had done, enlightened him, and then beasted us because of it.
Beasted was the army term for being run ragged and could be done on drill sessions on the parade square, PT sessions etc.
The beasting was worth it.

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Wed Sep 18, 2019 8:23 pm

For John Clarke,

I am not sure how tank crews did it, Stephen White and John Heaps can inform you better.
On the REME vehicles I crewed, the packs would initially be stowed anywhere convenient and suitable on the resupply to stop them falling off the vehicle, and then at the first opportunity broken down. Breakfast items went into one stowage bin, evening meal items went into a different stowage bin, sundries went into a third bin. Anything we were not going to use went in the bin bag to be disposed of at the first opportunity.

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by John Clarke » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:26 am

I believe Stephen has already said one of the forward bins was designated a kind of pantry.

This might sound like an urban myth, but was it ever known for the infantry to ever shoot up the bins or any other part on a tank during live firing exercise :?:
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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by Mark Heaps » Thu Sep 19, 2019 5:06 pm

I cannot say for certain that it never happened but I would suggest an urban myth. Live firing was strictly controlled to make it as realistic as possible whilst still being safe however mistakes could happen.
The stowage bins were thin steel and corroded from the inside out. The outsides were painted when needed but I never experienced the inside of them being properly cleaned and repainted at any time. Possible that a corroded bin needed to be replaced at some time, but no replacement could be got in time for an impending exercise so the metalsmith cut out sections and welded plates over the holes to make the bin water-proof. Naturally any new guy then arriving who asked about the patches would have experienced a wind-up.

I was however involved in the recovery of one tank where one of the front idlers had ripped off the hull. Investigation determined that the idler bearings had siezed due to lack of oil. Turned out later that the lack of oil had been caused by what appeared to be a 7.62mm size hole in the idler end cap but that had been ripped off the idler at the same time and was only found two days later . Only problem was that we were 2 weeks in to a Field Training Excercise at the time and the last Live Firing was more than 6 weeks previously. We had to put it down to a stray round from a local german hunter as no-one could believe the crew had possibly been that lax in their maintenance. That incident also almost caused us to get beaten up by Dutch infantry taking part in the exercise as about twelve of them turned up asking if anyone had thrown a "hot plate". We, assuming they meant the idler hub cap which had not been located at the time, said that it was us. Turned out that someone had thrown a smoke grenade into the back of their vehicle, three of them had got quite bad burns and they were out for blood. Luckily we were able to clear up the misunderstanding before it came to blows.

Mark

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Re: Spanners and other stuff you could put in the tool boxes

Post by John-Heaps » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:53 pm

Hi John C,
Ref myth of shooting at tanks.
on Batus it was not unknown for some grunts with a jimpy turret on their 432 to brass up the back of the tanks thinking they were having a laugh which it was not, i was the gunner on a Chieftain and the OC,s tank had broken down and he taken ours to continue the mission, on hearing the TAP TAP TAP TAP noise he looked round using his episcopes and identified the culprit, "Cpl M what have we got loaded" " DST Sir" "Thank you Cpl",
the OC then took control of the turret and span it round onto the culprit, he then issued the order DST APC ON, i replied ON, loaded from loader, he then got on the radio, "Hello small call sign, this is big call sign, shoot at me and i will return the complement, do you still want to play." needless to say we did not get shot at again.

Yes it did happen, but when taken to task about it "its only a bit of fun" from the infantry we responded with "blood on tracks is part of what we do and you will not always be in your 432, check mate you lose".

We tended to find letting them know it would not be taken lightly was the best option.

Cheers
John

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