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What Did You Do In The Cold War, Daddy?

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What Did You Do In The Cold War, Daddy?

Old 2nd Aug 2013, 14:23
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What Did You Do In The Cold War, Daddy?
I never had my GSM NI mounted- didn't see the need. So I similarly don't see the need for a medal here.

That said, I never miss an opportunity to remind all and sundry that I, with a few crewman mates, was all that there was between freedom and the Russian hordes. There is invariably booze involved, and barrage of soft items launched my way. It's how I see it, honest!

CG
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 18:33
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What Did You Do In The Cold War, Daddy?
Disappeared down a hole in the ground once a week and pretended the balloon had gone up.

Wasn't in for long enough to claim one of these...



However, if I was going to get a gong for anything, it would be for managing to get myself over to the Pentland Club in one piece after the Burns' Supper of '86. I have no recollection of events post the Toast to the Lassies, but photographs prove I did make it across the Turnhouse Road intact, somehow...

Last edited by rab-k; 2nd Aug 2013 at 23:45. Reason: can't spell propley
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 18:51
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As Vulcan ground crew I did for three years pretty much what Lancaster ground crew did in WW2. Just as I did for BA, RBA, MAS and RNAC after demob. The wartime fitters and riggers got the war service medal and the 39-45 Star for it but so did my Dad for his years in harm's way and several "combats" in the Arctic and North Atlantic. Doesn't seem fair but that's life.

I had my reward with a tour of duty at the RAF's excellent holiday camp at Changi, much more satisfactory than any bit of metal on a ribbon to hang on you Sunday best suit once or twice a year. Not to mention a long and interesting career in aviation.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 19:26
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Bet no-one now would believe the barrack blocks converted to NBC shelters with plastic sheet and duct tape.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 19:45
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They're probably still using the same plastic sheeting.. And broom handles..

Last edited by NutLoose; 2nd Aug 2013 at 19:45.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 20:24
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No signature from me, sorry. It wasn't a war, just a time of raised tension and posture, just about everyone got to go home at night to sleep in their own bed and see their kids on a regular basis, just about everyone got to go out on the lash at weekends (and more!), and most got to go camping for two weeks at a time on the Rhein Valley.

I'm not having the "but people died whilst training" angle either, people always die whilst training for missions that might come (including in the UK, look at Pen Y Fan in the last few weeks, 3 victims), but at what point do you say the whole build up deserves it's own medal?

The whole discussion cheapens what brave young lads are doing and have been doing for many years. I get the feeling that many 19 year old toms getting malleted in their mud walled FOBs would be less than impressed with the neckiness of this thread and would happily swap a 3 year tour in the mess at Bruggen for their 6 months fighting in Nahri Saraj.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 20:31
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Laarbruch, read the thread, everyone agrees we do not want one...
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 20:36
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Yeah most agree, but I'm replying to the OP. It's not easy to direct quote on PPRuNe sadly.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 20:39
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Originally Posted by Yellow Son View Post
When the Berlin wall came down, CAS Dick Johns came to HQ Strike and told us 'The Cold War is over, and we've won it'. I asked him - tongue in cheek, of course - when to expect a campaign medal. He said not to hold my breath, and we all laughed.
You were lucky to get that , we got nothing . I only got a taste of the cold war routine, the TACEVALs that I experienced in the 1st and 2nd tour were very much watered down affairs. That said all the crap and mind numbing paperwork checks that went with the nuclear re certification made up for it. What did strike me though was the lack of briefing we received at the shop floor from our masters. I remember hoping for some sort of brief, maybe an in depth analysis of here's what we did well, not so well, and why it turned out the way it did. It it all just seamed such a big anti climax. Then it was straight into NMS (remember that one), reducing strength etc and so it continued until I left in 2006! I try to tell the kids in school about the Cold War; trip wire, flexible response, NATO etc, the Vulcan and its grand tour - they are genuinely interested.Anyway no I don't think there is a need for a medal - certainly would have been too sensitive at the time. Some sort of official assessment would be interesting though - don't know who would produce that though!

Last edited by TomJoad; 2nd Aug 2013 at 20:39.
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Old 2nd Aug 2013, 21:59
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What Laarbruch said.

Rgds SOS
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 01:13
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As Vulcan ground crew I did for three years pretty much what Lancaster ground crew did in WW2.
Same here 63-66. I sincerely believe that the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) gave us more than enough motivation to pull out all the stops. Which we did with some regularity. It's so easy in hindsight to say "The Cold War - so what", but we took it bloody seriously at the time.

When told that one of our Vulcans, on a major, had to be out of the hangar and on the line ASAP, have vivid memories of guys RUNNING in the hangar to get her ready at 3.00am. Or standing on a Vulcan wing, also at some equally silly hour of a January morning, wearing a rubber suit and spraying hot de-icing fluid.

For the participants, the Cold War was for real.

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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 01:26
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Vulcan QRA was stood down at the end of June 1969 not 1968.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 01:49
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The Height of the Cold War

The Cuban missile crisis was a 13-day confrontation in October 1962 between the Soviet Union and Cuba on one side and the United States on the other side. It was one of the major confrontations of the Cold War, and is generally regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to turning into a nuclear conflict. It is also the first documented instance of the threat of mutual assured destruction (MAD) being discussed.

The driving force in the USSR was this same guy "Khrushchev pounded his fists on his desk (at the UN) in protest as Sumulong continued to speak, and, as some sources claim, at one point picked up his shoe and banged the desk with it". Anyone suggesting he shoudn't have been taken seriously? Add in Gary Powers and the U2's that had been overflying Russia, all up a very explosive mix.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 03:17
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In 1957/58 we had "informal" chats/briefings from the man from the Ministry. Amongst many things, we were told that we could only knock out Russia 1.75 times. True: he said that.
But the thing that he also said that stuck in my mind over the years was; "Once we get past 1962, we will be alright."
In October 1962; I left my family and reported for dispersal and watched weapons coming out for loading that I had never seen before, or even heard of. We had literally kissed our families goodbye and watched others do the same as their wives took the family south of the Border.
I stayed on until 1966 and firmly believed in that dark lecture in the Education Section in 1957.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 03:41
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Did Gut late 70's, never really thought about the Cold War, too interested in having a good time. Bit bizarre to think it warrants a medal.

As an aside I think the world was a lot more stable when we faced off against the Russkis.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 07:21
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As others have said it all seemed pretty real in October 1962 when I was loading fully armed Yellow Suns on to Victors at Cottesmore. We had to accept that this could be the end and this is what we have been about for the last few years. Luckily the MAD principle kicked in and saved us which is what we had been told should and would happen.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 07:32
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My contribution to the cold war, among other things, included a very pleasant 3 years (63-6) at Akrotiri. Hard work on the Canberra Sqdn line but plenty of time off to enjoy some excellent recreation.
The day Kennedy died upped the anti a bit with all sorts of rumours, with everyone on standby at various levels for a few days.
It was said that Akrotiri was surrounded by spies, observing all the flying activity and eavesdropping.
With this in mind it seemed rather farcical that at the end of every day each Sqdn had to report to the DOO the Sqdn servicability state, over the phone. On the front of every phone there was a label which read; 'Speech on this phone is not secure!'
As for a medal...ridiculous idea!
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 08:11
  #58 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Laarbruch72 View Post
. . . replying to the OP. It's not easy to direct quote on PPRuNe sadly.
Really?

Four clicks of the mouse, all that is needed.

Click on reply in the OP, delete the [1] after the [=] sign in the address bar, the click the refresh.

To edit their post delete items as required. Ensure you don't delete a square bracket.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 08:18
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Originally Posted by Blacksheep View Post
As Vulcan ground crew I did for three years pretty much what Lancaster ground crew did in WW2. . . . Doesn't seem fair but that's life.
The difference is that your WW2 aircrew stood in to danger and the ground crew were comparatively safe.

For WW3 we were very conscious that our ground crew life expectance was probably a couple of hours less than ours. Similarly our families on the base might have fared little better crouched in now empty nuclear weapons bunkers. I knew of no plans to provide rations, water or sanitation even though it was talked about housing families in them.
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Old 3rd Aug 2013, 08:54
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Pontius,
you are bang on ref the water. My brother worked at MOD and it was tacitly aknowledged there that all the cunning survival plans would founder on the lack of uncontaminated drinking water. Also there was a 'worst estimate' of how many servicemen would actually leave their families 'in the lurch' if the balloon went up for real. As for the guards on the gate keeping the families off the camp as they tried to gain access to our supposedly superior shelters, it was also accepted that this would not be the case.
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