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This is a question In the Army Now - The joy of the Armed Forces

I've never been a soldier. I was an air cadet once, but that mostly involved sitting in a mouldy hut learning about aeroplane engines with the hint that one day we might go flying.

Yet, anyone who has spent time defending their nation, or at least drinking bromide-laced-tea for their nation, must have stories to tell. Tell them now.

(, Thu 23 Mar 2006, 18:26)
Pages: Popular, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

It's not just the Army
Some genius RAF aircrew bloke once decided to give the local schoolkids a treat by loading the airbrake bay of his aircraft full of sweeties, flying over the school, opening the airbrakes and dropping the sweets for all the children. Problem was, dropping boiled sweets from 15 tons of F4 Phantom flying at 200 knots had a sort of 'strafing' effect and caused quite a lot of damage to the building. The Div.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 18:32, Reply)
During the War

(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 18:27, Reply)
I not only joined
the army, I ended up running it. Was really cool got a load of blokes to dress the same and have the same moustache! Then I thought fukkit I'll have the country too. Ran that for a few decades, some yank twat had a pop at overthrowing me about 15 years ago but he wussed out, he son had a go and was a bit better - his hired goons found me in a hole in Tikrit. Bastards. Still got the court martial now bit of a kangaroo court, like, but hey.


(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 17:30, Reply)
fair enough. just seemed like a story i'd heard a few times before. maybe it's a trick soldiers are taught in their training?
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 16:53, Reply)
why join the army, if you want to get shot just run around [brixton/toxeth} with a kkk suit on.
edit: nobody told me getting shot would hurt do'nt try it i now have two arseholes.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 16:18, Reply)
i was in the armed forces all the pushing and pulling was allright untill they gave us guns i had to quit pushing and pulling is ok but with a gun its hard extra weight its hard
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 16:15, Reply)
final ex story
and finally, my ex told me that his friends in the OTC [officer training corps] were called joe brown, stuart dick and mike bigg. meaning that, when roll call was done alphabetically, the sergeant had to call out:


thereby causing them all to crease up laughing, earning themselves at least an extra 100 push ups a week.

you couldn't make this stuff up!

edit - actually, maybe he did...
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 16:11, Reply)
I was in the cadets for roughly 2 years, all was well for the first 1 and a half, then our lietenant left and some fat, lazy moronic shaftslapper decided to take over, I managed to reach the last training level in my short acf career, and in that time I saw new recruits being promoted for "ENCOURAGEMENT" so I decided to up and leave the unit, ive been smiling ever since :)
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 16:06, Reply)
I've seen the letter myself. My great Grandmother passed it on to my grandfather with other memorablila from my other great uncles.
Great uncle Ernie died in the prison camp a year or so later.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 15:27, Reply)
Sorry to break it to you...
but all of your grandads were in fact in the loony bin. They burnt your ear off on the hob.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 15:04, Reply)
Feces smeared brig rooms.
My Grandad was part of the Navy medical crews bringing troops back after the 2nd world war. He was only a young lad and had just completed his medical training at college. Some of the stuff he saw he's never forgotten and will gladly tell you about them if you dare to visit him in his nursing home.

Some of the tales he's told me include the soldiers that had shellshock and other war related psychological problems being locked in makeshift padded cells. They'd then be left in there for the duration of the journey. They'd need to have their cells sprayed out daily due to them staging 'dirty protests' though.

They also had insufficient basic supplies for their needs and would often have to reach for bottles of whiskey whenever actual anisthetic ran short.

When I lived up North I had a friend and neighbour who had been in the special forces in Ireland. He'd done a few terms out there if I remember correctly. In the pub after a few beers he'd tell you some real horror stories. He did have a few humourous tales aswell though.

He told me one about them rushing a house on an estate under cover of darkness. They were about 50 yards away from the house when there was an almighty crash and a scream. They all checked their positions etc and then discovered the cause. One of the squad hadn't spotted that the bit of ground he was moving across was elevated from the street ahead. He'd jumped the little wall at the end and plumeted onto a parked car underneath. He later found out that someone had done something identical early in the week when they were on a fact finding mission and had broken both of their legs because of the lack of parked car underneath.

There were loads more but it's been a few years and I can't remember them.

We used to laugh about him being a stalker as he'd pop up in the pub whenever I was there having seen me walk past his house on the way there. He still lives in my old street with his missus and keeps an eye on my mum for me now that she lives on her own. He was over there fast as a shot when the burglar alarm went off one night. I'd feel sorry for any body that was daft enough to be caught by him. By all accounts he's a handy bastard.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 14:49, Reply)
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 14:46, Reply)
On my mother's side of the family I would have had my grandfather and 7 great uncles. My grandfather spent the war working in the mines as a "Bevin Boy". One of my great uncles was stationed in Singapore and was captured by the Japanese. My great grandmother received a red cross letter from him, basically he wrote saying he was fine, being well treated etc (with censorship you'd hardly expect him to be able to write the truth about conditions). As a ps to the letter he wrote the following:
"I know Bill (my grandfather) likes stamps, so tell him to take care steaming the one from this letter".
Underneath the stamp he had written "My tongue have been cut off"
I think the Jap bastards should have been nuked back into the stone age.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 13:56, Reply)
Uncle John
My uncle John was stationed at Singapore during 1941, which at the time was supposed to be an "impregnable fortress" to keep the Japs out. Just like the vaunted Maginot line, the Japanese simply came round the back and took Singapore in a matter of days.

Anyway, uncle John spent the next three and a bit years in POW camps. The conditions were every bit as harsh and unpleasant as the Imperial Japanese army could possibly make them and he barely made it out alive when he was eventually liberated in 1945

Fast forward 45 years, and Uncle John is coming round to visit us.

"I have something very important to ask you" said my Dad.
"Whatever happens, please don't mention the war or anything to do with Japan otherwise you will upset your uncle. He was treated very badly by them and still hasn't forgiven them" he asserted.

I agreed, although I was somewhat surprised when uncle John turned up outside the house an hour later.

In a Mazda 323.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 13:26, Reply)
Hi Colonel Dracula
My Grandpa had a similar experience, cut off from the evacuation at Dunkirk his unit comandeered a lorry and drove to Nantes to be evacuated.
The trick was to stay ahead of the the occupying Germans, and yes there are roads even in the Pyrenees.
Look up 'Operation Aerial' in Google.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 12:36, Reply)
My Dad.
Not normally one for telling us scary stories. Or interesting ones. But my Dad.

Based in Belfast circa 1970. He was in the REME and in the garages there were maps of Belfast which had huge red areas - Don't go here. One night, he gets a call from the SM - Get your lazy arses here. So they follow this SM through the streets of Belfast to find an army vehicle broken down. Normally he'd fix it there, but was told to get out now with it. So he did. Got back. Looked at the map to find he'd been taken in to deep middle of the red. Pretty scary.

But as well as that, when the sqauddies drove through towns, they travelled with the back doors open, armed to the teeth. And they don't stop at lights in case someone took pot shots at them. Imagine their faces when a car hurtled past and threw a shoebox in the back. Cue the moment of "wtf" and waiting for everyone to die. They open up the box to find the biggest bra inside they'd ever seen. It hung in the officers mess for a while afterwards.

When Dad progressed up the ranks, he still looked after tanks. Hell, he was on the Challenger mkI project.

All the crews of these tanks had to remember was - when on exercise, just remember to keep the battery alive by using the radio every so often. You don't want a flat battery. Tanks are a little harder to jump start. But, having designed the tanks, Dad knew a little secret. At the drivers feet (their heads out of the top, they can't see their feet) is a couple of connections, which when triggered, produce just enough power to start the tank.

Invariably, Dad would get called out at stupidoclock to "my tanks broken down". Dad would get there, and reach over to the connection and have joyous glee as the tank started first time. Gave him an opportunity to shout at them for getting him out of bed.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 12:20, Reply)
Confessions of a goth mercenary
Back in the dark days of 1984 in Maggie's favourite African country, a letter arrived for me, setting out my plans for the next two years, most of which seemed to revolve around being dressed in brown and being shouted at (and possibly shot at). My options were somewhat limited - do national service, or go back to Blackburn (with no qualifications and no job prospects, and being a burden on distant family members).

Decision pretty much made for me, I arrived at the depressing field next to Johannesburg gasworks where we were all catching a train to a godforsaken dump called Phalaborwa - an infantry training camp with a reputation that Deepcut seems to have followed. I was singled out straight away - possibly something to do with the spraypainted anarchy t-shirt and Norwegian navy trenchcoat, or the suedehead cut dyed black (I wanted a darker colour, but trichology was still in its infancy).

Sixteen hours later, arrive at hell on earth. Surprisingly enough, it wasn't quite as bad as I'd been led to believe, especially after the medical where they found me a gnat's nudger away from being totally unfit for soldierly duties. The deafness and colour blindness tests are dead easy to fiddle. The morbid underweightness and borderline diabetes came naturally, as a result of being a hard drinking headbanging goth (Jo'burg's nightlife was a bit limited, so diversity gave you a few more options come Friday nights). The psychologically suspect aspect was fun - playing mind games with the doctors...

Medically classified as fit to be little more than a personnel clerk (along with a few others), it was off to Pretoria for basic training. Six weeks of learning how to walk properly (not quite marching), being taught about the constituent bits of a rifle and how to take one apart (but not actually being allowed anywhere near one, for various reasons), and large amounts of heavily-subsidised lager. This was followed by a month-long clerk's course, where we learnt the finer points of military correspondence - useful stuff like the pointy end of a pen being the business end, and that secret and top secret correspondence was so much more interesting than restricted stuff.

After basic training, I was posted to a logistics base, which was like a dull 9-5 office job, but in uniform. All in all, I had an easy time, and never came close to being shot at, which was A Good Thing. Most of my memories revolve around copious quantities of alcohol, ably abetted by my best mate, a Czech-born Australia-raised engineer who could almost match my lager-necking rate. One new year's eve guard duty (with rifle magazines masking-tape sealed for safety reasons) was spent sat in my car (the Suicide Machine - a 1968 Cortina GT with a filling-loosening sound system) knocking back catembe (cheap red wine and coke) with loud New Order to provide the atmosphere.

I survived the two years without getting into too much trouble, except for the time I was given two extra guard duties for chatting up some brigadier's wife at a posh function I was waitering at. I'm not sure if it was the semi-drunken attempt at waltzing or the goodbye snog she gave me that upset her husband.

Cherry popping? Length? Girth? There's a baby somewhere missing an arm.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 12:01, Reply)
Secret Mission
I was sent on a secret mission -- part of a special medical team deployed when then President Reagan visited Bali, Indonesia (1986). Codename: Neurosurgical Team One. Arrive at our staging area, Subic Bay, Phillipines; where we're to board ship for Bali.

We have some free time, so the team ventures into the city. First thing we find is ballcaps specially embroidered "Neurosurgical Team One". Some secret, huh?

Yes, we all bought one.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 11:50, Reply)
Hi Colonel Dracula
I did say I don't know if it's true or not!

On balance I reckon that it is probably a VERY heavily embellished story, but if you ever read the obituaries in the Telegraph and some of the strange stuff that people got up to in the war.....
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 11:42, Reply)
I was never in the armed forces
I prefered the legged ones myself.

(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 11:38, Reply)
Hi blackdogmanguitar
I don’t mean to cast aspersions about your uncles story, but I would love to know how he managed to drive a British Army truck through a couple of Thousand miles of enemy occupied territory, across the Pyrenees mountains, through border checkpoints into a country that whilst was technically neutral during the war, was still a Fascist controlled country that had won their recent civil war because the Germans lent them their Luftwaffe, and still made it back to Blighty.

If he did, fair enough. It would have probably been easier to swim the bloody channel!

Ninja Edit: Good point blackdogmanguitar (see reply above), I had an uncle that walked out of the Burmese jungle 4 (four) years after the war ended, I think he had been fighting the Japanese & had gone slightly native.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 10:52, Reply)
I was going to join the British army, but was told I'd have to fight alongside the Yanks. I considered their record of "friendly fire" and thought I'd be safer fighting against them. So I moved to Afghanistan. All my love, Osama.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 10:49, Reply)
Stealing a NAAFI Truck
My Uncle (god rest his soul) was in the RAF during the second world war as a radio operator.

I don't know if this is true or how embellished the story became but my dad once told me that Uncle Doug was at Dunkirk and was trudging to the beach to be evacuated when him and a pal came across an abandoned NAAFI truck (though it was probably just parked up!) filled to the gunnels with goodies such as chocolate, tea, coffee, soap etc. Not wanting to leave this for Jerry to pick up they got in and set off in it.

Somehow they avoided the beach and ended up driving South all the way to Santander in Northern Spain!.

Then it all went wrong because their plan was to get the goodies back to jolly old blighty and make a few shekels but nobody would take them AND the truck. I don't know what happened to the stuff, but I guess they sold it, but my Uncle and his pal made it back home to a warm welcome from the RAF and a colossal bollocking from my Grandma as he had been missing presumed dead for about three months!!
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 10:19, Reply)
WWII Carnage
My great uncle didn't speak much about his navy days. One shred that came out during sunday dinner:

their ship came alongside a beaten german ship to pick up survivors. The germans filled the full deck of their ship with white phosphorus and my great uncle proceded to push his friends into the sea screaming covered head to toe in burning phosphorus. They apparently exploded on impact.

Then we were just left with silence. Awkward as hell. He never picked up his medals.
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 2:00, Reply)
Lord Bobo
I was just talking to a mate of mine who's over in Afghanistan right now on msn (he's a signaler of some sort) just said, "sorry I keep getting disconnected, but mortars keep landing nearby"
(, Tue 28 Mar 2006, 0:30, Reply)
Not funny, but memorable
My name's certainly not Gareth, but I am in the TA and have been for a little under 3 years ago now. My limited service has like many of us included a 6 month holiday with lots of sand (and shit).
The really side splitting things are those that just won't work in the retelling, you really have to be there, but there are a few memorable experiences of my service so far.
- Experiencing your first incoming rocket attack. The "fuck me they really are trying to kill me" feeling that gets the blood flowing.
- Having an old Iraqi chap say thanks. He'd managed to go to the Hajj that year for the first time.
- Sitting on the roof of Basrah Palace at night when a fireball goes up in the city (suicide bomber)
- Trying to shoot straight from a moving vehicle (just practicing, I never fired in anger) while bouncing through the desert with a driver who things he's Colin McRae, and not hitting a sausage (or even a barn door had there been one)
- Getting pins and needles in your entire body with heat stress, cos it's your first day and it's 49 degrees, and bugger me, this just isn't at all funny.
- Having the lowest speed car chase ever! Me in a landrover being chased by an Airport fire truck who was pissed that I overtook him.
- And finally, the best feeling in the world. Stepping off the tristar at the end of your 6 months. It may have been 4am and raining, but I was home.
(, Mon 27 Mar 2006, 23:22, Reply)
Captain *******
Due to the fact that this man is [remarkably]still alive and the fact that he scares the shit out of me he will remain anonymous, but anyone reading this from King Edwards School Birmingham CCF should know the legend by now...
This Captain was a Royal Marine in the Falklands War (and epitomises the Marine stereotype - about 5ft 2", harder than iron mans manhood etc etc)and has such annecdotes under his belt as the time he and his squad shot down a plane with small arms fire alone, but the most prolific legend is The Spoon. This story is told to all new recruits to instill the fear of The Captain in them, and goes a little something like this:
Said Captain and squad were low on virtually all supplies due to the sinking of the supply ship HMS Sheffield. so imagine their surprise when, while on a routine night-time recce (reconaisance) patrol, they stumble acros a base of about 300 Argentinian soldiers, with no sentries and all asleep. So here is the perfect opportunity to kill all the buggers that are going to kill you tomorrow because, unlike you, they actually have ammo! But of course, with about 10 rounds apiece and only a standard 8 man patrol they had no way near enough firepower to kill enough Argies to ensure an escape if the other Argies were woken. Well, our intrepid Captain looks about his person for a more stealthy/efficient weapon and realises that the only other instrument he has about his person (having come very lightly equiped for a recce patrol) is The Spoon that he always had with him for meals. Well, to such an inventive man, a Spoon is as good as a blade...
So, the legend has it, he killed (with The Spoon) every *other* man (meaning that the remainder would all wake up next to dead comrades), then in the morning popped over calm as you like, looked them in the eye, and asked for their surrender!
And so concludes the legend of Captain ******* and The Spoon!

as a footnote, the other officer leading our platoon would have got into the SAS had he not broken his leg on the final phase of the training. Needless to say its a rock and a hard place...
No apologies for length as the thought of The Spoon shrivels me...
(, Mon 27 Mar 2006, 22:31, Reply)
Mentos and Coke
I did the Mentos and Coke experiment this weekend, and the geyser of coke went so high that the US Armed Forces saw it and they came and killed me. True fact.

Apologies for length (of coke geyser).
(, Mon 27 Mar 2006, 22:26, Reply)
A few years ago, there was much ado about hazing in the Marine Corps. The story was about 'Blood Wings' where, when a Marine graduated from Airborne School, his wings were attached to his uniform blouse without the backings and then he was repeatedely hit in the wings causing hundreds of puncture wounds.

What I would have given to just have had small punctures on my chest.

My First Sergeant in college 'singled me out' as he thought I was a good Knob (freshman) and that I deserved 'special attention'. Whilst in the forward leaning rest (push-up position) he had me guessing the artists responsible for some strange, hippy-esque music. I was wrong. And he illustrated his disappointment by kicking me square in the ribcage.

The Fourth impact of his combat boot to my ribs I felt something snap. The Sixth such impact, I felt a sharp stabbing pain in my chest (the lung being punctured apparently).

I began coughing up blood.

I was ushered from his room and he stayed there to study.

After continuing to cough up blood and beginning to think I was dying, I walked back up to his room (it was two floors higher than mine) and I stormed into his room and caught him still sitting...I broke his nose with one shot and blood was everywhere.

Only one problem: his roomate was there...and he was another Sergeant and he was like 6'5" and built like a Strongest Man contestant.

He picked me up and removed me from the room and I thought "This is where I die." because, he WAS the guys roomate...right? Wrong. When we got outside the room, it was then that I realized the roomate was laughing so much that he was almost incapable of making sound.

From that point on, the remainder of my Freshman year, I was KING OF THE MOUNTAIN and the First Sergeant that broke my ribs? He wouldnt even look me in the eye.

My how we laughed...

I miss it still.

PS(After Freshman year, I became the meanest bastard in Bravo Company...though I never kicked any of my Knobs. :D)
(, Mon 27 Mar 2006, 21:02, Reply)
My uncle used to be a chief engineer in the Navy
He was responsible for a large team of employees, ranging from high-ranking engineer types to gormless seventeen-year-old oiks.

One such seventeen-year-old oik was particularly gormless and afflicted with a terrible stammer.

One day, my uncle was in an important meeting with the captain when Mungo (or whatever his name was) rushed in looking extremely agitated.

"S-s-s-s-sir, f-f-f-f-f-f-f-"
"What is it Mungo?
"Slow down, calm down"

There was a fire in the boiler room.
(, Mon 27 Mar 2006, 20:01, Reply)

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