BATUS

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BATUS

Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 14th, 2009, 4:51 am #1

I've stumbled across these site(s) and thought to be of interest to those who've been there.


http://www.lookingat.com/batus/


http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/cfb_suffield/batus.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Ar ... t_Suffield


Chris
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Grant Rombough
Grant Rombough

August 15th, 2009, 6:01 pm #2

I live "right next door", as it were. (The south boundary of the massive - over 1000 square miles - CFB Suffield is just 15 miles north of Medicine Hat.

Once even had the opportunity to watch the British Army in action, out in the middle of nowhere .....






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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 15th, 2009, 6:38 pm #3

Hello Grant,
Quite the nice photographs you've posted here! I commend you for this. Notice last photo below, it looks awfully similar to a Chieftain Tank, I should think!? Then again, I'm not a zipper head (slang term for armed crewmen etc,.) So I can't really make it out accurately!? Note again, the last photograph belongs to The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards-Scotland's Saltire flag in the middle turret!

Here's a bit on this famous Regiment.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Scots_Dragoon_Guards

As this Regiment was amalgamated in 1970's between 2 Calvary Regt's, here's a bit on "The Scots Grey's"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scots_Greys


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zFReeDI6WY


Chris



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Grant Rombough
Grant Rombough

August 16th, 2009, 4:56 am #4

The tank in the last photo is a Mark I Challenger, I believe. The profile is a bit "odd" because at that point the Battle Group was conducting a "withdrawal under fire" ..... thus, although the tank was moving at speed (to the left) the turret was rotated so the gun was trained backward.

I actually posted the three photos in jumbled chronological order ....

The middle photo is of one of the self-propelled guns which actually withdrew first, well in advance of the tanks to a position several miles to the rear in order to cover the withdrawal. Once the guns were positioned, the tanks began coming over the horizon in their withdrawal, moving through a narrow gap in a "minefield" right below our observation post, and then continuing past us (like the tank in the lowest photo). Once the tanks were through, a swarm of Royal Engineers completed placing and detonating charges which blew a very substantial tank trap across the gap, supplemented by more mines for good measure. All that while we could hear the rumble of the artillery firing well to our rear, plus the whistle of their rounds passing over our location and then exploding beyond the horizon ....

The observation party I was with were then moved back to a "middle ground" position where the tanks were again deployed to cover the further withdrawal of the artillery to the final defensive position. We were quite close to the tanks at this location as they began to engage the advancing enemy - consisting of pop-up tank silhouettes which registered hits by the non-explosive rounds the British tanks were using. Due to the very dry conditions, the tanks would virtually disappear in a cloud of dust kicked up by the muzzle blast of each round fired.

We then moved back to that final defensive position on the far side of a "river" (entirely imaginary, as you could probably surmise from the nature of the terrain! ) The British tanks and infantry withdrew across a trestle bridge which the Engineers were busy rigging with explosives .... then, when the forces were all across and clear, they blew the bridge. The final picture chronologically (albeit the uppermost one posted above) shows one of the tanks firing from a "hull down" defensive position at that "last stand" location.

Needless to say, I took other photos that day, but am currently unable to locate them!
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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 16th, 2009, 2:41 pm #5

Grant,
Thanks again for the lowdown on this story. What year was the photo's taken!? The Chieftain Tank was in service in the British Army, from 1965-1995. Before withdrawn from active service to be replaced by The Challenger Mk 1.



Chris
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Grant Rombough
Grant Rombough

August 16th, 2009, 3:30 pm #6

Early to mid 1990's .... which is why I have always assumed they were Challengers .... though I'm no tank expert! BATUS is the British Army's "full exercise" tank training facility, as you undoubtedly know, and I'd be surprised if they were still doing such training at that time on the model being phased out ......

They don't keep tanks here, by the way .... bring them in in the spring and ship them back out in the late fall, which is quite a circus since the CPR siding (main line) is on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway, and they must drive them from there to the base property a couple of miles north.

If I recall correctly, the supporting infantry unit of that particular Battle Group was the Black Watch ....
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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

August 16th, 2009, 4:28 pm #7

Grant,
Yes, I've heard about (BATUS) British Army Training Unit Suffield, ohh for quite some time now! I also remember reading about in British Soldier Magazine about the taticals they operated there. I also read that they used the Chieftain tank as well, that is why I asked you about the tanks used etc,. I think the articles were in around 1980's I vaguely remember reading,...'


Also, the Royal Air force operated out of CFB Goose Bay till the 1990's. I think they still do training out there in the east coast albeit temporarily?

The Royal Navy had previously been based in Halifax,Nova Scotia in Cold War years from 1955 till around 1966. The Sixth(R.N.) Submarine Squadron, operated/trained there etc,. And attached were naval rating of the Royal Canadian Navy.


Chris
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Christopher Furlotte
Christopher Furlotte

September 8th, 2009, 2:34 am #8

I've stumbled across these site(s) and thought to be of interest to those who've been there.


http://www.lookingat.com/batus/


http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/cfb_suffield/batus.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Ar ... t_Suffield


Chris
On this very topic, another link!

http://ukincanada.fco.gov.uk/en/working ... a/defence/
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