Das Sprengsicherungskommando (The Bridge Guard)


Time for a spot of BAOR nostalgia, we were discussing bridge demolition prechamber shafts on a previous thread

The Bridge Guard


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest

27 Responses

  1. Bloody hell TD, you’ve just ruined my whole working day. And here is me “working from home” with a really genuine intention to sort out the business strategy for the next year.

    I know that bridge. We used to do TEWTs on it.

    State One, State 2, authorised commander….. They cocked up on handling the tank troop though.

    SSVC. I remember back when I was a young sprog (Army brat that I am) and we had the SKC who put on cowboy and indian films on Saturday mornings in a makeshift cinema in the cookhouse. SSVC came later.

  2. It must have been a luxury setting a bridge for demolition in daylight. All the ones I did took place at night, often cold and non stop rain. There were many occasions when necklaces were ‘accidentally’ dropped onto passing barges and on one occasion a Sapper who came off his under slung ladder !!

  3. Keith, you might be able to clear something up for us on another post

    What were those explosive charges called that were cheese shaped for prechamber shafts, I always remember them as ‘chesses’ but am sure there was a propoer name for them

  4. At 5.06 in the “Effect of Artillery” film, it seems we lost a 1915 rhomboid tank to enemy fire, just before the nice old Bedford got whacked. It seems to reappear as a burnt wreck at 12:22. Never knew we relied on Landships to keep the Soviet hoards from invading. Its a good job there are these films to set the records straight. On a slightly more serious note, the film does sort of suggest if there is a wealth of artillery in opposition forces, trench warfare is the result? I thought the modern way was for manoeuvre warfare at all times, as in don’t sit still long enough to become ‘target’?

  5. I am sure that there was a correct terminology for the cheeses, but everyone knew them as just ‘cheeses’. The shafts as mentioned were called ‘measles shafts’ deriving from the fact that when they were plotted onto a map they looked rather spotty.

  6. TD, Keith,

    the Sappers also of course ran the mapping / printing works, and could produce maps of things pretty much at will. We had some bespoke maps of the Harz at 1:10,000 scale with all of the culverts marked with a numbered green blob, and printed on the back of each map sheet was a post-card sized numbered detailed view of each culvert, with Sapper notes on how much explosive was needed to blow it up. Normal SOP was a quad pack of bar mines. For some, the quad pack could be fitted with a special detonator that replaced the old 50 cm rod normally used for initiation, with a pair of tripwires coming out that could be extended around a tree trunk, so it was victim operated.

    The maps were graded secret. One of my weekly jobs was to account for them in the F102.

    I suspect however that Terry Taliban is now much more expert at blowing things up than we ever were.

    And let’s hear it for the Rapid Cratering Kit (RCK). More fun than an amorous wife wearing only the pearls you bought her for her birthday.

  7. Twecky, a blast from the past on your You Tube link.

    Particularly liked this at 5.30 “…the Army has a constant requirement for high class recruits, intelligent men from all walks of life…” They crapped out when they got me, then. Good thing Reagan, Maggie and Gorbachev looked at my annual reports and decided the Cold War was over. ;)

  8. @RT “An amorous Wife”…blimey, Spanish girls really are different then…

    (Dons tin hat, heads for dugout)


  9. The memories are flooding back. RCK Hay Rick , Bee Hive. Nothing better than a box of P.E 4 (or 808 if you lucky enough to suffer with headaches!) to play about with. Nothing like an effective improvised Bangalore torpedo using a couple of 6 foot pickets packed with explosive to get the party going. I read on another forum about pallet loads of explosives (about a ton) which were available should a route or a bridge be needed to be disfigured in a hurry.Good stuff !

  10. Gordon Bennet GNB, if you can’t inspire amouressness with a gift of pearls, there’s something wrong in Yorkshire.

    72. That’s the sum of her birthday, my birthday, and the day of the month that we met. And so 72 pearls hand-selected and strung on proper Japanese silk, with slight variations in knotting distance and pearl diameter so that any ordinary woman can look at Mrs RT’s throat and think “fuck me, she must be special to get that”.

  11. @RT – You big softy…actually Mrs Gloomy greatly enjoyed the string of red/pink pearls I found her for Christmas a year or two ago, so I guess you have a point…by the by GET SOME BLOODY WORK DONE!

    Gradgrind Gloomy

  12. Chris W, wash your mouth out with soap. The type that can be worn in public, not that have to be hurriedly wiped off when a sick child comes into the bedroom because she can’t sleep.

  13. @Chris Werb – Naughty step this instant – and be advised that @RT does keep a household sniper in the staff wing at Red Trouser Manor…


  14. Yup, the Hayrick what we call a “Prismatic charge” due to the fact that it’s shaped like a prism.

    The other one’s a conical charge.


    Shaped charges by any other name, is just as fun. :)

  15. The cheese things us mad folk are referring to to were not a shaped charge as we all understand, but were just big slabs of explosive shaped like a cheese segment, or Trivial pursuit cheese!

    Well, this morning has certainly been a trip down memory lane :)

  16. GNB,

    work is actually progressing reasonably well, although I am dependent on receiving answers to data requests sent out to the team. They hate it when I work from home, as I am then free to work non-standard hours. And their annual reports are due at the end of the month, so they cannot ignore me. ;)

  17. Yes I did (on slow-mo – it wasn’t hanging about). Would be nice gently fried with some wild garlic.

    As this is a BAOR nostalgia thread, are we allowed to mention belt-fed wombats, nipples like a Scammel’s wheel nuts, dangerously Danish porno moustaches, or Stollies? ;) Or, thrillingly, the days when Kevins went to war from a clearing in a wood and not a 5 star hotel?

    I managed to buy a Herfy handbag last year on a day trip to do some business in Hanover. Happy memories.


Comments are closed.