Saturday, 26 February 2011

Do Tanks Need Roads?

“The security presence now is all around the city which they have cordoned off to prevent any forces coming from outside.  They have stationed tanks and anti-aircraft guns on roads leading into the city. The other security cordon is around Bab al-Aziziah [Gaddafi residence] there of course he has a whole arsenal of weapons.  a Tripoli resident.
Road blocks?  Against Free Libya forces?  They've got tanks too.  I thought tanks just roared across the desert.  Perhaps it was all made to seem much too easy  long ago:


Nick Drew said...

I always used to enjoy the Greenham Common wimmin and their plan to 'block the entrance with cars in the event of World War 3'

then again, I guess they had never actually seen a tank ...

as the old Russian joke went: it will take us 4 hours and 15 minutes to clear the barricades blocking the way to the Reichstag - 4 hours laughing, and 15 minutes clearing

hatfield girl said...

Army commanders are awfully clever, ND. They need their brains about them to do all that knowing where they are, and where everyone else is, and how much fuel they've got, and what the enemy are up to, and how are the troops feeling, and BEING BRAVE all at the same time.

I read about some of the battles in the Second world war and couldn't begin to work out what was actually going on - with all the maps and hindsight offered to me in my comfy chair.

It's politicians who're not so bright - picking the wrong objectives, losing the plot, creeping to the next likely leader...

I agree if you haven't seen a tank you really don't get it. Once, very early in the morning on the outskirts of Florence, I was woken by the most terrible noise. Looking out of the window I saw a column of army vehicles on their way to some sort of jolly. Clean, with that very agile-lookng gun pointing at nothing in particular, they made the most terrifying impression: the triksy, complex clanking, jingling, roaring noise they made had me back in bed behind closed shutters in a moment. Imagine what they would have looked like battle-filthy, with the gun lowered to house height, arcing back and forth while firing.

Elby the Beserk said...

My father on Montgomery

"A fine soldier, but a first rate shit".

The reason for this was that Monty wore a Tank Regiment badge on his beret, but had never belonged to a tank regiment. Unlike my father.

As for roads. Dad was in the TA after the war. CO of the 40/41st Tanks in Oldham. We loved it, as he would take us with him sometimes, when they were doing manoeuvres on the tank ranges, and we would get to ride in the tanks.

Cool for a 9 year old boy.

Whitsun Wakes would see the regiment march through town in front of the Lord Mayor. We, as family, were installed with the Mayor on the steps of the town hall.

Tanks always led the march. This Whitsun was a hot hot hot one, and as the tanks rolled into sight, we realised that it was so hot that the treads had sunk about three inches into the tarmac.

Road closed for a couple of days afterwards.

But - never trust a man who wears the badge of a regiment he never belonged to.

Aside. Monty's base, when he was preparing for D-Day, was in Frome.

Not many people know that...

Nick - Lil was at Greenham. Loved throwing porridge at the windscreens of trucks coming out - when they tried to windscreen wiper it off, porridge just coats the whole windscreen and they have to stop.

Idle was there too, other side of the fence, so we often wonder whether Lil & Idle have met before!