THE Cold Wars story in The Bugle (June 26 edition) reminded me of my time in National Service (1955-1957).
I was stationed in Dusseldorf, Germany. Our camp bordered Dusseldorf airport where a road led on to the airport with just a chain link fence separating the camp and airport, easy to pull down in an emergency.
Rumour had it that Russia could obliterate the British Army in Germany in hours.
In 1956, due to petrol shortage, we had to go to our annual camp by train, our guns 25 pounders, quads and equipment on flat wagons having to keep guard on the moving train (where was health and safety?).
Our destination was Bergan, a short distance away from Belsen Camp. I visited Belsen a few times while in the forces, parts of a gas chamber were still visible on my first visit there. The last time I went there trees were being planted on the camp but the burial mounds were still visible. No sound of birds were heard at Belsen.
I said that we stopped at Bergan. It was said although train loads of prisoners ended up there and were then taken to Belsen, no one in Bergan saw or heard of trains stopping there.
In 1957 we went on our annual camp which was miles from anywhere. On a couple of occasions we had to travel down a cart track for a couple of miles to get on to a road. There on the road were three Russian staff cars with Russian officers watching us as we left the cart track. When we got back after our training, 5-6 hours later, they were still there waiting for us.
23 Reld Road, Oldbury.