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Trouble with Smoke: Service with the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry

by ambervalley

Contributed by 
ambervalley
People in story: 
Eric Annable
Location of story: 
Germany
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A2789481
Contributed on: 
28 June 2004

Being in the tank regiment, after we had been in action it was a recognised thing that the turret of the tank was facing the rear (towards the enemy), this was because our own lines could think that we were the enemy if they were pointing towards them. And they may have shot at us.

On occasion the enemy had captured some of our tanks and fired on our infantry with them so we did this as a precaution.

I was a gunner at the time and we had just come out of action and both tanks shot at the enemy SP gun (self propelled) neither of us knew which one had hit it and both claimed the glory!

When we left, we never used to 'retreat' we only ever 'withdrew'.

We used to lay smoke with a smoke gun to cover our withdrawl and one day I felt the tank go up and down over something and did not realise until after we had passed that our driver had not seen an American Jeep and had ran over it. The driver was safe as he was in the house near to it. He came out, scratched his head, shrugged his shoulders and went back into the house. Later on we were in the British Sector fetching a replacement tank and saw an accident that had happened before we got there, a small British Army lorry had run into a tree and damaged the front and the radiator was leaking, surrounding him were about four military police all taking notes, the reactions between the Americans and British with regards to accidents were totally different.

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