The Danish Brigade in Germany
In april 1948, I was called as soldier. I went by train from Vridsloese, which later became Albertslund. The goal was Ringsted, where I was immersed in a artillery company, but never got to touch a gun, because we had to act as a transport company in Germany.
First we got uniforms and had to hand over our civilian clothes to the nearby soldier home. We was not allowed to have the civilian clothing at the barracks, and should always wear a uniform. The supplied uniforms were not particularly nice. They had previously been used by the volunteers who formed the Danish Brigade in Sweden, but was fortunately only a temporary measure. After some time we got our new uniform, and since we had learned to salute, we also was allowed to travel home at the first break and show our uniforms.
As can be seen in the picture was the uniform designed as battledress after the English model, and in my view, significant nicer than the battle uniform soldiers are using today, and look like they came directly from the battle line.
Now followed ekcersits from morning to night, and when we had learned a little more than just keeping a gun, we began training in driving, first to get a licence and later to learn to drive in column.
In september, we were ready for action. The approximately 100 vehicles, consisting of larger and smaller cars and motorcycles began a journey to future work in Jever, Germany. It was a large number, and the Great Belt ferry had a good business on the day. We made night stop twice on the journey. The first time in Fredericia, and the second time in a barracks in a totally outbombed Hamburg. Here was even the lamp bulbs removed, as they otherwise were stolen.
Well arrived in Jever began our work with the execution of supply and German workers, and the removal of the post and fuels. It was very independent tasks, where the drivers themselves was fit to run out any time. However, I was most employed in the workshop which was established in a garage. It was one of the many buildings on what had once been a large air base, and still lay with the largely undamaged runway and taxiways. The barracks was also of high standard, except when there was not enough water for a shower, unless you went down in the heatingplant and did pay off with cigarettes.
Some months in to the new year, I was moved for a month to the training area Sennelager near Padreborn. It was an area which was used for major exercises so we could coordinate the various units of the occupying forces, and here the most impressive was the noise a lowflying Vampire jet aircraft could deliver. We was driving with the forces and other relevant tasks. I, however, only as ordnans on motorcycle. The lodging was not as fine as in Jever, and it was necessary to use a stove were we had to lay bricks under the legs, as the stovepipe was too short, and organize the necessary fuel from the depot. That was coal as we just laid in a pile on the floor in our room.
At the spring it was over in Germany, and we went back to Ringsted. When we had to cross the border was the novelty great to hide purchased cameras and other objects, as we feared customs officers. They were anyway not especielly interested, and this was also bagatelle seen with today's eyes, but not with that times view of what was relevant, for it was still a society where there were shortages of much goods coming from abroad.
A day in april it was over. The last command, "as civil enter," sounded, but first there was a soldier mate who had stolen my leathersuit, which I had been given to run as ordnance. It was certainly not a good comrade, for it was me who was responsible for return of the equipment.
Now I could go home to my parents, but soon found a room in Glostrup, and also something to do, but that is another story as you can read about in the next section.
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Edited february 27 2009