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Friday, April 07, 2006

A Big Bang

The exercise had been stopped for a while. We were all going to see a demonstration. The whole Brigade. That's several thousand people and lots of vehicles.

We were going to watch the Giant Viper being fired. The Giant Viper is an impressive piece of equipment. It's basically a hundred metres of oversized hose filled with high explosive with a big rocket on one end.

The idea is that if you happen to come across a minefield the Giant Viper can be trotted out. The rocket takes the hose over the minefield before the explosive is detonated - destroying any mines in the immediate vicinity and giving you a 'safe lane' to drive down.

So there we were.

A few thousand of us.


And waiting.

And waiting some more.

And what stopped the demonstration going ahead?

A technical glitch perhaps?

No what stopped the British Army in its tracks was a bunch of Polish mushroom pickers out for a days picking. And because they couldn't 100% guarantee that none of them would be in the danger area we all went on our way again.


Blogger The Bard said...

Small world, a fellow ex-pat was a consultant working at my office in Washington D.C. and told me the same story over a mug of tea. I'd always wondered if he'd been pulling my leg about the mushroom pickers!

Great fun reading your experiences, and a brilliant excuse to post my first comment!

7:52 pm  
Blogger Theblonde said...

Sounds like every eventuality was considered, well nearly.

Maybe they were hanging around for the mushroom cloud.

Had to be said.

8:44 pm  
Anonymous Hugh said...

oh yes, the mushroom syndrome - kept in the dark and fed on s#1t
think that still apptly describes military life :)

11:23 pm  
Blogger Katy Newton said...

Did you not have a mushroom formation to match your snuggle formation?

12:44 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the olden days they just used to have tanks with a drum'n'chain affair on the front, and flail their way through. What's with all this dangerous-to-mushroom-pickers rocketry?

1:26 am  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Well, you do need to protect those mushrooms. Especially if they are morel of shitaki mushrooms, or something good like that.

1:28 am  
Blogger Michael said...

In the really olden days it was all done by a few sappers poking around in the dirt with bayonets. You could pick mushrooms a hundred yards away, provided you didn't mind getting splashed now and then.

1:38 am  
Blogger SL said...

I like this. Because we all know that had we been at war the expense of a few mushroom pickers wouldnt have mattered a damn. least...I hope not.

2:04 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

The Bard - welcome and nice to have some proof that I'm not making this stuff up!

The Blonde - *cymbal crash*

Hugh - yup right there mate.

Katy - maybe if we'd offered them a snuggle they'd have come out.

Anon - nice link, I wonder how Flash would cope in the modern army - admirably I suspect.

Foilwoman - more of an oyster man myself.

Michael - personally I've never really fancied trying to poke a mine with a sharp object.

SL - I hope so too.

UPDATE FOR ALL - apparently the Viper has been replaced by the Python. What is it with the snakes?

7:19 am  
Anonymous Sir A Ferguson said...

I always carry a bag of shittake to ward off the Arsenal.

1:18 pm  
Anonymous Z said...

They should have just blown them to kingdom come. Whatever is the British empire coming too ;)

2:26 pm  
Anonymous Stu Savory said...

So, was Poland one of those
fun GUS states?

3:04 pm  
Blogger Foilwoman said...

Mr. Soldier: I'm sure you'd stop bombing if you thought it would screw up a nice shell-fish dinner for you. And of course you like oysters. I'll say no more about that.

3:33 pm  
Blogger toastedeggbanjo said...

Try working in a trials team, its hilarious, you run around like blue arsed flies with some staff officers bricking it because we have to do a demo to half the senior Generals in NATO.

You just know the 650 million quid piece of crap you are trialing will crash and burn (litteraly) in front of them

10:53 am  
Anonymous Stu Savory said...

Recently you blogged about falling over a log in the dark in the woods (I can't find it right now).

So I thought you might benefit from reading this book: ;-)

12:59 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Sir Alex - seemed to work at the weekend.

Z - exactly!

Stu - take the 'Crap Pun' hat from The Blonde.

Foilwoman - they do say an army marches on its stomach.

Eggbanjo - never had that pleasure although I can imagine it was fun.

Stu - thanks! ;)

5:38 pm  

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