Although never planned as trilogy, the events documented here
Part One - Another "First Encounter" With Americans ,
Part Two - When The Jock Hits The Shi@
and in the following lines, are true events that occurred (with only minor embellishments) during the afore mentioned exercise which took place in Germany in 1980.
The location: Belle (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Germany.
Crusader 80 was drawing to a close and it was time for the Brass to do a little PR work by visiting all those poor, dirty and stressed-out souls on the ground.
Our fearless leader, Major McCormack, joined us for the first time in this location (he had to attend some function or other) on this day as it was our turn under the spotlight and media glare. The press turned up in the wake of our even more fearless leader, Brigadier Forgotizname, who was coming to say a hearty 'well done' to the troops for a successful exercise.
Major McCormack, as I mentioned, had only just joined us and, after a quick briefing from his 2 I/C, made ready to greet our visitor. Sadly his briefing did not include any info as to the layout of the farm in which we were located other than the positions of various tents (cook tent, control tent, HQ tent) and sentry posts.
It was completely lacking any and all information regarding the large area of green surrounded by a low concrete wall in the centre of the farm's courtyard.
The courtyard looked something like this
The tent nearest to the barn was the HQ tent and was where Major McCormack met Brigadier Forgotizname.
The plan was to visit the Control tent, where supplies were controlled by myself and three others, then to do a circuit of our defensive positions, starting at the fox-hole behind our tent and going in a clockwise direction around the farm.
Now, Major McCormack did not know what we knew and, after greeting our illustrious guests at our HQ tent, he boldly stepped up onto the small concrete wall surrounding the area of green, indicating that the 'show' was about to start and that everyone should follow him towards the Control tent.
Before any word of warning could be uttered, he stepped onto the green area ... and promptly disappeared up to his waist in liquid pig shit!
The 'green' area was actually a large basin created to collect the pig's 'doings' and allow it to ferment a little before it could be sprayed on the surrounding fields. The 'green' surface was a layer of algae that had grown across that surface of the liquid.
If you weren't told what it was, then it really did look like a safe place to walk on.
With the layer of algae being all that held back the stench, the air was quickly filled with the wonderful aroma that only a pigs bottom could generate.
The stifled laughter of all in attendance broke into guffaws as Major McCormack continued his walk through the shit-pit saying "Well? What's everyone waiting for? C'mon in! The shit's lovely!"
The visit did eventually continue but, alas, without the attendance of Major McCormack who went off to immerse himself in a bath of disinfectant .