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  • Observer Corps

    I note the BBC have a series on tv at present about the british reaction to the cold war, from all avenues.
    Among the topics covered on one show was their version of the observer corps, which up to the 90s, was a role of the FCA.
    A number of national exercises were carried out, with the CD doing their own thing.
    The FCA role was to monitor the progress of the nuclear war which had happened elsewhere.
    Where we were expected to do this monitoring was never revealed....
    Anyone else old enough to remember?

  • #2
    A chap I worked with was in the ROC. They had dedicated monitoring posts https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roya...onitoring_Post

    He said after a week or two's exercise, both the air and the nerves were a bit rough.
    'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
    'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
    Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
    He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
    http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

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    • #3
      The 1987 df handbook had a big piece on the observer corps if you can get your hands on it

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      • #4
        The one showing a guy in an NBC suit using equipment not normally used by 95% of the observer corps?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
          The one showing a guy in an NBC suit using equipment not normally used by 95% of the observer corps?
          Exactly???? Remember how broke the country was at the time

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          • #6
            Originally posted by paul g View Post
            Exactly???? Remember how broke the country was at the time
            They should have had a photo of an overall clad FCA volunteer examining the 1950s vintage equipment that would never be brought out of the store or classroom.
            Oh and a phone of course. While civilisation as a whole was being wiped out by Mutually assured destruction, the irish telephone network would survive to allow outposts to relay observations to hq...

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            • #7
              There a number of RDF units outside Bks that had NBC monitoring equipment (my first exposure to it was around 2006) when we participated in the national ex

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              • #8
                Originally posted by na grohmiti View Post
                The one showing a guy in an NBC suit using equipment not normally used by 95% of the observer corps?
                I'll double check, but I'm sure my friend said that the ROC in bunkers were not issued with NBC suits and S10's as they were not expected to leave the observation bunker.
                'He died who loved to live,' they'll say,
                'Unselfishly so we might have today!'
                Like hell! He fought because he had to fight;
                He died that's all. It was his unlucky night.
                http://www.salamanderoasis.org/poems...nnis/luck.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
                  I'll double check, but I'm sure my friend said that the ROC in bunkers were not issued with NBC suits and S10's as they were not expected to leave the observation bunker.
                  YouTube has a few Government Information films from the 60s and 70s on the ROC bunker networks.

                  It was the year of fire...the year of destruction...the year we took back what was ours.
                  It was the year of rebirth...the year of great sadness...the year of pain...and the year of joy.
                  It was a new age...It was the end of history.
                  It was the year everything changed.

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                  • #10
                    My understanding was that it was the FCA Cadre that performed the role, not soldiers in the FCA. I never remember any training in it anyway.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Poiuyt View Post
                      My understanding was that it was the FCA Cadre that performed the role, not soldiers in the FCA. I never remember any training in it anyway.
                      I believe the Observer Corps had a PDF cadre and FCA establishment (but only manned in time of emergency).

                      My Coy was the only one in the Bn that had the role.

                      Around 2006 the cadre trained all the Ptes in the coy in an intro to NBC monitoring.

                      For the RADMON EX, the Instruction from D RES was for RDF personnel to be used (on mandays)

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                      • #12
                        There was in the 1980s during the height of the Cold War less than 20 pdf members of the observer corps and most of them were officers in barracks.

                        The thinking at the time was that Ireland would not be hit by an atomic bomb but that the main danger would be fallout from attacks in the uk, however given the prevailing winds even that’s was not seen as a danger worth investing funds in, hence the minute size of the force. Also from about 1985 onwards planning for Cold War came to a halt, part of this was geopolitical as Gorbachev came to power and part was on island with the threat from paramilitaries From eskund and unionists if British withdrawal and unionists udi.

                        Older members of the board might remember exercises against invasia who happened to resemble Warsaw pact forces were common enough up to the 1980s and then around 1985 a new foe appeared the fantasians who just happened to resemble the udr. A lot of work was done in devising defensive plans based upon the Austrian zonal defence concept.

                        For those of us who enjoy reading the college by Tom Hodson is very good on this period
                        Last edited by paul g; 7 November 2019, 23:17.

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                        • #13
                          If memory serves me right the Observer Corps were based in Griffith Barracks and their collar badge was a Heron with a raised leg?
                          Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by paul g View Post
                            There was in the 1980s during the height of the Cold War less than 20 pdf members of the observer corps and most of them were officers in barracks.

                            The thinking at the time was that Ireland would not be hit by an atomic bomb but that the main danger would be fallout from attacks in the uk, however given the prevailing winds even that’s was not seen as a danger worth investing funds in, hence the minute size of the force. Also from about 1985 onwards planning for Cold War came to a halt, part of this was geopolitical as Gorbachev came to power and part was on island with the threat from paramilitaries From eskund and unionists if British withdrawal and unionists udi.

                            Older members of the board might remember exercises against invasia who happened to resemble Warsaw pact forces were common enough up to the 1980s and then around 1985 a new foe appeared the fantasians who just happened to resemble the udr. A lot of work was done in devising defensive plans based upon the Austrian zonal defence concept.

                            For those of us who enjoy reading the college by Tom Hodson is very good on this period
                            I just assumed as they were a separatist group of religious fanatics they were islamic. I guess that makes me racist...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I spent the 90s fighting Fantasia forces and the 00s fighting the Wicklow Freedom Fighters

                              But back to the topic on hand. There was relatively regular training for FCA members by the Observer Corps in the early 90s (There was a course every other year or so). I remember one when I was in the Southern Command and another when I was in the Eastern Command.


                              The equipment remained in stores until the RDF units were disbanded in 2012
                              Last edited by Bravo20; 8 November 2019, 11:37.

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