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RE: [8thdivmodern] Baumholder / 8th ID

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  • Robert Netzband
    Hi, In Mannheim when we got out of the field and had an itch in your pants you could just go downtown to the red light district and get laid for twenty bucks.
    Message 1 of 61 , Apr 30 4:23 PM
          In Mannheim when we got out of the field and had an itch in your pants you could just go downtown to the red light district and get laid for twenty bucks. And you got to pick the girl. FYI.
      Robert Netzband
      HHC 5/77 Armor FIST Platoon
      3rd Brigade 8th ID

      From: Jerry Walker [mailto:wilcalak@...]
      Sent: Friday, April 30, 2004 5:26 PM
      To: 8thdivmodern@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: RE: [8thdivmodern] Baumholder / 8th ID

      Hey Steve,
      I understand that.  At least with a bratwurst you got something to eat.  Yes, those fish bars were nowheresville.  I do not understand why GIs went there at all.

      Steve <musicphoto@...> wrote:
          I was in Baumholder from Dec 31, 1985 until March 1988, and yes, they still had those fish bars.  Every payday, the soldiers would be down there spending their money and still not getting anything or -where.  The bars might have been different owners and different locations, but Baumholder still had them, as did many other cities.  I could never see the point of wasting my money there, so I did other things with it, like tour!
      HHB, 4/29 FA
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Jerry Walker [mailto:wilcalak@...]
      Sent: Thursday, April 29, 2004 1:39 PM
      To: 8thdivmodern@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [8thdivmodern] Baumholder / 8th ID

      Did Baumholder have all those "fish" bars in the late 80s?  We had a bunch in the late 70s when I was there.

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    • Ginn, Matthew
      Jerry, I loved the place, and I bet I saw as much of the country in and around Baumholder as the shepherds and forstmeisters. It was a real treat to be
      Message 61 of 61 , May 12, 2004
        I loved the place, and I bet I saw as much of the country in and around Baumholder as the shepherds and forstmeisters.  It was a real treat to be outdoors without a rifle and 30 kilo pack, too, on the five or ten days of the year when it was sunny and above freezing.  Apart from that, I was always handy with a map and used to make a point of carrying the appropriate 1:50k whenever I was having a look around.  1/39 Infantry used to do no end of training in the near-country around the post.
        There's no special insight in my guess about where you were wandering. The reason I'm pretty sure of the road you went down was because it was the only quiet country road you could take out of Baumholder.  There weren't that many roads to start with, and none of the rest fit the bill.  The roads to Idar-Oberstein, Kusel and Freisen were busy;  the road to Heimbach was certain suicide for pedestrians;  the few quiet roads out the west side meant about a five click walk before you got off the post;  and you'd go fifteen kilometres down the south tank trail before you got to anything resembling a field. 
        How's that for a demonstration of completely useless trivia? 
        Having said all that, I never got to go out on the main range to see the villages that were evacuated in 1937 so that the German Army could turn the area into a firing range.  Evidently, the area in the hills above Baumholder was chosen because it was one of the most miserable and unproductive spots they could find.  They just moved the families out, and left their houses and graveyards in place.  We did a combined arms exercise at the northeast end of the MTA once, and ran into some old timers visiting a cemetery out there.  They evidently had a key to the gate and just let themselves in.  Strange to be settled into an AO with 113s and M-68s, only to have a procession of civilians in suits walking up the farm trail through your position. 
        Did you ever see the Soviet cemetery / memorial out past the airfield?  Seems there was a POW camp there during the war.  What a lousy deal that must have been.
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Jerry Walker [mailto:wilcalak@...]
        Sent: Thursday, 13 May 2004 8:39 AM
        To: 8thdivmodern@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: RE: [8thdivmodern] Baumholder / 8th ID

        Hey Matt,
        I waited a few days to reply because you stunned me with your precision of those back roads out of Baumholder.  All I remember was that I either went "this" way or "that" way during my time there, from August 1977 to Aug 1979.    Thanks for the reply.  I do remember walking by fileds of crops, though.  Just open fields.  A sunny, summer day stroll.  Just by myself. 

        "Ginn, Matthew" <matthew.ginn@...> wrote:
        That would probably be the road that went out past the German shooting club and ended at a little hof (with a great Gastatte), which was the walk I took the first day I arrived.  The hiking trail from Frauenburg to Kusel cut across it right there at the hof, and continued to "Old Baumholder" (Breitsesterhof) to intersect the main road between Baumholder and Kusel.  We almost never drove out there;  land nav by foot and so forth, but no tracks or armor.  Guess they had probably put it off limits from too many enthusiastic mechanised GIs hunting for training grounds close to home.  Some of the fellows used to volunteer in the summers to go and put up hay and do other field work with the farmers out there, but I had had quite enough of putting up hay when I was in high school and sure wasn't ever going to do it for free.
        Another great walk was out the back gate to the south tank trail, down about six clicks, and then back through the hills via the woodcutters' trails.  The trail came out in the hills southeast of town, past a number of weekend huts.  Some of those were better than houses I've lived in -- duck ponds, fireplaces, the lot.  It would've probably been possible to buy or lease one when the bottom fell out of the DM in the mid-80s, but no one seemed to think of it.  Reminded me of the permanent cabin tents some units kept down at Garmisch and Berchtesgaden.
        By coincidence, last night I had dinner at the local German Club.  Kinda strange to be sitting among Germans, eating kassler roast pork and sauerkraut, sipping on riesling.  Will try to see if I can get past the bartender and sneak an 8th ID pennant or a unit crest into the trophy cabinet next time I'm over there.

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