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British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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Tank manoeuvres: Trieste and Smeltz

Our Hon Secretary, Roy Boyles has received an email from Geoff which is as follows:


"I have been interested with the stories about the American tanks on manoeuvers in Trieste.
I was also involved in the evening occasion,we were spread in a large area of our soldiers resting in the dark waiting to be told to look out for the attackers from the enemy.
But from out of the night these tanks were heading for us and could not be seen,they were certainly coming very fast and we had no protection. It really was a frightening experiences.We had no information about the American soldiers that night.
There was another case in Schmelz whilst we were going up into hills. Our soldiers were split up,we went to the left and other groups went to the right. As we got higher up it became very misty and not clear about ur position,but tanks started shooting at us and rifles were being shot at us in thick fog.we ran down the hills as fast as possible to be shot. Bullets were cracking very close.
However when we met the boss of the other group went up the right line,had come across the American soldier in Charge of the tanks Lined up. Our chief told the American officer that our men were there in the fog in the hills apposite the tanks,and might be hit with weapons.The American in charge said I have got to fire the tanks , so let it go.
The tanks and bullets started shooting at us in the fog,and we could not see each other.
What a day that was.
I thought the Americans were on our side!

Geoff Hillyard"