British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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A posting on the 'Il Piccolo' website tonight caught my attention. A brief resume is below:
800 Slovenian soldiers, specially selected and supposedly perfectly operational to join NATO ranks, from the 72nd Brigade (Marisborka) of the Slovene Army, have been found seriously wanting.
They were being tested and evaluated in an operational training area at Pocek by a Bulgarian evaluator of NATO and a general who thought that the Slovenian authorities were playing an 'April Fools' joke. According to the evaluation method "CREVAL" of NATO, in fact, the soldiers did not even know how to move in a field of battle. Their equipment, recently issued by the Minister of Defence Andrea Katic, was show to be completely useless and dangerous to the health of the soldiers themselves. Even the soles of the 'waterproof' boots came apart from the uppers and some of the soldiers suffered from frostbite whilst wearing them.
Come on, all you ex-National Servicemen, lets hear some of your 'horror' stories of your training.
I well remember seeing groups of Yugoslav troops in Lubliana and remarking on the fact thet they were in shit order. Then I remember thinking that their appearance was not necessarily a reflection of their fighting ability; some of the Allied countries occupied by the Germans during WW11 needed few occupation troops to keep them in order. Yugoslavia needed several divisions and the Yugoslavs finally ejected them with very little help.
Your question about NS men's opinion of their training is difficult to answer; it was very variable, from laughable to excellent.
Apparently, the resume I wrote yesterday was only the tip of the iceberg. From an article on the Il Piccolo web-site tonight it appears that the whole Slovene Army is under-performing and there have been large scale sackings in the 'hierarchies' of the Defence Ministry and staff-officers. Even the President of Slovenia and the Prime Minister have been voicing their amarament at the poor performances of the troops and equipment.