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A Curious Story

robertss87

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Hello all,

I've just heard a story from my grandfather, a former member of the Royal Canadian Dragoons and air traffic controller, which sounds almost impossible. Perhaps posting it here will shed light or doubt on his (albeit, failing) memory.

After World War Two, Canadians were quite obviously present in West Germany. But according to my grandfather, they were not permitted to visit Berlin. He says that the reason for this was a Canadian soldier, also from the RCD, who got into a bar fight in Berlin and stabbed his opponent. The resulting charges, whether manslaughter or murder, resulted in Canadians being denied access to West Berlin.

Admittedly, this could be a misremembered tale from an old man, and all the checking I've done says nothing about it either way. Most sources tell of Canadian forces in West Germany, but not specifically Berlin. I don't think I'll share what I find out with my grandfather, but I would like to know whether this story holds some ring of truth.

If you have any input about this story, please feel free to share. Any information is appreciated.

Cheers.
 

Rifleman62

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In 1968, we were told that you could not get leave in Berlin. No reason given or asked. That's the way it was in those days.

I would think it was probably more a case of if the balloon went up, you were stuck behind enemy lines with the rest of the "Forelorn Hope". 

Old Sweat and Blackadder will know.

Anyway Amsterdam was the leave location of choice as was Copenhagen the previous generation.
 

George Wallace

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At the end of World War II there were quite a number of Canadian Units in Berlin.  Later Berlin was divided up into the Soviet, American, British and French Zones, and the Canadians left. 

I think Rifleman62 covered it quite well.

In the 1980's 4 CMBG soldiers were permitted to go on Berlin Tours hosted by the Americans.
 

Kat Stevens

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You could go to Berlin on leave, but the logistics involved would stupefy the organizers of Hannibal's great march.  You had to stick to the autobahn, direct route, in a specific time frame, no deviations, check in when you got there, and return by the exact same route.  A whole lot of other hoops that escape my failing old brainbox now.
 

Old Sweat

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Other than a composite battalion that took part in a victory parade in Berlin in 1945, there were no Canadian troops in Berlin post war. We were not allowed to visit Berlin when 4 CIBG/CMBG was stationed up north, but I gather that changed when the brigade moved south.

As for the reason for the prohibition, I haven't got a clue. It was one of those things that just happened in the brigade, like working Saturday mornings and eating Brit compo in the field. Both "things" were hangovers from the past, and were canned by, I think, Brigadier Tedlie. The prohibition of visiting Berlin stayed in place, but I have no idea of the level of command that imposed it.
 

robertss87

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From the sound of it, my grandfather was correct about being unable to visit Berlin, but perhaps his story is partly an urban military myth. Thank you all for your responses.
 

time expired

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This had something to do with a 4 power agreement limiting the number of Nato troops in Berlin.

During my time in Germany,63-66,68-74,78-83,Berlin was always off limits to Canadians.

                                      Regards
 
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