Of all the things that the British Army does extremely well a parade has to be near the top. Over the 70 years in Germany there have been parades for many reasons and when I have spoken to locals it is something that they always look forward to. It is the way that British troops can display their traditions and precision…most of the time!
The first parade was the Victory Parade in Berlin. Units from 7th Armoured Division The Desert Rats took part in the parade where later in the day Churchill delivered his famous words about perhaps the most well known Brigade currently in the British Army:
“Now I have only a word more to say about the Desert Rats. They were the first to begin. The 11th Hussars were in action in the desert in 1940 and ever since you have kept marching steadily forward on the long road to victory. Through so many countries and changing scenes you have fought your way.
It is not without emotion that I can express to you what I feel about the Desert Rats.
Dear Desert Rats! May your glory ever shine! May your laurels never fade! May the memory of this glorious pilgrimage of war which you have made from Alamein, via the Baltic to Berlin never die!”
There have been many parades as we draw down but there have been so many more over recent years. The variety will be covered here but there are always ‘behind the scene’ stories that we just don’t see…until now, I hope!