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I&I 2011


BansheeOne

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Rheinmetall is a go, but I need the names and nationality of all attendees by mid July. They aren't averse to show off more than just the ammo museum that they have; the question is just how much time we have (probably just 90 minutes, right?)

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I'll hopefully hammer out the timetable for the Munster trip this week; Armor School has greenlighted our visit and given me a point of contact, and I've sent an e-mail request for more information to the museum.

 

Unfortunately Ken Estes had to cancel his I&I participation due to taking part in a university field trip to France and Germany held by an old friend slightly earlier this summer. I'm planning to meet him on the German leg, but this pushes his annual vacation with his wife back into September. He's terribly sorry, but we understand the decision.

 

Our current list thus shows seven declared participants and 14 maybes. Again, please confirm your intentions soonest and relay your personal data needed for access.

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...Our current list thus shows seven declared participants and 14 maybes. Again, please confirm your intentions soonest and relay your personal data needed for access.

\

 

problem is that I will only know in late May/early June if I will be able to make it.

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  • 1 month later...

The Munster trip is taking on shape.

 

First, while Armor School was cool with our visit, it would have amounted to a 30-45 minute briefing in exchange for considerable cutting of red tape to bring the furriners on base. Seeing that the vehicle collection as the main point of interest is accessible through the museum without all the bureaucratic hassle and the tour of the Rheinmetal plant at Unterlüß is also taking on very interesting proportions, we decided to invest the extra time there and forego the school.

 

Unfortunately the Kommandantenabend at the museum now seems fraught with safety regulations to the point where Armor School as the owner of the collection doesn't want any visitors around. In compensation, at Unterlüß we're expecting access not just to the in-house ammunition museum (includes a round of Sevastopol mortar "Fritz" among other stuff) but also the tank workshops and maybe the ammo production line; some nationalities may be excluded from the latter, but we experienced the same with the SSBN tour at the Seattle I&I and found alternate stuff to spend our time on.

 

As we're now freed from public office hours and intend to leave early for Munster, we have switched Thursday and Friday in our itinerary with a view to gradual acclimatisation to local time for the transatlanticians. The necessary personal data to be supplied by each I&I participant also reduces to

 

- full name

- nationality

- date and place of birth.

 

We're going to check with the Reichstag visitor service for the tour on Day 1 next. Our list of announced and probable participants hasn't changed over the last weeks, and we have only one confirmation for a booking at our recommended hotels. Please remember again that accomodation will dwindle and prices rise accordingly over the next weeks. We strongly suggest to book now even if you're not sure you'll attend; you can always cancel later. We are planning to prepare more private accomodation for those who can't get a hotel room, but we'd rather reserve that for the ones who're short on financial means rather than rewarding people who were too lazy to book early with free quarters.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm booked at the Ibis and will be getting in on the 30th (morning or evening depends on the flight)and am will leave on the 5th. My wife will be coming along but plans on doing the tourist thing while we are off looking at tanks n stuff.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that I cannot make the trip this year. Finances and in particular, the passing of my Mom have left me wanting. Please have a great time and post plenty of pics!

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I feel sorry you won't be there, but I feel even more sorry about your mother. My condolences. We were very much looking forward to have your parents with us, too.

 

Obviously you're excused and we will think of you at the I&I. Pictures will be forthcoming.

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  • 4 weeks later...

NO!!! In fact I was about to issue a slightly irritated reminder, because I only have a grand total of two messages with personal details for the planned tours at this point. We need to have a good picture of participation in those real soon now, since group size will determine whether I can/have to run the Reichstag tour through the visitor service or do it inofficially. In fact our list is still heavy on the undecided side:

 

Declared intent to participate:

 

BansheeOne (Germany) - extra sleeping space for one person or couple, car

Cyber Ghost (Israel)

Dave Clark (Germany) - extra sleeping space, car

Harold Jones (US) - with wife (tourist programme); arrive on 30th, booked at Ibis Hotel

John Ford (US)

Leo Niehorster (Germany)

Ssnake (Germany) - can only attend three days, arranges visit at Unterlüß, rents van from Hannover

 

Expressed interest, but no decision yet:

 

ABNRedleg (US)

Allan Wotherspoon (Canada)

Bojan (Serbia)

Colin (Canada)

CV9030FIN (Finland)

DB (UK)

Irregularmedic (US)

M4A1 (Poland)

On the way (Canada)

Panzermann (Germany)

Richard Lindquist (US)

Soren Ras (Denmark)

Stuart Galbraith (UK)

Tuccy (Czech)

 

I include all the previously stated advise about booking ASAP. Please confirm your intentions soonest.

 

Now that the weather has turned somewhat summerly-ish, we will commence in situ recce of our planned day trips within the next weeks and make final adjustments to the itinerary.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

during the last four days we executed a dry run of our intended itinerary in perfect weather, which we hope to have when the real thing goes down, too. Based upon our experiences gathered, we implemented the LWMB (Less Walking More Beer) I&I Effectiveness Enhancement Program by making some points optional while maintaining overall structural integrity. See below for validated schedule.

 

My worries about actual group size for the Reichstag tour have most conveniently resolved themselves courtesy of Fallschirmjäger Battalion 263 from my boss' electoral district, a group from which chose the exact timeframe of our plan to also request a visit for. I will therefor simply attach the TN force to the paras.

 

Other than my well-repeated advice to book hotel rooms ASAP with a view to shrinking accomodations and climbing prices, the only deadline therefore remains the end of July by which time we need to have the full names, dates of birth and nationalities of all participants in the Reichstag and Rheinmetall tours.

 

 

Day 1: Decompression - Downtown Berlin sights (Wednesday 08/31)

 

1400 Leave hotel on foot after lunch

 

1405 "Topography of Terror" exhibition at former site of Gestapo headquarters and adjacent Berlin Wall remnant; alternate attractions close by are Checkpoint Charlie and ride on moored balloon with view over city from 500 ft

 

1515 Walk by former Air Ministry with memorial to 1953 East German uprising, site of Hitler's bunker

 

1530 Holocaust Memorial

 

1600 Tour Reichstag attached to group from Fallschirmjäger Battalion 263

 

1745 Tiergarten Soviet War Memorial (includes two T-34/76s and ML-20 gun-howitzers each), look at Victory Column

 

1830 Beer and barbecue at Zollpackhof beer garden vis-a-vis Chancellor's Office

 

1900 optional: Historically interested participants still not fed up can visit Memorial Watchtower to first Wall victim Günter Litfin and Invalidenfriedhof with tombs of Scharnhorst, Schlieffen, Moltke, Udet and Mölders before rejoining the rest of the party

 

Open end: Walk through Brandenburg Gate to Pariser Platz with embassies of WW II allied powers; from there with S-Bahn to bars on Potsdamer Platz or back to hotel depending on individual preference

 

 

Day 2: The Sound of Freedom - The West (Thursday 09/01)

 

0900 Leave hotel by vans

 

0930 Allied Museum Zehlendorf with exhibition on Berlin Airlift, Cold War history of Western allied powers in the city and military liasion missions in East Germany

 

1100 House of the Wannsee Conference

 

1200 Lunch at Wannsee lakeside

 

1315 Photo stop at Glienicke Bridge used for Cold War spy exchanges

 

1345 Cecilienhof, site of Potsdam Conference

 

1445 Stop by Schloss Sanssouci, summer seat and burial site of Frederick the Great with famous Rococo wine terraces; participants and wives/girlfriends not interested in aircraft can spend rest of afternoon at extensive park with numerous palaces, pavillons and working rebuilt 18th century windmill

 

1530 Luftwaffe Museum Gatow with collection of WW I, WW II and especially CW Eastern and Western aircraft, missiles and radars, exhibition on history of German air forces and Gatow airfield

 

1815 Visit Commonwealth War Cemetery on Heerstraße in memory of Geoff Winnington-Ball

 

1900 optional: Bendlerblock, now Berlin seat of Ministry of Defense, with German Resistance Memorial Center centered around courtyard where conspirators of July 20th 1944 were shot, memorial to Bundeswehr KIAs

 

2100 Dinner at Mommseneck (House of 100 Beers) on Potsdamer Platz

 

 

Day 3: Panzer Day - Munster (Friday 09/02)

 

0730 Leave hotel by vans

 

1100 Tour Rheinmetall plant at Unterlüß including tank workshops, ammunition museum including round of "Fritz" Sevastopol mortar, maybe ammunition production, lunch

 

1500 Panzermuseum Munster

 

1800 Return to Berlin

 

 

Day 4: Worker's Paradise - The East (Saturday 09/03)

 

0845 Leave hotel by vans

 

0900 Tour Stasi Headquarters

 

1030 Tour Stasi Prison Hohenschönhausen

 

1230 Quick lunch, Burger King at Allee Center off Landsberger Allee

 

1330 German-Russian Museum Karlshorst, site of German surrender to Soviet and allied forces and seat of Soviet occupation authority under Zhukov; includes T-34/85, IS-2, SU-100, SU-152, Katyusha launcher, ZIS-2, ZIS-3 and M30 guns, exhibition on development of German-Soviet relations since 1917 and WW II

 

1445 Treptower Park with largest Soviet WW II memorial and cemetry outside former USSR

 

1530 Drive by East Side Gallery, longest remaining piece of Berlin Wall with spraypaint art

 

1600 Tour remains of WW II Flaktower Gesundbrunnen

 

1800 optional: Berlin Wall Memorial Site on Bernauer Straße with parts of full barrier system preserved

 

2000 Dinner at Fernsehturm Restaurant

 

 

Day 5: World War Two - The Hinterland (Sunday 09/04)

 

0930 Leave hotel by vans

 

0945 Photo stop at Tempelhof Airport with Berlin Airlift Memorial

 

1100 Technical Museum Kummersdorf at site of former Wehrmacht test center, containing about 100 vehicles from WW II and Cold War in running condition

 

1300 Historical-Technical Museum on rocket development at Kummersdorf

 

1330 Lunch at Märkischer Landmann restaurant, Sperenberg

 

1600 Memorial site and museum at Seelower Höhen, site of Oderbruch Battle and Red Army breakthrough onto German territory

 

1730 optional: Stop at Philadelphia

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Okay, added you under "intent to participate" and "needs sleeping space". Also added Fritz (Bulgaria?) under "no decision yet".

 

Country is correct. I might be able to drag a friend too.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We're currently working on some last additions to the programme, which will hopefully include a little look at the German navy. We'll keep the details a surprise.

 

Please remember that the deadline for supplying your full name, date of birth and nationality for the Reichstag and Rheinmetall tours is in four weeks today on Sunday, July 31st. By the same time, please give note if you need a private sleeping space. We currently have one definite and three maybes, which we could all accommodate; we'd need some warning to organize more.

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Crap.

No chance of making it.

Work and family collided and Late August/September is gonna be hell, making me very, very needed both to job and family... :(

Have a nice time... :)

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In about two weeks I will need the list with the names, date of birth, and nationality of the participants of the Rheinmetall visit.

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Okay, in that case and since Dave and me are off to France to meet Ken Estes until the 18th, I'll issue the final reminder to sign up throughout the fora now. Our list currently looks as follows:

 

Declared intent to participate:

 

Allan Wotherspoon (Canada) - arrives on 30th, booked at Novotel

BansheeOne (Germany) - extra sleeping space, car

Cyber Ghost (Israel)

Dave Clark (Germany) - extra sleeping space, car

Harold Jones (US) - with wife (tourist programme); arrive on 30th, booked at Ibis Hotel

John Ford (US)

Leo Niehorster (Germany) - arrives on 31st

Ssnake (Germany) - can only attend three days, arranges visit at Unterlüß, rents van from Hannover

Sunday (Spain) - needs sleeping space

 

Expressed interest, but no decision yet:

 

ABNRedleg (US)

Colin (Canada)

CV9030FIN (Finland)

DB (UK)

Fritz (Bulgaria)

Hans Engstrom (Sweden)

Irregularmedic (US)

M4A1 (Poland)

On the way (Canada)

Panzermann (Germany)

Richard Lindquist (US)

Soren Ras (Denmark)

Stuart Galbraith (UK)

Tuccy (Czech)

 

Additional advise: The minimum group size for a guided tour at the Stasi Headquarters is ten, but we currently have only seven members who supplied their personal details and can thus be considered definite particiants. So if you're still undecided, give yourself a push and sign up. I'm particularly looking at the European contingent here.

 

Our attempt to include the navy unfortunately didn't pan out, so with only minor last modifications the final programme is likely to look like this:

 

 

Day 1: Decompression - Downtown Berlin sights (Wednesday 08/31)

 

1400 Leave hotel on foot after lunch

 

1405 "Topography of Terror" exhibition at former site of Gestapo headquarters and adjacent Berlin Wall remnant; alternate attractions close by are Checkpoint Charlie and ride on moored balloon with view over city from 500 ft

 

1515 Walk by former Air Ministry with memorial to 1953 East German uprising, site of Hitler's bunker

 

1530 Holocaust Memorial

 

1600 Tour Reichstag attached to group from Fallschirmjäger Battalion 263

 

1800 Tiergarten Soviet War Memorial (includes two T-34/76s and ML-20 gun-howitzers each), look at Victory Column

 

1900 Beer and barbecue at Zollpackhof beer garden vis-a-vis Chancellor's Office

 

Open end: Look at Victory Column, walk through Brandenburg Gate to Pariser Platz with embassies of WW II allied powers; from there with S-Bahn to bars on Potsdamer Platz or back to hotel depending on individual preference

 

 

Day 2: The Sound of Freedom - The West (Thursday 09/01)

 

0900 Leave hotel by vans

 

0930 Allied Museum Zehlendorf with exhibition on Berlin Airlift, Cold War history of Western allied powers in the city and military liasion missions in East Germany

 

1100 House of the Wannsee Conference

 

1200 Lunch at Wannsee lakeside

 

1315 Photo stop at Glienicke Bridge used for Cold War spy exchanges

 

1345 Cecilienhof, site of Potsdam Conference

 

1445 Stop by Schloss Sanssouci, summer seat and burial site of Frederick the Great with famous Rococo wine terraces; participants and wives/girlfriends not interested in aircraft can spend rest of afternoon at extensive park with numerous palaces, pavillons and working rebuilt 18th century windmill

 

1530 Luftwaffe Museum Gatow with collection of WW I, WW II and especially CW Eastern and Western aircraft, missiles and radars, exhibition on history of German air forces and Gatow airfield

 

1815 Visit Commonwealth War Cemetery on Heerstraße in memory of Geoff Winnington-Ball

 

1900 optional: Bendlerblock, now Berlin seat of Ministry of Defense, with German Resistance Memorial Center centered around courtyard where conspirators of July 20th 1944 were shot, memorial to Bundeswehr KIAs

 

2100 Dinner at Mommseneck (House of 100 Beers) on Potsdamer Platz

 

 

Day 3: Panzer Day - Munster (Friday 09/02)

 

0730 Leave hotel by vans

 

1100 Tour Rheinmetall plant at Unterlüß including tank workshops, ammunition museum including round of "Fritz" Sevastopol mortar, maybe ammunition production, lunch

 

1500 Panzermuseum Munster

 

1800 Return to Berlin

 

 

Day 4: Worker's Paradise - The East (Saturday 09/03)

 

0845 Leave hotel by vans

 

0900 Tour Stasi Headquarters

 

1030 Tour Stasi Prison Hohenschönhausen

 

1230 Quick lunch, Burger King at Allee Center off Landsberger Allee

 

1330 German-Russian Museum Karlshorst, site of German surrender to Soviet and allied forces and seat of Soviet occupation authority under Zhukov; includes T-34/85, IS-2, SU-100, SU-152, Katyusha launcher, ZIS-2, ZIS-3 and M30 guns, exhibition on development of German-Soviet relations since 1917 and WW II

 

1445 Treptower Park with largest Soviet WW II memorial and cemetry outside former USSR

 

1530 Drive by East Side Gallery, longest remaining piece of Berlin Wall with spraypaint art

 

1600 Tour remains of WW II Flaktower Gesundbrunnen

 

1800 optional: Berlin Wall Memorial Site on Bernauer Straße with parts of full barrier system preserved; and/or Memorial Watchtower to first Wall victim Günter Litfin on Kieler Straße, Invalidenfriedhof with tombs of Scharnhorst, Schlieffen, Moltke, Udet and Mölders

 

2000 Dinner at Fernsehturm Restaurant

 

 

Day 5: World War Two - The Hinterland (Sunday 09/04)

 

0930 Leave hotel by vans

 

0945 Photo stop at Tempelhof Airport with Berlin Airlift Memorial

 

1100 Technical Museum Kummersdorf at site of former Wehrmacht test center, containing about 100 vehicles from WW II and Cold War in running condition

 

1300 Historical-Technical Museum on rocket development at Kummersdorf

 

1330 Lunch at Märkischer Landmann restaurant, Sperenberg

 

1600 Memorial site and museum at Seelower Höhen, site of Oderbruch Battle and Red Army breakthrough onto German territory

 

1730 optional: Stop at Philadelphia

 

 

Shopping opportunities/alternative sights for possible wives/girlfriends along for the trip, but not the programme:

 

- Multilingual sightseeing tours by bus start on Unter den Linden outside Madame Tussaud's and on Ebertstraße next to Brandenburg Gate among other spots

- Friedrichstraße

- Kurfürstendamm

- Kaufhaus des Westens

- Potsdamer Platz: Arkaden, Sony Center, Movie Museum

- Alexanderplatz: Galeria Kaufhof, Alexa

- Berlin Cathedral

- Gendarmenmarkt: French and German Cathedral, Concert Hall

- Museumsinsel with five historical and art museums, including Pergamon Altar and famous Nofretete bust; day passes for all five available

- Schloss Sanssouci on Day 2: Free access to park, charges for entry to palaces and pavillons, day passes for all available

Edited by BansheeOne
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  • 2 weeks later...

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