Army

Last Army Tank Unit In Germany Fires Final Rounds

The Queen’s Royal Hussars are leaving Germany this summer.

The Army’s last tank unit in Germany has fired its final live rounds in Bergen-Hohne before moving back to the UK.

Germany has been home to the Queen’s Royal Hussars and its predecessor regiments since 1945.

Their main focus now is an eight-month deployment to Estonia that begins at the end of the year.

The Hohne gunnery camp is a ritual that has taken place almost every February for decades, but live firing in Hohne may not be such a regular fixture in future.

The Queen’s Royal Hussars are leaving Germany this summer.

The Army’s senior armoured regiment will move to a new base at Tidworth in Wiltshire.

Tank firing a shot 190219 CREDIT BFBS

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Cowley, explained that learning to fight tanks is the "core business" of the regiment.

"When I see our soldiers and officers on their tanks getting really good at their drills, I think that is when the regiment feels incredibly sort of happy and together," he said.

Leaving the German location will have both negatives and positives, as Trooper Connor Rigg explains.

"It’s got its negatives and positives.

"Obviously, we’ll be closer to [our] families moving back. Obviously not having to fork out the money to pay for flights to go back with two kids and a wife as well [is a positive]."

Soldier prepares the tank 190219 CREDIT BFBS

The departure will mark the end of a long chapter. For the first time in 74 years, the Army will have no tank units based in Germany.

Only the Queen’s Royal Hussars and one other British regiment will still be equipped with tanks.

The Army’s remaining Challenger 2s are to be upgraded under a Life Extension Programme.

"We’re hoping that we can do a bit more integration with regiments and get the best of both from their best practices and our best practices so that we can move forward as a Royal Armoured Corps and be the best-trained soldiers that we can be," says WO2 Colin Russell.

Tanks in Germany 190219 CREDIT BFBS

As they prepare to head for Britain, the Queen’s Royal Hussars’ diary is packed as they also prepare to undergo 37 days of intensive training on the Canadian Prairie.

At the end of this year, they will begin eight months leading a NATO battlegroup in Estonia.

However, the Queen’s Royal Hussars do not believe they have seen the last of Germany.

Queen’s Royal Hussars in Germany.

“We will definitely come and train here," says Lieutenant Colonel Cowley.

"I think [the training facilities in Germany] are too good for us not to keep coming back and training with and making sure that we are comfortable operating on mainland Europe alongside our key allies.”