3 Base Ammunition Depot RAOC
HQ 3 Base Ammuniton Depot (3 BAD) was established at Liebenau in 1946 at Pinewood Camp with Ammuntion Sub-Depots at
454 FAD Liebenau (capacity of 68,000 tons) later ecame one of the Forward Storage Sites for 1 (BR) Corps
254 ASD Bracht (capacity of 11,000 tons) later became the HQ & Main Depot of 3 BAD in 1953
654 ASD Walsrode (capacity of 11,000 tons) later became one of the Forward Storage Sites for 1 (BR) Corps
854 ASD Boostedt (capacity of 6,000 tons) closed in 1949
All ammunition held was classed as 'Left over from battle' and requered a lot of inspection and re-working including disposal, add to this the problem of abandoned enimy ammunition to be dealt with (but not by 3BAD!)
Bracht lay in the area between the towns of Bracht & Bruggan on the Dutch Border and was a Field Storage Site with 21 Piece IG Shelters and dirt roads unlike other captured German Forces Factories/Depots, but was to become the British Armies Major Ammunition Depot in BAOR for over 50 years.
New accomidiation was built at Bracht and by 1953 HQ 3 BAD had moved from Liebenau to Bracht and the depot continued to grow into the main reciept & issue depot for BAOR
Renamed to 3 Base Ammunition & Petroleum Depot (3 BAPD) in 1965 when the RAOC took over resposability for POL [Petroleum, Oils & Lubricants] from the RASC when 4 Patroleum Depot at Nienburg, and 6 Patroleum Depot at Arsbeck, along with Dilborn & Ratingen Packed POL sub-depots came under its command.
Up until the late 60's 3BAPD's Ammunition Storage remained WWII vintage IG Shelters which with the advent of Palletisation & MHE [Materials Handling Equipment] was becoming more difficult. So plans were made in 1968/9 to construct 40 Metal Clad Explosive Storehouses (MESH) which were completed by 1971 along with 8 miles of tarmacked roads and 2 tarmacked hardstanding and rail marchling areas. Improvements continued into the 70's with more permanent roads and construction of [Concrete] Explosive Store Houses (ESH)
Name reverted back to 3 BAD in April 1979 on the opening of the new build 4 Petrolium Depot at Warendorf Bulk Petrolium Depot and the NATO Central Patroleum Pipeline System (CEPS) at which time all Pet Ops moved to Portsmorth Barracks and established control of the new Depot.
3 BAD was the largest Ammunition Depot in Western Europe covering around 1200 Hectars until the 1st April 1997 when after it was closed, and cleared of hazards was handed back to the German authorities who reportedly spent 3.2 Million DM turning it into a Nature Park called "Brachter-Wald"
Arial Photograph of the area in 2005 showing the noticable remains of the depot
The barracks was known as Marlbough Barracks and housed 3 Companies of RAOC who mainly worked in the depots, which is still extact and used as a Caravan Park & Hostal at the main enterance to the nature park which is closed to vehicles.
Only image available of Marlbough Barracks with 'Outback Club' to left and cookhouse to right as viewed from the blocks.
Other Units based at Bracht:
Regimental Training Wing RAOC
RAOC Rhine Army Ammunition Inspectorate Detachment (Unit Inspections and BAOR EOD)
614 Signal Troop (Park) 1962-1965
BAOR Map Depot, Royal Enginers
79 Railway Squadron Detachment, Royal Corps of Transport (Depot had loading sidings but was internaly road serviced)
Mobile Civilian Work Group (MCTG) Royal Corps of Transport. (Depot Transport)
Mobile Civilion Labour Group (MCLG) Royal Pioneer Corps. (Depot Civilion Labour Force)
Mixed Service Orginisation (MSO) Guard Service & Dog Troop (Depot Secority)
RAF Ammunition Sub-Depot (Bomb Dump) for RAF Bruggan
Source - History of the Royal Army Ordnance Corps 1945-1982 by Maj Gen LTH Phelps
Mike Comerford , March 2010