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Hobart Barracks

Built - ?
Type - Luftwaffe, purpose unclear
Original name - Fliegerhorst
History - The first unit to be based here were Jagdgeschwader 27 (Fighter Wing) who were equipped with single engine fighters; Messerschmitt Bf 109 e. The date this unit was at Detmold was 12 Novemeber 1940 and January 1941, under the command of Geschwaderkommodore (wing commodore--usually a Major, Oberstleutenant, or Oberst in rank) Major Wolfgang Schellman. This was only unit that utilised Detmold over the war period.

 

The occupying British Army named this former Luftwaffe barracks at the end of the Second World War after the British tank warfare specialist Major-General Sir Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart KBE, CB, DSO, Royal Engineers he was the General Officer Commanding of 79th Armoured Division until disbandment August 1945


Home to -

 
Headquarters
 
HQ 20th Armoured Brigade and 200 Signal Squadron 1961-1992 (1)
HQ 1 Lt A/C Wing AAC 1958-1961 (2)
RAC
 
1 RTR 1946-1952 (3)
3 RTR 1952-1962
13/18H 1962-1965
Royals 1965-1969
RHG/D 1969-1971 (4)
9/12L 1971-1976
QOH 1976-1983 (5)
4/7DG Mar 1983-1992 (6) (11)
 
Artillery
 
10 Fd Regt RA 1950-1957 (7)
3 RHA circa 1966
 
REME
 
4 Armd Wksp REME 1957-1970 & 1977-1993 (8)
4 Fd Wksp REME1970-1977 (8)
3 Bn REME 1993-1995 (8)
71 A/C Wksp REME 
 
AAC
 
655 Lt A/C Sqn (9)
9 Regt AAC (10)
4 Regt AAC(10) 
 
RAOC
 
2 A/C Support Unit, RAOC

RMP
 
114 Provost Coy RMP
 
 Closed 31 July 1995 
 
(1) 20th Armoured Brigade Group Signal Squadron was formed from 4 Squadron 6th  Armoured Division Signal Regiment June 1958 in Birdwood Barracks Bunde renamed 200 Signal Squadron (Armoured Brigade Group) moving to Hobart Barrcks March 1961 later known as 20th C HQ and Signal Squadron in January 1978 known as Task Force Hotel Signals in 1979 renamed 5 (Task Force) Hotel Signal Squadron command 4th Armoured Division Signal Regiment in January 1981 brigades were restored then 200 (Armoured Brigade) Signal Squadron disbanded December 1992 and 33rd Armoured Brigade at Paderborn was renamed 20th Armoured Brigade
(2) HQ 1st Light Aircraft Wing AAC was also housed in Hobart Barracks. The HQ was formed in August 1958 and later moved to HQ 1 (BR) Corps in Bielefeld. The building in the photo taken at the bottom right hand corner of the red shale hockey pitch was the location of the HQ.

(3)  Arriving in 1946 from their post war area of responsibility Itzehoe in Schleswig Holstein then with the role of BAOR RAC Training Regiment, leaving in 1952 for Tidworth.

(4)  The new Regiment was formed in 1969 in Detmold by the amalgamation of The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) and the Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons), to form The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons).
These barracks were named after Major-General Sir Percy Cleghorn Stanley Hobart.  We visited this place during Feb 07 and I must admit, it was nice to see it still standing. A few of the blocks have gone and a few houses have cropped up here and there, but all in all it still resembles its former self. The majority of specific to role buildings (messes, guards rooms, etc) are in a state of disrepair, however, the good old standard blocks are in good nick. They've been converted into what is now a school, with the aircraft bays being used for industrial storage. If you've anything on the barracks then please let me know.
(5) Arriving from Bovington and departing again for England after 7 years.
(6) Amalgamation with 5th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards to form Royal Dragoon Guards.
(7) The Regiment was equipped with the Sexton 25 Pounder, which was a self propelled tracked vehicle. They also employed Cromwell tanks in the OP  role. It had previously been known as 10th Anti-Tank Regiment Regiment, belonging to 2 Inf Div whilst at Ubique Barracks, Dortmund. They then went on to become part of 11th Armoured Div when given their new title. Disbanded in late 1957, with 4 Armd Wksp taking over their spot within the barracks. One battery of this regiment still survives in 5th Regt. R.A. today; Q battery (Sannas Post) .
(8)  In 1949 4 Armd Wksp re-formed at Hannover as part of 11th Armd Div, moving to Hobart Barracks in 1957.
The workshop was re-named 4 Field Workshop to bring it in to line with corresponding units across the REME. It later became known as 4th Armoured Wksp and then 3 Bn REME. The Division moved to Paderborn in 1995.
(9) In 1962 - 655 Light Aircraft Squadron formed at Detmold, equipped with Sud-Aviation Alouette II helicopters. (Another source states that 655 was formed in Hildesheim in April 1962, remaining there until November 1963, when they moved to Herford?)
(10) 659 Squadron Army Air Corps and 669 Squadron Army Air Corps joined the 4 Regiment Army Air Corps following the disbandment of 9 Regiment Army Air Corps.
(11) The RDG Museum gives 4th/7th as being here from April 1983 to 1988. Can anyone confirm this please? (Bernie Mears has contacted us to say that 4th/7th were there from April 1983 until they moved to Paderborn in 1992)
  
The following 5 pictures were taken Mr P.A. Lockett who served as a Radio Mechanic with 1 RTR during 1951/1952
 
Main road into camp. We used to have German lessons in the building on the left.
Courtesy of Mr P.A. Lockett
 
I served in the Royal Signals Troop attached to 1st RTR in 1951/52 at Hobart barracks in Detmold. Sharing the barracks were an Artillery Regiment and an RAF spotter squadron. I was a radio mech. and on schemes I always travelled with B squadron REME fitters. In the cellars of HQ block we found thousands of German aerial photos of various places in England.
P.A. Lockett
From the look-out, the barracks in distance were where the Artillery and RAF were housed.
Courtesy of Mr P.A. Lockett
 Cookhouse.
Courtesy of Mr P.A. Lockett
 
Guard mounting parade on Regimental square, building at top of pic was REME L.A.D. workshops.
Courtesy of Mr P.A. Lockett
The look-out point on top of the HQ block.
Courtesy of Mr P.A. Lockett
 
The following 7 photographs were taken by Mr Tony Briscoe during his army service with the REME, stationed at Hobart Barracks during 1953-55.

Main Gate
Courtesy of Mr Tony Briscoe
 
 Changing of the guard.
Courtesy of Mr Tony Briscoe
 
 View of the NAAFI.
Courtesy of Mr Tony Briscoe
 
View of the REME LAD area.
Courtesy of Mr Tony Briscoe  

REME LAD vehicles lined up for inspection.

Courtesy of Mr Tony Briscoe

 

 

Loading of the Sexton Self propelled guns off to Firing Camp.

 Courtesy of Mr Tony Briscoe

School
 Courtesy of Mr Mr Tony Briscoe
 
The following two pictures are courtesy of  22794010 Sgt. Cooper C.E. 
4 Armd winning 4 x 200 Relay team Detmold Hobart Barracks 1957. Bill Farminer, Alan Casey, Ed Cooper, Alan Blofield (hidden). As well as the athletics track which can be seen in the background the camp also boasted a 15 ft deep Olympic size swimming pool with 5 metre diving board. Both of these facilities existed beyond the cinema and gymnasium buildings.
 
I suddenly remembered that the Auster aircraft flew from an AOP (air observation post). I then checked on the internet and found that from 1949 to 1957, RAF 652 Squadron AOP use the Hobart airfield to fly spotter missions in Auster Mk 6 planes. They were then absorbed into the Army Air Corps in 1957 keeping the same designation i.e 652 Squadron Army Air Corps who then changed to Skeeter helicopters.
I am certain that a RA Field Regiment (10 Fd Regt RA) of self propelled guns occupied the hangar site (1955) taken over by Armd Wksps in 1957. There was also a small number of Cromwell tanks which I think belonged to them. Unfortunately the internet has not been forthcoming on which RA regiment it was and I can't remember.
Courtesy of 22794010 Sgt. Cooper C.E.
4 Armd Barrack Block, Hobart Barracks 1958. This was at the bottom end of the red shale hockey pitch. The room to the left of the door with bars (!) was occupied by Cpls Williams and Cooper and the Morris Minor belonged to Cooper the (scribe).
Courtesy of 22794010 Sgt. Cooper C.E.
 
 HQ 1st Light Aircraft Wing AAC was also housed in Hobart Barracks. The HQ was formed in August 1958 and later moved to HQ 1 (BR) Corps in Bielefeld, though I don't remember what date. The building in the photo taken at the bottom right hand corner of the red shale hockey pitch was the location of the HQ (see above).
John R
 
I gave six years of my life defending these bloody barracks from the Russians. In the end they still came, took it and wrecked the place.

    Tony

 

Guard Room

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

10 Fd Regt Officers' Mess.

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

Left - Education Centre. Right - Recce Troop on the ground floor. Circa 1959.

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

3 RTR Sgt's Mess - circa 1957.

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

Quater Guard - circa 1962.

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

3 RTR LAD

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

 

3 RTR tank park

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

 

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

Above and below - Taylorcraft Auster aeroplanes in service with the AAC.

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

 

Courtesy of Mr David Buxton (3RTR 1955 - 1962)

 

The attached picture (above) is across the car-park towards the Cookhouse. Taken from my barrack room in the HQ complex. The small building in the centre is a P.O.L point which my farther used to run. just out of picture to the left, you might have another picture with it in, was the armoury attached to 4th AW REME.

Courtesy of Chris Johnson

 

 

4th Armd Wkps - 1981 

 

RHQ for the Army Air Corps stationed here.

Courtesy of Mr L Chamberlain.

 

 

Main Road
 
Hi. I was National Service in 3 RTR from 61 to 62 at Hobart Barracks. I was A Squadron 3rd Royal Tank Regt clerk and had the pleasure of serving with a great bunch of lads. They were so much fun I was quite choked when I got demobed. Does it seem a long time ago! The garrison consisted of The Argylls, The Royal Scots Greys (Adjutant The Duke of Kent) Army Air Corps and of course 3RTR. We also had a large detachment of MPs to try again keep the peace. I remember that the MPs always tried to get to any trouble with our lads before the German Police as they delighted in knocking hell out of the British lads. Perhaps at times they deserved it!
Pete B


The Chieftan, NAAFI bar. It was the scene of many a battle on a Friday and Saturday night. Usually between 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards and 15/19 Royal Hussars, 4 Armd Wksp played their part as well.


Looking out towards the airfield
 
I served in the REME at the old 4 Armd Wksps REME as a Recovery Mech and then in the Gym (4/7 RGD, 20 Brigade ). I was brought up as a Pad's Brat. Dad was in the PT Corps (Formerly a REME Junior Leader who joined in '59). First experience of BFG was at Iserlohn/Hemer with the Irish Rangers when I was 3 yrs old. The pics of the camp with the Canadian forces close by brought back some memories for my Dad! The camp had an Ice rink and Bowling alley, which was used by the forces and the local German community (strengthening ties etc..good liaison), but when the Irish rangers moved in they very intelligently decided to use the ice rink as a vehicle park!!!..not funny!. Boy did the locals get aggravated!.
Back to my time in at good old 4 Armd Wksps REME..the REME being like manure (heaped in a Pile it stinks, but spread it out and it does some good!), not the most popular place the REME ever created!. I escaped to the Gym! and was basically detached to the Brigade (time of for good behaviour - well a devious move to keep my sanity!) I left Detmold in '91 having been in a life threatening accident while on exercise and the most dangerous bit was being operated on the 'Butchers' and 'Sewing for Beginners' Dept at BMH Rinteln. Looking back I was lucky to survive (not said in Jest!), but always remember a Senior Rank's advice to us all in the Reccy Sect (during a time when we were all being punished for bad behaviour after a rampage at a local disco). The advice was; " the bad times of today, will on reflection, years down the line will be the good old days"...very true!!! true!!!
Being so close to the lads from 4/7th RGD (and being from a Yorkshire family myself), you got to hear the rumours about the camp itself and it's history. One of the fact based rumours was that there was a bunker at the side of the Brigadier's house inside the camp perimeter and that from this bunker you could get upto the airfield via a tunnel that was used during the war. Also on liberating the camp that under the airfield was housed a Panzer Brigade - ready to go!.
After the war the whole complex was just sealed off. Having been in the cellars of 20 Brigade I know that the whole place did have a 'Nuclear Bunker' type warren of tunnels leading all over the place!. Its sad to see the disrepair of some of the buildings and the dismembering of structured communities that the post cold war mistakes have made. The Governments of last 15-20 years have really got it wrong!...bigger Military commitments..so the armies get scaled down!. The Russians really did win the Cold War (indirectly). They backed off, bankrupted themselves!, then shoved everybody that wanted to leave in a westwards direction so that the old enemy could give them a new life. 80% of the quarter area (Hakadahl [Lebabnaon lookalike estate] in Detmold is now occupied by unemployed benefit claiming Russian ex pats! and has been deemed a 'Problem area'.. Hobart Barracks is now owned apparently by an American Company that is looking to turn it into a Leisure Complex."
 
PW, REME


Old Tower, now a Police Sation.  The building was used to house the Officers' Mess shared by 71 Aircraft Workshops, 4 and 9 Regiments Army Air Corps. The hangar to the right of the building in the photograph was 4 Armoured Workshops location. In the 1970 and 1980s I am sure it was not possible to drive through from 71s hanger to 4 Armoured and IIRC there used to be more trees in front of the building.

New Tower and hanger
 
I served in Detmold between May 1979 and May 1992, all with 669 Sqn AAC, initially one of two sqns of 9 Regt AAC, then later amalgamated into 4 Regt. My first three years were spent living in the singlies block, now demolished, then in Married Quarters up on Hakedahl. I started as an Airtrooper, pushing, pulling and cleaning Scout, Gazelle and Lynx helicopters, before becoming an Aircrewman Observer on Gazelles. In 1988 I went to Middle Wallop for my Pilots Course, before returning to 669 Sqn as a Lynx pilot. There were many stories about hidden tank parks, and buried aircraft. When the new hangars were built, workmen excavated a number of aircraft cannon which went on display in 4 Regt HQ. A connecting tunnel between our hangar and the workshop was also uncovered. Shortly before reunification there were demonstrations outside the gates complaining about British 'occupation'. When it was announced that troop numbers would be reduced and the camp closed, we got more demonstrations complaining about job losses. You just can't win! Lovely little town, Detmold, and I hope to get back this year to rekindle some memories.
A Ottaway


Road view looking towards the main kitchen.
 
I was a member of the DADOS (Air) staff at HQ Army Aviation BAOR from Sept 66 to June 68. We had the last block on the left at the top of the camp, and behind it was the Medical & Dental Centre with the RMP Detachment in the basement of the same building. The 1st Royal Dragoon Guards were there at the same time as were the 3rd RHA. The 3rd Carabiniers were in Lothian Barracks when I first arrived in Detmold, and they were later replaced by the QDG shortly before I left. I was on the parade on the airfield that was held by the AAC to bid farewell to the last flying Auster Aircraft in service with the Army Air Corps sometime in 67 I think. I did my RPC 3 course at Elles Barracks under CSM Jack Howie RAOC in December 66. I was informed by an ex AAC friend from that time that Hobart Barracks has now been completely demolished. He was a LBdr RA and was driver for Col Angus Cameron Gow who was Commander Army Air Corps BAOR at the time. I have many fond memories of my time in Detmold which now seems so long ago. I returned to BAOR in 1971 as a Corporal and served with 3Pln 7 Guided Missile Coy RAOC at Wulfen, and remember that Ammo Depot there under control of 154 FAD RAOC, we lived in a hiring in Dorsten, another place that I have fond Memories of.
Pete Duckworth ex Cpl RAOC. Served 64 to 73


The main kitchen where all junior ranks from every unit in the barracks would eat.

 
I was posted to Mansergh Barracks in Gutersloh in 1978 to 40 Fd Regt RA LAD REME (Abbots). At the time, the RAF were in the flughafen (now Princess Royal Barracks)with Phantoms and Harriers. In Mansergh there was C Bty RHA (indpendent 3 RHA) on Swingfire; 1 Ordnance Field Park; Kings School and a Bundeswehr Signals unit. In 1982 4& Fd Regt took over from 40 Fd. I then went to Detmold in Hobart Barracks with 4/7 RDG LAD REME (Apr 1989 - Jun1991) on Chieftain and in the barracks was 4 Armd Wksp; 4 Regt AAC; RMP det; 4 Armd Wksp REME and a couple of other minor units. In Lothian Barracks, the Blues and Royals had just left and 15/19 KRH had tjust come in. Both were fanbtastic postings. A few years later (1997) I was posted back to Gutersloh but then into PRB with 2 CS regt RLC. There was also 1 GS Regt RLC; 6 Sup Regt RLC and tall the other minor units. All of these camps had cinemas (SKC then SSVC) and the accommodation was significanlty improved over the years.
Although I was never stationed in any of these, I remember going to 23 Base Wksp; in and out of Hohne, Fally; Munsterlager and Trauen. Always playing football or basketball in Osnabruck, Paderborn, Munster and Dortmund. The good times in the late seventies and eighties when we had huge exercises like Spear point, Crusader, Reforger and the rest. One thing I do remember is when I was the boss at 2 CS Regt RLC Wksp was going on Div exercises and replens and using the barracks in Werl that had recently closed. They were like ghost towns and you could wander into the churches or the messes and remember what sort of times they must have seen but were now nothing more than empty blocks but with all the fixtures and fittings. Great set for a movie when everyone has died and ......
John R


Entrance


Guard Room. The Alrewas Tank on the plinth (see below) to the right as you entered the barracks belong to Brigadier Hobart when he was in North Africa & was moved to the left (next to guard room) when 13/18th arrived.
 
Click on here to read further about the Alrewas Tank



Naffi Bar?


This building which is situated opposite the Guard Room housed the camp barber shop. A German Reservist friend of mine remembers having his hair attended to, many years ago, from this very spot. It also incorporated at travel centre.

 
 
One funny memory is of when we, at 4 Armd Wksps had the Optronics Block right opposite the gates to the Junior school, over the road from the Piquet room...well can remember going in there for a warm and a skive one winters morning..(to see if they wanted anything recovered...yeah right!)...they had in their armoury of Electronic gadgetery an early day transmitter they had put together..for sending video signals..hooked it up to a Video recorder..so they could send a wireless signal round the block so all could see what was on the Tv and Video recorder!..well they hadn't figured how strong the signal was!!!..and being so close to the Junior school..you can guess what is coming I'm sure...the Adult material was being broadcast for miles!!!!...and it wasn't long before they had enquiries from the school at to why when tuning in to 'Educational..Schools and Cabbages via BFBS' that suddenly the airwaves were taken over by moaning and groaning sounds and something that resembled an episode of James Herriot 'All creatures Great and Small'..but between humans...(German Porn)...as I remember it notes between the guilty parties were synchronised and it was gareed the German Civvies working in the Optronics block had been very naughty and shouldn't watch that 'muck' whilst at work!...Don't think anything was made of it..and any complaint that was made to the Monkeys was just laughed at privately..('of course we'll investigate it headmaster') ...but then I had a thought...had to keep my gob shut aswell because Foden/Scamell recovery Vehicles didn't have radios or any other electrical gear in them unless they were going out on exercise..the only things we had was CD players and radios that we fitted ourselves via the 12v slave socket!
Things keep coming to mind storywise...and when I got back to UK it was the first run of the Soldier Soldier series on the box...how right they got it!!! (when trying to recreate BFG in a series for TV....I must have been our very own Craftsman Tucker!...in fact and incidently I visited (unwittingly) the set of a Soldier Soldier set near High Wycombe (Marlow) and went up to the Catering Van in a hungry fit..and asked for a burger!..didn't realise that it was for the crew only...managed to get a burger by cheekily saying 'if it wasn't for Cheeky squaddies like I was they wouldn't have the main character they had in Private Tucker'(Robson Green)...Got my Burger!
 
JPW
 
 

 

Sergeants' Mess

Courtesy of Herrn Andre Dunsche

  

Cinema

Courtesy of Herrn Andre Dunsche

 

Gymnasium

Courtesy of Herrn Andre Dunsche

 

 Officer Quarters

Courtesy of Herrn Andre Dunsche

 

I was stationed at Hobart during 1952-1954 and yes, it was the 10th Field Regt RA that were there at that time. It consisted of 3 batteries Q[Sannas Post] Battery, X Bty, and Y Bty. Each battery had a Cromwell which were used as observation posts. Each battery consisted of 3 Troops, BHQ troop, A Troop, and B Troop. BHQ had the Cromwell and each Troop had 4 Sextons and it was 653 or was it 652 squadren Air OP that were the attached Air OP for the 10th Field Regt R.A.?

Roy Enser

 

I was stationed at Hobart barracks in Detmold BAOR in 1958 to 1960, yes 1 Wing Army Air Corps were at Hobart Barracks at that time, but also 652 Light Aircraft Squadron Army Air Corps were also stationed at Hobart Barracks flying Austers and Skeeter Helicopters, also in my time there 14/20th King Hussars were stationed at at Hobart Barracks close to what we called the Red Square. The main gate was in the hands of the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment (Provost) I trust this bit of extra info will help you keep a great Web Site up to date.

 

Reginald Goodwin

 

I was posted in 1960 as Cpl RAMC att No 1 Lt AC Wing AAC, in charge of the MI Room. The MO's were Captains Robertson and Willets. There was also Capt Cash RAMC, MO at 17/21 Lancers. The Barrack Rooms we used all had swastikas on the underside of the furniture. The RMP were on the top floor, Medics on the Ground Floor and the RADC in the basement. With me were two 3 RTR orderlies - a Welsh guy and an ex-Canadian guy who was known as Satchmo because he could play the trumpet. He also had a knack with explosives and was always in trouble. The Physio was an elderly German chap and 2 German girls were typists and clerks. I remember when we had a SAS guy in with a broken leg (we had 6 beds for nominal injuries) and I was informed that he had "gone out of the window"! They found him in a Bierkeller somewhere, totally blitzed!

Alan Wain