(Military basic training)

In fall 1957, I finished my apprenticeship and volunteered for the then emerging Navy of the Federal Republic of Germany. Things started in the summer of 1958: I was called up and had to say goodbye to my friends and my family… being excited but having to fight with my tears as well. I took a train from Cologne Central Station and went to Glückstadt to become a mariner at the 3. Schiffstammabteilung. How things might be I had imagined a thousand times, but life was different from what I expected. Me and the others were put into grey uniforms and trained to walk – because, from the navy’s point of view, we weren’t able to. This training culminated in baggage-marches around Glückstadt which were 50 km long. But that was not good enough by half! We had to crawl across the territory, through slops and puddles, having to keep the rifle up. And then the drill. Great importance was attached to the salutation: hands on bonnet, arms being stretched in the correct angle, subject to the regulations. We were trained for land battles. Water didn’t come up, except for the washbasin and the shower.  Didn’t they have any ships?

What am I doing here for heaven’s sake?

Anyway, it makes me tired

Dress uniform for the first time

Watch below on the main entrance

In the park of the barracks


On the way to Helgoland