I took this photo when we were just about to leave the accident site with our ambulance and one other MB (the Juliet of the convoy I believe). On the photo you can see that the tow truck was attempting to hoist the truck out of the valley. There are some interesting people on the photo too. The convoy leader (Lt. Jobse) and the 2nd in command (sgt. ?), a driver (name ?) (all Dutch personnel is wearing a bulletproof vest) and 2 or more 'Bosnian soldiers'.
Photo's made during convoys
This photo shows the river valley in which the 10 ton truck rolled in after it ran off the gravel road. According to the drivers in the other trucks the truck rolled more than a few times around it's length axis until it finally stopped in the river bed. If you look closely you can barely see one set of rear wheels of the truck. Amazingly both drivers survived this with relatively minor injuries. Moments before we heard that something happened on the intercom we (Don, my superior (sergeant) and I) were just telling each other that during our 'tour of duty' nothing really had happened on the many convoys we accompanied as an ambulance team.
Hmm, we took the wrong turn on our way to Split from Busovaca. The Pacton trucks had to make a 180 degree turn on the narrow road. Luckily there were some driveway kind of exits available. What made it more challenging was the deep ditch next to the road. Everything went ok, nobody ended up in the ditch.
Well, what do you do when the tunnel is too low ? you drag your container behind your truck through the tunnel ... ok, it's not ideal, the container might have got a little bit scratched but it worked.
This convoy was not the first to pass through in this way. The trucks with their containers were called 'DROPS'. These tunnels were near Vares on the Skoda route to Tuzla (Siman Han) from Santici (Thanks to Don for this info).
See also this video at YouTube.
This English truck capsized in this bend in the road. Again on the Triangle route. The English are a bit funny, as can be clearly seen on the photo the truck is back on its wheels again but the cargo isn't. The 'fork lift truck' or shovel is busy pushing it back to its original position, which on first glance is a good idea. Except the fact that the cargo consisted of shells (ammunition for I guess mortars). Hmmm, in my view a more subtle approach would have been a better idea.
Anyway, the fire extinguisher is placed close at hand so what was I worrying about ? ok, it's right in the leaked diesel patch but that's a small detail.
On a convoy with collegues returning from leave this near accident happened. Luckily the driver of the truck stopped in time or else we would have not enough room in our ambulance. The truck, a 'four tonner'/'viertonner' (a DAF, a real dutch product !) was not only used for cargo but also for personnel transport. Some old matrasses for absorbing the bumps in the road were thrown in the cargo bay and that was it. No safety belts or anything. Nowadays this mode of transport is abolished in the dutch army (please correct me when I'm wrong). This photo shows the dangers of using this transportion method for personnel. Anyway, a few months later all the transports were using 'normal' roads paved with tarmac and ordinary busses or coaches for transport ! watjes !
The 3 PACTON trucks and the convoy leader car (the Mercedes on the left) and our ambulance on the right are ready to leave on a trip (can't remember the specific destination).
Usually the order of the vehicles was:
- convoy leader, codename: Romeo
- second vehicle, codename: Juliet
- last vehicle: ambulance, codename: Hotel
Walking on the left is Arco Solkesz, author of the book: "Hier Romeo, we gaan rijden !". I have this book, I'll scan the cover etc. in the near future. There will be a UNProfor book section just now.
We were not allowed to take camera's with us on this trip (the Bosnian Serbs didn't like peeping Toms), but this photo was taken on a quiet spot on the hills surrounding Sarajevo. The same hills used by the Serbs to shell the city. I personally never been downtown. The closest was the airport and the road around the city. The quality of the photo is not really great, it was a disposable camera.