When it came to autumn in Berlin, there was one thing that was certain; the Fall season did not last very long. The beauty of the changing of the colors was a sight to behold. Please pardon the sarcasm but marching out to the Grunewald during an alert was always such a pleasant experience when the leaves changed color. The cool crisp autumn air made the road-marches that much special and easier. Considering by that time of the year, the humidity was lower which made for a congenial walk into the historic Berlin forest.
All kidding aside, the road-marches were terrible. Did you ever twist your ankle on those cobblestone streets? I did more times than I can remember. However, the worst ones were the guys that carried the 90mm Recoilless Rifle. I most certainly did not envy those 90 gunners. I remember the first time I saw a 90 carried parallel to the ground then in a moment of near terror the stovepipe is vertical.
It was not a pretty sight. It never was.
Getting back to autumn, as I mentioned it did not last very long. September, October were pleasant but come November and you knew it was a matter of time before the first snow and ice. Once that snow, ice, and slush were part of the equation, it did not matter if you were on cobblestone or not, you were all but assured of cracking an ankle.
Of course, not everyone twisted their ankle, damaged their knee, or threw out their back on those road-marches but in all the road-marches I participated, as a member of the Berlin Brigade, there was one thing that I did see: Foot blisters. As I am no longer on Active Duty Status but are blisters still a concern especially with all the high-speed boots being issued now as opposed to the LPCs we were issued? In case you do not know or remember, LPC stands for Leather Personnel Carriers (a.k.a. Black Leather Combat Boots).
So the leaves in the Grunewald change color, the cool crisp early morning air is filled with the sounds of the ankles popping and cracking and 90mm RR Gunners work in futile effort to maintain their balance. Oh, to be in Berlin, again, now that autumn has arrived.