Berlin, The Cold War Years Part 5. A Hot War in reality.

At the end of World War 2, what remained of pre-war Germany was divided into four zones of occupation. Each of the Allied powers; the United Kingdom, United States, France and Russia, controlled one of them.

The capital of Germany, Berlin, was also divided into four Sectors. The consequence being, that the three Western Allied powers now controlled territory deep within the Soviet Union Zone of Germany.

Over time, the tensions between the four Allied powers increased, eventually resulting in the Berlin blockade in 1948, when the Soviets attempted to starve West Berlin into submission and force the other three Allied powers out. This failed and the Soviets eventually relented, but an ever-increasing number of East Germans fled to the West; between 150,000 and 300,000 a year during 1951-1953. As a consequence restrictions were placed on movement between the divided country. From 1961, the border was closed and Berlin completely encircled, first by barbed wire, then bricks and finally a concrete wall, along with the infamous ‘death strip’.

Access was now restricted between Berlin and the West. A wall, 124 mile miles in length, was placed around the three sectors of West Berlin, cutting off the city from the rest of the world.

An Iconic picture of the face-off between the West and the East.  The Cold War starts – October 1961

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Another iconic picture of a GDR Border Guard fleeing across the barbed wire to  West-Berlin, 1961

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With these controls in place, special routes were established for the three Allied Powers, Great Britain, the United Staes and France, to move from West Berlin to the Federal Republic of Germany, West Germany. Three autobahn routes, one for each sector and three rail routes.

On the Autobahn route special parking zones were allocated for the three Allied powers. This is a sign on the West Berlin to Helmstedt route. Civilians from the GDR were not allowed to use these allocated parking zones. – GDR 1982

 

The British Military Train ran every day, except Christmas Day.  – West Berlin 1984

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And for the Stamp Collectors amongst you, a Commemorative Cover. First day issue. Not for sale. 🙂

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There were also air corridors the Allies could use to fly from West Berlin to West Germany. Soviet Hip F. East Berlin 1984

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 Control to and from West Berlin was controlled by the Berlin Air Safety Centre, consisting of representatives from the four Allied Powers. I was told that the Soviets were unhappy about their flag being last on the plaque. So, the names were placed in a hat and guess what? True story or not, I don’t know.

 

Berlin Air Safety Centre Icon – West Berlin 1984

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I covered the Reichstag in Part 4. But, I have some more photos i would like to share with you.

This turret on the Reichstag is the well known spot where the Soviet Flag was planted on taking Berlin in 1945.  Berlin – February 2012

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The raising of the flag over the Reichstag – Berlin, May 1945

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I found the design of the new dome in the Reichstag fascinating, so I have added a couple of more photos.

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Inside the Reichstag Dome, Berlin – February 2012

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Looking down from higher up in the Dome itself. Reichstag – Berlin, February 2012

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The badly damaged Reichstag. Berlin 1945

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The Reichstag, showing the Berlin Wall in situ behind it. – West Berlin 1981.

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Bullet strikes still visible, Museum Island – Berlin February 2012

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Another visit to the Treptow Russian Memorial in Berlin.  February 2012

 

The main entrance to Treptow Park Soviet Memorial – Berlin 2012

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Treptow Park,  The Soviet Navy wasn’t forgotten. Berlin 2012

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One of the many representations of the Soviet Army during WW2 at the Treptow Park Memorial – Berlin 2012

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Outside the entrance to the Tiergarten Soviet Memorial. Berlin 2012

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The Tiergarten Soviet Memorial – Berlin 2012

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Tiergarten Soviet Memorial. They were as interested in us as we were in them. The one on the right with the fancy leg kick, I think is a full Colonel  or above. West Berlin 1983

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T-34 outside the Karlshorst Museum Berlin – 2012

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Karlshorst Museum. Where we used to meet with our Soviet friend….. Berlin 2012

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In a previous Post, you saw a picture of my shadow. This was his replacement. KGB, GRU or Spetsnaz?  He was far more subtle in his recruitment attempts though. East Berlin 1985

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One advantage of being in Army Intelligence, was you got to go to Berchtesgaden every year to the annual conference where we shared intelligence, and vice versa, with the US – Germany 1986.

There were lots of special events and this was one of them. Cocktail dresses and Gin and Tonic. West Berlin 1982

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The Queens Birthday and other events were celebrated with style.

The Berlin Tatto was an amzing event. The parade in front of the Deutschlandhalle prior to the final dress rehearsal. West Berlin 1983.

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The Fernsehturm in Berlin – February 2012

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 The Fernsehturm in Berlin – February 2012

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The Fernsehturm. Sitting in the revolving restaurant seeing the full 360 degree view of Berlin was amazing. When the sun shone on the tower it reflected as a cross and was known as ‘The Popes Revenge’.  – East Berlin 1983

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The one on the far right is Moby Dick – West Berlin 1982

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A quick break from Berlin. I did three tours in Northern Ireland, but don’t propose to do a Post for it separately. It’s too close to home…. But I will share a few photos with you.

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I currently have a book, my watch and my iPad next to my bed. Then, I had a 9mm Browning. You would take the rounds out  so as to take the pressure off the magazine springs.  Oh, and I liked Ultravox. – Belfast 1980’s

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Murals of this type were very common.  – Belfast 1980’s

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Belfast- 1980’s

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Belfast- 1980’s

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Targeting an Army Pig (Humber) – Belfast 1980’s

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I used to play Cowboys and Indians as a child. Belfast 1980’s

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Those were very scary times. Belfast 1980’s

 Now back to work….

Well, at least once we’ve dug our vehicle out…. East Berlin, 1983

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Then time for a rest. We often slept out, Sometimes we took sleeping bags as we couldn’t run the engines as we needed to preserve our fuel. Our favourite drink was a flask of black coffee with a good dose of Grand Marnier. – East Berlin 1982

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Back to work. 2S1 Self Propelled Artillery (122mm) – East Berlin, 1984

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Until interrupted. East Berlin, East Berlin 1983.

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ACRV’s, Armoured Command and Reconnaissance Vehicle. The chassis was far too long for this vehicle, making it difficult to manoeuvre. – East Berlin 1984

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Ural 375 – East Berlin 1984

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Rm-70 Rocket Launcher (122mm) – East Berlin 1984.

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One key event that occurred every year, was the military parade to celebrate the formation of the GDR. This was naturally a key concern for the western allies. A country we didn’t officially recognise, holding a military parade on our doorstep. It was also an opportunity to disguise the movement of troops for a potential attack.

SA-3 Resupply on a Ural 375 chassis. –  East Berlin – 1984

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ZSU 23-4 (Shilka) (Anti-Aircraft) – East Berlin 1984

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2S3 (152mm Self propelled artillery) – East Berlin – 1984

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2S3. East Berlin 1984

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SA-6 resupply. East Berlin 1984

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2S3 (122mm self propelled artillery) – East Berlin 1984

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Parade ready to start, SA-4 resupply on Ural 375 transporter. East Berlin 1984.

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BMP – 1 with Sagger missile East Berlin 1984.

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FROG 7, resupply. Range of 68km. Can carry a Nuclear (200- 450kt warhead), HE, Chemical and submunitions. – East Berlin 1984

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The closer we could get to the equipment the better. It gave our analysts an inclination of any changes to equipment. We were constantly designing new equipment and defence measures that cost billions of pounds. In order for us to make the right decisions we needed to know what we were up against. We would always use black and white film, in stereo if possible, and not the colour ones you see now. Catching tanks, etc, stationery and unmanned, on exercise, or on flat cars in rail sidings gave us the best opportunities but held the greater risk. The guards were always armed.

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T-12 Anti-Tank Gun. East berlin 1984

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Silk Worm. Surface to Ship TEL. East berlin 1984

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BMP -2. –  East berlin 1984

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BMP – 2. – East berlin 1984

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I will finish off with a bit of fun. I can’t remember where this was in Berlin, but it is known as the ‘Sex Museum’.

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Berlin Sex Museum. -Berlin 2012

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Berlin Sex Museum. Berlin 2012

My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my photographs and experiences with you.  This is the last of my Berlin, The Cold War series. But, there will be a new ‘Cold War’ series, supporting the writing of my new ‘Cold War’ series of novels, covering the hypothetical invasion of West germany by the Warsaw Pact in the 80’s. ‘The Red Effect’. so keep your eyes peeled.

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HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

Photographs are copyrighted to Harvey Black

The Cold War Years – Part 4.

I am 18,500 words into the first novel of my new ‘Cold War’ series. There will be three books in total, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, by the Warsaw Pact in the mid 1980’s. Book 1, ‘The Red Effect’, will encompass the intelligence build up leading to the Warsaw Pact strike against the NATO forces lined up against them.

The Cold War era started very soon after the end of the second world war, when the communist east, led by the Soviet Union, and the Western world, led by the United States and its NATO allies, faced each across what became known as the ‘Iron Curtain’.

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The capital of Germany, Berlin, was divided into four Sectors. The consequence being, that the three Western Allied powers now controlled territory deep within the Soviet Union Zone of Germany.

Over time, the tensions between the four Allied powers increased, eventually resulting in the Berlin blockade in 1948, when the Soviets attempted to starve West Berlin into submission and force the other three Allied powers out. This failed and the Soviets eventually relented, but an ever-increasing number of East Germans fled to the West; between 150,000 and 300,000 a year during 1951-1953. As a consequence restrictions were placed on movement between the divided country. From 1961, the border was closed and Berlin completely encircled, first by barbed wire, then bricks and finally a concrete wall, along with the infamous ‘death strip’.

Access was now restricted between Berlin and the West. A wall, 124 mile miles in length, was placed around the three sectors of West Berlin, cutting off the city from the rest of the world.

An Iconic picture of the face-off between the West and the East.  The Cold War starts – October 1961.

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I shall cover various aspects of the two opposing forces, providing the backdrop and background information in preparation for the release of my three novels. In the meantime, you could always read my WW2, Devils with Wings series. :)

In 1984/85, the Warsaw Pact was already a significant force, the Soviet Union in particular.

Although the key strategic Nuclear Forces of the Soviet Union and NATO, were either land based or submarine launched, supported by Tactical, Theatre, Nuclear weapons, they also had the use of the Air Force to deliver a nuclear strike.

Soviet Union.

Long Range Bombers – 100 x Tu-95 (Codename Bear). Unknown number of Bear H in production, capable of carrying an air-launched cruise missile.

Medium Range Bombers – 220 x Tu-16 (Codename Badger), 125 x Tu-22 (Codename Blinder) and 130 x Tu-22M (codenamed Backfire).

Tu-160 (Codenamed Blackjack).

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Tupolev Tu-95. (NATO Code Name: Bear). Claimed to be a reverse engineered B-29, Super-fortres. A long wingspan of 164 feet.

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 Maximum speed of 575 mph with a range of 9,400 miles. Armament of 2 x 23mm AM-23, radar-controlled auto-cannon. 15,000 kilogram payload. The Tu-95MS variant carried the Kh-55, air-launched strategic cruise missile family, one with a 200 kiloton warhead.

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Tu-22 Blinder. A supersonic, swing-wing, long range strategic and maritime strike bomber.

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Tu-22. Speed of 1,240 mph with a combat radius of 1,500 miles. 1 x 23 mm GSh-23, remote-controlled cannon in tail turret. The Kh-55 nuclear cruise missile has been tested on this aircraft, but no confirmation that it is in service.

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Tu-160 (Codename Blackjack).  Swing-wing, with a max speed 1,380 mph and a range of 7,600 miles, without in-flight refuelling. Can carry 12 x Raduga Kh-55, nuclear cruise missiles or 12 x Raduga Kh-15 short-range nuclear missiles.

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Kh-55 Cruise Missile.

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United States of America

Long Range Bombers – 90 x B-52H and  84 x B-52G

Medium Range Bombers – 56 x FB-111A

On order – 18 x B-1B bombers (100 planned.)

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Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, with underslung drones.

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Lower deck of the B-52, dubbed the battle-station.

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B-52H. Payload of 31,500 kilograms of mixed ordnance. 1 x 20mm M61 Vulcan cannon mounted in remote-control tail turret. The B-28 nuclear bomb could be set for an air or ground burst with a yield of up to 1.45 megaton.

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Maximum speed of 650 mph, with a range of 3,980 miles.

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FB-111A, long range bomber. It could carry the AGM-69 SRAM, Short Range Attack Missile (Nuclear). Speed of 1,650 mph with a range of 1,160 nautical miles.

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Rockwell B-1 Lancer, a four engined, variable-sweep winged strategic bomber. The planned replacement for the B-52. Maximum speed of 830 mph, with a range of 7,456 miles. Can carry 24 x B61 (Max 340 kilotons) or B63 (Max 1.2 megatons) nuclear gravity bombs.

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B-28 nuclear bomb.

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United Kingdom

Strategic Long Range Bombers – 130 x Avro Vulcan.B2

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Delta Wing Strategic Bomber

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Armament: 21 x 454 kilograms of conventional bombs or 1 x free-fall nuclear bomb/1 x Blue Steel missile (1.1 megaton).

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Maximum speed of 607 mph with a range of 2,600 miles.

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Blue Steel – Air Launched Cruise Missile.

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France

Supersonic Strategic Bombers – 28 x Mirage IVA

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Maximum speed of 1,454 mph and a range of 775 miles. Carries 1 x AN-11 or 1 x AN-22 nuclear bomb (70 kilotons).

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AN-11 Nuclear Bomb

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There were also the conventional forces lined up along the Inner German Border, the visible barrier between the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), or better known as West and East Germany. I shall be covering their organisation and equipment over the coming months.

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M-60, or Patton Tank.

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Maximum speed of 30 mph

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A first generation Main Battle Tank.

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Main armament is the British 105mm, M68 gun.

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45 tons with an armour thickness of 155.6mm.

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V-12, air-cooled Twin-turbo diesel engine.

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Top speed of 30mph.

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Introduced in 1960.

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Saw service in the Gulf War.

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M-60 Patton,  over 15,000 built.

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M-60

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Carries a .50 calibre gun

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M-60

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Berlin Air Safety Centre controlled all aircraft in and out of Berlin, including the Air Corridors that transited East Germany.

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Berlin Air Safety Centre controlled all aircraft in and out of Berlin, including the Air Corridors that transited East Germany.

My intention is not to portray a particular message, but just share some of my research and experiences with you.  This is the first of my new ‘Cold War’ series, supporting the writing of my new ‘Cold War’ series of novels, covering the hypothetical invasion of West Germany by the Warsaw Pact in the 80’s. ‘The Red Effect’. so keep your eyes peeled.

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HarveyBlack-Red Effect150313

Photographs and Blog are copyrighted to Harvey Black