The Cold War created threats and opportunities. An important story that has not been told is how the Allies used their access rights to Berlin to gather photo intelligence of Russian and East German activity. The authors have conducted thorough research into an area that has previously been hidden by classification of operations and images gathered, most recommended.
NAME: Looking Down The Corridors, Allied Aerial Espionage Over East Germany and Berlin 1945-1990 FILE: R2467 AUTHOR: Kevin Wright, Peter Jefferies PUBLISHER: The History Press BINDING: hard back PAGES: 224 PRICE: £16.99 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: Cold War, 1945-1990, Espionage, Photint, Photo reconnaissance, aircraft, East Germany, The Corridors, German partition, Russian occupation, intelligence gathering, Berlin
IMAGE: B2467.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/ltttowb LINKS: DESCRIPTION: The Cold War created threats and opportunities. An important story that has not been told is how the Allies used their access rights to Berlin to gather photo intelligence of Russian and East German activity. The authors have conducted thorough research into an area that has previously been hidden by classification of operations and images gathered, most recommended. The ending of World War Two was followed by a two year period, during which time the wartime allies attempted to partition Germany and make Nazis accountable for their horrific crimes. The relations between the Soviet Union and the other former allies deteriorated rapidly and developed into a new form of warfare where shots were rarely exchanged but the opposing sides were continually at a high state of readiness for war. Churchill had expressed his concerns during WWII that the Allies were in danger of recreating the sour peace of 1919 when Germans were left with a sense of grievance that would burst back into a new world war. He also tried to restrain the US desire to cut deals with Stalin in a display of naive diplomacy that failed to understand the potential threat posed by the Soviet Union. To attempt to prevent a further German-created world war, the Allies had agreed to partition Germany at the end of WWII and hold war crime trials, judged by all of the wartime Allies. History has shown that the original intention of a permanent partitioning of Germany was a sound concept that was destroyed when the ending of the Cold War enabled the reunification of Germany and a rebirth of German ambitions for world domination, this time in the guise of the European Union. However, the conferences held during WWII to plan the eventual peace looked at the situation as a continuing grand alliance and the Soviet Union agreed to not only the partitioning of Germany, but the separate partitioning of Berlin. That also required agreement on the Corridors that would connect the western partitions with the matching Berlin partitions. Almost as soon as the occupation of the partitioned parts of Germany and Berlin had been completed, friction began to increase between the Soviet Union as Stalin saw his own plans of occupying the central and east European nations, that had been occupied by Hitler, becoming practical, regretting his agreement to allow his other former allies to have shares of Berlin and access corridors running through his share of Germany. The British, Americans and French were quick to use their access rights to Berlin as a very useful intelligence opportunity. It is most unlikely that the Soviets were unaware of what was happening, not least because of their double agents inside Western intelligence agencies. However, there was not much they could do about it, other than shooting down any aircraft flying through the agreed corridors. For the most part, small single and twin engine aircraft were used for photo-reconnaissance by the West, but that was not exclusively the case and both four engine aircraft and modern jets were used. The flights were operating mostly under the guise of training and transport. Cameras were concealed in a number of ways, to preserve the nominal guise of innocent flights. Identifying which aircraft were undertaking reconnaissance and which were aircraft operating under the treaty agreements as legitimate flights was extremely difficult. This gave the Western Powers 45 years of intelligence gathering, accumulating an enormous number of images of large areas under and to either side of the three agreed corridors connecting West Berlin with West Germany. This material has been classified until recently and some is likely to still be classified. From what has become available, the authors has assembled a unique collection of images that are reproduced in a photo-plate section of the book. Not only was photographic intelligence obtained. Elint and Sigint intelligence was collected by aircraft using the Corridors. The full scale of this electronic monitoring may continue to be classified for some time because information may be used by opposing intelligence agencies to calculate data aggregation and other current sensitive aspects of the gatherer's intelligence processes. Since 1945, much has changed in gathering platforms. Satellites and high altitude manned and unmanned aircraft are able to cover huge areas in their gathering missions, may be low observable platforms, and are extremely difficult to disable. However, there continues to be a place for manned aircraft operating at low altitude and low speed in the way that most of the operations were conducted by aircraft flying in Corridors and Control Zone between 1945 and 1990