Looking Down The Corridors, Allied Aerial Espionage Over East Germany and Berlin 1945-1990

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.


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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

ISBN: 978-0-7509-7947-4

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