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Cold War Photos.

They're mainly official photos. Wet film and multiple copies, so I kept a few. I should not have done that. They were classified 'Confidential' at the very least. They've been declassified for several years now so I thought I'd share them after a third of a century. I didn't keep any of the 'Secret' ones.

Occasionally I took my own camera just for snapshots of East Germany.

My personal camera was a Canon. The issued ones were 3 x Nikon F3 with a motor drive and a selection of lenses up to 500mm and a doubler. There was also an image intensifier for Infra-red work (Modulux) using the spotlights on the car with red gelatine covers. Very special stuff would be developed in the dark room and be flown to Washington the same day. It was easy to take 300 photos on a single tour, so in 2 years I will have taken at least 25000.

At any one time Brixmis would have at least 2 tours out on the ground, sometimes 3, so you can see the load on the darkroom. Not a day missed from 1946 until 2 Oct 1990.

Some of it was very impressive stuff, taken in, shall we say, adverse conditions by the looks of some of the phoggies. Respect to you and your colleagues sir.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Some of it was very impressive stuff, taken in, shall we say, adverse conditions by the looks of some of the phoggies. Respect to you and your colleagues sir.

Best job ever. You just had to chance your arm and get away with it, Insh'Allah. All great team work with some very special blokes. Just 3 of you for up to 5 days. No comms. Not armed.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
Brotherton lad
did the away team ever work out the locations you used for covert images ?
and try and make things awkward ?
or park vehicles or leave materials in the way to make it harder to photograph ?
and I take it they were doing the same to you
 

Zhopa

War Hero
@Zhopa

I'm taking your signature block at face value.

No I'm afraid the "From:" bit of my profile results from a moment of facetiousness a few years ago - I've never been inside that building and they wouldn't let me anywhere near it now!

While you were taking those pics, I was learning Russian in France and Finland, then had my first trip out East a couple of years later just in time for all the fun and games as the whole thing came crashing down.

Coming back by train from Moscow shortly after the Wall came down was fun - as I think somebody has already mentioned on here, getting an East German entry stamp in your passport but no exit stamp because the other border had evaporated in the meantime.
 
IIRC Everyone in BAOR had to carry the SOXMIS card.

Anyone ever see them?

SOXMIS, not the card.

Yes. Once.

There was a REFORGER exercise which involved much of 3 (US) Corps crossing my M2 bridge. 1988 IIRC.

The SOXMIS car turned up at last light just as we were splashing in. We reported it. They buggered off.

They were driving an Isuzu Trooper IIRC.
 
Yes. Once.

There was a REFORGER exercise which involved much of 3 (US) Corps crossing my M2 bridge. 1988 IIRC.

The SOXMIS car turned up at last light just as we were splashing in. We reported it. They buggered off.

They were driving an Isuzu Trooper IIRC.

They must've wanted to see how a river crossing was done so badly.

Edited to add my apologies for bad grammar @bob_the_bomb.
 
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Yes. Once.

There was a REFORGER exercise which involved much of 3 (US) Corps crossing my M2 bridge. 1988 IIRC.

The SOXMIS car turned up at last light just as we were splashing in. We reported it. They buggered off.

They were driving an Isuzu Trooper IIRC.
In 1968 23 Amphibious Sqn. was the only engineering asset not compromised whilst on exercise . Guess where we were harboured up, you got it in a forest amazing considering the size of the M2's our OC was cock a hoop
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Brotherton lad
did the away team ever work out the locations you used for covert images ?
and try and make things awkward ?
or park vehicles or leave materials in the way to make it harder to photograph ?
and I take it they were doing the same to you

We were continually tailed by the Stasi. The first job was to lose them. There was something also called the 'A' team: Soviet special forces. So, it was a fully switched on game of doing stuff and not getting caught.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Were the Stasi trying to be covert, or were they happy for you to know that they were there?

3 blokes in a Lada wearing black leather jackets and sunglasses tend to stand out. They don't look at you, everyone else would, many would flash their headlights or give a thumbs up or a Victory V. We had a list of registration numbers. To this day I remember the orange VW Passat estate, MU 1002, a Magdeburg plate.

I had a quick shout with some of them from the top of a hill over lunch, somewhere near Gera. The message was enjoy your lunch and 'Tally Ho!'
 
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3 blokes in a Lada wearing black leather jackets and sunglasses tend to stand out. They don't look at you, everyone else would, many would flash their headlights or give a thumbs up or a Victory V. We had a list of registration numbers. To this day I remember the orange VW Passat estate, MU 1002, a Magdeburg plate.

I had a quick shout with some of them from the top of a hill over lunch, somewhere near Gera. The message was enjoy your lunch and 'Tally Ho!'

I was going to say, I don’t suppose a 3L Senator or G Wagen would have much trouble losing a Warty 353 or Lada if push came to shove.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Sounds dangerous.

Yes, but also tremendously exciting. Of course, in your mid 20s you are immortal and just get stuck in.

You can read about the deaths of Arthur Nicholson and Phillipe Mariotti on the t'internet.
 
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Best job ever. You just had to chance your arm and get away with it, Insh'Allah. All great team work with some very special blokes. Just 3 of you for up to 5 days. No comms. Not armed.

We had a few of your blokes pass through our place poncing coffee, ogling the German wimmin.

We used to regularly get your output to do out magic with and pass on to others on a very limited distribution list. So I saw some of your output, and heard some tales that went with getting the pics. Seriously sir, respect.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
I was going to say, I don’t suppose a 3L Senator or G Wagen would have much trouble losing a Warty 353 or Lada if push came to shove.

We usually had a team of up to 4 Stasi cars on our tail. Losing them was a very balanced game and could take several hours.

The car had a magic box which could turn off various lights and a kill switch which would turn all of them off. No brake lights, nothing. For example, one night at dark o'clock, the Stasi were chasing me down the autobahn. Hit the red button, drive on the other carriageway and disappear up a slip road the wrong way.
 
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