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SOXMIS

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soxmis_card_original.jpg
Card Issued to UK Forces

The Soviet Military Mission. A small group of Soviet observers or 'legal' spies in each of the American, British and French Sectors of Western Germany throughout the Cold War. Every NATO soldier carried a 'SOXMIS Card' with details of how to recognize them, what they could and couldn't legally do, how you could 'detain' them and the telephone number to report sighting them.

In the British sector the Soviet Mission was based in Bunde near Herford and used to be seen visiting the NAAFI in Herford, stocking up on western luxuries. It was said to be one of the best postings a Soviet soldier could get.

Soviet representatives could travel in the West in cars bearing special license plates with a yellow background, a large black number and a red Soviet flag. In restricted areas, the Soviet cars were not permitted off autobahns - not even in parking areas - unless accompanied by US, British or French military police.

Unless you are the pilot of a AAC Sioux who, after seeing too many James Bond movies, successfully chased one down the Autobahn while co-ordinating several Four Tonners to block said SOXMIS vehicle in. Job well done but illegal given the terms of reciprocation.

Also see BRIXMIS.