Author Topic: Torn Curtain - Military Liaison missions in East Germany  (Read 10475 times)

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Offline Lt. Campers

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Licensed to Spy - The Military Liaison missons to the Soviet Forces in East Germany

The Military Liaison Missions (MLM) of America, Great Britain and France were
located in the East German town of Potsdam, near East Berlin from 1947 to 1990.
They were accredited to the High Command of the Group of Soviet Forces in
Germany (GSFG). Consisting of 14 (U.S.), 31 (Great Britain) and 18 (France) accredited
members, by the 1980s they received logistic support from nearby West Berlin by a
force of several hundred American, British, and French military personnel.
Also the Soviet Union established three respective liaison missions within the high
commands of the Western allies' forces in West Germany.

Soviet military traffic regulators, a Brixmis Land Rover and a Mission Restriction Sign









The Allied powers liaison missions were a consequence of the occupation of
Germany at the end of the Second World War. When all four occupying powers
needed representatives in rival camps.
With the start of the Cold War and the establishment of the East and West
German states, the three western allied missions in the Soviet occupation zone
( that became East Germany ) found themselves serving 'behind the iron curtain'
But the liaison missions between the Soviet forces in the east and the western
allied forces in the west ( now all part of NATO )
continued as before but with roving patrols of a clandestine nature. All to gather
intelligence of any new Soviet and Warsaw Pact tanks, planes, missiles and any
other military hardware that would be of interest to western intelligence agencies.

This was carried out under the auspices of observing military exercises, to which
( even if invited ) the liaison officers found themselves, severely restricted to what
can be observered, thanks to the vigilance of the Stasi and the KGB.
Also most important of all, the Liaison missions were to act as a trip wire ( or early
warning post ) to any Soviet military build up in East Germany, that could be the
precursor to a Warsaw Pact invasion of Western Europe.
Likewise the Soviets had their liaison missions at the French, British and American
headquarters in West Germany called SOXMIS, whose movements were closely
observed by the west german security agency and the military in West Germany.


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Rugged cars like the Opel Senator were favoured by the Brixmis crew and are still
viewed with great affection by Opel's Classic Car enthusiasts


. .

Still largely secret after 20 years

Despite the end of the Cold War and the reunification of Germany, the undercover
operations of the Allied missions in East Germany still remain secretive. Despite the
fact that every tour round east germany was filmed on camara, with running
commentaries from the drivers of what they were observing, as they passed
Soviet and East German tanks & troop convoys.

Now for the first time - the most audacious Espionage operation of the Cold War
is revealed in a new documenatary called Keeping the Cold War, Cold.
The Allied Military Liaison missions of the Cold War.

Introduction to the documentary - Keeping the Cold War, Cold

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The Parallel history site has a good write up on Briximis and the Military Liaison Missions:

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Wales Today article

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BBC Radio 4 program on the BRIXMIS mission tours in East Germany:

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Film trailer with on the ground film clips of British and French tour officers,
at work in East Germany


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Lecture on the United States Military Liason Mission in East Germany.
A fascinating insight into American activity behind the Iron Curtain


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British Army BRIXMIS, G-Wagon checks out Britz in East Germany




Heres a 'Keep Out' sign that the British Army of the Rhine ( BAOR ) used
to keep the Soviet Military Liaison mission SOXMIS at bay




Finally heres a 'Thank You' letter issued to USMLM's successor organisation in
the former East Germany, code named ( appropriately enough ) CAD-B.
Which monitored the phased withdrawl of Soviet troops and equipment of Western
Group Forces, the new name for GSFG following the collapse of the USSR.
Of course this 'Thank You' letter would have been repeated to the two other
Liaison Missions of Britain and France in East Germany.



« Last Edit: 21:36 15-Sep-2012 by Lt. Campers »


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Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: Torn Curtain - the Brixmis tour today
« Reply #1 on: 18:09 02-Jan-2010 »
Following the success of last years SALT-3 tour of Yorkshire by the Soviet and Eastern
Bloc car fanatics in which former Brixmis officers were invited ( for the first time ) as
guests of honour.

I can reveal that SALT-4 will be making their presence felt at the museam of Army Flying
near Andover, Wiltshire. Where BRIXMIS in the Opel Senator will be keeping a wary eye on
their SOXMIS counterparts as they try to infiltrate key Cold War bases in southern
england this year.

Last years SALT-3 tour of Yorkshire

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« Last Edit: 02:29 23-Jun-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: Torn Curtain - NATO Liaison missions in East Germany
« Reply #2 on: 18:54 15-Jun-2010 »
Back to the Cold War

As expats know from time to time, I love to go back to the Cold War and I'm sure many of
you who trembled at the thought of WWIII and a Soviet Invasion of Western Europe.
Would be keen to see the latest video's on a number of declassified material and lectures
on the nefarious activities of the Military Liaison Missions in East Germany.

The first is a Lecture on the objectives of the USMLM in East Germany, given to military
history students in the States. See new video above under United States Military Liason
Mission in East Germany
.

The second is a behind the wheels video tour of a typical liaison mission patrol across the
Glienicker Bridge into East Berlin and the DDR. Sorry theirs no sound but as I said before we
are on a hush, hush mission in East Germany.

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« Last Edit: 16:34 30-Jun-2010 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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Re: Torn Curtain, Spies in uniform
« Reply #3 on: 21:31 04-Dec-2010 »
Torn Curtain, Spies in uniform

A very interesting film about the American Military Liaison Mission in
East Germany during the Cold War, spying on the Soviets.

Spies in Uniform film

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« Last Edit: 02:36 25-May-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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Death to Spies, Smert Spionam
« Reply #4 on: 03:08 25-May-2012 »
Brixmis tour get too close for comfort near Soviet Airfield

Heres a very interesting account from the Soviet side, of a Brixmis Land Rover
being rammed near the Soviet Air Force base at Alshtedte DDR, before being
detained by armed soldiers led by a Soviet Political Officer.
The arrest was a rather 'hair raising incident' for the Brixmis tour crew, who were
convinced they were about to be shot, as the Political Officer was quite aggitated
with the Brits and the long wait & suspicious actions of the soldiers led the
British crew to fear the worst but the jokes and light hearted banter from the
Brits, defused the situation.

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The ZIS Army truck, turned into a mock up of an American Pershing Missile launcher

« Last Edit: 02:29 23-Jun-2012 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline Lt. Campers

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The Military Liaiason missions work - featured in a Cold War era film


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« Last Edit: 02:16 07-Dec-2016 by Lt. Campers »
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Offline reddevil

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Thanks for an interesting post. I can recommend the following book:  Brixmis: The Untold Exploits of Britain's Most Daring Cold War Spy Mission by Tom Geragthy