thanks Speedy very interesting.
Up until 1990 a mutual agreement between the four powers (U.S., Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union) in Germany allowed military personnel in the liaison missions to basically roam around the opponents territory and collect intel. The Soviets (SMLMs or smell 'ums)were allowed anywhere except Permanently Restricted Areas (PRAs) like Hohenfels or Grafenwoehr and Temporary Restricted Areas like REFORGER exercises. We had the same (USMLMs or you smell 'ums) in East Germany who weren't supposed to go in places like Jueterbog PRA. We had strict guidelines as to what to do if we saw SMLMs in a PRA or TRA-if I remember correctly we were allowed to box in their vehicle but not physically touch them. I was coming out of the Frankfurt main PX around 1978 and turned around to find myself holding the door for a Soviet Colonel in uniform (yes, they were allowed to use the PX). Anyone out there have any experiences concerning SMLMs or USMLMs (or their British & French counterparts)? (Or am I the only one old enough to remember that stuff?)
thanks Speedy very interesting.
Yeah, very interesting, Id like to hear more about this
For most of the Cold War there was a sort of understanding between the Soviets and the western powers that the missions on both sides would occasionally "stray" into areas they weren't supposed to. That "understanding" fell apart on March 24, 1985 when US Army Major Arthur D. Nicholson, Jr. was, for all intents and purposes, murdered by a Soviet guard when he was discovered on a Soviet installation in East Germany. After witnessing the shooting his driver was not allowed to give him any first aid, or approach him at all. He was forced to remain in his car. For three hours MAJ Nicholson received no medical attention from the Soviets, and died there.
I was a conscript in the belgian forces in Germany in 1989.
Worked in a signals unit, and one weekend had done the night shift. So I was peacefully asleep when I was woken up for "a real alert". There was a 'SOXMIS' they called it, a soviet observer mission in our area, and they could show up at the gates of our barracks. So we had to get in full gear, got real ammo and could sit at the gate waiting for the soviets to show up for the rest of the day.
The german police was following them, we would be warned if they approached. The gate would then be closed and we would have to make sure that they did not enter our barracks.
They never showed up... and sat in the grass all day long and could go back for my next shift a few hours later... bastards !
I helped ambush a soxmis car by accident after 5 days in a trench we were bored. got about a dozen thunder flashes thrown at it as did the guys following it . Lots of angry shouting counted as harrasement
Our platoon commander got an interview without coffee later, though we'd managed to set light to a leopard tank by then
fighting patrol came across a unit of tank laarged up for the night shot them up not sure if they were part of the exercise or not as we retreated cpl threw a smoke grenade to cover a retreat went straight through open hatch. exit tankers at high speed
germans suffered a sense of humour failure tried to run us down with a luchs.
all in all left BAOR under a cloud
most of real espionage was done by east european "truck drivers" anyway.
West Germany being much more open than the East.
quick google translation about Nicholson's death(sorry, lazy today):
During the three days before that we finished in this town are mounting DC rifle tank simulators. How did Americans find out about this - it is not known. But Nicholson shells find out what kind of beast. He came to spotting "Discovery". Driving he sat sergeant, and the Major Hoya next. Maybe nothing would not happen, but the first time was cool shooter (I have not once met with him at competitions), and secondly terrible Sloven (it just is deducted from sportroty for violating the regime and was transferred to this zloschastny Regiment) . Here is this small and slept in the bushes and "Discovery" has not seen. The Americans arrived in town, decided that no time, made a pair of control circles, and then went Nicholson, exhibited light box at two bent cloves (all doors and gates-were at the castle, still under seal yes!) Zalez inwards and became photographs of secret technology. All times noticed outbreaks and resigned from bushes. Nicholson meanwhile capture all that is wanted (including the word "h.y", written naiskos on board over the firing training tasks) and calmly vylez outwards. All times skomandoval him to stand, Nicholson did not listen and escaped on a corner. All times felt that he would be closer obezhat town on the other hand. And so it went. When he vyskochil to Discovery, Nicholson has already pulled to the door. Time gave a brief turn in two bullets. One perebila Major femoral artery and almost detached leg and a second severed bladder and a turn pelvis. Sergeant had tried to help his boss, but time without words explained to him what he thought of diplomatic immunity and the status of mission communications officer.
Who came with us razvodyaschy withdrew his post and released sniper (all this time and he kept on the fly sergeant at the wheel "Discovery"). Nicholson was lying on his back, his red hair trepan morning breeze, glazing points reflected in the sky, and under him in the dust chernela podsohshey puddle of blood. Generals immediately took an American colonel in the trafficking and agree to take the claim. Local soldiers zavernuli Dead in a piece of black polythene, carefully brought some praporom, and put on stretchers in our "UAZik."
Finally, before you get into the car, I gave American honor. He looked at me, vskinul hand and said:
-- In the mouth would you all f.. Price!
never heard of these guys. but i'm confused of what they are, so they were spies? but in uniform, so everybody could see them?