The Berlin Wall: And the Inner-German Border 1961-89

Overview

The Berlin Wall and the Inner-German Border (IGB) were built to halt the flow of refugees from East Germany to the West. From August 13, 1961, over 96 miles of crude fences and more sophisticated walls were erected around West Berlin. Border defenses ran 858 miles from the Baltic to the Czechoslovakian border, cutting villages in two, running through buildings, and intersecting roads and railways. Gordon L Rottman, who became familiar with both sides of the border while posted to Germany, examines the ...
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The Berlin Wall and the Intra-German Border 1961-89

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Overview

The Berlin Wall and the Inner-German Border (IGB) were built to halt the flow of refugees from East Germany to the West. From August 13, 1961, over 96 miles of crude fences and more sophisticated walls were erected around West Berlin. Border defenses ran 858 miles from the Baltic to the Czechoslovakian border, cutting villages in two, running through buildings, and intersecting roads and railways. Gordon L Rottman, who became familiar with both sides of the border while posted to Germany, examines the international situations that led to the creation of the Berlin Wall, discussing how the barrier systems functioned and their significance in the Cold War. Covering the erection of the barriers, how they evolved, defensive devices and the role of the checkpoints, this book also describes how ordinary people attempted to overcome these physical and political obstacles in their quest for freedom.

Gordon Rottman writes,"In 1980 I found myself in a long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) company. After 2 years of training we were assigned as the V Corps LRRP company: our mission in the event of a Soviet invasion of West Germany was to insert our 21 five-man reconnaissance teams inside East Germany, establish "hides" overlooking autobahns and other highways, and report the movements of the second operational echelon, the follow-on forces behind the initial assault forces. This required us to know a great deal about what it was like inside East Germany. We began an intense study of the IGB, and in the process I was able to visit the border, learn its ways, and find out how to penetrate it."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Here is a good account of the early border fences and how they grew into formidable obstacles designed to keep people in... Anyone interested in "what if" wargaming should certainly know their likely effect on either a Soviet attack on the West or a Western counter-attack. Recommended." -John Prigent, Internet Modeler (March 2008)

"The book is well illustrated including illustrations showing how the East Germans sealed off water obstacles and other barriers that could leave gaps in their barrier. This is a title anyone interested in the Cold War and security will find of great interest." -J.E. Kaufmann, SiteO (March 2008)

"Author Gordon Rottman tells the story of the building and upgrading of the border with photos of the various installations as they grew. The history of the men and organizations that had to man these border posts is also included. Illustrator Chris Taylor adds his skills to the work and combined with period photographs, gives an excellent look at this most unfortunate part of man's attempt to keep a population at bay. It is a book that I found quite intriguing and I'm sure you will find it equally fascinating." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (March 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846031939
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/19/2008
  • Series: Fortress Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 924,620
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70. A highly respected and established author, he now devotes himself to full-time writing and research. The author lives in Cyprus, TX (near Houston).
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Table of Contents

Introduction     4
The Origins of Division     5
The Wall rises
The two Germanys
Chronology     11
The Intra-German Border     14
The border 1952-67
The modern border 1968-98
Towers
The Berlin Wall     29
The initial barriers
The second- and third-generation walls
Grenzwall 75
From West Germany to West Berlin
Manning the Wall and the IGB     42
Grenztruppen units
Frontier guard duty
Testing the Barriers     57
The fall of the Wall
An Assessment of the Wall and the IGB     59
The Sites Today     61
Further Reading and Research     61
Websites
Glossary and Abbreviations     63
Index     64
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