They helped keep the Cold War cool...

Website Last Updated On: Saturday, July 6, 2019 10:42:52 AM

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The purpose of this website is to unveil the once-classified activities of the Allied Military Liaison Missions in their quest to monitor Soviet and East German Military operations behind the Iron Curtain during the period known as The Cold War. Feel free to explore areas now open to the public, including audio interviews with real Cold War Spies. Visit the Reading Room, where you will find interesting documents detailing Cold War history, including the once classified Nicholson Summary Report which uncovers the murder of USMLM Officer Arthur Nicholson. The Links area will whisk you to other areas on the Internet where you will learn what the Cold War was really all about.

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Immediately following the Second World War, the Allied Military Liaison Missions arose from reciprocal agreements formed between the Western allied nations (USA, UK and France) and the USSR. The missions were active from 1946 until 1990.

The agreements between the allied powers and the Soviet Union permitted the deployment of small numbers of military intelligence personnel — together with associated support staff — in each other's territory in Germany, ostensibly for the purposes of monitoring and furthering better relationships between the Soviet and Western occupation forces. The British, French and American missions matched the size of the counterpart Soviet missions into West Germany (the nominal post-war British, French and American zones of occupations). The MLMs also played an intelligence-gathering role. The MLM teams were based in West Berlin but started their "tours" from the national mission houses in Potsdam in matte-olive-drab vehicles specially adapted to traverse over rough terrain. The Mission teams on a tour frequently comprised one officer accompanied by an NCO and a driver. The missions persisted throughout the Cold War period and ended in 1990 just prior to German reunification.
The four missions included:

U.S. Military Liaison Mission (USMLM)
British Commanders'-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany (BRIXMIS)
La Mission Militaire Francaise de Liaison (FMLM, more properly MMFL in French)
and their reciprocal Soviet missions (SOXMIS/SMLM).

The British-Soviet missions were the first to be established (September 16, 1946) under the terms of the Robertson-Malinin Agreement (the respective commanders-in-chief). It also had the largest contingent of personnel with 31 accredited team members. Later agreements with the US (Huebner-Malinin Agreement, March 1947) and France (April 1947) had significantly fewer permitted personnel, possibly because those Allied powers did not want large Soviet missions operating in their zones and vice versa.

The Allied liaison missions, having quasi diplomatic status, were relatively free to roam around East Germany, except for specifically designated permanent and temporary restricted areas, known as PRA's and TRA's. They were largely 'untouchable' either by the law or military personnel. However a small number of team members were injured or killed in accidents or 'incidents' which gave rise to significant military and political tensions.

Little is publicly documented about the Soviet missions, although their mission was similiar to the Western Allied Military Missions.

Although it was not widely known to the general public, the MLMs played a significant intelligence-gathering role during the Cold War. They also had a significant role in confirming that preparations for offensive action were NOT under way, thus reducing the tension.

Probably the most notable incident involving USMLM was the death of
Major Arthur D. Nicholson, a USMLM Tour Officer. He was killed on March 23, 1985, shot by a Soviet soldier, and was considered the last American casualty of the Cold War, and the only USMLM Officer to die in the course of duty, though other British and French tour personnel had died earlier. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Nicholson's death was honored on the floor of both houses of the United States Congress, with a speech that was read into the official record.

PRESS RELEASE Regarding 30th Anniversary of the death of Major Arthur Nicholson

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- Courtesy of Edward Loomis, JannaCommunications

100's of NEW ITEMS!


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  1. The Cold War was incredibly expensive over its four decades, costing the U.S. eight trillion dollars in military expenditures and over 100,000 lives in Korea and Vietnam. Although the exact figures for the Soviet Union are unknown, they spent a larger percentage of their gross national product on the war, maybe as much as 60 percent.
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Adolf Hitler also predicted the Cold War when he said "… there will remain in the world only two Great Powers capable of confronting each other -- the United States and Soviet Russia.
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Winston Churchill issued warnings about the Soviet Union as early as 1946 when he claimed that an “Iron Curtain” had fallen across Eastern Europe to describe the Soviet Union’s grasp for power in the region. The term was used throughout the Cold War.
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In the late 1980s, the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union occurred with the defeat of the Communist party in Poland by the Solidarity Movement, a labor union led by Lech Walesa. Walesa risked his life and spent time in prison to found the Union.
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The end of the Cold War also saw the fall of the Soviet Union, which had united the countries of eastern and central Europe and much of northern Asia under communist rule. The break-up of the union changed the face of Europe and kept mapmakers busy as over twenty new countries emerged or reemerged over the next several years.
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The first major event of the Cold War involved the amazing effort of British and American pilots to keep West Berlin supplied after the Soviet government closed all outside ground traffic. Between June 1948 and September 1949, pilots made 277,000 flights into West Berlin, carrying more than two million tons of products including coal for fuel.
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The end of the Cold war occurred with the fall of the Soviet Union when around 20 new nations disintegrated from the Soviet Union and declared independence.

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