In Need of 1980's Soviet Expertise

Those photos of that time fascinate me. I have a handful of pics when I went up to Hof border camp and went on a tour. I’ll have to dig them out. Wasn’t up to any mischief like 18 Bravo though :joy:!

I always thought that Martin Luther had hammered his stuff into the door of a church in Hannover or Hamburg… ah well :smirk:

No, but I hammered my stuff in both of those cities. :rofl:

There was no sickle, but there was a hammer… :smirk:

A few more Cold War photos of mine -
This is me on the right waiting for Anatolii Scharanskii to be released. He refused to come across as the Soviet spies we released made their way back, saying he was not a spy but rather a dissident, and would not be seen to be being “exchanged” for them.

My photos turned out better than the one published in Star and Stripes the next day. I talked my way past everyone to eventually get the best spot.

Does it make you an OMF if you’re in the same photo as a dude wearing a fedora who is not auditioning for American Idol?

The “O” is for “old” in case you’re stumped.

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Or the family friendly version is OG :wink:


I think you knew the answer to that when you typed it…

Cool photos. Thank you.


More pohotos from the goold old days.
I’m pretty sure you weren’t allowed to take photos of NVA bases…

You also weren’t supposed to photograph Russian Soldiers along the corridor in the DDR. I hid an Instamatic camera inside of a book and got this one:

This may be one of my few “legal” photos in this thread thus far. (how boring) Lenin’s Tomb in Moscow.


I got to tour through Lenin’s tomb in 1987 with my sister-in-law’s dance exchange group. I went on the trip as the video camera guy. My daughter was less than a year old and I carried her through the tomb with a baby bottle in my suit jacket pocket, That bottle of liquid drew much attention from the guards, but no issues. She slept and I was good. Nice trip


Why do I feel like there’s a much bigger story than just you roaming around behind the Iron Curtain with a hidden camera?


More photos.

NVA motorbikes

Not everything was behind the Iron Curtain. I actually got on top of it once just for grins. There were many areas around West Berlin where the wall was simply expanded steel with the pipe on top.


As a newly promoted Sergeant I had to visit Berlin in 1980 for a series of briefings; part of the visit involved a trip along the Wall itself, conducted by the Royal Military Police. Their party piece was to show me a section of Wall that opened upon demand. To prove it they pressed a bell push, and slowly but surely a section of concrete wall slid open. I was duly astonished; once opened I could see an East German Border Guard in a tower frantically racking a lever to get the section closed again. The story behind this was that a German couple owned some land in what was the eastern sector which they used as a sort of vegetable allotment/garden. Somehow, they had secured rights to tend it and this section of Wall was modified to allow them, and them only, access. It was not meant to be used as a showpiece for the RMP, who took great delight in baiting the Border Guards.

If it sounds surreal – it was! Just imagine, all you have to do is press a bell push and the Wall opens!


In '84 I had heard stories about places where you could walk unimpeded into the East, but we were never told where, so I didn’t give them much credence. Now with your info I know why - guys like me wouldve been getting into trouble all the time.
It’s unlikely that it was the Berlin border. The British sector had far more border with the DDR proper, so it was more likely to have been in the western portion of the Brit sector, maybe around Spandau.

We did the same early in Afghanistan until we had enough ballistic blankets.

I should have stolen a couple.

Yes, you should have. These and many others like them have served me well for building “sleeper” zombie apocalypse vehicles.

Ah, by the way, we may find our way into the same corner of the world soon. I’ll PM you.