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tankgeezer
06-23-2009, 09:10 PM
I once had an assignment to Berlin, (there were two of them in those days) and though most of it was cold war related, I did have some time to see some things. Here are just a few of the images I have, from both sides of checkpoint Charley. The West side is as you might expect,is bright, and cheery, the East is sad, grim, and gritty. I didnt see many smiles in the East, and people were reluctant to interact with western folks. I will caption the pics once they are posted.

#1 Overlooking the wall, into E. Berlin, They do not like people photographing their trains, trollies, etc. I dont remember the location, you can see most of the "Death strip" the welded rails to stop tanks, there were also remote operated machine guns, and mines in the strip. Even though the day was overcast, it really didnt look much different if the sun was out.

#2 This is the changing of the guard at the Russian tomb of the unknown soldier, inside is an eternal flame memorial, and these guards stand still for an hour tour. They do shift the rifles every so many minutes at the sound of a buzzer. They still used the Goose Step, and just walk through people if they should be in the way.

#4 This is a close up of one of the guards, they stand still as stone. They must have to undergo mime training to get this duty. :)

#5 This is one of the sadder places in Berlin, looking west to east, This was once a row of apartments, 3 stories tall. When the city was divided the line was at the front door. So, people would escape by walking out the door to the west. The VoPo's bricked up the doors and windows, and the people just jumped out the 2nd floor windows.(The West Berlin F.D. would catch jumpers in the fire nets, sometimes having to pull the legs of the escapees to get them away from the VoPo's trying to pull them back in.) so those were closed too. then the same on the 3rd floor. Finally, the East tore the buildings down, keeping part of the front walls as part of the barrier.There are glass shards mortared into the top edge to discourage climbers. in front of the wall are some memorials to those who died trying to escape the east.3 posts wound with barb wire.

Deaf Smith
06-23-2009, 09:48 PM
Reminds me of "The Spy That Came In From The Cold" and "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (one of my favorites.)

The photos show you what a unfriendly place communism was and still is.

Deaf

flamethrowerguy
06-24-2009, 03:17 AM
Awesome pics, that must've been some time ago...
Note the resemblance to Wehrmacht uniforms of the East-German NVA soldiers in pic #2 and #3, except for the helmets, those were uniquely ugly IMO.

tankgeezer
06-24-2009, 09:28 AM
I agree, for a communist gov't. that was vehemently anti Nazi, it is odd that they used a uniform nearly identical to the Wehrmacht's. The daily use fatigue uniform was green, and more of the Russian style. The helmet is an interesting design, not sure if it was any good, but will make a decent cooking wok in the field....

flamethrowerguy
06-24-2009, 10:10 AM
The explanation goes like this: the NVA uniform is a mix of socialistic and German military tradition, hence the Wehrmacht optics plus Soviet pattern. Furthermore the NVA soldier was supposed to "differ from the West German US mercenaries" (:lol:).
I just learned that the strange design of the helmet derives from a 1943 experimental Wehrmacht design.

Schuultz
06-24-2009, 11:12 AM
1943 experimental Wehrmacht design.

Experimental for a damn good reason, I assume... There is a reason why almost every modern army uses a Stahlhelm-based design for their Combat Helmets nowadays...

The sad thing is that the Bundeswehr, instead of saying 'We had it first' says 'The only reason we use this shape is because the US do, too'. Look up the Combat Helmet on the official Bundeswehr website - that's pretty much exactly what their official statement is...

tankgeezer
06-26-2009, 11:23 PM
Awesome pics, that must've been some time ago...
Note the resemblance to Wehrmacht uniforms of the East-German NVA soldiers in pic #2 and #3, except for the helmets, those were uniquely ugly IMO.
the pics are from the early 70's, things were not particularly chummy between the Sovi bloc, and the U.S. The helmet must have been designed by the same guy who designed all of the cars....;)

flamethrowerguy
06-27-2009, 06:04 AM
the pics are from the early 70's, things were not particularly chummy between the Sovi bloc, and the U.S.

As mentioned I've been beyond the "Anti-fascist protective barrier" back in 1988 when things had pretty much settled down, however our East-German brothers and sisters were still everything but friendly towards us.

alvinkate
07-13-2009, 10:47 PM
You have awesome pics bro! http://storeyourpicture.com/images/signature_imageHost.jpg

Douglas Jr.
07-15-2009, 09:25 AM
Man, these pictures are great!
Thanks for sharing with us.
You are right: they kept much of the Wehrmacht-style uniform, such as the collar tabs.

Douglas

tankgeezer
07-15-2009, 09:33 AM
I did notice that commercial showrooms were not in evidence in the East, appliances, autos, etc. but there was one that was pretty glitzy by standards of the time,lots of lighting, color, (pretty snappy considering all of the uncleared rubble from WWII lying around). It was a showroom for Forklift Trucks. wish I could have gotten a pic, but we were in a bus, on the move out of the sector.

Uyraell
01-19-2010, 10:48 AM
Many many Thanks TG. :) As one who only saw randomly rare images of East Berlin as it then was , I fully appreciate the documentary evidence these pics provide, of a now long-gone era.

Kindest Regards, Uyraell.

Ivaylo
01-19-2010, 05:25 PM
The explanation goes like this: the NVA uniform is a mix of socialistic and German military tradition, hence the Wehrmacht optics plus Soviet pattern. Furthermore the NVA soldier was supposed to "differ from the West German US mercenaries" (:lol:).
I just learned that the strange design of the helmet derives from a 1943 experimental Wehrmacht design.

The soldiers look stupid with the helmets in the most shame period of the german history .