Spying on NATO from a Cold War East German Army radio monitoring base Part 1

Born in 1968 in East Germany Thomas had a “normal socialist” but happy childhood in a small town near Dresden. His family was viewed as exotic at that time as his mother had Hungarian citizenship which allowed her to travel to West Berlin.

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He was conscripted into the East German Army and signed up for 3 years as an Unteroffizier (NCO) instead of one and a half years of compulsory service.

After training he is posted to a radio reconnaissance battalion based on the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere near the inner German border. The unit was tasked with monitoring NATO surface-to-air missile batteries such as Patriots, and Nike Hercules, tracking NATO air traffic in West Europe, and listening to air-to-ground transmissions.

Thomas describes the isolated life on the mountain and harsh winters with lots of snow. The base was protected with a high-voltage double fence and sentries. With good visibility, Thomas could see the enemy in a similar mountaintop monitoring station on the other side of the border.

Here is the link to the Japanese AOR scanners Thomas mentioned: https://www.rigpix.com/aor/aor_ar2002.htm

Photos of Thomas’ base (only in German) where he was stationed: https://www.manfred-bischoff.de/fuaz-sued.htm

Google maps link to the location of his base

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