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."
"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)