The previously untold story of a Cold War spy unit, “one of the best examples of applied unconventional warfare in special operations history” (Small Wars Journal).It is a little-known fact that during the Cold War, two US Army Special Forces detachments were stationed far behind the Iron Curtain in West Berlin. The existence and missions of the two detachments were highly classified secrets.The massive armies of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies posed a huge threat to the nations of Western Europe. US military planners decided they needed a plan to slow the expected juggernaut, if and when a war began. This plan was Special Forces Berlin. Their mission—should hostilities commence—was to wreak havoc behind enemy lines and buy time for vastly outnumbered NATO forces to conduct a breakout from the city. In reality, it was an ambitious and extremely dangerous mission, even suicidal. Highly trained and fluent in German, each of these one hundred soldiers and their successors was allocated a specific area. They were skilled in clandestine operations, sabotage, and intelligence tradecraft, and were able to act, if necessary, as independent operators, blending into the local population and working unseen in a city awash with spies looking for information on their every move.Special Forces Berlin left a legacy of a new type of soldier, expert in unconventional warfare, that was sought after for other deployments, including the attempted rescue of American hostages from Tehran in 1979. With the US government officially acknowledging their existence in 2014, their incredible story can now be told—by one of their own.
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