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Cold War Berlin - An Island City Volume 4
M60A3 main battle tank of Company F (40th Armor), Berlin Brigade in experimental British urban camo scheme
Soldier from 18th Infantry, Berlin Brigade on patrol
Operator from Det A firing Welrod silent pistol
Diagram showing the US Army Pentomic divisional structure
United States Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) insignia
M125 mortar carrier of the Berlin Brigade training at Parks Range, Doughboy City
M151 MUTT jeep of Berlin Brigade during 'move -out' alert exercise
Pilatus/Fairchild PC6-B2/H2 Chiricahua of the Berlin Brigade Aviation Detachment

PREPARING FOR WAR, 1945 – 1994

At the end of the Second World War, the victorious Allies split Germany into three zones of occupation, and Berlin into four sectors, one each for the British, Americans, French and Soviets. It did not take long for the wartime alliances to crumble into distrust, obstruction, acrimony, and the first skirmishes of a new Cold War followed soon after, with the city of Berlin becoming the frontline in this new struggle.


Although Stalin hoped to have Berlin all to himself (it was, after all, well within his zone of occupation), the other Allies refused to hand over this prize and moved combat forces into the city just as soon as the Soviets would let them in. The city became the headquarters of the US military government in Germany and home to a sizeable garrison of US troops. Their mission was primarily peacekeeping, but this developed into a defensive force once the West realised the extent of the threat from the East.


The city was surrounded by around 420,000 Soviet troops, the shock troops who would lead the invasion of Western Europe if that day came, 180,000 East German troops spread across East Germany, and tens of thousands of paramilitary police. ‘US Forces in Berlin – Preparing for War’ looks at how the Berlin Brigade, the 5,000 strong American component of the 33,000 Western military presence in the city prepared to defend West Berlin from the Communist hoards. This volume explores how the brigade was made up over the forty-nine years of allied involvement in the city, how they trained, and how they were equipped. It also looks at some of the unique special forces units based there, and studies the American plans to defend, as well as the East German plans to seize it. 


‘Preparing for War’ is the second of two covering US forces in Berlin during the Cold War, from their arrival in July 1945, through the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, its fall in 1989, and German re-unification the following year, to the departure of American Berlin Brigade in 1994. The first volume covered how the US garrison kept the peace over those forty-nine years and joins two other volumes in the mini-series, the first looking at the Berlin Airlift, the second at the Berlin Wall. ‘US Forces in Berlin – Preparing for War’ is the fourth title from the author in a mini-series of books on Cold War Berlin. The text is richly illustrated with photographs, illustrations, diagrams, tables, maps, plans, and colour profiles, and is printed in full colour throughout.

The book is part of the Europe@War Series from Helion & Company. Other series include Africa@War, Asia@War, Middle East@War, Latin America@War, and Technology@War – all covering post World War Two conflicts around the world. The books follow a common format, which is proving very popular with readers. They are paperback, A4 in size, between 72 and 96 pages long and are packed with photos, illustrations, maps, charts and colour profiles of aircraft or vehicles. For more information see


Pages: 88, 19 colour profiles, 11 colour illustrations, 22 colour photos, 68 mono photos, 3 diagrams, 4 plans, 5 maps, and 7 tables.

Paperback - Size : A4 (297mm 210mm), ISBN : 9781804515815

Helion Book Code : HEL1886

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