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Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

Article about: I wanted to start a thread about the Occupying Forces in the City of Berlin from 1945 up to reunification in the 1990s. There are some members here who served in the Occupied City, myself in

  1. #1

    Default Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    I wanted to start a thread about the Occupying Forces in the City of Berlin from 1945 up to reunification in the 1990s. There are some members here who served in the Occupied City, myself included with the US Army,, and talking with another member who was there with the British Forces we though it would be a great idea to have a separate topic about the Berlin Occupying Forces and the training we did and other memories. There is a lot of significant history that can be discussed as well as photos and information shared to include uniforms, insignia, equipment that was used in Berlin. This can be a continuous thread where all items related to the Berlin Occupying forces can be discussed and shared. I don't see the need to start separate threads for each item.

    I only ask that we keep this specific to the Occupation of Berlin. This can include East Berlin and Potsdam as these areas were just as important during the occupation.

    Lets have some fun and bring back some memories for those who were there and educate those who weren't..

    I will start with a photo of a myself.. A very young squad leader in the 80's stationed in Berlin with the 502nd Infantry Regiment (Berlin Brigade) getting ready for a parade. I was stationed at McNair Barracks in the US sector.

    Smitty
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

  2. #2

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    This image is of one of our Christmas Cards that was printed out. It was sold in our on post shop area that was located next to the enlisted mans club known as the "Starlight Club". The shop was run by German civilians that made jacket patches and other souvenirs. The Christmas cards came in a pack of 10 with envelopes and sold for a few dollars each... The main theme of the card was the outline of the city of Berlin.. You can see the US, British, French and Russian flags which show the occupied city cut into slices and the areas where each of the Forces Occupied..

    Smitty
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

  3. #3

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    Here is another great memory of Occupation Duty,, Spandau Prison. This was in the British Sector of the City and all the forces (Soviets included) took turns guarding Rudolf Hess. He was imprisoned there from the end of WW2 and the Nuremburg Trails until his death (suicide) in August 1987. This photo is the guard changing ceremony outside the prison in the 1950s. A little before my time but with each guard changeover there were photos taken. Photos were prohibited inside the prison but I know there were some taken as I have seen photos of Soldiers in the Guard towers.. Could get into a bit of trouble if caught...

    After Hess died the Prison was torn down to prevent Neo Nazis and other sympathizers from memorializing the site and what National Socialism stood for.. I was able to get a brick from a British Soldier as the trucks carrying out the debris were guarded and the bricks were dumped in a undisclosed location in order to prevent souvenir hunters from collecting them...

    Smitty
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

  4. #4

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    Great topic Smitty!

    Yes Spandau Prison came down with frightening speed. The Royal Engineers ripped off the whole roof in a matter of days so that politically it could be said that it was an Allied Kommandatura action, then it was over to civilian contractors to continue as proxy. The site was re-developed and a NAAFI (British equivalent of PX) shop was built. This eventually became a branch of Kaiser's Supermarket post handover.

    Just inside the main gateway of Spandau Prison was where the on coming guard would march up and halt before entering. Right at the point where the guard would halt there was a 5DM coin super-glued to the floor. The Brit/US and French troops were all regular participants in the guard duties during their tours in Berlin so they all knew about this coin which was reputedly put there by a Jock for a laugh and in any case 5DM was the price of two maybe three beers so not worth getting a bollicking for if you bent down to pick it up when stood at attention.

    Unfortunately, the Soviet conscripts were different every time and so did not know about the coin.
    5DM was worth considerably more in the Eastern sector so inevitably when the oncoming Soviet Guard would halt at the gate some unfortunate would spot it and be unable to resist trying to pick up the super-glued coin and get a severe stiffening fom his superiors much to the amusement of the wise onlookers.

    Squaddies eh? The banter is wicked. Always was, always will be whatever nationality

    Well, as Smitty mentioned Ruhleben earlier in another thread here are a couple of pics of me with my "homies" during the Berlin Infantry Brigade March and Shoot Competition.

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    I'm the one in the centre of the coloured pic who looks like he has absolutely no sense of humour and yes I did drag that guy over the bloody wall! but he did say thank you

    Lets have some tales guys, funny or serious and share your pics on the subject.

    Regards

    Mark
    Last edited by Watchdog; 07-09-2020 at 05:51 PM. Reason: Typo
    "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing he cares more about than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature with no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."

  5. #5

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    Thanks for memories share,some good things to remember!

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    Here is a booklet that we had to study. This booklet contains the vehicles of our adversary, the East German and Soviet Warsaw Pact Country's armored vehicles and tanks. Anti armor specialists would study these pictures and on May Day we were allowed to go into East Berlin and we would get to see up close these very vehicles so we could identify the areas on the tanks and vehicles where we would try to aim our rocket launchers and other anti tank weapons..

    Just another flashback from the days stationed behind the Iron Curtain and surrounded by the Berlin Wall..

    Smitty
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  


  7. #7

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    Here are pictures of the US combat training city in Berlin. This was known as "Doughboy" City. This was about 2 miles from McNair Barracks and most of the time the units would conduct a tactical road march to the training site and once there we would either attack and set up defensive positions or move straight into the city and then prepare a defense and wait to be attacked. We used to train in CIC (Combat in the City) as it was one of our missions to defend the City of Berlin. I used to carry a small 110 instamatic camera with me in order to take pictures while I was in the field. I was able to get some pretty decent pictures during the training. You will notice that many of the buildings have concertina wire and other barricades around them. We also used pallets and picket poles to board up windows and doorways.

    I will scan some other photos that I have and add them later..

    Smitty
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)   Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  
    Attached Images Attached Images Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet) 

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    Smitty, I think this thread is an excellent idea that I hope will follow you for a long time.
    You really were a very, very young squad leader.

    Santi

  9. #9

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    I was in Berlin as a soldier from January 1957 to December 1959, assigned to Tank Company, 6th Infantry, Berlin Command. In the spring of 1957 we became F Company, 40th Armor. I remained in Berlin as a civilian until 1965. I am going to open with two US Army publications. The first is this small, 67-page, booklet that Special Services issued to every US soldier upon arrival in Berlin for assignment there. Initially there was an orientation bus tour of East and West Berlin that followed the text and photos in the booklet. When I arrived in 1957, we received only the booklet. Here are some of the photos from the booklet of places that I am sure that those of you were there, will recall. The photos appear to be from the period 1949-56.
    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)

    6. The ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche on Breitscheidplatz maintained as a memorial. This is what it looked like while I arrived there in 1957. At night, the area around the church became a gold mine of Third Reich artifacts, Party pins,and medals, military awards, almost anything you wanted. And the prices were rock bottom. I bought a EK1 in the box for a carton of Camels that cost me $2.50, and I still have it. Cigarettes were the big trade item in those days and those of us who were non-smokers made out very well.

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)
    This is how the Brandenburg Gate looked in 1957, before the Wall. People could walk through in either direction, but coming out, you had to deal with the East Berlin Police. Our officers went over there routinely to buy all sorts of neat stuff for very little. That was in the days when the US dollar, even the script we exchanged for our dollars, were 4.25 DM to the dollar. We EM were told not to go across, even in uniform.

    Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)
    This is how it looked six years later

    [CENTER]Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)
    Training in the Grunewald in February 1958. The tank is an M48 Patton medium, 90mm gun tank. The marking on the left, front fender if F 33 for 3rd Platoon, F Company, third tank, which was the heavy section leader.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Occupied Berlin, 1945-1990 Allied Forces (US, British, French, Soviet)  
    Last edited by drmessimer; 07-11-2020 at 09:47 PM.

  10. #10

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    drmessimer,,,

    Excellent Photos and additions...

    Thank you for your service and what a story about the EK1 for a carton of smokes... Wonderful stuff..

    Smitty

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