Communist Parades Gave the CIA What They NeededBreaking News
tags: Cold War, Communism, CIA, USSR
During the dark days of the Cold War, spying on the enemy often took place in broad daylight. Some of the best opportunities for Western intelligence to get a picture – literally – of Soviet capabilities were presented by the USSR itself at public military parades, where the normally secretive Soviets proudly showed off to the world their arsenal of advanced hardware.
High-resolution photography from overflights, satellites, and even handheld cameras enabled the West to take accurate measurements and gather important details of various components. Additionally, identification of the participating military units contributed to order of battle intelligence. The presence of officials on the reviewing stand, their interactions, and speeches shed light on the nation’s political and military leadership, data coveted by Kremlinologists in the West.
Todays’ posting by the National Security Archive, based at The George Washington University, features documents from the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, and U.S. Army. It includes records concerning coverage of a variety of military parades and intelligence reports based on the imagery obtained at those events. Many of the latter include copies of photos taken at the time.
comments powered by Disqus
- The History Briefing on the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
- History Says Bloomberg 2020 Would Be a Sure Loser
- Then and now: How Trump impeachment hearing is different
- Poland asks Netflix to make changes to documentary about Nazi death camp guard
- What is a caliph? The Islamic State tries to boost its legitimacy by hijacking a historic institution
- Black Perspectives Publishes Online Forum: "Researching, Teaching, and Embodying the Black Diaspora"
- Distinguished professor, civil war historian James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr. passes away
- Noel Ignatiev, scholar who called for abolishing whiteness, dies at 78
- Historians Elizabeth Catte, Rebecca Solnit, and Peniel Joseph Quoted in Washington Post Article, "The Democrats Are Moving Left. Will America Follow?"
- When Southern Historians Made History Themselves