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 Titanic Wreck Will Now Be Protected Under a 'Momentous Agreement' With the U.S.
- Arrested for having sex with men, this gay civil rights leader could finally be pardoned in California
- Ancient aboriginal aquaculture system older than Stonehenge uncovered by Australia wildfires
- How the Government Came to Decide the Color of Your Food
- In 1851, a Maryland Farmer Tried to Kidnap Free Blacks in Pennsylvania. He Wasn’t Expecting the Neighborhood to Fight Back
- The Way We Write History Has Changed
- Rethinking How We Train Historians
- Building a digital archive for decaying paper documents, preserving centuries of records about enslaved people
- The Radical Lives of Abolitionists
- National Security Archive Releases USCYBERCOM documents which shed new light on the campaign to counter ISIS in cyberspace