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Secrets of the Cold War: US Army Europe's Intelligence & Counterintelligence Activities Against the Soviets During the Cold War [Kindle Edition]

Leland C. McCaslin
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Secrets of the Cold War focuses on a dark period of a silent war and offers a new perspective on the struggle between the superpowers of the world told in the words of those who were there. The author, formerly an expert in counterintelligence in US Army Europe, weaves together exciting true accounts of allies collecting enemy information in the East and fighting spies and terrorists in the West.

Amassing Soviet military information by Allied agents in the East is at the forefront! Learn the bizarre method a British agent uses to obtain the muzzle size of a Russian tank as he risks his life jumping on a moving train in East Germany. A French officer drives into a Soviet tank column and escapes undiscovered by cunning methods. In West Germany, terrorist attacks and spies are rampant. Communists shoot a rocket propelled grenade into a General's occupied limo and terrorists kidnap another General. From the espionage files, an American soldier is nearly recruited in a downtown bar to be a spy and a First Sergeant is lured by sex to be an unknowing participant in spying.

Behind-the-lines images are historic and intriguing. See photographs of a French officer and a Soviet officer relaxing in the East German woods in a temporary unofficial peace; 'James Bond' type cars with their light tricks and their ability to leave their Stasi shadows 'wheel spinning' in the snow will amaze readers.

A Russian translator for the presidential hotline recounts a story about having to lock his doors in the Pentagon, separating himself and his sergeant from the Pentagon Generals when a message comes in from the Soviets. When he called the White House to relay the message to the President and stood by for a possible reply to the Soviet Chairman, he stopped working for the Generals and started working solely for the President.

In another riveting account, a US Berlin tank unit goes on red alert when the Soviets stop a US convoy on the autobahn between West Germany and Berlin. The Berlin Command orders the tanks to rescue them, "If anything gets in your way, either run over it or blow it away!" Young US Berlin train commanders recount their encounters with their Soviet counterparts aboard the Berlin Duty Train. In an unusual train incident, one male Soviet Officer places a love note in a young US female Train Commander's pocket, touching her leg. The note is in the book.

Containing a host of first-person accounts that lift the lid on previously untold clandestine activities, this is a major contribution to Cold War history, and exciting reading for all those who have an interest in the real-life world of military intelligence, counterintelligence and espionage.

Francis Gary Powers, Jr: "Well written and informative, the book is a magnificent assessment of the Cold War history."


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Leland, his brother, father and mother (nurse) were all Army Officers. Leland graduated from Mississippi State University in 1969 where he majored in communications, studied Military Science (and received airborne training) and obtained his Army commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps. On active duty in 1969, he attended the combat arms tanker's Armored Officers' Basic Course; the Counterintelligence Special Agent's Course and served at various locations in the US. Upon his ETS (estimated time of separation), he joined the US Civil Service and began working for the military in various intelligence jobs, starting as a GS-9 in 1973. He served at Military Headquarters, The Pentagon from 1973 to 1976. In 1979, he arrived in Heidelberg, Germany, and served 16 years at US Army Europe where he actively participated in the Cold War. To thwart espionage, he appeared on several live and recorded segments of the European Armed Forces Network TV and Radio to discuss counterespionage strategies, both past and present. He then retired as a GM-14 in 1995. At that time, he was the most senior Security Specialist in Europe. While overseas, he acquired a M. Ed. from Boston University. After he retired from civil service, he taught speech at several local colleges. With his background in Security and Intelligence, he worked as a contract investigator for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) with 9/11 related duties. He is now fully retired and resides with his wife, Charlotte, and greyhound, Keener, in Alabama.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3207 KB
  • Print Length: 201 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1906033919
  • Publisher: Helion (October 19, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005AU7G20
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266,956 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Berlin 1972-1974 November 6, 2010
By Fred
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was an Army Counterintelligence Agent stationed with the 766th MID in Berlin from 1972-1974. Having majored in German Language and Literature in college, I was involved in special operations from the beginning. I won't say anything about what I did, but I will say that Leland McCaslin's book was a very interesting and accurate account of some of what went on during those years. My thanks to him!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My first assignment in the Army of the 60s was in an Armored Division headquarters near Stuttgart (4th Armored Div) and my recollection of the monthly intel briefings and that everyone has a responsibility to be aware of the surroundings whether on post or off. I returned to Germany almost thirty years later as a civilian (GS) and the warnings hadn't really changed except for the terminology and some computer related issues. Lee McCaslin does a great job relating his time in Berlin and Heidelberg at the Headquarters of US Army Europe. My recommendation is that the book be required for all Intel officers, NCOs and civilians assigned to intel units worldwide. Perhaps when more declassifications occur, Lee McCaslin can issue eiher a sequel or second edition with deleted information.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't know that! December 26, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Lee McCaslin's "Secrets Of The Cold War" is a fascinating read for those of us who grew up during the Cold War and for those interested in what shaped today's world. Now that much of what went on then is unclassified, Lee and his contributors, who were there, give us glimpses into the daily lives of the dedicated people on both sides of the Iron Curtain and the struggles they faced during those tense and uncertain times. He shows us how the military, intelligence and counterintelligence communities were structured and their often humorous encounters. How did the term "Iron Curtain" come to be? Read "Secrets Of The Cold War" and you'll find out.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Leland McCaslin worked in a variety of U. S. military and government intelligence positions from about 1970 to 1996, including positions in Europe when the Cold War was going on between the Soviet Union and the United States and its European allies. Since the Cold War was not open warfare between armed forces, intelligence played a particularly important role for the U.S. in maintaining its readiness and in counteracting activities of the Soviet Union and its satellites the Eastern European nations. McCaslin writes about the structure and particular agencies of the intelligence services as well as operations. Often he lets others involved in the intelligence services speak for themselves in lengthy passages which are like journal entries. The mix of styles from sections like an administrative or bureaucratic manual on organization to vignettes by intelligence personnel with engaging details and dramatic situations gives the book an unevenness. But this is an incident drawback for any reader interested in unique details on this major area of Cold War espionage. Though U.S. intelligence operations are the main subject. Soviet intelligence operations receive a good deal of attention as well not only for thoroughness in covering the topic, but also so the reader can understand the context within which the U.S. intelligence services were operating.

McCaslin had the book reviewed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies to ensure he was not inadvertently divulging any secret material even though considerable time has passed since the Cold War ended. If anything the author wanted to get in was kept out, it's hard to imagine what this was.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Very Exciting! October 19, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having great interest in the political and military struggles and intelligence work of today, it only makes sense to further investigate some of the inner workings of intelligence activity of the recent past. It's amazing to read the first hand accounts of some of these real world activities!!! Thank you Mr. McCaslin for your service!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We were there October 19, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We were there!

As one of Lee's compatriots, I welcomed the news that Lee was fulfilling his long-time desire to write about the cold war. We were both fortunate to work and practice our trades within the Army Headquarters in Heidelberg, in addition to serving at other "cold war" posts.

I greatly appreciate Lee's effort, which brings to mind my involvement in many of the same activities, not to mention many other similar activities which are still cloaked by the mists of time and security.

Congratulations, Lee, and Thank You!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but episodic October 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was entertaining. I enjoyed reading stories about real intelligence and counterintelligence activities in Europe during the years between the end of World War II and the fall of the Berlin Wall. There were many entertaining parts, such as the kidnapping of General Dozier by the Red Brigades in Italy in 1981, that I would be interested in reading a whole book about. Overall, the book suffered from being too episodic, basically a string of first-person personal stories strung together. The book would have been improved with an overall outline of the history of the time.

Part of the problem may have been with the Kindle implementation. Sometimes it was hard to understand when a new author's part had started. The formatting of the book seemed a little off.

Overall, as I said, I enjoyed the book. It taught me more about a time and place that doesn't seem to get a lot of attention.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Time
Don't waste your time with this poorly written book. It is just rehash of old newspaper stories. Nothing new here.
Published 10 months ago by Robt Mansker
1.0 out of 5 stars It was interesting but was pretty well the same story written over and...
It wanted the book as I served in Germany for 1955 to 1957. I was in an airborne division and we were all pretty well convinced that if WWIII opened up we would be canon fodder. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Blanco
1.0 out of 5 stars boring as anything!
This is the most boring made up tale I have ever
read. Save your money,just another piece of gov.
hogwash...'
Published 14 months ago by wineO
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting title and that's all
I found this book too boring to be read to the end. From time to time there is an interesting anectode but everything is so disconnected, written in dry language.
Published 15 months ago by Anto Jurkovic
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight is here
Disclaimer: I was a Spook in this era pushed by the vagaries of politics, so the absence of a real sense of the spy wars which is limited in detail,might bother some. Read more
Published 15 months ago by LA Dave
2.0 out of 5 stars More ancecdote than real history
Nothing more than a series of ancedotes with a lot of militry organisation terminology around it. More of chapters from a series of autobiographies than a comprehensive histroy.
Published 16 months ago by David J. James
5.0 out of 5 stars It reads like a class reunion for USAEUR MI/ASA Vets
Oh, this is a fun book. It is a collection of declassified reports of happenings in Europe during the Cold War. It both brings back memories and tells me stuff I never knew before. Read more
Published 16 months ago by ambjg
2.0 out of 5 stars Circular writing.
Seemed to re-cover the same scenes. I gave up. I thought it would be more the intellectual side of the task versus mostly driving around in cars spying on military equipment and... Read more
Published 16 months ago by sfbp15
2.0 out of 5 stars Secrets of the Cold War
Interesting to some degree, lots of short militart referrence to equipment and details, but, more like reading military reports. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Richd Sweeney
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book for Cold War Vets
I found this book very interesting - having spent 8 years in Germany during the Cold War, I have many memories of the events covered and was serving with the U.S. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Lil Rascal
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More About the Author

Leland, his brother, father and mother (nurse) were all Army Officers.

Leland graduated from Mississippi State University in 1969 where he majored in communications, studied Military Science (and received some airborne training) and obtained his Army commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Intelligence Corps. On active duty in 1969, he attended the combat arms tanker's Armored Officers' Basic Course; the Counterintelligence Special Agent's Course and served at various locations in the US. Upon leaving active duty, he joined the US Civil Service and began working for the military in various intelligence jobs, starting as a GS-9 in 1973.

He served at our nation's Military Headquarters, The Pentagon from 1973 to 1976. In 1979, he arrived in Heidelberg, Germany, and served 16 years at US Army Europe where he actively participated in the Cold War. To thwart espionage, he appeared on several live and recorded segments of the European Armed Forces Network TV and Radio to discuss counterespionage strategies, both past and present.

He then retired as a GM-14 in 1995. At that time, he was the most senior Security Specialist in Europe. While overseas, he acquired a M. Ed. from Boston University.

After he retired from civil service, he taught speech at several local colleges. With his background in Security and Intelligence, he worked as a contract investigator for ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) with 9/11 related duties.

He is now fully retired and resides with his wife, Charlotte, and rescued greyhound, Keener, in Alabama.


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