THE BORDER FORCE ADJUSTS
1960 - 1970
(U) A border patrol dismounts to conduct a patrol just inside the 5-kilometer restricted zone. Circa 1960.
(U) International Relations
(U) Ironically, even though there was an increase in international tensions during the 1960s, there was a decrease in the level of USAREUR border operations in the latter part of the decade. This was due in part to the extensive coverage by the German border police agencies and more advanced US aerial reconnaissance capabilities, but it was caused mostly by a decrease in American resources, both manpower and equipment, available for border patrolling. Although the Vietnam war did not occur in the European theater, its impact on US Army resources was felt worldwide -- and this included the border units.
(U) There had been the usual border incidents in the late 1950s, but in general the situation had been calm in Europe after the granting of German sovereignty in 1955 (the Hungarian uprising in 1956 being a significant exception. The situation changed dramatically in early 1961 when Soviet and East German propaganda began demanding an early resolution of the problems preventing the signing of a final peace treaty covering all of Germany. After a June 1961 meeting in Vienna with President John F. Kennedy, Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev announced that the Soviet Union would conclude a unilateral peace treaty with the East German Government if the three western Allies could not agree to a final settlement of the German issue that would be acceptable to the Communist Bloc.
(U) The flow of East German refugees during this troubled period increased significantly, reaching a peak of 3,000 per day in early August 1961. On 13 August the German Democratic Republic (GDR) reacted by closing all border crossing points, imposing even stricter border controls, and beginning construction of the infamous Berlin Wall. This was followed in September by secret orders to its border guards that they were authorized to shoot anyone attempting to escape, even if the shots were fired into Western territory. Also in September, the GDR Government declared that the Soviet Zone demarcation line would be its "national border." In subsequent years, it sought to obtain by negotiation, harassment,or trickery, expressed or implied recognition of its "national border" by the Federal Republic and Allied agencies and officials. The Federal Republic, as a matter of national policy, did not regard it as a national border, but merely
a line of demarcation between two parts of the same country.* Allied policy was stated in the Bonn Conventions, which had basically, said that a final peace settlement for the whole of Germany, freely negotiated between Germany and her former enemies, would have to be concluded before a final determination of the boundaries of Germany could be delineated. A nice euphemism used by the British referred-to it as the Inner German Border. It described the demarcation line without raising World War II specters such as was the case with Inner Zonal Boundary, which was also often used.l
As might be expected, the United States and the other western Allies viewed the situation in Berlin with concern, and finally expressed this concern by building up their forces in Germany. A chronological account of the stationing changes and border responsibility shifts that occurred because of the US "Roundout" plan in 1961 and the subsequent redeployment of units back to the United States in 1964 will be outlined below. These unit movements had international implications as they led to the US military authorities asking the French to become more extensively involved on the southern flank of the American area of responsibility, asking the Bundeswehr to assume a share of the military border surveillance mission, and -- for the first time -- trying to induce other NATO partners into performing border surveillance on its northern flank. Although the French had already begun operating on the border in a small way in 1960, they did not seem eager to expand their coverage, and the Bundeswehr was not a likely partner due to FRG policy restrictions against it operating on the border.
In 1962 General Bruce C. Clarke, CINCUSAREUR, surfaced in military and State Department channels the idea of asking other NATO allies to cover a gap between the northern portion of the US area of responsibility and the southern area of the British sector that was supposed to be covered by the Bundeswehr, but could not be due to the above mentioned restrictions. The idea seemed to be accepted and the Belgians agreed to begin patrolling the area in 1963; however, the
*(U) A "Treaty on the Basis of Relations Between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic," signed on 21 December 1972, committed the two German neighbors to developing normal relations, but the Federal Republic still considers itself part of a larger Germany and does not recognize the demarcation line as a permanent national frontier. Facts About German, Lexikon-Institut Bertelsmann, Munich: 1981, pp. 66-82. UNCLAS.
plan was forestalled when the new Central Army Group (CENTAG) emergency defense plan, scheduled to become operational on 1 September 1963, shifted the CENTAG boundary further north to incorporate this area, thus making it a CENTAG problem rather than a Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) responsibility.
As far back as March 1962, a special study group called the Ailes Committee had recommended that USAREUR get out of the border surveillance business altogether, but the State Department had other ideas. On 24 September 1962 Secretary of State Dean Rusk expressed the opinion that policy questions and incidents related to the peacetime surveillance of the demarcation line were not the responsibility of NATO commanders. The United States, Great Britain, and France had their border responsibilities because of old occupation rights, and the other NATO powers could not be committed to border duty until the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe (SACEUR) authorized their use in a NATO-declared emergency. It was Rusk's view that the legal precedents established by the occupation policies and subsequent agreements with the Federal Republic required the three former occupation powers to insure security for all of the NATO forces by being responsible for border surveillance. This opinion, along "With the movement of the CENTAG boundary further north, ended any further discussion of transferring border surveillance duties to other NATO partners such as Belgium.2
However, this did not preclude USAREUR from trying to transfer part of the mission to the French or the Germans. In 1964 USAREUR was scheduled to send home the Roundout forces -- to include an armored cavalry regiment -- which led it to seek a complete takeover of the southern sector by the French and/or the Germans. On 28 August the US Secretary of State asked the US Ambassador in Bonn to advise the Federal Republic that the United States would continue to perform the peacetime border surveillance mission along the Czechoslovak border, but that the Bundeswehr should supplement our activities in order to restore full coverage. The Federal Republic again refused to operate on the border with Bundeswehr units and, in a 2 October 1964 letter from FRG Minister of Defense von Hassel to CINCUSAREUR, asked the United States to continue performing peacetime surveillance along the border. A subsequent USAREUR history refers to a 1964 bilateral agreement with the Germans which led to the United States officially assuming the peacetime surveillance mission for the German corps in the southern sector. (The northern "gap," mentioned earlier, was already being covered by the 14th ACR.) Initially, it appeared that USAREUR would receive additional help from the French as they planned
to move more units into southern Bavaria, but stationing difficulties precluded this movement and they refused to increase their coverage beyond the one patrol already operating under the control of the 11th ACR. Finally, all hope of any French participation ended when the French Government withdrew its armed forces from the NATO military alliance in 1966 and concurrently withdrew its patrol from border operations. From this point on USAREUR had complete responsibility for providing peacetime military surveillance of the border for the entire CENTAG area. It should not be forgotten, however, that the Germans were making a major contribution through the extensive patrolling being conducted by their paramilitary border police services.3
(U) The legal aspects of US border surveillance responsibilities entered a new era with the passage of the Emergency Legislation by the Bundestag on 24 June 1968. With passage of the Emergency Legislation, the Federal Republic formally assumed executive powers for internal and external emergencies which had rested with the western Allies from the time of the postwar occupation. It had been anticipated that the Federal Republic would do this soon after the granting of sovereignty in 1955, but the required two-thirds Bundestag majority had not been achieved before 1968. The period between and 1968, referred to as the "Contractual Agreements" period under the Bonn Conventions, saw the Federal Republic essentially limiting itself to exercising internal sovereignty. The Bonn Conventions had provided that the Allies would "temporarily" retain rights heretofore held or exercised by them which related to the protection of the security of the armed forces stationed in the Federal Republic until the Federal Republic obtained similar powers under German legislation. (see Chapter 4, International Relations). With the enactment of the Emergency Legislation, the "temporary" Allied powers under the Bonn Conventions lapsed. However, those portions of the Bonn Conventions in which the Allies retained rights relating to Berlin and "Germany as a whole" and to the concluding of a final World War II peace settlement did not lapse. The United States' reserved rights and responsibilities included an interest in protecting the Federal Republic's border integrity. It would appear that from this point forward the legal bases for operating on the border were the "reserved rights" of the Bonn Conventions and long-standing agreements between the United States and the Federal Republic asking the US forces to continue border surveillance substantially unchanged.4
One other international event impacted on border operations during the 1960s. On the night of 20-21 August 1968 the Warsaw Pact suddenly sent 150,000 troops into Czechoslovakia to persuade the
Czechoslovak leader Dubcek to return to a more orthodox form of communism. Unlike the 1956 Hungarian uprising, USAREUR had seen the invasion coming for some time and had prepared contingency plans.. The primary concern along the border was not to heighten tensions by appearing to overreact to the large-scale presence of Warsaw Pact forces in Czechoslovakia and thus provoke dangerous border incidents, or worse. From the start, the Federal Republic wanted to react in a low-key manner and in concert with the United States. This caution was echoed by Washington and any action or change on the border was scrutinized to assess its impact on the other side. Planning and reaction to the Czechoslovak Crisis of 1968 will be examined in the Border Operations section of this chapter, below.5
(U) Adjustments in the Border Force
(U) At the beginning of the 1960s, three armored cavalry regiments were lined up on the border much as they had been throughout the 1950s. Although the regiments had changed several times, the areas of responsibility and stationing had not been significantly changed during the 1950s. The V Corps area of responsibility in the north was patrolled by the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment, while the VII Corps areas of responsibility in the center were being patrolled by the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and in the south by the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. (See Chapter 4, The Border Force Matures and Operation GYROSCOPE, for more information on the 1950s.
All three armored cavalry regiments were reorganized into the D-series table of organization and equipment (TOE) during May 1960. Major changes were the redesignation of the line companies as troops, battalions as squadrons, and the establishment of regimental aviation companies. This reorganization resulted in shortages in required new equipment and in personnel needed to fill new military occupational specialties (MOS) -- especially in the aviation companies -- that were only beginning to be met at the end of 1960.6
In July 1960 the V Corps commander said he was dissatisfied with the available intelligence information in general, especially near the Fulda Gap area. He also questioned the adequacy of the Surveillance along the German III Corps sector of the border to his north (Hebenshausen, NB 6494, to Blankenbach, NB 7252) -- an area formerly patrolled by V Corps units, but transferred to the Germans in 1957. This "gap" existed because the Bundeswehr was not allowed to patrol on the border and had to rely on BGS and Zoll coverage (see Chapter 3, German Control of the Border). On 1 October 1960 USAREUR headquarters
(U) Soldiers from the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment man a temporary observation post next to the border. August 1962.
extended the V Corps area of responsibility for border surveillance north to include the German III Corps sector. The already overstretched 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment assumed this additional area, and when negotiations to pass it on to the Belgians were terminated in 1963, it became a permanent V Corps responsibility (see above, International Relations).7
The 2d Squadron of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment had been attached to the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment for border operations since April 1959. As a consequence, the squadron commander received orders from four separate commands -- both cavalry regiments and two different Area Commands. In 1960 the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment's commander recommended that the V and VII Corps boundaries be revised so that the squadron could be returned to its parent organization.8
The boundary was shifted in 1961, but further north than anticipated so that the new corps boundary coincided with the dividing point between two of the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment's squadrons rather than between the two regiments. Concurrent with the implementation of the revised emergency defense plan (EDP 1-61) on 1 December 1961 the 2d Squadron of the 2d ACR was returned to the control of its parent unit; however, the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR would now be attached to the 2d ACR for border operations, thus continuing the confused command arrangement with a reverse twist. The revision, although somewhat unwieldy for peacetime border operations, was supposed to make for a more rational wartime posture.* There were indications in unit histories that the 14th ACR received help with its border surveillance mission from other cavalry elements in the command, particularly from the 3d ACR, which had reconnaissance troops attached to the 3d Squadron of the 14th ACR on a rotating basis.9
(U) Roundout Program
One United States response to the Berlin crisis in 1961 was the deployment of approximately 35,000 soldiers to Europe in order to "Roundout" troop strength. Among the units deployed was the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, with a strength of 2,800 soldiers, to Baumholder in November 1961. Although not a border unit at this time --
* (U) In 1967 the 2d ACR would be even more undermanned on the border, having lost its add-on cavalry elements to the south (see below), and was given administrative control of the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR, effective 1 February 1967. (USAREUR GO 28, 1 Feb 67. UNCLAS.)
it was to be utilized for rear area security -- it would play a key role on the border in the near future. Each armored cavalry regiment also received a military intelligence detachment as part of the Roundout program (see below, Military Intelligence Reorganization).10
(U) In May 1963 Department of the Army directed the return or inactivation of the Roundout units. The Berlin crisis had receded-and the "Gold Flow" balance-of-payments crisis was upon the command. During the latter part of the year, USAREUR received approval for retaining the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment and sending the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to the United States instead. USAREUR hoped to retain the 3d ACR in its rear-area security mission and to induce the French or the Germans to assume the 11th ACR's missions of providing peacetime border surveillance and a screening force for the French First Army. However, the French ran into stationing difficulties (see below, French Participation in Border Surveillance Operations) and -with the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment being scheduled to rotate back to the United States in July 1964 -- a temporary solution was found by retaining the 1st Squadron of the 11th ACR in place and, in a flag switch on 10 June, redesignating it as the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR. Also on 10 June the 2d ACR assumed responsibility for the complete VII Corps peacetime border surveillance mission, with operational control for border operations of the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR. The 2d ACR also still had operational control for border operations of the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR at this point.11
Prior to the departure of the 11th ACR, USAREUR had renewed its efforts to induce the French or the Germans to assume the 11th ACR's border missions. In December 1964 -- still unable to get the French or the Germans to move -- USAREUR stated that it intended to relieve the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR of its EDP mission and return it to its parent unit's control by moving it to Kaiserslautern. Since the French refused to accept the border surveillance mission on 1 January 1965, as had been planned; the unit remained in place until 1 March 1965, when its peacetime border surveillance mission was assumed by the 2d. Squadron of the 9th Cavalry, which belonged to the 24th Infantry Division. The wartime screening mission had been assumed by German units under the control of the First French Army on 1 January. As had been the 2d Squadron of the 3d ACR, the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry was under the operational control of the 2d ACR for border operations and patrolled between coordinates UQ 2590 and VQ 1403. Actually, the border surveillance of this section was carried out by reinforced troops from the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry, sent up to the border on a rotating basis.12
(U) A 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment motorized patrol along the border. It was not unusual for them to grind out 50 miles a day. August 1962.
(U) French Participation in Border Surveillance Operations
The French Forces in Germany headquarters had offered in 1959 to augment the USAREUR peacetime border surveillance mission with a cavalry platoon. USAREUR accepted the offer, and in January 1960 a cavalry platoon from the 5th Regiment of Hussars was attached to the 11th ACR to assist with its surveillance of the southern section of the Czechoslovak-FRG border.13 On 1 February 1962 a platoon of the 24th Regiment of Spahis began alternating with the 5th Hussar's platoon every four months at the US border camp at Roehrnbach.14
In April 1961 the French Forces in Germany commander had suggested that the French 1st Armored Division and other French units be moved from the Trier area to southern Bavaria. It was not contemplated that the French would take over the whole area, but merely reposition units to better accomplish their wartime mission. Recently the French First Army had taken over the responsibility for protecting the southeast flank of CENTAG and, as it was, the 11th ACR was providing them with a screening force since the French forces were not in position to provide their own. In 1962 USAREUR began planning to move the 11th ACR and offered the kasernes at Straubing, Landshut, and Regensburg to the French. The Germans had previously offered them three kasernes near Passau, but the French had rejected them because they were too close to the border. By 1963 it was decided that the 11th ACR would be sent to the United States, and USAREUR began serious negotiations to have either French or German units assume the 11th ACR's mission. The French, however, would not agree to relieve the 11th ACR with a French armored brigade -- as had been planned -- until the entire French II Corps was established in the area. At the end of 1964 the restationing of the French II Corps was still in limbo and the French were becoming less and less enthusiastic about relieving the 11th ACR,of its emergency defense plan (EDP) border responsibilities or its peacetime border surveillance mission. Eventually, German units under the French First Army did assume the 11th ACR's EDP mission on 1 January 1965.15
(U) Finally, on 4 July 1966 -- concurrent with the withdrawal of French forces from NATO -- the French Forces in Germany headquarters informed USAREUR that it would terminate its limited participation in peacetime border surveillance operations. The French platoon withdrew from border patrolling on 15 July 1966, and the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry added the French sector to its own (the vacated responsibilities of the 11th ACR, see above).16
(U) A 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment border patrol prepares to move out. August 1965.
An interesting footnote to the above occurred on 3 June 1971 when French soldiers and vehicles were discovered operating on the border within the 1-kilometer zone. Since there were very tight restrictions on US and German military personnel operating near the border, this incursion was questioned by the Bavarian Border Police, which had discovered the soldiers, and by the US military authorities. Subsequent conversations with the French revealed they did not restrict their soldiers from being on the border and contended that they had unlimited access in Germany. These particular soldiers, it turned out, were part of a "technical unit" that was operating in partnership with a Bundeswehr unit.17
(U) Force Structure and Stationing at the End of the 1960s
The rest of the decade was a period of austerity during which the two armored cavalry regiments, with the aid of various USAREUR cavalry elements, tried to adjust to covering a border that had been patrolled by three regiments. When USAREUR implemented Plan JAYHAWK on 1 March 1967 (see below, Border Operations), the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry was removed from border operations and returned to the control of its parent unit, leaving the 2d ACR with even fewer resources to accomplish the VII Corps border surveillance mission. Although the 2d ACR had been given complete operational control of the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR on 1 February 1967 -- it already had operational control for border operations -- this hardly made up for the loss of the 9th Cavalry since the 2d ACR was already utilizing the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR in its sector. With the withdrawal of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment from USAREUR as part of the REFORGER program during May through July 1968, the command now utilized only two armored cavalry regiments -- without any full-time supplementation by other cavalry elements -- to perform the entire CENTAG border surveillance mission. By the end of the decade, the command was studying ways to utilize divisional cavalry elements on the border in order to relieve the two regiments during training at major training areas; however, from this point on it was primarily their responsibility to conduct the peacetime border surveillance mission.18
(U) It might be useful at this point to review the basic structure of the armored cavalry regiments and their stationing on the border. Each armored cavalry regiment; in accordance with TOE 17-51D, consisted of a headquarters and headquarters company, an aviation company, and three armored cavalry squadrons. Each armored cavalry squadron of the regiment, in turn, consisted of a headquarters and headquarters troop, one tank troop, three armored cavalry troops, and
(U) A 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment patrol leader reports observations back to headquarters. February 1968.
one 155-mm howitzer battery. Finally each armored cavalry troop consisted of three platoons, with each platoon having three tanks it should be noted that the divisions had similar armored cavalry squadrons.19
The stationing between the two regiments differed in that the 2d ACR tended to operate out of forward border camps, while the 14th ACR operated out of squadron locations, moving up to observation posts for their tours of border duty. This reflected, in part, the longer length of the 2d ACR's border sector and the proximity of the 14th ACR s squadron locations to the border. The 14th ACR's two remaining squadrons were located at Fulda (1st Squadron as well as the regimental headquarters) and at Bad Hersfeld (3d Squadron). It operated four permanent observation posts, including a new one added in 1970 at NB 6492 (OP-Oscar) to cover the Nordhausen-Witzenhausen approach into the Hessian corridor. (It became operational on 1 January 1971.) There were no references to the exact location of the other three observation posts, but in all likelihood they were located in the same places as India (NB 802585), Romeo (NB 694457), and Alpha (NB 658198) were in the 1970s. The 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR, which was under the operational control of the 2d ACR, was headquartered at Bad Kissingen and operated out of Border Camp Wolbach (NA 8780). The other 2d ACR squadrons operated out of the following locations:
Headquarters, 2d ACR - Nuernberg Headquarters, 1st Squadron, 2d ACR - Bindlach
Border Camp of 1st Squadron - Hof (QA 0678) Headquarters, 2d Squadron, 2d ACR - Bamberg
Border Camp of 2d Squadron - Coburg (PA 4172) Headquarters, 3d Squadron, 2d ACR - Amberg
Border Camps of 3d Squadron - Brand (TR 9744), Weiden (TR 9046), and Rotz (UQ 2169)
The border camp at Roehrnbach was closed after the French terminated their border patrols. 20
(U) Upgrade and Reorganization of Military Intelligence in USAREUR
(U) An extensive intelligence effort in the form of border surveillance and interrogation of illegal border crossers and refugees was an important part of the border operations mission. (See Chapter 4, Intelligence Operations Along the Border.) There were several significant changes this area during the 1960s and a major reorganization of the command's intelligence structure that had a direct impact on border operations.
In September 1957, USAREUR, USAFE, and the Federal Republic's Intelligence Service had signed an agreement that refugees would be interviewed at Federal Republic interrogation centers jointly manned by US military intelligence personnel. In 1959 this agreement was expanded into a quadrinational agreement between the Federal Republic, France, Great Britain, and the United States that called for establishing combined or joint interrogation centers throughout the Federal Republic. By the end of 1960, eight of these combined interrogation centers -- stretching from Hamburg to Munich -- were in operation, with two more in the planning stage. In the US area of operations they were called Joint Interrogation Centers (JICs), and in 1960 US Army personnel worked in JICs located at Stuttgart, Munich, Nuernberg, Kassel, and Frankfurt, with an additional center being programmed for the Mainz area. Refugees -- especially ethnic Germans who settled in the Federal Republic -- and illegal border, crossers (IBCs) who were potential intelligence sources were invited to visit one of the JICs where in-depth interrogations in their native language could be carried out. The 532d Military Intelligence Battalion's Company "A" furnished the bulk of the interrogators for this "overt" intelligence mission; however, they were supplemented by linguistic elements of the corps and division MI detachments.21
In addition to furnishing personnel for the JICs, the 532d MI Battalion also manned 12 offices along the eastern border, referred to variously in different histories as Team Officers, Team Offices, Resident Offices, and Field Offices. Among other missions, these offices maintained liaison with the German border agencies and the armored cavalry regiments as well as performing early screening of IBCs. In the early part of the 1960s, offices were located at Bad Hersfeld, Eschwege, Fulda, Bad Neustadt, Coburg, Kronach, Hof, Marktredwitz, Altenstadt, Cham, Berchtesgaden, and Passau.22
Another example of German-American cooperation on the border occurred in 1962 when the Bavarian Border Police began passing perishable tactical intelligence information directly to the armored cavalry regiments. VII Corps had requested on 9 May 1962 that the BBP be integrated into the US tactical warning system so that it could pass the perishable tactical intelligence directly to the armored cavalry regiments in an expeditious manner and at the lowest levels (border camps). Coordination was completed in October between Seventh Army, VII Corps, and the BBP Presidium, and the new system went into effect on 1 November 1962.23
(U) US military intelligence resources on the border were strengthened in 1961 under the Roundout program, when four military
intelligence detachments were assigned to the 532d MI Battallion and attached to the armored cavalry regiments. Their unit designations, attachments, and locations were as follows:
172d MI Detachment was attached to the 2d ACR and located at Merrell Barracks, Nuernberg.
501st MI Detachment was attached to the 11th ACR and located at Mansfield Barracks, Straubing.*
541st MI Detachment was attached to the 14th ACR and located at Downs Kaserne, Fulda.
181st MI Detachment was attached to the 3d ACR and located at Baumholder Kaserne, Baumholder.
The 501st MI Detachment at Straubing was replaced by the 45th MI Detachment on 19 March 1962.24
Now that the armored cavalry regiments had dedicated intelligence resources, on 17 January 1962 their border surveillance mission was expanded to include intelligence evaluation, with an emphasis still being placed on early indications of the imminence of hostilities. The attachment of MI detachments to the armored cavalry regiments was to be a short-lived experiment, however, and they were inactivated (45th, 172d, and 181st) or returned to the United-States (541st) like other Roundout units during the last quarter of 1963. Unfortunately, the armored cavalry regiments did not lose the evaluation mission when they lost the MI detachments, and it was essential that they were provided with a minimum capability for processing intelligence information. In order to satisfy this requirement, Seventh Army provided 4-man teams from corps and division military intelligence detachment resources, imagery interpreters from the 2d MI Battalion,** and counterintelligence support from 66th Intelligence Corps Group*** elements located near the ACRs.25
* (U) This would seem to indicate, by the way, that the 11th ACR regimental headquarters was also located at Mansfield Barracks -- a fact that could not be ascertained from other histories examined.
** (U) The 2d Air Reconnaissance Support Battalion had been redesignated in 1962 as the 2d MI Battalion. USAREUR GO 293, 22 Nov 62. UNCLAS.
*** (U) The 66th Counter Intelligence Corps Group had been redesignated as the 66th Intelligence Corps Group on 25 July 1961. USAREUR GO 212, 18 Jul 61. UNCLAS.
This whole period in the early 1960s was one of great change for the military intelligence structure and functions in USAREUR, which was only partly manifested bay the establishment of the JICs and the comings and goings of the ACRs military intelligence detachments. By the summer of 1961 it was obvious that a major reorganization of the command's intelligence assets was needed, but the Berlin Crisis and the realignment of intelligence functions at higher headquarters had hampered the necessary planning. In January 1962, however, the USAREUR draft plan for the internal realignment of intelligence missions and organizations was completed. Originally, it was envisioned that the 66th Intelligence Corps Group would be eliminated and that its missions, functions, and assets would be divided between Seventh Army's 532d MI Battalion and USAREUR's 513th Intelligence Corps Group. The two units would be organized and operated in peacetime as they would be in wartime: the 532d would be responsible for counterintelligence functions for the Seventh Army area of responsibility, while the 513th would be responsible for USAREUR's effort to collect military intelligence in the East Bloc countries and the Soviet Union as well as for counterintelligence activities in six Federal Republic areas, thereby centralizing the missions of clandestine collection and offensive counterintelligence in one headquarters. Basically, the plan would allow more MI personnel to be placed in operational positions rather than at headquarters and would insure greater flexibility for meeting peacetime or wartime intelligence missions. However, Seventh Army thought its headquarters control elements were inadequate and the plan was modified, one result being that the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was retained and the 532d MI. Battalion inactivated in its place.26
The realignments and reorganizations were provisionally implemented on 1 April 1962, pending Department of the Army,approval. The Department of the Army approved the reorganization on 27 April 1962 and, effective 1 June 1962,'the 532d MI Battalion was inactivated, the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was reorganized, and the lettered companies from the 532d were redesignated as numbered companies and reorganized. The corps, division, and ACR military intelligence detachments remained attached to the serviced units. The 66th Intelligence Corps Group, assigned to the Seventh Army since 1 April, now consisted of a group headquarters and headquarters company, 5 security companies, 1 collection company and 11 MI detachments; however, only 3 companies were of major importance to the border mission. On the same date the following companies were activated from 532 d, assets and assigned to the 66th Intelligence Corps Group:
- The 165th MI Company, located in the Frankfurt area, was responsible for the supervision of overt collection in Hesse. In addition to the US element in the Frankfurt JIC, it was responsible for field offices at Bad Hersfeld, Eschwege, and Fulda.* It was composed of 81 officer and enlisted personnel and an unknown number of civilians.
- The 503d MI Company, located in Munich, was responsible for the overt collect; on mission in southern Bavaria and supervised the Munich JIC element as well as the Berchtesgaden and Passau Field Offices. It had 81 officer and enlisted personnel plus 10 Department of the Army civilians and 23 "other" civilians.
- The 511th MI Company, located in Nuernberg, was-responsible for the overt collection mission in northern, or upper, Bavaria and supervised the Nuernberg JIC element as well as resident offices at Bad Neustadt, Coburg, Kronach, Hof, Marktredwitz, Altenstadt, and Cham. The 511th had 89 officer and enlisted personnel assigned.
By the end of 1963, the 165th had picked up supervision of two other JIC elements -- Giessen and Kassel -- and most of the field offices in the 66th that had border responsibilities were being referred to as Border Offices. In addition the Altenstadt Border Office had been relocated to Weiden.** 27
It should be noted at this point that the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was responsible for the overall overt collection mission along the eastern borders. Its Overt Collection Division supervised this mission, which was accomplished by the three MI companies that interrogated illegal border crossers, deserters, defectors, refugees, repatriates, resettlers, travelers, and other personnel of intelligence interest who entered the 66th Intelligence Corps Group's area of responsibility (Land Hesse, Land Bavaria, Land Baden Wuerttemberg, and Land Rheinland Pfalz). The Overt Collection Division had been organize during the transition period on 1 May 1962 from personnel of the 532d MI Battalion on the Seventh Army headquarters staff and consisted
* (U) All three companies had other field offices, but they were not directly involved in the border mission.
** (U) It may have been there all the time as these towns are just down the road from each other and it was common practice in these histories to refer to a larger town or city in the area when describing the location of a unit situated in a small, obscure location.
of two officers, four enlisted personnel, and two Department of the Army civilians. The Border Operations portion of the Overt Collection Division focused on maintaining liaison with the German border police and customs services, screening all border crossers, reporting any changes in the physical features along the border, and investigating and reporting on any incidents occurring in the border area. The overall mission remained the detection of imminence of hostilities or, put more simply to provide early warning of impending attack by hostile forces.28
Each MI company had an Overt Collection Division that supported those elements of the company responsible for the overt collection mission. The overt collection elements within the companies were supplemented by linguist personnel of the 66th's 5th MI Company (Linguist) -- subsequently renamed the 5th MI Company (Interrogation) in FY 1965 -- and the corps and division MI detachments. The latter personnel were attached for peacetime operations only, and would revert to their parent units in wartime. This focus on the eastern borders by the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was further refined in December 1964 when the Frankfurt JIC was inactivated and operational control for the US elements at the Stuttgart and Mainz JICs was transferred to the 513th Intelligence Corps Group. This left the 66th Intelligence Corps Group with supervision of US elements at four JICs near the eastern borders -- Munich, Nuernberg, Kassel, and Giessen. Of note for the future, in FY 1964 almost all of the resident offices with a border mission began to be referred to as Border Resident Offices.29
The 503d MI Company was inactivated on 25 September 1965, which led to its elements being divided between the 165th MI Company and the 511th MI Company. The two remaining "border" MI companies were now organized as follows in regard to the border operations portion of their mission: The 165th MI Company was responsible for the Kassel and Giessen JICs, while its Bad Hersfeld Field Office (which had a border mission also) controlled the Eschwege and Fulda Border Resident Offices; the 511th MI Company was responsible for the Nuernberg JIC and Border Resident Offices at Bad Neustadt, Coburg, Kronach, Hof, Marktredwitz, Passau, Weiden, and Cham.30
(U) On 19 September 1966 Department of the Army directed that intelligence corps groups be redesignated as military intelligence groups. Consequently, on 15 October 1966, the 66th Intelligence Corps Group was redesignated as the 66th Military Intelligence Group and the 513th Intelligence Corps Group became the 513th Military Intelligence Group.31
There was a major reorganization of the two MI groups on 1 February 1967 in which the 66th MI Group transferred to the 513th MI Group responsibility for the 5th MI Company, 531st MI Company, and the US Army elements at the JICs at Kassel, Giessen, and Nuernberg. With this loss of the major portion of its overt collection mission, the 66th renamed its Overt Collection Division the Border Operations Division, and the 165th MI Company and 511th MI Company renamed their branches as the Border Operations Branch and Border Liaison Operations Division, respectively. These name changes highlighted the fact that the divisions or branches would now concentrate on providing liaison between the German border agencies and the US Army elements operating on the border.32
In still another major reorganization, on 9 October 1968 the 66th MI Group and the 513th MI Group were merged at McGraw Kaserne in Munich, with the 513th being deleted as an operational headquarters and its units being absorbed into the 66th MI Group The 513th was subsequently inactivated on 25 January 1969. The 66th MI Group was now composed of the 2d MI Battalion, Aerial Surveillance (MIBARS); 766th and 430th MI Detachments; 18th MI Battalion (which had been activated on 15 March 1968 and controlled US Army elements at the JICs); 165th, 511th, and 527th MI Companies (Counterintelligence); 5th MI Company (Interrogation); plus two corps and four divisional MI detachments, which were now only attached to their parent organizations.33
By the end of the 1960s, the Border Resident Offices (BROs) had settled into their liaison role with the German border agencies, while still conducting interrogations, if the situation indicated that they might secure information on the "imminence of hostilities" (still their primary mission), and providing counterintelligence support to the armored cavalry regiments. Both companies had Border Affairs Sections within their Operations Branches, which passed all pertinent information directly to the ACR's S-2 and by secure electrical means to USAREUR, the corps, and 66th MI Group. In 1970 the 165th MI Company's Field Office at Kassel controlled the Border Resident Offices at Bad Hersfeld, Eschwege, and Fulda. The 511th MI Company's Field Office at Bayreuth controlled Border Resident offices at Coburg, Kronach, Hof, and Bad Neustadt; while the Cham Field Office (also a Border Resident Office) controlled the Border Resident offices at Passau and Weiden.*34
* (U) Apparently, the Marktredwitz Border Resident Office was closed sometime between 1967 and 1970.
(U) Aerial Surveillance Along the Border
Although there had been aerial surveillance along the eastern borders the early days of the occupation, there was a large scale upgrade of both the command's reconnaissance aircraft and surveillance equipment during the 1960s. USAREUR had received its first three operational AN/APS-85 Side-Looking Airborne Radar (SLAR) systems in the latter part of 1959 for use by V Corps, VII Corps, and US Army Southern European Task Force (USASETAF). One system had been previously tested by the US Army Surveillance Unit, Europe, and stationed at Lenggries in the Federal Republic. The equipment produced photographic records of radar pictures of the ground and had a maximum range of 40 miles on either side of the aircraft. The SLAR was installed on the L-23, and by 1962 on the specialized RL-23D (one reference said it was on the RU-8D also).35 Initially, USAREUR was not overly impressed with the new system and rated it marginally effective: "The device showed little promise of producing information of value that could not be produced by other means."36
(U) The initial skepticism about SLAR's usefulness gave way as the system was upgraded in subsequent years. Actually, there were several significant improvements in USAREUR's aerial surveillance capabilities during this period. The new OV-1 Mohawk all-weather, long-range surveillance aircraft arrived within the command on 12 September 1961, when 12 were assigned to the Seventh Army. In 1962 three types of serial surveillance configurations on Mohawk aircraft were being tested in the command: the OV-lA model, which was equipped with the KS-61 photographic, system; the OV-1B model, which was equipped with the new AN/APS-94 SLAR; and the OV-1C model, which was equipped with an AN/UAS-4 infrared sensor. The test results of the three configurations were successful with those of the SLAR-configured OV-1B indicating that the new ANIAPS-94 SLAB was a great improvement over the previous radars (both the AN/APS-85 and the subsequent system, AN/APS-86). The command had initially wanted to mount all three surveillance systems in one aircraft, thus reducing the number of aircraft required, as well as requirements for maintenance and technical personnel, while increasing the operational flexibility of the multipurpose aircraft. However, by 1965 it had settled on two aircraft configurations that merged two of the surveillance systems: the OV-1B model was equipped with the AN/APS-94 SLAR and the KS-61 camera system; and the OV-1C was equipped with the AN/UAS-4 infrared sensor and the KS-61 camera system.37
(U) There had been problems with the OV-1 Mohawk aircraft during the 1962 test period which indicated that several modifications were
(U) OV-1 Mohawk.
needed in the airframe and the engine. This became so serious during 1964 that the aircraft had only a 46 percent availability rate -- not all of which could be blamed on the aircraft -- which severely limited its performance of the aerial surveillance missions. In order to improve the performance of the OV-1 Mohawk, the Department of the Army in 1965 directed modifications for all Mohawks employed in aerial surveillance missions. For the OV-1B, modifications included installing new, more powerful, engines and increasing the wingspan to provide greater lift. Both the OV-1B and OV-1C types received improved navigational systems, to include the Marconi Self-Contained Navigational Doppler System -- a commercially produced item of equipment that simplified navigational functions and reduced the possibility of errors. USAREUR began returning the Mohawks to the United States in early 1966, with some of the refitted Mohawks returning in mid-1966 and the modernization program being completed in 1967.38
In 1967 the SLAR capability was further upgraded with the fielding of data link equipment, which made possible the transmission of SLAR imagery from the aircraft while in flight to a ground receiver. The system consisted of airborne video encoders and transceivers that transmitted the radar images directly to a ground station that was mounted on a 3/4-ton truck and included a Ground Sensor Terminal, AN TKQ-2, which was a transceiver, video decoder, and recorder-processor-viewer. The latter piece of equipment converted the video image to a hard-copy printout in three seconds after receipt and projected the hard copy onto a viewing screen for virtually instantaneous viewing by the imagery interpreter. The advantages of such a system over making the aircraft return to its base, having the films processed, and only then submitting them for analysis, were significant. The first set was issued to the 122d Aviation Company, which immediately began using it in exercises and as part of its border surveillance operations. USAREUR received two additional data link equipment sets in early 1969, keeping one for the 122d Aviation Company and issuing the other to the 14th ACR headquarters in August. The 14th ACR began using it with its operational border surveillance missions on a trial basis, and the results were so satisfying that it went into normal operational status in September 1969. Information derived from the imagery enabled the 14th ACR to locate convoy or rail movement, determine the direction of movement, and probable convoy speed, as well as indicating the degree of activity at the East German Eisenach Training Area. Two imagery interpreters were attached to the 14th ACR, which permitted the plotting of moving target indicators and correlation of current order of battle information to the SLAR sightings. Although the SLAR had a coverage of approximately 50 kilometers
into East Germany, it was unusual during this early period for it to provide significant `peacetime surveillance information. During 1969, for example, only one SLAR mission in the V Corps area recorded significant activity in East Germany, and it turned out to be nonmilitary traffic in conjunction with an East German holiday. Its potential during wartime operations, however, was considered to be significant since natural terrain masking would make any ground-based observation limited. Only aerial observation could overcome terrain masking, and SLAR promised to be a great aid in this area.39
(U) There was a great deal of discussion about what would be the optimal level to distribute these new aerial surveillance assets -armored cavalry regiments., divisions, corps, or theater level. Originally, it had been thought there would be enough Mohawks to issue four to each armored cavalry regiment and division, as well as provide some for the corps and theater support units, but by the end of 1962 only 30 of the 62 authorized Mohawks had arrived in the theater. By 1963 USAREUR headquarters was recommending that the Mohawks be concentrated at the corps level, especially the OV-lA which would help solve the corps' surveillance and drone capability deficiency; and, after reviewing the final results of the OV-1B test report, reiterated once again that they should be assigned at the corps level -- citing the range and speed of the aircraft as a major reason for justifying its deployment at that level. However, pending activation of corps surveillance companies programmed for FY 1966, the logical unit for assignment of the aircraft -- which were to be withdrawn from the divisions and armored cavalry regiments -- would be the corps aviation companies. The picture became somewhat muddled during 1963 and 1964, but there were strong indications that the majority of the Mohawks were being employed by the divisions and armored cavalry regiments.40
(U) The picture clarified when the 122d Aviation Company (Aerial Surveillance) was activated on 10 May 1965 and assigned to Seventh Army. The table of organization and equipment authorized the company 18 Mohawk aircraft (9 OV-1Bs and 9 OV-1Cs). According to the 1965 USAREUR history, the command also activated two corps artillery aviation batteries, assigned them to V and VII Corps Artillery, and authorized each of them 6 Mohawks (3 OV-1Bs and 3 OV-1Cs). Actually, Battery D, 25th Artillery -- assigned to VII Corps -- had been activated on 25 June 1964 and Battery F, 26th Artillery -- assigned to V Corps -- had been activated on 25 September 1964, but apparently they were not transferred to the two corps until May 1965. USAREUR organized these units by redistributing available personnel and equipment assets; however, due to an aircraft shortage, the units had less than
50 percent of their authorized Mohawks. The divisions retained at least ,part of their Mohawks, but the armored cavalry regiments had to give theirs to the three new units. At the beginning of 1966, Mohawks were being flown by Aerial Surveillance and Target Acquisition (ASTA) Platoons attached to each division in USAREUR and to the Corps Artillery of V and VII Corps, as well as by the 122d Aviation Company.41
(U) On 31 January 1966 Seventh Army suspended all SLAR surveillance missions along the border in order to begin implementation of the "Aviation Requirements for the Combat Structure of the-Army" (ARCSA) - I Study requirement that USAREUR SLAR aircraft be reorganized into two surveillance companies. Although the study had called for two aviation companies, each consisting of eight OV-1B Mohawk aircraft that would provide SLAR and conventional photography support to each corps, the existing number of qualified personnel and the shortage of aircraft and equipment would not permit the formation of two units. Instead, USAREUR resources would be used to equip the 122d Aviation Company, located at Fliegerhorst Kaserne in Hanau, which would support both corps. On 24 August 1966 the 122d Aviation Company resumed border surveillance operations under the new Seventh Army Intelligence Operations Directive 1-66, which delineated its responsibilities to the two corps and its overall responsibility to provide support to USAREUR headquarters. By June 1967 the Mohawk consolidation portion of the ARCSA-I Study had been completed, with 16 of the command's Mohawks pooled in the 122d Aviation Company. The aviation batteries in the two corps artillery (D of the 25th and F of the 26th) were inactivated on 5 June 1967. References in subsequent histories refer to OV-1s other than those of the 122d Aviation Company -- the most likely place being the divisions -- but it is unlikely they had a border mission.42
In addition to problems with establishing the most functional configuration of surveillance equipment on the aircraft and at what organizational level to deploy the Mohawks, there were serious concerns about controlling the aerial surveillance missions along the border and with protecting the aircraft from Warsaw Pact aircraft responding to these -missions. The first grounding of operational, SLAR aircraft occurred on 5 February 1962, when USAFE's 86th Air Division curtailed ground radar control pending review of the requirements and control procedures for SLAB flights along the border. A meeting with USAFE personnel on 12 March led to an agreement to resume ground control of SLAB flights, but under the more stringent controls of 86th Air Division's Operations Order (OPORD) 191-62 (SLAB), 13 August 1962, which set forth procedures for US Air Force ground radar control of
SLAB flights. The Seventh Army commander authorized resumption of SLAR flights along the border on 25 August, but only after personnel operating SLAB systems -- pilots, radar operators, imagery interpreters, and USAFE ground controllers -- had qualified on a proficiency check course established at Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels training areas. Qualified personnel resumed flights on the border in the VII Corps area on 11 September 1962 and in the V Corps area on 26 October, with all remaining personnel being checked-out by the end of 1962.43
These efforts at increasing control were followed up on 22 March 1963 when Seventh Army published a -letter of instruction (LOI) that standardized SLAR processing and imagery procedures; required that orientation and training be increased for personnel flying border missions (e.g., one-sixth of the flights would be flown over known parts of West Germany not on the border); established new border flight routes -- generally to the rear of existing routes -- that would lessen the possibility of border overflights; developed traffic and density patterns based on tests; and established uniform SLAR reporting procedures. These new procedures, although useful in solving the border overflight problem, did not completely resolve another serious problem. Many times in the past, Warsaw Pact aircraft had responded to SLAR flights along the border by shadowing the flight on their side of the border. When, on 18 August 1963, a SLAR aircraft flying a mission between Kassel and Fulda drifted toward the border, a Warsaw Pact aircraft flew over the border to a depth of about eight miles and made two passes at the SLAR aircraft, coming within a half mile at its closest point. This was the first incident involving an actual border overflight in response to a SLAR mission.44
(U) All SLAR operations along the border were suspended for three weeks in March 1964 in response to the second incident during the preceding period in which a US Air Force aircraft was shot down-after inadvertently crossing the interzonal boundary. The result of this grounding was tighter control of resumed SLAR flights in a revised LOI.45
Control problems were highlighted again in 1965 when a SLAR flight from the 4th Armored Division was inadvertently vectored by US Air Force ground control across the Austrian border near Passau on 8 November. Because of the sensitive political nature of the incident, the pilot was suspended from flight status, SLAB missions in this area were restricted to visual daylight flight conditions only and one SLAR checkpoint was moved further from the Austrian border.46
Subsequent investigation of the incident revealed this was not an isolated event, and that there had been seven unreported incidents during the prior eight months due to faulty ground control. As a consequence, on 31 January 1966 USAREUR again suspended all SLAB missions in the border area until positive control over the flights could be assured. The basic cause was found' to be the incorrect plotting of one of the USAFE radar antenna sites, which resulted in a 2-degree compass heading error and a displacement of the flight path checkpoints. To provide the required assurance, USAFE recalibrated all of its ground control radars along the border and USAREUR moved its flight paths further from the border. Although this resulted in some loss in depth of penetration of the intelligence gathering capability of the SLAR, USAREUR thought the increased positive measures to insure aircraft did not inadvertently cress international boundaries were more important than the additional intelligence information that might have been gathered from flying closer to the border. With the greatly improved ground radar control and realignment of the flight routes, it was hoped that border violations would be virtually impossible, and the command resumed SLAB flights on 17 August 1966 (the 122d Aviation Company did not resume its flights until 22 August).* As a final precaution, USAREUR directed that upon detecting any conflict between navigational aids and the vectoring instructions of ground radar control operations, pilots were to abort their missions immediately.47
On 2 November 1966, however, the flights were suspended again when it was discovered that a Polish radio station was interfering with the frequency of the Schweinfurt nondirectional radio beacon. Federal Republic aviation safety authorities changed the frequency for the beacon, and SLAB flights were resumed on 10 January 1967.48
It would seem that it would have been impossible to still inadvertently fly over the border, but it happened again on 23 February 1967 when a Mohawk violated the interzonal boundary while on a maintenance test flight under visual flight rules (VFR) to check the reliability of its SLAB equipment. The pilot had been flying what he
* (U) It is interesting to note that this down period due to the border overflight incidents coincided with the consolidation of SLAB assets into the 122d Aviation Company, and that other histories alleged the extensive suspension of SLAR flights during this period was due to the reorganization. Probably both the reorganization and the ground control problems caused this lengthy curtailment rather than one or the other.
thought was a routine maintenance check, well outside of t- Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) that had been established along the border to preclude this type of incident. However, when he flew over some clouds, he became disoriented and was blown across the border by strong winds. The 86th Air Division's ground controllers picked him up on radar as he strayed into the ADIZ and tried to recall him, but he was operating on a local Army radio frequency rather than a border frequency. Unfortunately, the ground controllers did not notify the US Army Flight Coordination Center at Fulda, which would have tried to recall him on all Army frequencies. The 86th Air Division's ground radar control installations again picked up the flight as it was returning to the Federal Republic side of the boundary and scrambled USAFE fighters to intercept the violator, thus demonstrating that at least the border defense system worked, if not the ground radar control procedures.
As a result of this incident, a complete review of all local flying regulations was conducted to insure they were in concert with USAREUR regulations. The practice of filing local flight plans by radio was prohibited -- even if it was only for a short flight -- and henceforth written flight plans and weather briefings would be required before all flights. In addition, joint procedures were developed with the 86th Air Division to insure that future recall actions would be broadcast on all available Army radio frequencies. These changes were institutionalized in USAREUR Regulation 95-1 on 25 October 1967. The 86th Air Division also instituted procedures for processing the flight plans for "LARD CAN" patrols (nickname for SLAR flights) that insured everyone understood their mission and mode of operations.49
(U) The Flight Coordination Center (FCC) at Fulda was just part of an extensive network Seventh Army had implemented to monitor Army aircraft in the Federal Republic, especially aircraft performing observation and surveillance missions in the ADIZ. In the latter part of the 1960s, the 14th Air Traffic Control Company, a subordinate unit of the 15th Aviation Group, operated FCCs at Fulda, Bayreuth, and Regensburg that monitored, flights within the ADIZ, and three other FCCs west of the ADIZ to monitor Army aircraft operating within the southern half of the Federal Republic.50
After North Korean forces shot down a US EC-121 reconnaissance aircraft over the Sea of Japan in 1969, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and USEUCOM examined the security of surveillance aircraft in Europe. USAFE did not have any specific plans for protecting recon-
naissance missions and, in fact, because of the nature and frequency of the SLAR flights, did not consider it desirable or feasible to provide fighter escorts for them. It reasoned that flights of armed fighters near political borders could disturb sensitive political relationships with host and other friendly countries, that there would be an increased possibility of border violations by the high-performance aircraft, and that fighter escorts could not provide full protection since they could not defend against surface-to-air missiles or an overwhelming fighter force. USAFE thought its current procedures of immediately scrambling fighters in the event of hostile interference was adequate.
USAREUR decided to upgrade the early-warning capability of its surveillance aircraft and, late in 1969, requested AN/APR-25 and -26 radar homing and warning systems for the OV-1B aircraft. The requested electronic warfare equipment was capable of detecting and identifying radar signals from both ground-based and airborne emitters and warning the pilot of the type of threat, thus alerting him to take appropriate defensive action. The equipment began arriving in January 1970 and by July all of the aircraft in the 122d Aviation Company committed to the SLAR surveillance mission had warning devices installed, with the entire USAREUR OV-1 fleet similarly equipped by the end of August. Still another defensive improvement was USCINCEUR OPLAN 4320 - Protection and Support of US Reconnaissance Operations (S), published 30 December 1970, the primary benefit to USAREUR being that it rationalized the procedures under which it could expeditiously request assistance from NATO air defense control agencies if one of its surveillance aircraft was attacked or in trouble.51
(U) Border Operations
As in past chapters, a complete account of border operations during the 1960s will not be given; however, significant changes will be documented along with a general summation at the end of this section. A primary change in border operations occurred in 1960 when the V Corps area of responsibility was extended north to include the German III Corps area along the border (see above, Adjustments in the Border Force). This resulted in the opening of a new observation post, extension of the jeep patrols and aerial reconnaissance routes to include this area, and maintaining the ability to airlift patrols into the area in the event of an emergency. In the event of a General Alert Order (GAO) implementation, units in this area would be attached to the German III Corps until they withdrew through the first line of defense, and in the interim would report enemy movements and identification, but would not attempt delaying actions.52
On 3 October 1961 General Bruce C. Clarke, CINCUSAREUR, informed the Seventh Army commander, Lieutenant General Garrison H. Davidson, that jeep patrols along the eastern borders were to be reduced from two per 24 hours to one per 24 hours and that photography of uniformed US forces with the border as a background would be prohibited. The rationale for these changes was to reduce the chances for propaganda exploitation of border incidents involving US soldiers and to -increase the combat readiness of the border units -- presumably, by allowing them more time to train as a unit rather than spending so much time up on the border -- while still upholding the "forward concept" implied in the border surveillance mission. The Seventh Army commander was concerned that immediate implementation of the plan would lead to an unfavorable reaction by the West German public, which was already being led to believe by elements of its news media that the United States was withdrawing its support of the Federal Republic. This reservation was upheld by the US Ambassador at Bonn, Mr. W. C. Dowling, who felt the time was not appropriate for such a change, but General Lauris Norstad, USCINCEUR, supported General Clarke. The plan was approved, and USAREUR agreed to implement the patrol reduction change over a 30-day period, with only the photography prohibition being implemented immediately. By the end of 1961, the patrols had been reduced to once each 24 hours throughout the USAREUR area of responsibility. To make up for this shortfall in border surveillance, US military intelligence personnel intensified their daily contacts with the German border agencies.53
In 1962 the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment wanted to test a new method of conducting its border patrol responsibilities. At that time the 11th ACR put three reconnaissance troops up on the border at a time to patrol each of its three squadron sectors. The regiment wanted to subdivide each squadron sector into three platoon sectors and establish two additional observation posts -- one for each platoon sector. Each platoon would man its own observation post and be responsible for static surveillance within its sector. The daily jeep border patrol would be carried out on a rotating basis by only one platoon for the entire squadron sector. Although the 11th ACR realized that the plan would result in increased man-days in conducting border operations because of the need to man the two additional observation posts, it felt this would be offset by the increased surveillance accomplished by the additional observation posts and would emphasize platoon integrity, a current Seventh Army objective. The plan was to be tested for six months, beginning on 1 April 1962, but there was no record of whether it actually was tested or if it was implemented ACR-, corps-, or command-wide. If it was,
(U) Members of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment respond to an alert exercise and move their M48 Medium Tanks of checkpoints along the border. August 1962.
then it was abandoned by the end of the decade when the trend was toward more austere border operations activities. It is inserted here simply as an idea that was proposed.54
(U) There was an increased emphasis in 1963 on enforcement of the 5-kilometer restricted zone due to the increased number of soldiers who were defecting to the east. For example, there had been 4 defections in 1961, 3 in 1962, and 12 during 1963. Changes to the Seventh Army LOI on border operations, published on 9 July 1963, continued the policy of apprehending unauthorized soldiers found in the restricted zone (see Chapter 3, Seventh Army Border Operations), but placed more emphasis on watching -for violators who, caught, would now be escorted back to their units for further investigation. This increased emphasis on enforcement apparently worked, as there was only one defector in 1964.
(U) A change in the command's policy on the 5-kilometer restricted zone was implemented in December 1963 when Seventh Army commanders with general courts-martial jurisdiction were allowed to approve travel within the zone for compassionate and other valid personal reasons. Previously, they could authorize travel within the restricted zone for official business only.55
(U) As a result of a Seventh Army G-2 study, participation of the Seventh Army headquarters in Handicap Black and Red Devil programs was discontinued on 1 July 1963. The two programs -- Handicap Black was for US units, while Red Devil was implemented for the German II and III Corps -- were used to simulate enemy contact or border crossings and were implemented by having MI personnel pass an appropriate message to the units. The primary purposes of the programs were to exercise and test the communications networks from the patrol level to the Seventh Army level, with the additional benefit, of serving as a training vehicle for promoting alertness and report accuracy. Seventh Army felt the, tests did not provide significant operational intelligence that would not have been reported through normal channels, were costly in man-hours and vehicle mileage, and that the training aspects of the programs could be better accomplished by unit-level exercises. However, the program was continued at subordinate levels.56
With the departure of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment in July 1964 and the assumption of its entire border surveillance mission by one squadron of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, the jeep patrol and aerial surveillance requirements in this sector were reduced (UQ 2590 to VQ 1403). USAREUR had considered eliminating the jeep patrol
requirement altogether in this sector. Since this US unit was providing the bulk of the border surveillance in front of the First French Army, which had not shown any interest in increasing its limited patrol participation, USAREUR reasoned that following the British example in NORTHAG might be appropriate. The British did not have any units on the Schleswig-Holstein portion of the border and had ceased patrolling the border in that sector. Actually, the British treated the whole border patrol issue in a low-key manner and during this period were patrolling the rest of their portion of the border only once a week, relying on German border agencies to provide border surveillance (see Appendix I). USAREUR decided to continue patrolling in the southern sector, but reduced the frequency of jeep and aerial surveillance patrols to only once in each 48 hours instead of the normal once in each 24 hours.57
On 14 July 1966 a Soviet "Hound" helicopter shadowed a 14th ACR CH-34 helicopter conducting a routine patrol along the border, crossed the border and buzzed the US helicopter several times, and finally forced it to land. It hovered above the US helicopter for approximately 15 minutes in an attack position until it was finally driven away when a Zoll border patrol shot flares at it. Subsequent investigation revealed-that the US pilots, who were flying an unarmed helicopter, had been following standard operating procedures -- and good sense -- when they departed the border and, when followed by the Soviet helicopter, allowed themselves to be forced down. To compound matters, a communications problem had precluded timely assistance by US fighters or other parties. As a consequence of this incident, communications between the armored cavalry regiments and the Flight Coordination Centers were upgraded and, more significantly, a radical change was made in USAREUR border operations procedures. On 4 August 1966 CINCUSAREUR directed Seventh Army to begin conducting regularly scheduled armed helicopter patrols along the eastern border. Although armed helicopters had been tested as early as 1958, with training in armed helicopter operations becoming commonplace by 1962, the use of armed helicopters for border patrols was not normal procedure.* The Seventh Army commander expanded these instructions on 9 August by directing that all unarmed helicopters, except those engaged in emergency operations, would be escorted by armed helicopters when in the
* (U) One of the histories mentions the use of armed helicopters in a "border surveillance mission" test of the air cavalry concept, but does not say where the testing was conducted. It seems doubtful they would test the concept at such a sensitive location as the border..
5-kilometer zone. USCINCEUR approved the concept of armed helicopter patrols on 15 August, but disapproved USAREUR s request that it be made responsible for air defense in the area where it conducted border operations. The US Embassy in Bonn had notified the Federal Republic's Foreign Office and was assured that armed helicopter patrols on the border would, be welcome.58
The new border operating procedures called for Seventh Army to conduct two armed helicopter patrols, nicknamed "CREEK LARK," of each border sector daily -- weather and equipment permitting. It was to use UH-1B Iroquois helicopters armed with M6 7.62-mm machineguns loaded with live tracer ammunition. Aircrews were to keep safety and system activation switches in the safe or off positions until they were ready to use the weapon. If an East Bloc helicopter violated the border, the pilot was to attract its attention and signal it to land. If it refused, the US pilot was to maintain surveillance of the aircraft and report the situation, but the use of weapons was permissible only in self-defense! The revised rules of engagement stated that USAREUR border security and surveillance forces had an absolute right to defend themselves if attacked or if attempts were made to detain them in the Federal Republic; however,, there-were differences in how the ground patrols and the aerial surveillance patrols were to react if they encountered a border violation. Whereas a ground border patrol could use firepower to detain border violators under certain circumstances at the local commander's discretion, the aerial surveillance patrols were not to use firepower, regardless of what action might be developing on the ground or near them, unless they were directly endangered or authorized to do so by the 86th Air Division's commander or his authorized representative (another reflection of the "turf" battle between the Army and the Air Force over who would be in charge of air defense over the border area).
Within a short period of time, it became obvious that due to aircraft and pilot availability problems, the armored cavalry regiments could not maintain the two-per-24-hours pace of armed helicopter patrols. Since there had been few incidents and the new patrols were not gathering a significant amount of intelligence, CINCUSAREUR authorized a reduction to one per 24 hours on 7 November 1966. Even this reduction was not to be enough, with the frequency of patrols being particularly difficult to maintain for the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment in the south. The main problem was the Army-wide shortage of T-53 engines for the UH-1B -- a result of the demands of the war in Southeast Asia. Although the 2d ACR had priority for receiving helicopter parts, by June 1967 over 70 percent of its helicopters were deadlined
for parts. Even with USAREUR assistance, the two regiments just could not maintain that pace. The V Corps commander wanted relief from the requirement for armed helicopters to escort unarmed helicopters, while the VII Corps commander recommended that the use of armed helicopters on the border be eliminated altogether until the shortage of UH-1B parts could be alleviated. USAREUR reviewed the problem in June 1967 and came to the conclusion that there had not been any significant advantages or disadvantages because of the new patrol procedure and that it would be desirable to reduce the requirement for armed helicopter flights along the border so that helicopters other than UH-1Bs could be used for border patrolling. The exact sequence of events becomes sketchy from this point on, but apparently CINCUSAREUR left it to the discretion of the corps commanders, because by the end of 1968 neither corps was escorting unarmed helicopters on the border and V Corps 14th ACR was conducting only 10 armed helicopter border patrols on a random basis each month. The 2d ACR, apparently, had ceased conducting armed helicopter patrols completely. Further research did not reveal when the V Corps unit stopped using armed helicopters for border patrols, but current policy is not to use them on border patrols.*59
The reduction of armed aerial surveillance patrols was only part of an overall reduction of border surveillance activities by the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, particularly in its southern sector. With the loss in 1964 of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment to the south and its replacement by only a squadron, which received little or no help from the French and German units in that sector, it became
The issue was raised again in 1983 when the 11th ACR commander requested permission to arm his AH-1S helicopters with 20-mm ammunition during border surveillance operations in the V Corps sector. He was concerned that Soviet armed helicopters, which had become increasingly aggressive and had inadvertently strayed over the border several times during the past year, would mistakenly fire at US helicopters thinking they were in the East Bloc zone. The USAREUR operations order for border operations stated, ". . commanders are authorized to conduct armed surveillance as required." However, both corps commanders and CINCUSAREUR were in agreement that this already touchy situation would only be exacerbated by arming US helicopters in response or by asking the Soviets to disarm their helicopters. Standard procedure still called for helicopters on border patrol to remain unarmed and to depart the border area if threatened by East Bloc aircraft, relying on US Air Force fighters to resolve the issue.60
impossible for the 2d ACR to cover its increased area of responsibility in as comprehensive a manner as it had been by the two regiments (see above, Roundout Program). As a consequence, the 2d ACR had received permission to reduce the border patrol coverage in this southern sector to once each 48 hours instead of the normal once each 24 hours for the rest of its border sector. VII Corps was concerned that the overburdened 2d ACR was not being given sufficient time away from border operations in order to train effectively as a unit, and in 1966 began searching for ways to lighten the 2d ACR's border surveillance mission so that it could train larger unit-sized elements at military training areas. Along with these training goals was the nee& to make up for the shortfall created by the loss of the 2d Squadron of the 9th Armored Cavalry Regiment in March 1967, which left the 2d ACR with its squadrons and the 2d Squadron of the 14th ACR to carry out a border surveillance mission of approximately 390 miles. Plan JAYHAWK, implemented on 1 March 1967, envisioned manning the border with a "bare minimum" of personnel, thus enabling the squadrons, to pursue normal training cycles for seven months of the year. Essentially, the plan only said "tighten the belt" since the regiment was given only two additional helicopters to make up for the loss of the 2d Squadron of the 9th Cavalry's aircraft as well as the above mentioned priority on scarce helicopter replacement parts.
By December 1967 VII Corps was telling USAREUR headquarters that it could not maintain the present pace of patrolling with its current assets and that the 2d ACR should be allowed to reduce its patrolling activity in its entire area of responsibility to the southern sector's level of once each 48 hours. Interestingly enough, besides outlining its lack of resources, VII Corps also pointed out that German border agencies had a full-time border security and surveillance mission, and that these organizations provided the majority of the information used in the observation reports. Since VII Corps units had access to these reports, VII Corps reasoned that it made good sense to reduce its patrolling and thus save wear and tear on the ACR's equipment, especially its helicopters. It was almost an outright admission that the US border surveillance mission had become primarily political rather than operational. USAREUR agreed on 4 January 1968 to allow the 2d ACR to reduce its aerial surveillance and jeep patrols to once each 48 hours along the entire VII Corps sector of the border. An overall summary of the frequency and extent of border operations would be useful-at this point and is outlined in TABLE 2. The table shows that by mid-1968, USAREUR was conducting border operations at the lowest level since the build up of USAREUR's forces after 1961.61
BORDER OPERATIONS IN 1968
|V Corps Sector||VII Corps Sector (North)||VII Corps Sector (South)|
|Jeep Patrols||Once each 24 hours||Once each 48 hours.||Once each 48 hours.|
|Observation Posts (OP)||Three manned continuously.||Six manned continuously.||One manned periodically.|
|Aerial Reconnaissance||Once each 24 hours. Ten armed flights each month.||Once each 48 hours.||Once each 48 hours.|
|Ground Radar||Used at three OPs during hours of darkness or periods of reduced visibility||Used at six OPs during hours of darkness or periods of reduced visibility.||Used when the OP was manned during hours of darkness or periods of reduced visibility.|
|SLAR||Twice each 24 hours.||Twice each 24 hours.||Once each week.|
SOURCE: DF, DCSOPS to CofS, 12 Jun 68, subj: Authorities and Responsibilities of U.S. Forces on the FRG/East German - Czechoslovakian Border (U), as cited in draft border study in USAREUR Mil Hist Ofc. CONF. No Regra Data.
(U) Members of the 2d Armory Cavalry Regiment respond to an alert at Camp Gates. February 1968.
(U) In addition to having the frequency of their border patrols reduced, the border units received help from another quarter in lessening their workload. On 11 July 1968 the regulation governing travel within the 5-kilometer zone next to the eastern border was changed to reduce the zone to one kilometer. The revised regulation applied to all military personnel and civilian employees of the US forces in Europe, as well as their private vehicles registered with the US forces. The reasons for the change were to align US policy with British and Federal Republic restrictions for their personnel, and to create a border zone that would be more easily enforceable by the border units. The 5-kilometer zone had been found to be too deep for effective enforcement by the two regiments. The revised zone began to be implemented in August, with the new signs being put up through the end of the year. (See FIGURES 5 and 6.)62
Outside events were to radically change this mid-1968 trend toward a lower profile in border operations. In April 1968 CINCUSAREUR had asked his staff to prepare tentative contingency plans for a possible Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia. USAREUR had reacted to the Hungarian uprising in 1956 in an ad hoc manner, and CINCUSAREUR wanted to insure the command was better prepared if the Soviets moved into Czechoslovakia -- a prospect that seemed more likely with each passing day. USAREUR Operations Plan (OPLAN) 4329 outlined a series of actions to be taken in the event of a civil uprising or any other large-scale disorder that might be caused by the Czechoslovak-Soviet confrontation. The plan was a phased approach for increasing surveillance and security measures by military intelligence elements and the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment, depending on the level of the threat. Besides aiding in the expected overflow of refugees, the whole range of border surveillance activities would be significantly increased. Approved on 8 April 1968, the plan tasked VII Corps to develop a detailed implementing plan. The VII Corps plan called for all three of the 2d ACR's squadrons to deploy to the border where they would be assisted by the 3d Infantry and the 4th Armored Divisions' armored cavalry squadrons in increasing surveillance and security along the border.
Even at this early stage, there was an emphasis on coordinating closely with both the Federal Republic and Bavarian border authorities. Since the Federal Republic had overall refugee control responsibility, USAREUR only envisioned a short-term role in helping with the refugee overflow and that they would be transferred to German facilities as soon as possible. More importantly, it was important that the US units coordinate closely as they increased their border
Source: USAREUR Reg 550-81, 11 Jul 68, p. 8. UNCLAS.
Source: USAREUR Reg, 550-81, 11 Jul 68, p. 9. UNCLAS.
surveillance activities since it was anticipated the Germans would be building up in the same area. The Federal Republic asked that it be consulted before any significant military action was undertaken, to include routine troop movements. This cautious German attitude was in perfect harmony with the United States Government's desire not to inadvertently increase tensions by increasing the activities of the US border forces. By July it was obvious the Federal Republic's planning was more than adequate for handling any refugee problems and USAREUR's revised planning emphasized the border surveillance and security missions. The new plan was incorporated into LOI 328 and, like the OPLAN, used a phased approach that ran the gamut from establishing better point-to-point communications between the border units, operations centers, and the military intelligence elements (this portion was actually implemented in August 1968), to increased helicopter and SLAR reconnaissance flights, as well as full deployment of the reconnaissance units along the border.
On the night of 20-21 August 1968, the Warsaw Pact divisions crossed the Czechoslovak border and by late afternoon of the twenty-first had seized control of Czechoslovakia. The US State Department immediately reemphasized the necessity of coordinating any US and German border operations as well as cautioning the commanders to avoid any border incidents. The US Ambassador in Bonn was to receive State Department approval before border operations were increased or personnel augmented. General James H. Polk, CINCUSAREUR, on the same day requested authority to increase USAREUR's surveillance along the border by activating seven additional observation posts in addition to the three already in operation and to increase helicopter surveillance as necessary. At that time only one daily helicopter reconnaissance flight was being flown in some sectors and General Polk was considering keeping one helicopter airborne continuously. The US Ambassador recommended approval, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff only authorized the additional observation posts while denying approval for additional helicopter coverage beyond one flight per day.
However, one month later, on 21 September, the Joint Chiefs of Staff requested a detailed list of proposals for long-term and short-term measures for improving border surveillance, to include additional helicopter reconnaissance flights and increased SLAR routes. The situation in Czechoslovakia had stabilized somewhat by then and the original concern about giving the Soviets excuses to move precipitously had been overtaken by events -- they already had moved into Czechoslovakia in force. USAREUR responded that it was necessary to restore to tactical commanders the authority they needed to take
precautions to provide for the security of their forces. They listed limitations on increased foot and vehicle patrols, additional observation posts, and more helicopter surveillance flights as areas that required relaxation from the freeze on increased border activity imposed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 21 August. In addition, although USAREUR thought the current frequency of two SLAR flights per day was adequate, it did want to develop a new flight path to the south of Straubing, an area that was not being covered at that time. The Joint Chiefs of Staff approved these measures on 7 November 1968, granting USCINCEUR authority to activate additional observation posts, increase border patrols -- to include additional helicopter flights -- and establish the new southern SLAR flight path, as necessary. However, they emphasized any changes should be coordinated with German authorities prior to implementation. In addition, actions which involved a high risk of border incidents or could appear provocative to the Soviets were to be avoided.63
In the first half of 1969 USAREUR gradually increased its level of normal noncrisis border operations so that future crises could be met without increasing US border activities. This was a reversal of the mid-1960s USAREUR policy of reducing its border operations activities and leaving much of the border surveillance mission to the Germans. This new concept of border operations was incorporated in a revision of Annex K to Operations Order (OPORD) 1-68, which was approved by CINCUSAREUR on 14 June 1969. General Polk wanted the command's border operations to be comprehensive and flexible enough during normal periods that prudent measures taken by commanders during periods of increased tension would appear routine and would not be evaluated as an escalation of effort, or -- put another way -- to provide the necessary "background noise" which would permit the units to increase surveillance during crisis periods without being detected. By June 1969 USAREUR had already increased the frequency of ground patrols and the number of manned observation posts well above the level existing before the invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. Major avenues of approach were under 24-hour observation, with daily ground patrols and aerial reconnaissance flights along the border becoming routine. In addition to continuing their surveillance of the border for indicators of imminent hostilities, troop units varying in size from platoons to major elements of a cavalry regiment moved to the vicinity of the border at irregular intervals to provide a visible profile of increased activity, which -- it was hoped -- would be perceived as routine training by East Bloc observers.
There was also an upgrade in SLAB coverage. The new flight path in the south mentioned above was really just an activation of
(U) M60 Main Battle Tanks maneuver through a German farm during an exercise.
SLAR in an area for which USAREUR was already responsible, but simply had not been covering very often. In October 1969 CINCUSAREUR approved an extension of SLAR coverage well outside of the normal USAREUR area of responsibility when a new SLAR track was opened from the former northern terminus of SLAR coverage close to Kassel north to a point near Uelzen. A significant gain from the new route was that it provided SLAB coverage of the Soviet's most important major training area in East Germany at Letzlinger Heide. There were three Warsaw Pact air defense interceptor reactions during the first month of operations after the new route was initiated on 27 October 1969, but there were no responses after that, which suggests they had accepted the new flights as being routine surveillance missions.
The complete implementation of the new USAREUR policy carried over well into 1970 when the corps published revised regulations and operations orders formalizing the new procedures. In addition to increased ground and aerial patrolling and the opening of new observation posts, the corps required monthly insertions of airmobile squads on the border and quarterly squadron and troop deployments near the border, once again emphasizing irregular scheduling. This increased activity, for the V Corps at least, did not pose serious budgetary problems and did not impact adversely on operational readiness. Actually, then -- as now -- the units were of the opinion that the border operations mission provided an air of reality that was an excellent stimulus for increasing the units' operational readiness. There was no record of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment's ability to handle this increased level of activity, but its problems in the mid1960s and efforts to again reduce its border coverage in the mid-1970s would seem to indicate it was faring less well with the increased operations than the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment. After all, it still had a lot of border to cover with very limited resources.
Initial reaction by the German border agencies was surprise that the Americans thought this expansion was necessary, but they accepted the increase with the proviso that past practices of close coordination be continued. The other side reacted by increasing their surveillance of US increased surveillance activities, and once convinced this new level of coverage was normal procedure and did not pose a new threat, reverted back to their prior level of border surveillance.64
(U) Equipment Changes in the Border Units
(U) Although the introductions of the OV-1 Mohawk and the SLAR equipment into the border units were detailed in earlier sections of
(U) AN/PPS-4 Ground Surveillance Radar.
this chapter, they were by no means the only significant improvements in armaments and equipment in the 1960s. The M113 armored personnel carrier (APC) was introduced in USAREUR in the summer of 1961, followed shortly thereafter by the first M60 main battle tanks. However, the M60s were not extensively issued to USAREUR's units until 1962 -- some were delayed even longer because of a shortage of 105-mm ammunition. By December 1962 the Department of the Army, with strong USAREUR concurrence, was proposing that the M48A3s of the armored cavalry regiments be replaced by the new M60s, with the units generally being equipped with M60s by 1965. Acceptance of the M113 APCs by the units was less enthusiastic, with Department of the Army suspending any new fielding of them in 1962 until an excessive engine wear problem could be solved. The answer was found in 1963 by using a new diesel engine to replace the gasoline powered engines, but it was not until the early 1970s that the modified M113A completely replaced the M113 in the regiments' inventories.65
(U) One of the more significant arrivals of new equipment during this period, as far as the border surveillance mission was concerned, was that of 40 ground surveillance radar (GSR) sets on 1 November 1961 for a 1-year test evaluation. The test report, published in early 1963, concluded that the AN/PPS-4 short-range GSR was a reliable means of providing ground surveillance. By the end of 1963, 315 GSR sets had been issued to Seventh Army units, with the remaining 31 authorized sets to be issued in January 1964. Interestingly enough, none of the early references on the GSR's introduction in USAREUR mention its use on the border. However, by 1968 it was an integral part of the border surveillance effort. Indications in earlier border operations procedures imply strongly that they were using GSRs, and it would be difficult to imagine border units not using it in their most important mission.66
(U) The M114 APC was introduced in USAREUR in February 1963, and was initially slated to replace the M151 jeep for the scout mission. Referred to as a command and reconnaissance carrier or an armored reconnaissance scout vehicle, it never did fully meet the Army's requirement for a protected scouting vehicle because of its poor cross-country performance. However, they were used throughout the 1960s and beyond by USAREUR's armored car and scout platoons because a suitable substitute was not available.67
Initial planning in 1965 called for replacing the armored cavalry regiments M60s with the M551 Sheridan; however, CINCUSAREUR had reservations about the night fighting ability of the new light
(U) M114 Command and Reconnaissance Carrier.
tanks and was considering keeping one M60 tank in each platoon to offset this limitation. After a series of proposals and counterproposals about which mix was best suited for the combined scouting and early fighting missions of the armored cavalry regiments -- to include not issuing the Sheridans in USAREUR at all -- the issue was resolved when Department of the Army decided to upgrade the M60 and mix the two tanks in armored cavalry regiments as well as in other types of units. The first armored cavalry units to receive the new M551 in 1969, it turned out, were the divisional and regimental reconnaissance troops, for whose mission it was admirably suited because of its superior speed and maneuverability. Even as late as the early 1970s, USAREUR still thought of it primarily as a light tank and was ambivalent about its suitability for the scout role. Proposals for upgrading it or developing a better scout vehicle were caught in the overall funding crunch of the period. Other equipment needs, such as a new mechanized infantry combat vehicle, simply had more priority.68
(U) The 1970s would see even more equipment improvements with the OH-58A Kiowa observation helicopter, AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter, a high frequency single sideband radio, and an upgraded version of the GSR scheduled to be introduced in USAREUR in the first part of the decade.
(U) Border Incidents
(U) Most of the important border incidents of the 1960s, particularly those that resulted in significant changes in border operating procedures, have been outlined elsewhere in this chapter, but some incidents defy classification and are uncomfortable reminders that any human endeavor will always be subject to human error. Other incidents are covered simply because they present unique examples of the flavor of border operations.
On 9 November 1964, two 14th ACR soldiers were approached by two members of the East German Volkspolizei in the interzonal border area near Altenfeld. One East German guard stated that he, like over 75 percent of the Volkspolizei personnel, would defect to the West except for his family ties in East Germany. The East German then gave the soldier his address on the back of a pin-up picture and asked him to write sometime. What should have been a moment of human contact, was immediately illuminated as a possible hostile intelligence contact. A Volkspolizei defector had previously reported in 1963 that selected members of his unit had been briefed on a new recruiting plan that called for establishing personal contact with West German border
police and customs personnel while on patrol. The Federal Republic's intelligence service reported that there had been numerous attempts to recruit West German border personnel in this manner. This attempt to recruit US border personnel -- if that was what it was -- seemed to be an isolated attempt.69
Some border incidents defied belief and would have been comic except for their potential for being magnified out of proportion in the world of international relations. Early in 1967 a new Autobahn was completed between Nuernberg and Berlin, which crossed the interzonal boundary at Hof. However, this new route was not available to US military and civilian personnel who were part of the US forces stationed in Germany; Helmstedt, then as now, was the only authorized entry point for road trips to Berlin for these personnel. On 31 March 1967 two US soldiers were dispatched from their unit at Hohenfels to bring a prisoner from the Dachau military stockade and -- under the mistaken impression that Dachau was near Berlin, an error of only 180 degrees -- selected the Nuernberg-Berlin Autobahn as the quickest route. Upon reaching the Federal Republic's Wider control point at Hof, they inquired if they were on the road to Dachau. The border official instructed them to drive forward and turn around at a cutoff, which would have kept them in West Germany. Unfortunately, neither understood German and misunderstood his directions, a situation with which those stationed in Germany can sympathize. They proceeded to drive straight forward into East Germany where they were detained for approximately 45 minutes. They were photographed and questioned by the East Germans and, after giving their names and ranks and revealing their intention to pick up a prisoner at Dachau, were released by the East Germans, who were probably still trying to reason out what this latest American maneuver might entail. Needless to say, they were met by representatives of the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 66th MI Group when they returned to West Germany. Although it was not recorded what became of the errant. travelers, a command-wide education program was conducted on the restrictions on using Autobahns, other than the one that entered East Germany at Helmstedt, to transit to Berlin. In addition, since the routes were well marked with warning signs, failure to heed these signs would result in revocation of one's USAREUR driver's license.70
A more serious incident occurred on 27 April 1967, when two members of a 6-man border patrol unintentionally violated the Czechoslovak-German border. They stepped into the woods to urinate and were detected by Czechoslovak guards, who thought they had crossed the border and proceeded to fire on the pair. They were indeed on the
Czechoslovak side of the border, but succeeded in getting back safely to the proper side of the border. Since no one was injured, the patrol departed the area and decided not to report the incident. USAREUR headquarters first learned of the incident on 18 May when the US Embassy in Prague was presented with a strongly worded protest about the incident, stating that the border had been violated to a depth of 20 to 80 meters and that the "behavior" of the US soldiers clearly indicated a premeditated and intentional penetration, a curious interpretation of their activity. The Czechoslovak spokesman noted the seriousness of the incident, deplored the danger of such incidents that might result in the use of. firearms, and expressed the hope that the incident did not signal an intention on the part of the United States to return to the state of tension that had earlier existed along the border. The USAREUR investigation of the incident revealed the identity of the patrol, which led to disciplinary action against the two patrol members, their patrol leader, their patrol sergeant, and the duty officer who had failed to debrief them properly.71
On 4 January 1969 a USAREUR soldier boarded the wrong train, fell asleep, and awoke in East Germany. After being detained and questioned by East German authorities, he was escorted back to the train station and placed on a train to Bad Hersfeld, where he promptly reported the incident to his first sergeant. There were no official repercussions, but this incident highlights once again the potential for human error to create problems in this sensitive area.72
Two West German customs officials reported on 22 January 1969 that they had observed a USAREUR helicopter violate the Czechoslovak-German border three times. The VII Corps investigation of the incident revealed that the helicopter had been on a routine aerial surveillance patrol and that the pilot -- who was alone in the helicopter -- was not only thoroughly experienced, but served as the certifying officer for pilot border qualifications within VII Corps. Visibility was good at the time and the pilot denied having crossed the border. Since the Czechoslovak Government did not protest the alleged border violation, USAREUR accepted VII Corps' finding that there was no proof of an actual violation. However, to reduce the possibility of such an incident occurring, VII Corps recommended that all border surveillance aircraft carry an observer in addition to the pilot and that the aircraft stay a minimum of 50 meters from the border. USAREUR headquarters did not change any of its border flight regulations because of this incident. This incident is an example of a continuing problem of contradictory reports of possible border incidents coming in from
German border agencies and US border personnel. In a situation where one side is observing from the ground and the other from the air -- as well as the irregular shape of the border -- the potential for disagreement is always there.73
There were serious border violations by the other side during this period also. Several border overflights were committed by Soviet helicopters in 1969, but US protests brought the response that the helicopters had been under the positive control of Soviet air traffic agencies and had not entered the airspace over the "American Zone." On 6 August 1969 a member of an East German border work detail attempted to flee across the border, but he was wounded by the guards and dragged back into East Germany. The US Government vigorously protested this disregard for human life and the potential for danger to those in the Federal Republic from shots being fired across the border at people attempting to flee East Germany. These border incidents pointed up once again that the eastern boundaries of the Federal Republic remained a very sensitive area and that the potential for creating complications in the relations between the two sides often far outweighed the seriousness of the incidents.74
Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Return to the Table of Contents