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Brixmis: The Untold Exploits of Britain's Most Daring Cold War Spy Mission Paperback – 20 Oct 1997


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Product details

  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New Ed edition (20 Oct. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006386733
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006386735
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 2 x 12.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 186,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

For forty tense years of Cold War in Europe a team of British intelligence agents – from the three armed services, the SAS and the Foreign Office – working under diplomatic cover as ‘liaison’ officers, ranged like pirates through East Germany, in uniform and unarmed. Their target: the massive military strength assembled on German soil by the Soviets for a potential invasion of the West. These few men gathered a mass of military intelligence information; their efforts met with a violent Soviet response.

Based on privileged access to official files and photographs, Tony Geraghty, best-selling author of 'Who Dares Wins' and himself a veteran paratrooper, is the only man able to get inside ‘Brixmis’ – the British Military Exchange Mission. More astonishing than and every bit as readable as the best spy fiction, the story he has uncovered is nothing less than the secret history of Britain’s victory in the Cold War.

“Deighton, Le Carre, Forsyth and co. eat your hearts out. There’s nothing like a true spy story to knock the fiction off the bookshelf and former para Tony Geraghty has delivered the killer punch. Spy fiction fans who think they know the whole Cold War story should prepare to be amazed.”
SOLDIER MAGAZINE

“Geraghty is one of the few military writers who could have delivered this excellent book … filled with anecdotes, quotes from secret documents and official briefings that bring it alive and make it an exceptionally readable official history of one of the unsung heroes of the Cold War”
JAMES ADAMS, 'Sunday Times'

“Packed with dramatic accounts of spy like things… fascinating revelations celebrate old fashioned British pluck, amateurism, eccentricity and modesty. It’s pages are rife with madcap and brilliant ideas for outwitting the ‘opposition’”
THOMAS BLAIKIE, 'Spectator'

About the Author

Tony Geraghty, author of the SAS history ‘Who Dares Wins’, ‘The Bullet Catchers’ and ‘Beyond the Front Line’, is himself a military veteran, first with the Paras and then as a British officer in the Gulf conflict. As a liaison officer with US forces he was awarded an American decoration. He is also an Irish citizen.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Forrester on 17 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
I originally found out about BRIXMIS through Gaz Spence's book "The Shooting Gallery" and wanted to know more, so grabbed this book the moment I saw it. While procrastinating over study for a Russian exam, I found that this book was pretty hard to put down (wish me luck on the exam-I'll need it!). Geraghty goes into great detail of all the different types of missions covered by BRIXMIS from its inception in the rubble of Nazi Germany to its eventual closure in 1990, discussing the "scoops" of the team, life for the team members and all the incidents in between. The one problem i had with this is that there are some points where the interviews are used a little too much, and the entire context of the time period is a little lost. But hey, at least it doesn't get too bogged down in politics! 4 Stars!!!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Feb. 2003
Format: Paperback
The most endearing quality of the book is that it is clear from the first page that the author has had first hand contact with members of the BRIXMIS unit past and present. The book fills a gap as it gives detailed accounts of the "Hot" bits of the 'Cold War' as it describes the exploits of an open, but at the same time, secret unit, which in a period exceeding 40 years bluffed, bled and burgled their way across East Germany to obtain Intelligence on Warsaw Pact Forces. It is easy to become engrossed in the humour which is expressed and to forget the danger this unit faced as they were rammed, beaten and on occassion shot and killed by an enemy determined to outwit them.
The strength of this publication is that it tells the public of the real events which occur between two opposing armies polarised by ideology. It further shows how BRIXMIS was able to exploit the chinks in the Iron Curtain to find out what the Warsaw Pact were doing and why.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By snapper on 30 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
I was actually there when Tony Geraghty was given special permission to interview our gallant little band. That was the last I heard of him until a friend gave me a copy of his book called BRIXMIS. I can assure every reader it is a fabulous read and brings all those moments starkly back to life as though it was yesterday. Living and operating on the other side of the wall really was just as sinister as the spy films make out. How could a nation be effectively spied on and controlled by their own security forces so effectively. Easy every citizen was coerced into reporting everything out of the ordinary to the local state police (stasi). The reward for this information might be that you could visit a football match in the neighbouring town.A journey so simple but one they couldn't make without stasi authority. This police coercion effectively meant that no citizen could actually trust another, effectively stopping insurrection in its tracks. Read and enjoy you will be amazed at what we got away with and achieved.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 21 July 2004
Format: Paperback
There is much we don't know about the years following World War Two./
This book makes interesting and exciting reading. One I started it, I didn't put it down.
A true tribute to the bravery and dogged determination of the few who kept the West safe.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Milhist on 5 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
Under post World War 2 treaties both the UK, France and the US were allowed to send military teams into East Germany to monitor military preparations.

This tells their story and the obstacles the Soviets placed in their path to prevent them. I would love to find and english language book on Soxmix, their Soviet counterpart who were allowed to travel across West Germany under the same agreements.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dr G on 10 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought I was pretty knowledgeable around the cold war but I had no idea this group existed. This is a very well written history of an organisation which provided the UK & NATO with invaluable information on the Soviet ORBAT and more. I thought Geraghty dawdled a little around the early years but in hindsight it is probably needed to put the later years in context. Great read. Highly recommended.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rod Saar on 1 Feb. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the only published account of the activities of Brixmis ( a joint Army/RAF unit ) in East Germany during the Cold War. All the accounts are drawn from individuals who seved on the Mission; at the time its activities were secret and little known even within British Forces but well understood by the Russians to be engaged in military intelligence collection in the field. For anyone interested in military history at an operational level it is an interesting read - I can vouch for it's authenticity as I spent nearly 4 years in the Mission. A paperback edition of the same book is called 'Brixmis' the more sensational title of the hardback having been dropped.
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Format: Paperback
This fascinating book recounts the exploits of the British Commander in Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany. The remit of this little known unit was to obtain as much military intelligence about the Russian forces in East Germany as possible, within the rules laid down in an agreement made shortly after the end of the war in Europe.
Armed only with cameras, tape recorders, their memories and, in one remarkable incident, an apple, they provided the Allies with a constant stream of information on Soviet equipment and dispositions which proved invaluable and can truly be said to have played a part in the prevention of nuclear war with Russia. All of this was done despite the constant harrying and in some cases assualts of the STASI and Russian special forces.
Forget Le Carre, Deighton and friends - the stories in this book are true and no less enthralling.
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