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Fortress 69: The Berlin Wall and the Intra-German Border 1961-89 (Fortress): The Inner-German Border 1961-89 [Paperback]

Gordon Rottman , Chris Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

10 Feb 2008 Fortress (Book 69)
The border between East and West Germany was closed on 26 May 1953. On 13 August 1961 crude fences and walls were erected around West Berlin: the Berlin Wall had been created. The Wall encircled West Berlin for a distance of 155km, and its barriers and surveillance systems evolved over the years into an advanced obstacle network. The Intra-German Border ran from the Baltic Sea to the Czechoslovak border for 1,381km, and was where NATO forces faced the Warsaw Pact for the 45 years of the Cold War. This book examines the international situation that led to the establishment of the Berlin Wall and the IGB, and discusses how these barrier systems were operated, and finally fell.

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Fortress 69: The Berlin Wall and the Intra-German Border 1961-89 (Fortress): The Inner-German Border 1961-89 + The Berlin Wall Story: Biography of a Monument + The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989
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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing (10 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846031931
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846031939
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 208,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Here is a good account of the early border fences and how they grew into formidable obstacles designed to keep people in... Anyone interested in "what if" wargaming should certainly know their likely effect on either a Soviet attack on the West or a Western counter-attack. Recommended." -John Prigent, "Internet Modeler "(March 2008)"The book is well illustrated including illustrations showing how the East Germans sealed off water obstacles and other barriers that could leave gaps in their barrier. This is a title anyone interested in the Cold War and security will find of great interest." -J.E. Kaufmann, "SiteO" (March 2008)"Author Gordon Rottman tells the story of the building and upgrading of the border with photos of the various installations as they grew. The history of the men and organizations that had to man these border posts is also included. Illustrator Chris Taylor adds his skills to the work and combined with period photographs, gives an excellent look at this most unfortunate part of man's attempt to keep a population at bay. It is a book that I found quite intriguing and I'm sure you will find it equally fascinating." -Scott Van Aken, "" (March 2008)

About the Author

Gordon L Rottman entered the US Army in 1967, volunteered for Special Forces and completed training as a weapons specialist. He was assigned to the 7th Special Forces Group until reassigned to the 5th Special Forces Group in Vietnam in 1969-70. Gordon worked as a civilian contract Special Operations Forces Intelligence Specialist at the Army's Joint Readiness Center, Ft Polk, until 2002. A highly respected and established author, who is a recognised expert on this subject, he now devotes himself to full-time writing and research.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great offering. 28 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A great intoduction to the detail of the wall and for all history and Berlin/Cold War buffs. Its obviously very anally retentive but thats the point. Great to take on your trip to the place to give it some recent historical and phsyical perspective.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a very detailed look at the border 29 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very interesting history of the inner German border and how it was managed. The level of detail and associated photographs and graphics makes this book a must read for anybody interested in this subject.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cold War 'Icon' 22 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I hasten to add, that I use the time 'icon' loosely. Ask anyone which aspect of the Cold War springs to mind first, and it'll usually be the Berlin Wall. If I can leave the political thing to one side, this book goes into the mechanics of the wall itself, and of the procedures and people involved with the initial building of it, and thereafter, it's upgrading with the passage of time. I visited the old DDR twice in my travels, and seeing that wall up close and personal, was quite an intimidating experience. I did not realise that there were substantial differences between the Inter German Border, which separated the FRG and DDR, and the wall which dissected, and surrounded the city of Berlin itself. The book goes into the intricacies of the various systems used along the wall itself, trip sensors, types of watchtowers used, as well as the different tasks allotted to the different ranks of the border guard personnel. Copiously illustrated, with many fascinating diagrams, and illustrations of the monster itself. Very interesting mention, of what the wall may have evolved into, had the fall of the wall not occurred in 1989. Well fortunately, the fall did come, and the lives of very many people were transformed. The Wall itself, as well as the personalities who spawned it, are now consigned to the dustbin of history, as they should be. This is a fascinating book for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Cold War era, but it should always be foremost in the mind of the reader, that The Wall was one of the most vivid examples, of mans inhumanity to man.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Altogether a Fine Effort 9 May 2010
By Corey S. Hatch - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This little handbook by Rottman does justice to the subject of the Berlin Wall and Intra-German Border, especially regarding the myriad technical details he's dug up. NVA and Grenztruppen organization, units and brigades involved with particular portions of the border, technical details regarding construction, devices, and materials used, etc. It's all there. And Chris Taylor's artwork is wonderful.

What's missing, however, is 1) some finer resolution on historical dates and events, 2) greater detail and context regarding how and why the wall was constructed, and supremely missing, 3) even fundamental type-checking, proof-reading, and polished language translation! Oh my, I just about went crazy with all the mistakes, oversights, and poorly translated terms. I had difficulty getting through this book without constantly tripping over the errors.

That said, given the amount of detail and research that obviously went into this work, I give a whole-hearted four stars. Rake the material with a fine-tooth comb, and it'll be just perfect.

Altogether a fine effort.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great technical reference 16 Dec 2009
By James D. Crabtree - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides illustrations, in art and photographs, which shows the types of fencing, walls, barriers, sensors, trip devices and towers which made up the Wall System. But there's more! Rottman also provides information on the border force which used to guard the Inter-German Frontier and the Berlin Wall, info such as organization, equipment, recruiting, training, etc. He talks about how the wall evolved and how it was maintained and also talked about the cost of the wall to the East German regime in precious labor and in physical resources. All in all, this book looks at aspects of the Wall which are not normally discussed in other books on the subject.

Even if you have other books on the Berlin Wall or the Inter-German Frontier, you'll want to add this book to your Cold War collection.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource & Surprisingly Moving 16 Nov 2009
By Meira - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Rottman's compilation of information about the Berlin Wall and the IGB is outstanding - a great resource for anyone interested in East Germany and Cold War Berlin. Meticulous details, haunting original photos, as well as CGI "snapshots" of segments of the Wall (or IGB) make for a more interesting book than your average historical overview. It is hard to explain why minute details about the materials, dimensions, and layers of intricacy involved in creating and maintaining the wall moved me, except to say that while reading this book, I was overwhelmed (both fascinated and horrified) by the sheer magnitude of the project. The amount of money, personnel, acreage, time, and technology the East Germans felt compelled to use in order to keep people from leaving their little utopia is mind-boggling. It reminds me that freedom is fragile. This history should not be forgotten. Thank you, Gordon Rottman.
5.0 out of 5 stars Remember History So We Do Not Repeat It 10 Aug 2013
By Christian F - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great account of the specifications of the Berlin Wall, the men who served to enforce it, and why it was there. It is an important book because it covers a time in history that at least here in the US is often seen as an easy victory by the generation who does not remember it. Not the harsh reality of nuclear war and the many lives lost in the Cold War that the Wall represented.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Detailed and Informative 6 Feb 2013
By Old Fashioned Values - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a shorter book, but very detailed and informative, loved the pictures in it, they were very illustrative of the points made in the book. I would recommend this book, but then again I LOVE THE BERLIN WALL, it's history, etc.
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