America’s Cold War Spy Tunnel For Tapping Berlin Phone Calls Discovered After 50 Years

Spy vs. spy strangeness, via Bloomberg:

A section of an ingenious tunnel built by U.S. and British spies to intercept Russian phone conversations in Cold War Berlin has been found after 56 years in a forest 150 kilometers from the German capital.

The 450-meter-long tunnel, built in 1955, led from Rudow in West Berlin to Alt-Glienicke in Soviet-occupied East Berlin. By tapping into the enemy’s underground cables, Allied intelligence agents recorded 440,000 phone calls, gaining a clearer picture of Red Army maneuvers in eastern Germany.

Codenamed “Stopwatch” by the British and “Gold” by the Americans, it was funded by the U.S. at a cost of $6.7 million (then a vast sum) and operated jointly by the CIA and the British SIS.

The tunnel operated for 11 months and 11 days, intercepting some of the Red Army’s most secret communications, including those between Moscow and the military headquarters in East Berlin. Historians do not know why the Soviet authorities chose to expose it when they did, on April 22, 1956.

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