A Soviet missile base in Germany that spy planes never saw

It is still the hardest place to find. A glade down an overgrown path which seems like any other clearing in the endless woods of Brandenburg. But on its floor, there is a strip of concrete half the size of a tennis court, with a metal plate in the middle.

This is the launch-pad for a nuclear attack on Western Europe. Soviet nuclear missiles 20 times more powerful than Hiroshima were set up here, primed to be fired at targets including London and nuclear bases in eastern England.

Three years before the Cuban missile crisis, the Soviet Union had already placed nuclear weapons on foreign soil – in this wood, in what was then East Germany.

Metal fittings where rocket would have been launched

Mobile launchers were anchored to metal plates in the concrete

London is at a distance of about 1,000km.

According to secret American intelligence reports released since the end of the Cold War, the base was set up in 1959. With Cuba, the aerial photographs were clear and the Soviet Union was confronted with incontrovertible evidence. After two weeks of tension, the Soviet Union backed down and agreed to remove the weapons.

Full article: A Soviet missile base in Germany that spy planes never saw (BBC News)

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