Many instances of Soviet oversight are explored and analyzed throughout the book – especially in the case of the Berlin Airlift and the 1953 uprisings that took Stalin completely by surprise. During the Berlin Blockade, the KI failed to report the success of the Berlin Airlift. The authors advance the argument that this withholding of intelligence directly resulted in encouraging Stalin to drag out the blockade until winter. This is immediately contrasted with the effect of intelligence collected by the BOB, which had a “significant and immediate effect on US decisions about West Berlin and West Germany.” The author makes a strong case in showing how the superior intelligence of the KI was mishandled resulting in the Soviets being less informed t...
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... plan was known by the Soviets from the very beginning but not exposed due to their desire to preserve the identity of their double agent, George Blake. However, the greatest weakness of the book is it often falls short of its claims and commits the act of omission. The book claims to offer a full and balanced perspective, however more often than not the American and Soviet stories focus on completely different aspects, rarely giving us the full perspective on events. Soviet reactions to American exploits are often neglected and the inner structure of the CIA is never as closely examined as that of the KGB. Additionally, its self praising, constant “never before seen” rhetoric gets tiresome fast. Battleground Berlin remains as an invaluable source for any student of Cold War espionage and despite its shortcomings still stands as a valuable contribution to the field.
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