US Army Anti-Aircraft Missile Battery Command in Cold War West Germany (228)

Cold War Conversations

Dan served as a lieutenant and captain in a US Army air defence artillery battalion in West Germany from 1980 until 1985.

He describes details of Soviet overflights deep into West Germany and we discuss how the Warsaw Pact attempted to track their units.

Now who knew that the US Army experimented with geese for perimeter security?! Dan reveals details of this little-known specialist unit.

Dan worked with the improved Hawk anti-aircraft missile system. We talk about its capabilities, the challenges of working with 1980s electronics, its deployment and exercises. He describes a live firing exercise where an errant missile almost wiped out a group of VIPS.

Don’t miss part 2 in a couple of weeks where Dan describes his experiences in the war plans office of the general staff.

Do make sure you check out the episode extras at

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0:00 Introduction and background of Dan

1:32 The Improved Hawk missile system and its capabilities

10:29 Deployment to field locations and the challenges faced

18:13 Encounters with Soviet aircraft and military liaison missions

24:33 The innovative use of intruder geese for security

33:21 Live firing exercises and the dangers involved

42:20 The deactivation of an air defence unit and its implications

58:41 Reflections on service

1:13:38 Podcast extras, appreciation for financial supporters, and closing remarks

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