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Fulda Gap


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Foreword, Gordon R. Sullivan Introduction, Dieter Kruger and Volker Bausch Translator's Note, David R. Dorondo Chapter 1: Fulda Gap: A Flashpoint of the Cold War between Myth and Reality, Helmut H. Hammerich Chapter 2: The Eighth Guards Army of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany and the Fulda Gap, Matthias Uhl Chapter 3: The Strategic and Operational Considerations of NATO in Europe since the 1970s, Helge Hansen Chapter 4: The Development of the Military Conceptions of the Warsaw Pact in the Last Two Decades of the East-West Conflict, Siegfried Lautsch Chapter 5: The Development of NATO Defense Plans for Central Europe in the Final Decades of the Cold War, Gregory W. Pedlow Chapter 6: The Defense of Highway 84: Recollections of the Commander, B Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 1978-1980, Roger Cirillo Chapter 7: The Fulda Gap: A Personal Perspective from Platoon Leader to Army Group, Crosbie E. Saint Chapter 8: The GDR and its Mission in the Warsaw Pact, Torsten Diedrich Chapter 9: The Wartime Mission of the Border Troops of the GDR, Detlef Rotha Chapter 10: Brinkmanship in the Cold War: Theoretical Foundation and Application, Mathias Rupp Chapter 11: When the Cold War Almost Turned Hot, Albin F. Irzyk Chapter 12: When the World Stood at the Abyss-and No One Knew It, Volker Bausch Chapter 13: The Military Relationship of Forces between the North Atlantic Alliance and the Warsaw Pact, Michael Poppe Chapter 14: The Alliances and the Fulda Gap: A Balance between Ideology, Politics, Strategy, and Operational Plans, Dieter Kruger

About the Author

Dieter Kruger is associate professor at the University of Potsdam. Volker Bausch is former director of the Point Alpha Foundation.


Fulda Gap: Battlefield of the Cold War Alliances, which brings together both scholars and veterans, moves deftly from the strategic context to the on-the-ground reality of serving at the front lines of a cold war that did not erupt (at least there) for some four decades. These essays and recollections illustrate what was real and what was imagined about the Soviet threat, the NATO response, and vice versa. Chief among the particular delights are insights into Soviet and East German planning and force structure-as well as into the American experience at the border-and new evidence in advancing the historical narrative well into the 1970s and 1980s. Above all, Fulda Gap demonstrates how much we can gain from situating a specific place in its context and by placing the operational level at the heart of military history. -- Ingo Trauschweizer, Ohio University
The Fulda Gap remains a catch word for the dilemma of Cold War deterrence in the crises of forward defense at the level below the Single Integrated Operational Plan and the Indochina War. The authors in this volume comprise veterans as well as scholars of the US Army, the Bundeswehr, the Soviet Group of Forces in Germany, and the East German Nationale Volksarmee as found in no comparable work. My praise of this work arises from my own personal experience of this task in the 1980s, my advanced study and graduate instruction in this material in the US and Central Europe ever since, and my active participation today in the reconstitution of NATO's deterrence posture in an unsettled Europe. Scholars will find what they need here, as will those in the here and now in search of the context of an old nightmare that has reappeared in the twenty-first century. -- Donald Abenheim, Naval Postgraduate School

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