Brixmis (the British Commander-in-Chief’s Mission to the Group Soviet Forces of Occupation in Germany) is one of the least-known elite spying units of the British Army.
They were dropped in behind ‘enemy lines’ ten months after the Second World War had ended and remained operating their intelligence-gathering missions until October 1990 and then covertly until 1993, long after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989.
During this period, Berlin was a hotbed of spying between East and West. Brixmis was established as a legitimate channel of communication between the Red Army and the British Army on the Rhine. Its ‘clean status’ made Brixmis a key part of the Cold War. However, their missions were concealed by their diplomatic and liaison role and they acted behind the shadows to ‘steal’ advanced Soviet equipment and penetrate top-secret training areas.
In this online talk, Steve Gibson will offer a new understanding of the complex British role in the Cold War and reflect on its ongoing role towards broader intelligence function.
Dr Steve Gibson lectures and publishes on concepts of security, risk, intelligence, and resilience at the UK Defence Academy, Cranfield University. His PhD explores the contribution of open source exploitation (OSINT) to national intelligence communities.
He is the author of ‘The Last Mission’ and ‘Brixmis: The Last Cold War Mission’, which details first-hand accounts of intelligence collection behind the Iron Curtain. He sits on the steering committee of the Oxford Intelligence Group and served as a co-opted member of the UK's ACPO Working Group on open source information. He was awarded the MBE for services to UK intelligence in 1993.