Scotties Toy Box

November 8, 2019

The mistake that toppled the Berlin Wall

Filed under: Education, News, Political, Questions — Scottie @ 10:41


  1. I was in France then. I arrived home in the evening. My wife told me they were tearing down the wall…
    And I fought “Freedom has won”. I was right for a while. Now the fight is back up again. Elsewhere.
    Viel dank für diese post. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by equinoxio21 — November 8, 2019 @ 12:21

    • Hello equinoxio21. You are welcome. I served in West Berlin for 3 years in the 1980’s before that in other parts of Germany. Some of the best growing up I did was my time in Germany, it has shaped most of the ideas I carry today. When the wall came down I couldn’t imagine it. Most units had to go over to East Berlin every few weeks. The idea was to show the people over there happy prosperous US soldiers. It worked. The exchange rate was crazy in our favor so it looked like we were all rich and wealthy. It worked, the people seen what the West had and they wanted it, as anyone would. My unit only had to go once but I ended up going twice. ( silly side note* all units except ours had to go in full dress uniform with all patches and ranks / medals displayed. We were the only unit that went in dress uniform but were not allowed to have our unit patches, or ranks, nor any medals identifying our unit. The reason was I was assigned to a satellite site supporting the intelligence unit. We were one command, an intelligence unit / communications set up. But as we were the only unit that had those requirements I bet the Soviets knew who we were anyway. ) I remember their side of the wall. It was clean with a side walk that was total empty. Barren! No one walked on that side of the road at all. To do so, to get even near there was to be shot with out warning. On the West Berlin side the wall was covered with graffiti and people walked, ran, biked beside it. I wish I had been there when it fell. I am so happy that the two Germans united. The conditions the East Germans lived under were horrible. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Scottie — November 8, 2019 @ 12:58

      • Wow! So you were there? In ’89?
        I can understand your restrictions, you were a C3I unit, right? (I worked in a French Military telecoms company at that time. We designed Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence systems…) Wow.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by equinoxio21 — November 8, 2019 @ 13:10

        • Hello equinoxio21. No sorry if I gave that impression. I left West Berlin in September of 1986. That is why I simply can not image the wall being gone, or even the videos I have seen of people sitting on it, pushing it over, and all that. It stunned me and I was so happy for them. The reunification is a sign of how, a blueprint, of what can be done if a country and the people want to do it. Yes there was some pain and stress at first, but it worked.

          I was designated a 26Y.

          26Y MOS. Performs operator, organizational, direct and general support and depot maintenance on satellite communication ground station equipment.

          My specialty was isolation troubleshooting. I could hold the entire map of input / out put in my head and deduce which step in the chain the problem occurred at. Seems most people couldn’t do that. They sent me all over Germany to find the problems sites had and then I turned it over to others to fix. Seems that while I could find the problem, I sucked at repair work. I really was a horrible technician, but I could tell which piece of equipment was the problem.

          When I left Berlin I was a shift supervisor on a 39 foot dish sat system. I helped set up and install the 39 foot dish and the new buildings and support systems for the West Berlin command. I transferred there to do that from the DCIC ( United States European Command ) head quarters in Stuttgart where I worked directly for the Deputy Commander In Chief. I also worked for different under cover commands ( the often misnomer special forces and once I even worked for the Secret Service ) at that time from there.

          I was there during the Beirut bombing and spent three days with no sleep reestablishing communications and handling all communications to that command. Got several awards for that but it leaves a sour taste in me because I lost many unseen friends I talked to all the time via our comms. I use to take porn magazines apart and send them to via the secured fax system we had back then to them as they couldn’t get such stuff. We became internet friends before the internet was a thing.

          Another side note about Beirut. I got a frantic call about a US patrol being pinned down and shot at by snipers in the nearby mountains. They had wounded and were under fire with no cover. Now there was a high level briefing going on and rather than passing notes and waiting for a break I interrupted it and informed the duty officer of the situation. The DCIC , an old ( to me ) admiral got up, walked over to me and told me to contact the battleship off the coast. I did so and he took the mic. I remember his words as he ordered the ship to open fire and to create a path for our guys to get back to base. A few minutes later I got confirmation that the shells from the battleship had hit right where needed and the patrol was able to continue with no more difficulties back to base. As I reported this to the Admiral who was still standing beside me I expected to have my ass handed to me. I was enlisted and I had interrupted a briefing of high level officers. Instead he thanked me, asked my name , and told me he was proud of me. Later he was the one who I went to when my lover got caught for smoking weed and he helped us out.

          I was originally sent to Stuttgart to set up a new 39 foot dish system, then I was taken by the United States European Command, but when my lover at the time ( yes the military was full of gay people ) got into trouble I went to the Admiral and asked for help. He transferred both of us to Berlin. The command was willing to let my lover go but not me. The admiral stepped in and we both went. That was an interesting play of power, the only time in my military career I heard one officer tell another that his stars out ranked the others cluster I remember when I told the Admiral my problem and how I felt ( I was afraid he would not like I was gay ) he asked me “How do you feel about Berlin”? I told him I had no idea what Berlin was. He laughed. When we got to our command at Berlin and reported to our first Sargent and he said “I understand you guys are a couple”? We were near panic as that was still a reason to kick you out of the Army. He said he had set up a room in the dorm for us as the commander had been notified by Admiral XXX of our arrival. It worked out great. We both loved Berlin.

          Sorry Brian this got long . It was a fun walk back through my memories for me for the most part, there was some tears but I rarely get to share the details of my military time and the wonderful people I met and engaged with. I would love to hear your stories, and I bet they are grand. Hugs

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Scottie — November 8, 2019 @ 15:26

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