Archaeology of The Teufelsberg: Exploring Western Electronic Intelligence Gathering in Cold War Berlin, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Archaeology of The Teufelsberg

Exploring Western Electronic Intelligence Gathering in Cold War Berlin, 1st Edition

By Wayne D Cocroft, John Schofield


162 pages | 123 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-03-19
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For over 50 years, the white radomes of the Teufelsberg have been one of Berlin’s most prominent landmarks. For half of this time the city lay over 100 miles behind an 'Iron Curtain' that divided East from West, and was surrounded by communist East Germany and the densest concentration of Warsaw Pact military forces in Europe. From the vantage point high on the Teufelsberg, British and American personnel constantly monitored the electronic emissions from the surrounding military forces, as well as high-level political intelligence. Today, the Teufelsberg stands as a contemporary and spectacular ruin, representing a significant relic of a lost cyber space of Cold War electronic emissions and espionage. Based on archaeological fieldwork and recently declassified documents, this book presents a new history of the Teufelsberg and other Western intelligence gathering sites in Berlin. At a time when intelligence gathering is once more under close scrutiny, when questions are being asked about the intelligence relationship between the United States and Russia, and amidst wider debate about the US’s National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence programmes, sites like the Teufelsberg raise questions that appear both important and timely.

Table of Contents

List of Contents



List of Figures




Chapter 1

Introduction: Berlin becomes the Cold War espionage capital


Chapter 2

Electronic intelligence gathering: Beginnings

Intelligence terminology

The British

RAF 26 Signals Unit

Hangar 4 RAF Gatow

Radar intelligence

British army units

Brian Pachett

Rocking Horse - Training for war

The Americans

Block 87 or Inscom Site 4 - inset box

The French

Liaison missions

The watched watch the watchers

From Context to the Site Itself


Chapter 3

The Teufelsberg, History and Context


The city and the mound

Construction phases


Late 1960s to early 1970s


American presence

United States units based at the Teufelsberg

Principal United States Air Force electronic surveillance units in Berlin

British presence

RAF signals units at RAF Gatow

Technical equipment used at RAF Gatow and the Teufelsberg



Chapter 4

Archaeological Investigation: Methods and Approaches

Archaeologies of the Cold War

Field methods



Chapter 5

Site description

Site layout

The main gate

The eastern compound

The operational facilities – security and entry control

1437A Communications building

1469 Document destruction building

1498 Bar

1425 The Artic tower

1465 Jambalaya tower

1455 The British building, Building M

1475 Teufelsberg II, Building U

The upper British floor

The lower United States floor

1458 Main operations building

1453 Dining Facility



Chapter 6

Architectural Summary and Overview


Technical equipment



Chapter 7




The Future



Primary sources

Secondary sources

Cartographic sources

Web sources

About the Authors

Wayne D Cocroft is an archaeologist and manager of Historic England’s Historic Places Investigation Team East based in Cambridge. For over 25 years he has specialised in the investigation and assessment of former military sites, including explosives factories and Cold War research and development establishments. His published works include Dangerous Energy: the archaeology of gunpowder and military explosives manufacture, and he has also co-authored Cold War: building for nuclear confrontation 19461989, War Art murals and graffiti – military life, power and subversion. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.

John Schofield was, until recently, Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of York, where he is also Director of Studies in Cultural Heritage Management, having previously worked for English Heritage. John is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists and a Docent in Cultural Heritage, Landscape and Contemporary Archaeology at the University of Turku (Finland). He is also Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University, Adelaide, and an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, both in Australia. He has published extensively in the fields of cultural heritage, archaeology of the recent and contemporary pasts, and the archaeology of conflict. As a child, John lived in Berlin (1971–1973) where his father was Officer Commanding 26 Signals Unit, based both at RAF Gatow and at the Teufelsberg.

About the Series

Routledge Archaeologies of the Contemporary World

An historian once described, ’all history as contemporary history’. All archaeology is contemporary for the same reason - in its persistence, its resilience, its place in the contemporary world, on or beneath its surface. But increasingly archaeologists are focusing attention on the contemporary world itself, its materiality, the behaviours that underlie it, and the heritage it creates. Archaeology provides a distinctive and meaningful contribution to understanding the contemporary world - a contribution grounded in materiality, and in seeking to understand the often complex relationships between people, their behaviours and things. This series of books will generate new and deeper explorations of these relationships, creating and promoting archaeologies of the contemporary world through a range of formats (single-authored works, edited collections, Research Focus outputs) encouraging diversity of approach towards new interdisciplinary encounters with our supposedly ‘familiar past’.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology