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James R. Holbrook

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Lieutenant Colonel James R. Holbrook, USA (ret.) “began his U.S. Army career as a private and retired as a lieutenant colonel. He served with the U.S. Military Liaison Mission in Potsdam, East Germany and West Berlin in 1976-1977. Before the Mission assignment, Holbrook worked at all levels of intelligence-as an enlisted Russian linguist in West Berlin, commanding officer of an intelligence detachment in South Vietnam, and as an operational and strategic analyst in the Pentagon and Europe. Lieutenant Colonel James R. Holbrook was awarded the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal and several service and campaign ribbons. The author holds BA and MA degrees from The American University and a PhD from Georgetown.” Lieutenant Colonel James R. Holbrook is the author of Potsdam Mission: Memoir of a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer in Communist East.

 

According to the book description of Potsdam Mission: Memoir of a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer in Communist East, “recently declassified information makes it possible for the first time to tell part of the story behind the Cold War intelligence operations of the U.S. Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) to the Commander of the Soviet Army in Communist East Germany. Intelligence collection often led to dangerous encounters with the Soviet and East German armies. On occasion, Allied officers and non-commissioned officers were seriously injured. Before it all ended with the collapse of the Iron Curtain, one French sergeant and one American officer had been killed. Potsdam Mission traces the development of the author into a Soviet/Russian specialist and U.S. Army intelligence officer. The author then relates his own intelligence collection forays into East Germany by taking the reader on trips that include several harrowing experiences and four arrests/detentions by the Soviets Finally, the author describes the challenges and rewards of interpreting at USMLM and comments on the important role played by the Mission in Cold War intelligence.”


Potsdam Mission: Memoir of a U.s. Army Intelligence Officer in Communist East Germany
James R. Holbrook  More Info

One reader of Potsdam Mission: Memoir of a U.S. Army Intelligence Officer in Communist East said, “an excellent and riveting first-hand report by a former U.S. Army officer about a little-known but extremely important role played by the U.S. Military Liaison Mission in Potsdam. Holbrook was a legendary Russian linguist and was considered to have native fluency. However, it would be even more interesting if Holbrook completed this abbreviated memoir with his exploits a few years later at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, where it is understood that the KGB attempted to compromise and turn him and a cloak-and-dagger story that rivals any James Bond exploit.”

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