November 19, 2017 at 2:50 am #52639
Anybody that thinks the Soviets were amateurs in their attempts at world domination during the cold war, simply don’t know their history. But even given my own study of the topic, and my beliefs as a result, I was rather surprised at the depth (and quality) of their intelligence products. Despite a few missteps, they developed some truly amazing and detailed street-level maps of most of the developed world, especially the Unites States, long before anyone publicly knew about satellite mapping technology, and well before computer mapping.
What’s really amazing about the following article and book description is the detail the Soviets put into documenting bridge load capacities, building heights, building uses, etc. As the reviewers (or more accurately, the promoters) of the book state in their introduction, “[L]ong before we had satellite imagery of any neighborhood at a finger’s reach, the amount the Soviet government knew about your family’s city, street, and even your home would astonish you.”
While a bit long, it is exceptionally intriguing just how serious the Soviets were, and how much they were able to accomplish while the rest of the empire remained so poor and behind-the-times. We get an even better glimpse into how much their limited wealth was concentrated in their military assets. Their infiltration of the U.S. should be an eye-opener to very many even today. They truly walked among us all, in far larger numbers than we had any idea.
And the book review (promotion, actually) itself – from none other than the University of Chicago Press:November 19, 2017 at 1:58 pm #52641
LOL! Got up this morning and had an email that said Tolik replied here. Looks like the Russians didn’t like his post (or he got bit by the ever-present SHTF editing bug).November 19, 2017 at 3:30 pm #52642
LOL , I did , but something is buggy . Gotta keep an eye on those Russians , they puked on the rug today , the cats denied everything .November 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm #52643
True , Stalin had British intelligence so infiltrated during WW2 , that he knew everything that was said between Roosevelt and Churchill . He also knew about the Manhattan project , but only so far as to what we were trying to accomplish . Churchill couldnt keep his mouth shut , and pre- empt the cold war by doing research called “operation unthinkable ” ( war with the Soviet union , started by the US and UK) . The idiot , donkey Truman didnt help the situation either . Action , reaction . The good side effect of WW2 , was the fact that they lost over 27 million people , something they are still recovering from to this day . That limits your abilities . Communists are very serious , but the higher ups also understood their system didnt work , and keeping the illusion alive was critical to survival . However they knew the clock was ticking , and it didnt take much for us to force them into bankruptcy , by creating measures that they would be forced to try and counter , One of them being Reagan’s Star Wars initiative program . They lacked technology , so were forced to put spies on the ground , we on the other hand , had very few spies on the ground , and relied on technology with 2nd hand information from our allies . This turned out to be a mistake in policy , we now have more spies on the ground . Spies are old school , but still the best way to keep an eye on your enemies . this is take two lolNovember 20, 2017 at 2:10 am #52645
These days, they (or
anyevery other power) can get most of it for free from Google Earth (fantastic resolution with the professional version, which used to cost ~$400, but now appears to be free.) One can annotate any or all of it to hearts content, including adding 3D models of buildings (where others have not done so already.) It’s an extremely versatile and dimensionally accurate platform. Satellite mapping having developed to the high art it now is, most of the major military powers would be able to spot a new gopher hole in your back yard before you would, if they were looking for gophers.
Cry, "Treason!"November 20, 2017 at 4:01 am #52646
LT, no question about the easily available technology today. My interest was in just how far the Soviets were able to get back in the pre-1990 days. What still isn’t in print anywhere that I can find is the resolution that existed way back then. It was far better than almost anyone in the general public would hardly believe, if they heard what could be spotted (and read) back in the 60s and 70s. But then most people don’t have any idea just how incredible it was to put the YF-12 (SR-71) in the air by 1962, with the first orders already being placed by 1960. Kelly Johnson was already working on the concepts in the mid-50s. The technology was beyond anything they even had at the time, and production equipment and techniques had to literally be invented for that bird to ever fly. Despite the early 1962 first flight, it was 30 years before the project was ever officially made public.
We were way ahead of the Soviets, but they were doing what North Korea is doing today – funneling all their money into military projects, not their “citizens.” One can only wonder what we (AND they) have these days, especially when I’ve never seen any indication that resolution from space in the late 1960s has even yet been declassified. Probably to do so would give away far too much about where we’ve likely come today. I have an interesting certain sense that when Trump tells Lil’ Kim that he really doesn’t want to see what happens if they push us too far, there’s so much more behind that than we have any idea. It could be fun to watch, but then we’d also be giving away our capabilities that the Chicoms and Ruskies can only suspect thus far (hence all the missile launches by NK trying to draw us into showing what we’ve got – quite likely at their Chinese buddies’ requests).
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