40 years ago, Soviet troops entered Afghanistan. Only decades later it became known that they were closely watched by spies from Germany – for a specific purpose.
25 December 1979 Soviet troops entered Afghanistan. The Soviet Union became involved in a war that lasted for ten years. About helping the United States to the Mujahideen who fought against Soviet troops, written many books and filmed more than one film. But until now, few people know that in the war actively participated in the exploration of Germany. DW – about a dark page of the cold war.
Operation “Summer rain” in Afghanistan
“Summer rain”, was strictly a covert operation under the guidance of the Federal intelligence service (BND), which was attended by the special forces of the Bundeswehr. The details of the operation became known to the public only in 2013, when “Summer rain,” told the German media – the German newspaper Die Welt and socio-legal TV channel ZDF. The journalists managed to speak with several former and current employees of German intelligence agencies. Through these conversations, reporters learned that the Afghan mission lasted for many years and is considered one of the most successful in the history of the BND. About the operation “Summer rain” senior officials of intelligence agencies and the German government prefer not to talk until now.
When the Soviet Union in 1979 invaded Afghanistan, this was to be short-term operation, but Soviet troops are bogged down in the Hindu Kush. In 1981, the game entered the German BND, with one clearly articulated goal – to collect as much information as possible about the military equipment of the Soviet army. At that time, Afghanistan was the only place of military confrontation between the West and the East, explained the former security officers.
The intelligence services of Germany under the guise of Mujahideen and nurses
The operation looked like this: intelligence officers and special forces of the Bundeswehr was accompanied by the Afghan opposition-the Mujahideen during their clashes with the military units of the Soviet army. Disguised as Mujahideen, the Germans wanted to quietly collect weapons that were left lying on the battlefield.
They were interested in everything, but especially samples of the latest Soviet weapons, which were tested in Afghanistan: a new technique for armor, munitions, including uranium shells, warheads for missiles, night vision devices and navigation systems. The Mujahideen could count on a good fee from German intelligence, if found of interest BND samples of weapons.
Then the military equipment was transported to Pakistan. The Soviet invasion caused a huge wave of refugees in the neighboring country. German Bundeswehr assisted refugees from Afghanistan. In one of the Pakistani villages has been deployed a mobile hospital, which sent vehicles with the latest medical technology. But the vehicles were dual-purpose: in addition to medical, there was the equipment for the analysis of weapons. Disguised as nurses of the German experts studied the Soviet military equipment. After analysis it was sent for tests in Germany, the parcel with the samples of weapons were sent almost every week.
Specialists from Germany were trying not to get captured by the troops of the USSR
When in 2013 it became known that many former soldiers of the Bundeswehr admitted that was a huge risk. The leadership demanded in all possible ways to avoid getting captured by the military of the Soviet Union. German military experts not to carry identification plates so that they are not identified as employees of German intelligence agencies. The order not to surrender alive in the memories of the former commandos and scouts, no one spoke aloud, but all and so it was understandable. While disguised as a Mujahideen in this operation was not enough: the rebels demanded the participation of German specialists in the fighting.
According to the memoirs of the former leadership of the security services, operation “Summer rain” has cost Germany 250 thousand DM annually. These expenses in the Federal budget has not been registered as a separate line – except the German government about the operation in the country, no one knew. Military operations of the Bundeswehr abroad require the approval of the German Parliament, but the Bundestag is not informed, using the fact that the law does not require the consent of the Parliament on the operations of the BND.
Written evidence on the operation “Summer rain” is almost gone – too great was the risk that the securities will be known not only in the USSR but also in Germany itself. In 1980-ies on the wave of anti-war protests and negative attitude to foreign missions of the Bundeswehr it would be a huge scandal, sure the former employees of the German secret services. The first official foreign mission of the Bundeswehr began many years after the end of the war in Afghanistan in 1995 in Bosnia and Herzegovina.