Disbanded in 1976, the former super-secret Army Security Agency is now the subject of several books written by veterans of that clandestine organization. As we all get along in years our memories are finally being committed to paper or at least to web sites. And they can now be read by anyone, with no security clearance or “need to know” restrictions.
I’ve just finished reading an outstanding example of this literature. T.H.E. Hill’s light-hearted novel Voices Under Berlin concerns the humorous adventures of Kevin, a Russian-language linguist stationed at a top-secret ASA listening post right next to the Berlin Wall at the height of the Cold War. Hill’s incisive tale of blundering spares no one — Americans, Germans, Russians, Privates or Generals.
As you might suspect, the author’s name is a pseudonym, taken from the agency term “The Hill” that referred to operations centers. His moniker “Monterey Mary” means soldiers who graduated from the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. I was surprised to see the word “moose” used as far away as Germany; anyone who served in the military in the Far East during the postwar years knows what it means.
Although the story is fiction, it is based on real-life events revolving around a secret tunnel (photo of the real tunnel, left) dug by American spy agencies in the early 1950s into the Soviet Sector of Berlin for the purpose of intercepting Russian military communications by tapping into their underground cables.
Former ASAers will love this amusing tale, as will fans of off-the-wall espionage stories.
Voices Under Berlin
The Tale of a Monterey Mary
by T.H.E. Hill, a Field Station Berlin Author
- Awarded Book of the Month for September 2009 by the Military Writers Society of America
- Fiction Book Award 2009 by Branson Stars & Flags
- 2008 Award Winner, Hollywood Book Festival
There's more about this part of Berlin on this blog at Free Sample Chapters, Berlin Kreuzberg. Clicky. And still more in my Daytrips Berlin & Northern Germany and Daytrips Germany guidebooks (links below). You might also be interested in my 1969 stroll into communist East Berlin, recounted on this blog. And click here to find out about the ASA. Also CHECK OUT T.H.E. Hill's website on ASA tunnel links. AND his post on ASA Website Links.
Interested in photography? Check out my "Assisting Avedon" blog.
SO, just what Little Adventure am I up to now in 2013? Why, just the most challenging one of them all! CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT.
CHECK OUT Voices Under Berlin at Amazon by clicking on its title in the box below. And to learn more about the Berlin where all this happens check out my guidebooks Daytrips Berlin and Northern Germany and Daytrips Germany by clicking on its title in the other boxes below.