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Cold War maps show how Russians had intelligence on RAF Waddington

By This is Lincolnshire  |  Posted: October 01, 2010

  • Russian maps from the Cold War showing details of Lincolnshire's military facilities, including RAF Waddington, have been revealed for the first time.

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SOVIET-MADE maps showing detailed plans of a major military base in the county will be published today.

The maps were produced by the Russian military during the Cold War and reveal the exact location and purpose of anything of military importance at RAF Waddington.

The plans of RAF Waddington were drawn up in 1989 and show sensitive data including bunkers, hangar buildings, aircraft locations and individual roads running through the base, which are still not available on UK maps.

Flight Lieutenant Darren Scales, spokesman for RAF Waddington, which is the air force's main intelligence hub, said: "These maps are very interesting, especially from our point of view, as intelligence gathering in support of operations is one of our key outputs at RAF Waddington.

"To see the level of detail they have managed to achieve so long ago is remarkable.

"It has generated quite a lot of interest on the base, as we are doing the same thing in Afghanistan right now.

"It's not 'Cold War spying', but rather intelligence gathering and providing vital information that is used to help coalition forces achieve their missions as safely as possible."

Experts believe the maps were developed using aerial photos, satellite images, local knowledge and even spies, forming part of the most comprehensive global survey ever attempted.

During the intelligence gathering, the Russians also put together details such as the width of roads, height of bridges and depth of rivers in Lincoln itself.

The Russians managed to map out 16,000sq km of the UK, including 103 major UK towns and cities.

The Lincolnshire maps are part of a nationwide collection being published online at www.russianmaps.co.uk in correlation with company www.Old-Maps.co.uk

Nurse Janice Collins, 50, said it was concerning to hear how much information they had gathered.

"It's quite scary to hear they had that much detail on local air bases and the city," said Mrs Collins, of Fiskerton.

"It makes you wonder what other info they have put together and exactly why they needed that much detail and information.

"That said, it is fascinating to hear and I will look forward to seeing them."

Russell Morris, Corporate Communications Manager at Old-Maps.co.uk said: "The maps preserve details of our landscape and geography that might otherwise have been lost. Our website allows users to search for a particular area by Ordinance Survey map co-ordinates or postcode, so it's straightforward to examine how a particular neighbourhood was recorded by the Russians."

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    Heather, Lincoln  |  October 01 2010, 6:46PM

    I tried to get a Russian map from the website but it did not work.

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    Phil, Lincoln  |  October 01 2010, 12:42PM

    They've possibly tapped into computer system at banks etc and know what what we've bought at Tescos and had for tea. Maybe they have a super camera on a satelite that see's through walls and roofs and record every time we go to the loo. In this day and age we just don't know who knows what about us.