• Short Summary

    The Eiskeller territory consists of flat farmland covering an area of about 1 square mile.?

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    Background: The Eiskeller territory consists of flat farmland covering an area of about 1 square mile. There are 4 houses in the area and 9 people live there permanently including one school boy. The area lies outside the boundary of West Berlin and is connected to it by a narrow track 400 yards long. The land on both sides of this track is East German territory.

    The territory was regularly patrolled by Royal Military Police as part of the routine border patrols which have been carried out ever since the British Army entered Berlin. Early in August 1961 one of these patrols consisting of 2 men in a jeep was ambushed near the access track and detained for some hours by East German troops and police and it was observed that East German troops and police were present in large numbers in the area and had constructed "knife rests" (these are easily movable barbed wire barriers on a wooden frame). It seemed evident that the East Germans were about to try and cut off the territory from West Berlin and therefore the British Sector Commandant, Major General Sir Rohan Delacombe, immediately moved troops into the area to forestall this move. Since that time a standing patrol has been maintained in the Eiskeller by troops of the 1st Battalion The Welch Regiment who are quartered at Brooke Barracks, Spandau.

    The mission of the patrol is to maintain free access to the Eiskeller territory, to ensure that there is no encroachment on the territory by East German Forces, and to maintain the right of the inhabitants to go about their business in peace and freedom.

    In this connection the school boy mentioned above is escorted along the access track every day on his way to and from school.

    The patrol is equipped with the usual infantry weapons and normally uses jeeps and armoured scout cars (Ferret).

    Royal Military Police patrols continue on the British Zonal border throughout the 24 hours and they maintain close liaison with the infantry Eiskeller patrol.

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