Codename DICK TRACY

Second World War aerial photography of Russia, taken by the German Luftwaffe and captured by the Allies. 

These photographs are part of an enormous collection of German intelligence material found in the closing days of the war. They were discovered by American soldiers at Berchtesgaden, Hitler's mountain retreat in southern Bavaria. Code-named DICK TRACY, the collection was airlifted to the UK and combined with siezures of similar material from elsewhere. After initial analysis at the Allied Central Interpretation Unit (ACIU), at RAF Medmenham, it was shipped to the United States. 

The combined collection of German aerial photography (GX) became known as the GX Library. This formed the backbone of Anglo-American target intelligence in the Cold War. The GX Library was gradually superceded by imagery from high-altitude reconnaissance planes and satellites in the 1960's. 

The images in this gallery cover a range of locations across the Eastern Front between Moscow and Leningrad (now known as St Petersburg). They show Russian fixed defenses, including anti-tank ditches and trenches, artillery positions and airfields. Some of the images show the same locations in different seasons, with deep snow-cover evident in the winter months.