The Cold War Begins



Second Volume of the Berlin Tunnel Trilogy

Historical Fiction

To Be Published: September 8, 2020

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From Amazon bestsellers list author Roger L. Liles comes the second volume of his Cold War trilogy—THE COLD WAR BEGINS. The setting is war-ravaged Berlin in late 1946. Spies from both sides begin to move with relative ease throughout a Germany occupied by British, French, American and Russian military forces. Kurt Altschuler, our hero, soon becomes one of them.

While working behind enemy lines as an OSS agent in France during World War II, Kurt learns that intelligence collection involves both exhilarating and dangerous encounters with the enemy. He relished every moment he spent as part of the vanguard confronting the Nazis.

That war has been over for 18 months when he is offered a job as a CIA deep-cover agent in the devastated and divided city of Berlin. He jumps at the opportunity, but is concerned that his guise as an Associated Press News Agency reporter will offer little action. He need not worry. Soon, he is working undercover, deep inside of Russian-controlled southeastern Germany. Eventually, KGB agents waylay him and tear his car and luggage apart. His chauffeur is beaten. He is threatened with prison, torture and death.

Enter Erica Hoffmann, a very attractive, aspiring East German archeology student. Any relationship between an undercover CIA agent and an East German woman is strictly forbidden; she might be a KGB or Stasi agent or operative. But he cannot help himself—he has fallen hard for her. Kurt strives assiduously to maintain their tempestuous, star-crossed relationship.

Eventually, Kurt works to counter the efforts of Russian and East German spies, especially a mole who is devastating Western Intelligence assets throughout Europe. He also must work to identify and expose enemy spies who have penetrated the very fabric of the West German government and society. He frequently observes to others that: “the spy business is like knife fighting in a dark closet; you know you’re going to be cut up, you just don’t know how bad.”


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Author’s Notes

Almost one hundred years of relative world peace was shattered in 1914 and again in 1939 with two devastating world wars. Tens of millions of military personnel and civilians on both sides were killed. By 1945, most of the world’s population was exhausted by war and craved peace. Over 11 million displaced survivors roamed Europe in search of a meal and shelter.
Because Germany was viewed as being directly responsible for both conflicts, the Allies demanded it surrender unconditionally. In May 1945, the Four Powers—the French, British, Americans, and Russians—began to take over their agreed-to areas of occupation in that country.
Joseph Stalin, the leader of the Soviet Union, decided to take advantage of the instability caused by the second war to further the communist goal of world domination. When hostilities ended, Soviet troops occupied most of central Europe. Using rigged elections, palace coups, outright force, and even murder, the Soviets began imposing communist regimes on Poland, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and of course, East Germany.
In his Iron Curtain Speech, Winston Churchill noted that a new era had started less than a year after World War II hostilities ended. This new era would last for the next forty-three years. It is best characterized as a confrontation between two radically different political, social, and economic ideologies for control of the world—America and the Free World versus Russia and the Communist World. This conflict is known in history as THE COLD WAR.
It was given this name, because with few exceptions—Korea and Vietnam—this was not a shooting war. America and her allies sought to contain communist expansion using every means short of war. In addition to a massive arms buildup, this is the era of spy versus spy. Much like a chess match, one side would seek an advantage and the other would attempt to counter that move with one of its own.


Conversations between characters in this novel are in both English and German. In English, contractions are used for informal conversations and there are no familiar verb forms. In German, there are no contractions and the familiar form is used in everyday conversations with close business associates, friends, and relatives. The main characters in this novel speak both English and German fluently and switch from one to the other. Thus, if a conversation appears stiff and formal, it is in German. The presence of contractions in a sentence means that they are conversing in English.

About the Author

Roger L. Liles decided he had to earn a living after a BA and graduate studies in Modern European History. He went back to school and eventually earned an MS in Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1970.

In the 1960s, he served as an Air Force Signals Intelligence Officer in Turkey and Germany and eventually lived in Europe for a total of eight years. He worked in the military electronics field for forty years—his main function was to translate engineering jargon into understandable English and communicate it to senior decision-makers in the government.

Now retired after working for forty years as a senior engineering manager and consultant with a number of aerospace companies, he spends his days writing. His first novel, which was published in late 2018 was titled The Berlin Tunnel—A Cold War Thriller. His second novel The Cold War Begins was published in late 2020 and is the second volume in his planned The Cold War Trilogy. This trilogy is based on extensive research into Berlin during the spy-versus-spy era which followed World War II and his personal experience while living and working in Europe. He is in the process of writing its third volume of the trilogy which will be titled The Berlin Tunnel—Another Crisis and takes the story into 1962 and the era of the Cuban Missile Crisis.


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