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The wraps come off ‘secret’ maps

SECRET maps of Solihull, drawn up by spies during the height of the Cold War, have been made public for the first time.

SECRET maps of Solihull, drawn up by spies during the height of the Cold War, have been made public for the first time.

The Soviet Union mapped out over 100 UK towns and cities, trying to identify sites of possible military importance.

One of the documents, available to view online, shows the borough as it was in 1977.

While all the place-names are in Russian, many familiar landmarks are clearly marked - including Olton Reservoir and Solihull town centre.

The geography would have been pieced together by a combination of satellite images, aerial photographs and intelligence being fed back to the Kremlin.

KGB spymasters had shaded some areas - such as the Land Rover works - as places of interest.

Incredibly, the maps include details like the width of roads and the depths of rivers, which were left off OS maps of that period.

The original maps, covering some 16,000 sq kms, were abandoned on train carriages in Latvia and Estonia, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

They fell into American hands, but were recently bought up by the British company - Russian Maps.

To look at the maps of the borough and surrounding areas, go to www.russianmaps.co.uk.

 

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