“Serving the Mission”: Two USMLM Tour Officers Reflect On Their Service In East Germany During The Cold War

Fred Manzo & Michael DePrie


LTC Fred Manzo (Field Artillery) and LTC Michael DePrie (Infantry) both served as tour officers with the United States Military Liaison Mission in East Germany during the Cold War. In this interview, they recount some of their most interesting experiences behind the Iron Curtain. They talk about being the first Americans to see new Soviet military equipment, and photographing it for military intelligence. They describe preparing for and conducting a tour, and mention some of the memorable situations they encountered. They provide a comparison between Soviet and East German Soldiers, remarking that “they were typical Soldiers.” Hunting for suspected nuclear installations, checking on alert sites, and observing vehicle convoys are some of the missions they recount. One of the more interesting stories they relate concerns a Soviet General’s wife at a Bastille Day celebration. Finally, they reflect on what their service means to them.


conflicts Cold War
topics USMLM United States Military Liaison Mission Leadership Teamwork Camaraderie
interviewer David Siry
date 29 April 2017


name Fred Manzo & Michael DePrie
institution USMA
graduation year 1959
service Field Artillery / Infantry
unit United States Military Liaison Mission
service dates 1959