Abandoned Cold War Places...

…from Amber Books

Title:  Abandoned Cold War Places

Author: Robert Grenville

Publisher:  Amber Books

ISBN:  978-1-78274-917-2

This new book from Amber is simply fascinating. It is a collection of photos which illustrate so many places around the world which once upon a time would have not been accessible for photography without taking the risk of being shot by armed guards. They also illustrate how governments will spend countless millions of dollars/pounds/roubles and so on, just to eventually abandon them to be largely reclaimed by nature.

The book is split across 6 chapters, which follow a short Introduction which sets the scene for what follows. The sequence of chapters tackle Russia: Eastern Europe & the Soviet Bloc; Western Europe: The Americas: and finally, Asia, Middle East and Africa. The collection of high quality pictures show us things like large nuclear shelters in Moscow and lines of aircraft still lined up on old Russian airfields, rotting where they stand: de-commissioned Foxtrot submarines with just their conning towers showing above the ice outside Vladivostok harbour and more. In what are now independent states in the old Eastern Bloc even the huge covers of ICBM silos which once covered their missiles; now empty underground stores which once held nuclear warheads and even the plush underground bunker designed for Tito in what is now Bosnia. The old border fences and watch towers on the old Czech- German border and of course the abandoned cities of Pripyat and Chernobyl. Some very haunting images. Even in Western Europe there are many reminders. Parts of the Berlin Wall, Templehof Airport and watchtowers and crossing points between East & West Germany. Here in the UK, the nuclear shelter at Kelvedon Hatch and the old hardened aircraft shelters at RAF Woodbridge among others. In America, more missile bases and even the air defence headquarters under Cheyanne Mountain and the lines of B-52's stored at Davis-Monthan air base in Arizona.   Further south, Argentine aircraft wrecks on the Falkland Islands. In Asia, Afghanistan still has large quantities of rotting Soviet military hardware, left over from their involvement there.

Many of the pictures in this book are such incredible reminders of what it was like during the Cold War, and how different the world is today. In many cases, such as the lines of abandoned aircraft, I admit I would simply dream of being able to visit such site myself in order to take photos. I can but dream.  In the meantime, I am sure I will not be the only one to thoroughly enjoy this one.

Distributed by Amber Books, who kindly provided my review copy.

Robin