INT: ...manoeuvres inside the forests of the, I think the Grunewald Forest possibly, in West Berlin.

JA: I wasn't aware of secret manoeuvres in the Grunewald Forest. The Grunewald Forest was a training ground for the American forces and they were constantly in the Grunewald training, doing manoeuvres, constantly and there were firing ranges, because keep in mind we would send our troops to Graffenwehr or to the training areas outside, but the American troops did all of their training in the Grunewald, so it was quite open. They had certain training areas, they had ranges, they had certain restricted areas where they would attempt to keep the West German population out, simply because of the conflict of impeding the movement of the soldiers. But there was night training, there was day training and it was quite open. So, General Clay, to my knowledge, never secretly did anything here. He was extremely expressive, he was quite open, he was very positive and he pulled no punches. It's interesting to point out that General Clay was not the senior US commander here, although he was senior in rank. He was here as the special presidential adviser on Berlin and this did not usurp the command prerogative of General Watson, who was the commander. There was a rather tricky relationship there, where General Watson certainly respected General Clay, but by the same token, General Clay respected General Watson's command position here. And I've sat between both of 'em where you could tell General Watson would look to General Clay for guidance and General Clay would wait on General Watson to make his command decision and it was a rather friendly, respectful what do you think of that, sir? And it would be, well, that's fine, I think we should go ahead and proceed with that, sir. One thing of interest, with all due respects to Mayor Willi Brandt, Mayor Willi Brandt was a figurehead in Berlin, he was the mayor, but Berlin was controlled and run by the allies. It was a zone of occupation and on numerous occasions I've had comments made to me by the American commander that I have a meeting with Mayor Brandt and I need to make it a little earlier, because if we need any aquisilience or decision from Willi Brandt, I need to get it before twelve o'clock, because by two o'clock he's frequently quite tipsy. And it was a true factor that Willi Brandt was a very popular, extremely popular figurehead, but the Western commandants here had a very good relationship with him, but when they sought his co-operation or his aquisilience in any of the planning that they were doing, it was normally wise to do it in the morning and not attempt to get an agreement in the afternoon.

INT: Could you at this stage explain to me the kind of how the confrontation at Checkpoint Charlie evolved and also how much that was actually related to Clay himself? What part did he take in that?

JA: The October confrontation of the Americans and the Russians at Checkpoint Charlie it was unanticipated. It came about as the East German regime was attempting to get defacto recognition. The Soviets were totally in command and the al, the Americans, dealt only with the Soviets and the instructions to any American who ever had a problem was, don't ever deal with the East German, demand that a Soviet officer come to the scene. And the allies refused to deal with the East German regime in every aspect. It was only this factor that led to an attempt to get de facto recognition, therefore the Americans sent a State Department car across Checkpoint Charlie to go into a normal shopping trip or co-ordination visit or what have you into East Berlin and the East Germans at Checkpoint Charlie demanded that the occupants of the car show their identification papers. And this is totally not in accordance with the agreements at Potsdam, therefore at the time it was Minister E. Alan Leitner, who was the US Minister in Berlin, and he refused to show his identification and he came back. And this was a very serious breach, in that it was the first attempt of the East Germans to get this recognition from the allies, obviously concurred and approved by the Soviets. Minister Leitner refused to show it, came back and we, the Americans, to mount a probe one or two days later, whereby we knew they would probably pull this trick again and deny access, therefore, we mounted a contingent of MPs, armed, in Jeeps and on foot and when the Minister's car went in and they denied him access, as we anticipated that they would, we immediately rushed several Jeeps with fifty calibre machine guns and armed troops on foot, who took up a position in front of the car and they startled the Fo-Pos at the checkpoint - this is the last thing that they anticipated - and by force, the Americans walked, ran, drove right through. the car proceeded and then the troops turned around and came back and the car proceeded on it. The incident was exacerbated somewhat the next day, when we received a report that the British had been stopped in one of their checkpoints. They had been asked to show their identification and this was a British diplomatic vehicle, which had a right to go through without showing the papers, and for some reason known only to the British diplomat, he elected to take out his passport and show it to the East German guards and they allowed him on through. I happened to be in General Clay's office when he learned of that incident and he became very annoyed, very irritated and I remember he spoke out loud to himself more than to me, there was just the two of us in the room, but he said, damn it, this is impossible, this is unfathomable that one of our allies will not be in step with what we're trying to do, when we're prepared to go to war over this issue if necessary and they apparently have taken it so lightly that they don't understand the seriousness that we must be absolutely in unison in everything we do here. And I just cannot understand the British doing this. And he was...