Berlin: Sparks in the Sky

"I'm flying two meters above him. Now I can see his expression, and he can see mine . . . I wave him down . . . He waved back . . . He did not move . . . Can I get permission to shoot him down?"

These were the radioed words of a Soviet fighter pilot buzzing a Western transport plane in the skies near Berlin. Failing to get a reply from his Russian ground commander, the pilot did not fire. But the message, monitored by U.S. authorities, was evidence of dangerous...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!