SOXMIS or Soviet Military Mission was the Russian equivalent of BRIXMIS (British Military Mission), and each group operated in each other's zone of occupied Germany. The Soviets also operated vis a vis with the French and US military in their respective zones of occupation by unilateral agreement under terms agreed at the Four Power Conference in Berlin in 1945.

SOXMIS & BRIXMIS vehicles were required to display a large yellow sign at the rear of the vehicles with a distinctive black number which was clearly visible. There was also a national flag and the words 'SOXMIS' or 'BRIXMIS'.

These groups were relatively small. They were designed to instil trust between the occupying powers in Germany.

Obviously, the members (observers) of these groups were opportunist and were often suspected of spying on each others military capability.

The SOXMIS group in the British Zone were located in Bad Salzuflen, ('Bad Salts' as we used to call it), about 10Kms from Herford, and they were permitted to use the NAAFI in Harewood Barracks, Herford.

All British troops were issued with a card with details of how to recognise a SOXMIS car. They were encouraged to report to any military authority when and where such a vehicle was spotted, and to report any suspicious activity which included unauthoirised observance of military manouvres or deviation from the autobanns (they were not permitted to stop at the rest points), unless escorted by British RMP escort.

If suspicious activity such as illegal parking was observed, British military vehicles were to 'box in-sandwich' the offending SOXMIS car and remain with it until higher authority resolved problems! At no time were British service personnel to be discourteous.

RMP personnel from 19 Support Platoon, affectionately known as "White Mice Chasers", usually manned 'special' cars to follow and report suspicious SOXMIS activity. (There are some photos below-more will be added shortly).

There is evidence that British military personnel did not monitor nor report SOXMIS activity as most held a 'why worry about them' attitude!

It is said that if you happened to pull alongside a SOXMIS car, the occupants would pull down curtains!

The SOXMIS/BRIXMIS arrangements were terminated when the 'Wall' came down in 1990.

For comments by the few RMP who were involved with SOXMIS cars, do a 'Google' by typing in 'SOXMIS'.

Ian.

December 2007.

RMP PERSONNEL EXPERIENCES WITH SOXMIS

"OPERATION SOXMIS"

After completing my RMP. training at Inkerman Barracks in Jan. 1951. I was posted to the newly reformed 6th Arm'd. Div.Pro.Coy. at Kiwi Barracks, Bulford, Sailsbury Plain District, where I served for one year. So, in Jan.1952 the 6th Arm'd. Div.Pro.Coy. moved to Germany and set up their HQ in Park Strasse, Bad Salzuflen. About May-June of that year I was required to take part, along with half a dozen or so other NCO's in what was to be called 'Operation Soxmis'. Our service jeeps were taken from us and we were given brand new V.W's., Our orders were to keep tabs on the Russian Military Mission members who were also stationed in Bad Salzuflen at that time. From our “stake out” position we could see the Russian HQ, and in which direction they went when leaving. In one particular event, three cars came out together. On this day there was only two RMP cars on “stake out”, so “two followed three”. A real merry chase began, and after about an hour the Russians turned off the main road and went along a forest track, and we duly followed them. After a few minutes they arrived at a small clearing in the woods where there was a small disused quarry which had filled with water. At this point three Russian soldiers got out of the cars together with their wives and children and all wearing swimming costumes. Into the water they all jumped. That day the weather was fine and warm. As we watched, they waved to us to come in and join in the fun, but sadly as we were on duty, we had to decline. You can see on this “warm day” it was not all doom an’ gloom during the “cold war”!

W. B. Bonsor. ex RMP. 6th Arm. Div. Provost.

22.05.2008

This is a typical yellow card issued to British and Allied troops in Germany. There were variations from time to time but the message was the same.

This Instruction Card was issued to RMP and is supplied here courtesy of Frank Wood, ex 561 squad. It was in Russian and English and reads:"Will you please show me the documents issued to you by the British Authorities. You are in an area prohibited to members of your Mission and their families. I have instructions to escort you out of the prohibited area. Will you please follow me".