How the Soviets picked up a Sidewinder for under $80

And Deutsche Bundespost almost lost it…

The full story: War is Boring

That the Soviet-made R-3S air-to-air missile — better known in the West by its NATO-designation AA-2 Atoll — is a copy of the AIM-9B Sidewinder, originally developed and manufactured in the USA, is relatively well-known.

How it came to be … isn’t so well-known. It involved the mail.

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Air transportation services were making mistakes back then at least as often as they make them nowadays, and thus Ramminger’s parcel first traveled from Frankfurt via Paris to Copenhagen, then back to Düsseldorf, before finally reaching Moscow – 10 days late.

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