The Berlin Wall was not just a wall. It was a very heavily guarded and fortified area patrolled by armed guards. Either side of the wall were mined areas constantly watched by guadrs in machine gun towers with electrified fences preventing access to the wall itself. Anyone approaching the wall was shot without question. Also the wall wasn't just in Berlin. The Wall was over 155 km (96 miles) long. In June 1962, work started on a second parallel fence up to 91 meters (100 yards) further into East German territory, with houses in between the fences torn down and their inhabitants relocated. A no man's land was created between the two barriers, which became widely known as the "death strip". It was paved with raked gravel, making it easy to spot footprints left by escapees; it offered no cover; it was booby-trapped with tripwires; and, most importantly, it offered a clear field of fire to the watching guards.
Over the years, the Wall went through four distinct phases:
Basic wire fence (1961)
Improved wire fence (1962-1965)
Concrete wall (1965-1975)
Grenzmauer 75 (Border Wall 75) (1975-1989)
The "fourth generation wall", known officially as "Stützwandelement UL 12.11"(Retaining wall element UL 12.11), was the final and most sophisticated version of the Wall. Begun in 1975 and completed about 1980, it was constructed from 45,000 separate sections of reinforced concrete, each 3.6 m (12 ft) high and 1.2 m (4 ft) wide, and cost 16,155,000 East German Marks. The top of the wall was lined with a smooth pipe, intended to make it more difficult for escapers to scale it. It was reinforced by mesh fencing, signal fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, over 116 watchtowers, and twenty bunkers. This version of the Wall is the one most commonly seen in photographs, and surviving fragments of Wall in Berlin and elsewhere around the world are generally pieces of the fourth-generation Wall.
It was heavily guarded.
The Berlin wall completely enclosed West Berlin, closing it off to the rest of Berlin and East Germany.
Could be one's fear of being shot - as many were!
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