Tuesday 6 February 2024


IWM London

Limited availability and advance booking only.


Includes after-hours admission to the Spies, Lies and Deception exhibition

Join Major General Peter Williams in a conversation exploring intelligence gathering during the Cold War as he explores the cooperation between BRIXMIS ground patrols in the Potsdam area and the very low-level photo-reconnaissance sorties flown over the Berlin Control Zone, a topic that has never been shared with the public. 

Discover the challenges and triumphs of intelligence collection during the Cold War era, as Major General Williams shares first-hand experiences and insights into the world of military espionage. From clandestine work in East Berlin to peacekeeping operations in Bosnia, his talk will provide a unique perspective on the role of military intelligence in shaping historical events.

About the Event

An East German guard monitors railway goods trucks passing through the Staaken Railway checkpoint, 1968
© IWM TR 30288-1
An East German guard monitors railway goods trucks passing through the Staaken Railway checkpoint, Berlin, 1968.

This is your chance to hear Major General Peter Williams discuss his extraordinary career in military intelligence within the landscape of the Cold War. Joining him will be Michelle Kirby, IWM's Film Curator for the Cold War and twentieth century conflict.

Our special In Conversation With: events programme supports the new major temporary exhibition Spies, Lies and Deception. As part of the evening, view the must-see exhibition about deception and espionage from the First World War, Second World War and to the present day. Showcasing over 150 objects, newly digitised film and photography, as well as specially commissioned interviews, explore how audacious plots of deception have changed the course of conflict and the lives of those involved.

About the Speaker

Major General Peter Williams, in a blue suit with red and blue striped tie.
© Major General Peter Williams

A veteran with over 30 years of service in the Coldstream Guards, Major General Peter Williams has served across the world. As Regimental intelligence Officer during the Cold War, he spent over four years in East Germany with BRIXMIS, effectively working as a military spy.

After serving in Northern Ireland, Bosnia and the former Yugoslavia, Major General Williams worked with NATO forces in Russia. He remains the most senior British officer to serve in Russia since the Second World War.

As the Chairman of the BRIXMIS Association, Major General Williams has dedicated the last decade to highlighting the extraordinary achievements of "Britain’s forgotten Cold Warriors." 

About Michelle Kirby

Headshot of IWM curator Michelle Kirby
© Michelle Kirby

Michelle Kirby is Film Curator for IWM’s Cold War and late twentieth century conflict team. She has specialised in the film archive for the past four years, working on the IWM’s mass digitisation project Digital Futures, which aims to preserve over 2 million Cold War films and photographs. 

Michelle recently co-curated IWM London’s temporary exhibition 'Spies, Lies and Deception'. This blockbuster exhibition showcases over 150 remarkable objects relating to deception and espionage, from the First World War to modern day. The exhibition includes a section on gathering intelligence, featuring personal stories, newly digitised photographs and recently acquired objects relating to BRIXMIS operations in East Germany. 

About Your Ticket

Image of audience at in conversation event

As a charity, your IWM In Conversation ticket purchase helps IWM continue to tell stories for future generations.

Tickets cost just £15 per person (including IWM members) and include:

  •  Major General Peter Williams' talk within the impressive surroundings of IWM London’s exclusive Roof Terrace 
  •  A special Q&A with Major General WIlliams
  •  Ask your own questions and join the conversation
  •  Then enjoy exclusive after-hours entry to the special new major exhibition Spies, Lies and Deception
  •  Plus, discover the historical context of Spies, Lies and Deception in a special introductory talk on arrival at the exhibition entrance.

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