The military liaison missions were the result of reciprocal agreements between the Western allied nations (the United States, Great Britain and France) and the USSR shortly after the end of the Second World War. The missions were active from 1946 to 1990. The British-Soviet missions were the first to be created on 16 September 1946 under the terms of the Robertson-Malinin Agreement (the respective commanders-in-chief). He also had the largest contingent of staff with 31 accredited team members. Subsequent agreements with the United States (Huebner-Malinin, March 1947) and France (Noiret-Malinin, April 1947) had far fewer authorized personnel, perhaps because the Allies did not want large Soviet missions in their areas and vice versa. This freedom of movement throughout East Germany enabled the collection of information on the Warsaw Pact armed forces, including those of the Soviet Union and the GDR, which included the order and movement of violence, combat orders, equipment and professional standards. The configuration of the liaison teams was defined in the initial agreement and remained in place for the duration of the program. They consisted of a touring officer, a Tour NCO and a rider, all of whom received similar training in the following years. Their ground operations were carried out in rebuilt cars either ad hoc or on the management of Defence Intelligence in London. Such excursions could take a few days, as the teams are totally self-sufficient, cooking their own meals and sleeping in the countryside, either in the vehicle, as the driver always had to do, or, like the other two usually, in bivouacs or tents one man. After leaving Potsdam, they had no contact with their headquarters and left themselves to deal with unforeseen circumstances, be they problems or opportunities. Several agreements were concluded in 1944/1945.
The military liaison missions are based on the agreement on control machines in Germany, signed on 14 November 1944. The agreement provided for the accreditation of the army with the high command of the other occupying forces. Agreements between allied nations and the Soviet Union allowed a small number of military intelligence officers – and accompanying support personnel – to be sent to the territory of the other country in Germany, allegedly to monitor and promote better relations between the Soviet and Western occupying forces. British, French and American missions corresponded to the size of Soviet counter-missions in West Germany (nominal British, French and American post-war occupation zones).