In October of 1951, the Americans became VERY aware of Steinstuecken. German Democratic Republic (GDR) border police, with Soviet approval, tried to forcibly annex Steinstuecken into Brandenburg. This was a direct test of America's willingness to abide by its promises to safeguard all parts of the American Sector of Berlin---even isolated, strategically-insignificant ones,
West Berlin leaders, led by Ernst Reuter (left), who became a hero during the Berlin Airlift, demanded that the U.S. protect Steinstucken. General Lemuel Mathewson (right) the U.S. Commandant of Berlin, agreed. After much wrangling and lots of high tension (which the book explores in depth), Mathewson forced the Soviets to back down. The GDR released Steinstuecken. This began a 20-year saga of American diplomats and soldiers figuring out how to protect a part of their sector, that they couldn't even drive to!