It seems like a pretty blatant approach but having the CIA attend Soviet parades to gather information and other military intelligence makes you think that it is actually a very practical method.
You wouldn't think the US would do such a thing now, since it has the most sophisticated military technology in the world but probably back then, they needed a little bit of inspiration and where else to find it but in your rival's backyard.
During the Cold War, the CIA gleamed much of its information about new Soviet weapon systems simply by showing up at parades.
The Soviet Union regularly held parades through Moscow’s Red Square, displaying new equipment designed to showcase the power of the Soviet state.
The Soviets were on to the CIA though, and in at least one famous instance fooled Western intelligence into believing the country had far more nuclear-capable bombers than it really did.
Read more on Popular Mechanics.
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