SPY maps produced by the KGB during the Cold War have revealed that Swindon was one of the places the Russians had mapped out as part of a worldwide military operation. Stalin and Gorbachev would have known exactly how to get to your house by tank.

The Russians knew the width of our roads, the height of our bridges, the depth of our rivers and the names of our streets.

This is according to mapping company Landmark Information Group, which has digitalised this rare set of documents.

Copies of the maps of the UK are now available commercially for the first time.

They were produced by the Russian military from 1950 to the 1997 and reveal the exact location and purpose of every structure of possible military importance.

Experts believe they were developed using aerial photos, satellite images, local knowledge and even spies to compile their maps.

The Russians managed to map out 16,000 sq km of the UK, including 103 major UK towns and cities, forming part of the most comprehensive global survey every attempted.

It was an ambitious project as it is thought the Russian military created detailed, accurate maps of practically every country in the world.

Russian map expert John Davies said: "Realising the military, economic and political benefits of topographic information, the Soviet military set about mapping the whole world - a mammoth task which took more than 50 years before, during and after the Cold War to complete.

"Today, very little is known about how the organisation was structured and how such incredible results were achieved. Certainly the operation was militarily driven, very well controlled, achieving spectacular results.

"Ultimately futile of course, if the purpose was world domination, but they left a fascinating legacy."

Landmark Information Group also provides reports to homebuyers and property professionals which identify potential environmental risks which could affect a house or building.

Homeowners and housebuyers worried about the risk of flood, contamination and subsidence can do a free postcode search by visiting Landmark's Homecheck website www.homecheck.co.uk.

Commercial property firms can also order reports and digital mapping by visiting www.landmarkinfo.co.uk or calling Landmark direct on 01491 413 030.