Australian Cold War Maritime Air Patrols (332)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
6d ago
Leigh joined the RAAF in 1978 to train as a pilot but was scrubbed after a few months and transitioned to training as an Air Electronics Officer (AEO) at the RAAF School of Air Navigation. He flew on the P-3C Orion and was employed in operations across the Indo-Pacific region on maritime patrol surveillance operations in the region - which included both usual surface surveillance of the region and operations alongside the US against Soviet submarines transiting the area. He also had the opportunity to track Soviet SSBNs in the NE Pacific operating with the US Navy. He details many incidents du ..read more
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A traumatic childhood journey from Cold War Poland to the United States (331)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
1w ago
In this deeply personal episode, our guest, Norbert, vividly recounts his traumatic childhood journey from Cold War Poland to the United States. With vivid recollections, he describes the struggles of his parents amid food shortages and the poignant decision of the family to leave everything behind for an uncertain future in the United States. We also explore the cultural shock and the struggle to find identity in a new world, as Norbert navigates life as a Polish immigrant in 1980s America. From his first bewildering day at an American school to his father's relentless work ethic in pursuit o ..read more
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Planning for a Hot War in the Cold War (330)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
2w ago
Dan served in the War Plans office of the US Army VII Corps working on counterattack plans and reorganization of the US Army’s General Defence Plan. He describes the debriefing of a Polish Special Forces operator who had defected to the West and who revealed surprising knowledge of US plans and order of battle. Dan also details his experiences on the Able Archer 83 exercise and his views about how dangerous that was. In addition to his work in the War Plans office, we discuss terror attacks on the US Army in West Germany including the bombing of the LaBelle disco in West Berlin where 2 US sold ..read more
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The Picnic That Ripped Open The Iron Curtain (329)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
3w ago
In August 1989, a group of Hungarian activists did the unthinkable: they entered the forbidden militarised zone of the Iron Curtain - and held a picnic. Word had spread of what was going to happen. On wisps of rumour, thousands of East German 'holiday-makers' had made their way to the border between Hungary and Austria, awaiting an opportunity, fearing prison, surveilled by lurking Stasi agents. The stage was set for the greatest border breach in Cold War history: that day hundreds would cross from the Communist East to the longed-for freedom of the West. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the end o ..read more
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US Army Anti-Aircraft Missile Battery Command in Cold War West Germany (228)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
1M ago
Dan served as a lieutenant and captain in a US Army air defence artillery battalion in West Germany from 1980 until 1985. He describes details of Soviet overflights deep into West Germany and we discuss how the Warsaw Pact attempted to track their units. Now who knew that the US Army experimented with geese for perimeter security?! Dan reveals details of this little-known specialist unit. Dan worked with the improved Hawk anti-aircraft missile system. We talk about its capabilities, the challenges of working with 1980s electronics, its deployment and exercises. He describes a live firing exerc ..read more
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Britain's first Cold War Nuclear Attack Warning Station at Jodrell Bank (327)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
1M ago
The Jodrell Bank observatory in Cheshire in the UK played a significant secret role during the Cold War. It was established in 1945 by Bernard Lovell, a radio astronomer at the university, to investigate cosmic rays after his work on radar in the Second World War. We hear some intriguing details of the site’s Cold War roles including being Britain’s first nuclear attack early warning station and its signals intelligence collaboration with GCHQ, the UK’s Government Communications Headquarters. Even more surprisingly it’s also revealed how Soviet Scientists also worked at the site and that the S ..read more
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The East German Tank Commander (326)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
1M ago
In the mid-1980s Dag was a T72 tank commander in the NVA, the East German Army and is now a volunteer at the Tank Museum at Bovington in the UK.   He describes his initial tank commander training, the battle readiness of the NVA, and the challenges of a conscript army as well as a startling revelation about a significant change in doctrine in 1987. We also dig deep into the technical details of the T72, including the autoloader, deep water wading, radio communication and its advantages and disadvantages versus NATO tanks. Dag also talks about how Soviet WW2 learnings were applied into the ..read more
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Twilight of the Soviet Union – Memoirs of a British Journalist in Moscow (325)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
1M ago
Kate is sent to Moscow in 1985 to write articles for The Morning Star, a left-wing British daily newspaper founded in 1930 as the Daily Worker by the Communist Party of Great Britain. She lives in a block of flats alongside Soviet citizens and enrols her 3 children in Soviet schools. Three weeks after Kate arrives Mikhail Gorbachev comes to power and she finds herself having to cover the disorientating number of rapid reforms and attacks on the Soviet system by its leadership for a newspaper, that had always supported the Soviet Union. Kate is fluent in Russian, speaks with Soviet citizens on ..read more
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How To Catch A Cold War Spy (323)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
2M ago
Since 1985, Ana Montes has been an asset of the Cuban intelligence service. In that time, she’s risen through the ranks to become one of the Pentagon’s most respected voices on Cuban affairs with easy access to classified documents. Peter Lapp reveals Montez's tradecraft and how the FBI found the proverbial "needle in a haystack". To learn more about the woman labelled "one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history" by America's top counter-intelligence official listen to episode 277.  Buy the book here https://uk.bookshop.org/a/1549/9781915603326 Extra Photos and videos here https://col ..read more
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Cold War, Warm Hearts - Hitchhiking behind the 1960s Iron Curtain (322)
Cold War Conversations History Podcast
by Ian Sanders
2M ago
In 1966 most of Bridget’s friends, in their early twenties, were settling down with jobs and/or husbands… She, on the other hand, set off alone to travel across Poland relying on the kindness of strangers. Fascinated by what she experienced she continued to wander the highways and byways of, Hungary Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia for the next couple of years seeking out remote rural communities almost untouched by the passage of time... Bridget travelled with virtually no money, however, this was not a problem but an opportunity: it enabled a rare and deep insight into t ..read more
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