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Cold War Conversations

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In conversation with those that experienced the Cold War and those who are fascinated. Welcome to Cold War Conversations, a series of podcasts chatting to those who lived through and experienced the Cold War first hand and those that are fascinated by the period. I don’t pretend to be a historian, but more someone fascinated by the Cold War who wants to learn more. I hope you’ll enjoy the informality of these interview and join me on a journey of discovery into one of the most interesting periods of the 20th century. I’m looking for anybody who would like to be interviewed about their Cold War experiences or why they are interested in the period.

In conversation with those that experienced the Cold War and those who are fascinated. Welcome to Cold War Conversations, a series of podcasts chatting to those who lived through and experienced the Cold War first hand and those that are fascinated by the period. I don’t pretend to be a historian, but more someone fascinated by the Cold War who wants to learn more. I hope you’ll enjoy the informality of these interview and join me on a journey of discovery into one of the most interesting periods of the 20th century. I’m looking for anybody who would like to be interviewed about their Cold War experiences or why they are interested in the period.
More Information

Location:

Manchester, United Kingdom

Description:

In conversation with those that experienced the Cold War and those who are fascinated. Welcome to Cold War Conversations, a series of podcasts chatting to those who lived through and experienced the Cold War first hand and those that are fascinated by the period. I don’t pretend to be a historian, but more someone fascinated by the Cold War who wants to learn more. I hope you’ll enjoy the informality of these interview and join me on a journey of discovery into one of the most interesting periods of the 20th century. I’m looking for anybody who would like to be interviewed about their Cold War experiences or why they are interested in the period.

Twitter:

@coldwarpod

Language:

English

Contact:

+442070070000


Episodes

28 – USAF pilot Buz Carpenter talks Vietnam recon, Skunkworks and more

9/21/2018
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USAF pilot Buz Carpenter talks about about flying reconnaissance over Vietnam, the Skunkworks where secret USAF projects were developed, his time commanding Ramstein airbase at the end of the Cold War and more.

Duration:00:43:22

27 - Flying the SR71 Spyplane

9/15/2018
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Today we are talking about the SR71 Blackbird spy plane. Only 32 Blackbirds were ever made, and they were in service from 1964-1998. The great defensive ability of the plane was its high speed and altitude. Standard evasive action was just to accelerate, which made it almost invulnerable to the attack technologies of the time. The top speed of the plane was mach 3.3 (2,200 miles/hour that’s 36 miles/minute). Thanks to all those who are supporting the podcast with monthly pledges and...

Duration:00:52:41

26 - Prof Sergei Khrushchev Interview - Part 2

9/7/2018
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This is part 2 of my conversation with Professor Sergei Khrushchev the son of Nikita Khrushchev who led the Soviet Union 1953 to 1964. Before we start I would again like to thank all those who are supporting the podcast with monthly pledges and donations. If you would like to support the podcast further and get access to some exclusive extras go to our web site at coldwarconversations.com and click on the “support the Podcast” menu option. In part 2 of this interview we gain insight into...

Duration:00:30:41

25 - Prof Sergei Khrushchev Interview - Part 1

9/2/2018
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In part 1 of this interview we talk about Professor Khrushchev’s early years, his relationship with his father, his father’s rise to power, the 1956 Hungarian Uprising as well the first international visits accompanying his father to the UK, East Germany and the USA.

Duration:00:37:08

24 - West German Nuclear Monitoring System

8/25/2018
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West Germany had a number of Nuclear Warning Bunkers dotted around the country similar to the Royal Observer Corps in the UK. Mirko Krumm describes the organisation West German Civil Defence and the preservation of his bunker near Bremen.

Duration:00:36:48

23 - Gary Powers & the 1960 U2 Incident

8/18/2018
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Powers' U-2 was shot down on May 1, 1960, as he flew over Soviet airspace, and after parachuting out of the plane he was captured and convicted of espionage. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was freed on Feb. 10, 1962, in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel. The incident and exchange was detailed on the Steven Spielberg film “Bridge of Spies”.

Duration:00:53:39

22- Talking Trabi

8/11/2018
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This episode is a Cold War Conversations first. It’s our first outside broadcast and we’re talking about East German cars with Alex Goffe and Mark Mullarkey of the UK-based Wartburg Trabant IFA Club. Now I don’t think Top Gear or Jeremy Clarkson, etc. have anything to worry about, but I hope you enjoy our chat and ride through the Staffordshire countryside in Alex’s Trabi…

Duration:00:38:46

21- BRIXMIS, British Defence of Berlin & Rudolf Hess

8/6/2018
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Welcome to Episode 21 of Cold War Conversations. Now I am very excited by today’s guest and we have a packed episode for you. Nigel Dunkley MBE is a former Royal Scots Dragoon Guard who served in Berlin with a squadron of Chieftain tanks tasked with defending the British Sector including the Brandenburg Gate should the Cold War have turned hot. Nigel also performed intelligence gathering duties in the former East Germany with BRIXMIS which was an intelligence organisation worked throughout...

Duration:01:27:48

20 - Anke - Life as an East German teenager

7/29/2018
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Today we're talking to Anke Holst was born in the GDR during the 1970s in Rostock. Anke has returned to Rostock after many years abroad and now provides tours of GDR sites in Rostock. Our conversation highlights how different life was in the provinces of the GDR as opposed to Berlin . In a wide ranging, frank and honest discussion we talk about her family life with her mother who was a stalwart Party member, Anke's school class role as "Agitator", her training in Marxist-Leninism, and...

Duration:01:20:05

19 - Able Archer and the nuclear war scare of 1983

7/21/2018
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Today we're talking to Francesca Akhtar who holds a BA Hons in American Studies with 1st class honours from Canterbury Christ Christ Church University in Kent, and a Masters degree in US history & Politics from the Institute of the Americas, University College London. Her main research interests are US Cold War foreign policy, intelligence history and defence. Francesca has written a dissertation entitled “The most dangerous Soviet-American confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis?” An...

Duration:01:12:03

18 - RAF Greenham Common - A history of the iconic British nuclear base.

7/14/2018
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The airfield is probably best known, certainly in the UK, for the controversial deployment of Ground Launched Cruise Missiles in the 1980s and the resulting Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp outside its gates. Today’s guest is is a graduate in international relations, the author of “In Defence of Freedom; a History of RAF Greenham Common” and is also a Director of Greenham Control Tower Ltd. I am delighted to welcome Jonathan Sayers.

Duration:01:01:56

17- Eyewitness to the Prague Spring

7/7/2018
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In 1968 today’s guest was 15 year old at the same school in Prague as Czech communist leader Alexander Dubček’s son. Jan Čulík provides a valuable eyewitness account of the heady days of the Prague Spring and the subsequent Warsaw Pact invasion. He provides some insightful views that I found challenged my understanding of the Prague Spring. He details the situation in Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s, the Prague Spring, his experiences as the reformers were suppressed to the late 1970s and...

Duration:01:06:40

16 - How I nearly started World War 3

6/30/2018
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Today we’re talking to Mark Valley, host of the Livedrop espionage podcast. Mark served with the US army as a combat engineer in West Germany and later with the Berlin Brigade. His story gives you an eyewitness account of service in both locations, but also gives some insight into the training, tactics and dilemmas of service in the army. I am delighted and honoured to welcome Mark Valley.

Duration:01:29:10

15 - Sabine - An East German Childhood

6/23/2018
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Today we speak to Sabine who was 13 when the Wall opened. We hear about her childhood in East Germany and gain great insight into life at the time, the pressures on her family and her first steps into West Berlin. I found Sabine’s story very personal and moving detailing her experiences as her country disappeared almost overnight casting her family into an uncertain future as the safety net they were used too disappeared with it. I am delighted to welcome Sabine to Cold War Conversations.

Duration:01:13:48

14 - The Prague Spring

6/16/2018
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In today’s episode we return to Czechoslovakia and one of the most iconic moments of the Cold War – The Prague Spring of 1968. We have with us Lani Seelinger of Socialism Realised which an excellent website and learning environment that uses multimedia content as teaching aids about the communist regimes in Europe. I do recommend you check them out at Socialismrealised.eu Some of you will have seen the film of Alexander Dubcek and the adoring crowds as well as the powerful images of the...

Duration:00:56:41

13 - The Final Days of Checkpoint Charlie

6/9/2018
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Now most of you will know my good friend Shane Whaley over at the highly recommended Spybrary podcast who we interviewed in episode 4. Shane and I have always been intrigued by a video posted in Youtube filmed in the 1980s by a then young US army soldier documenting his first days in Berlin for his family back at home. Now I never dreamed that I would find, let alone talk to that soldier, but through the magic of the internet we got in contact and Michael Rafferty has agreed to give his...

Duration:01:14:46

12 - My Stasi file is as thick as a phone book

6/2/2018
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We’re chatting with Mark Reeder a musician and music producer who has been involved in the Berlin and international music scene since 1978, starting as Factory Records German representative from 1978-1983. Through contacts in the GDR he put on several secret punk gigs behind the Iron Curtain and his Stasi file is described as “as thick as a phone book”. He is however, denied access to the full file as it remains in the possession of the German Federal Intelligence Service... He is also the...

Duration:01:09:05

11 - Observing Armageddon

5/26/2018
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Today we’re covering a British Cold War civil defence unit called the Royal Observer Corps. We’re talking to Alistair McCann who has preserved a Royal Observer Corps monitoring post as a museum in Northern Ireland. We talk about the museum, the difficulties of the Northern Ireland Royal Observer Corps during “The Troubles” and what the reality would have been for these men and women should the Cold War have turned hot. I hope you find our conversation as interesting as I did. We welcome...

Duration:01:01:29

10 - 1960s Road Trip Across the Soviet Union

5/18/2018
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Jeremy Poynton was a 16 year old school boy in 1968 when he embarked on a memorable trip by road from Leningrad to Odessa. He vividly describes a Soviet Union still struggling with poverty and a diverse range of peoples from city dwellers to remote Chechen villagers. It’s a unique story as Jeremy details his experiences and the sights of a 1960s Soviet Union just as the Prague Spring was being suppressed. I hope you enjoy our chat as much as I did, we welcome Jeremy Poynton.

Duration:00:50:54

9- Cloak & Dagger in Prague

5/12/2018
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Mark Baker is an independent journalist and travel writer who’s lived in Central Europe for more than two decades. I heartily recommend his travel website www.markbakerprague.com which is an eclectic mix of stories about his adopted hometown of Prague and stories from when Central Europe was the “Eastern bloc” and he was a full-time journalist trying his best to cover it. Mark tells an intriguing and compelling story and I urge you to listen right to the end. I hope you enjoy our chat and...

Duration:01:15:43