Award-winning real stories of the Cold War told by those who were there. Every week we interview an eyewitness of the Cold War.
Across soldiers, spies, civilians, and others, we aim to cover the whole range of Cold War experiences. Hosts Ian Sanders, James Chilcott, and Peter Ryan bring your ears into the heart of the Cold War.
Reading a history book is one thing, but hearing a human voice, with every breath, hesitation and intonation brings a whole new dimension to understanding what it was like to be there.
We cover subjects such as spies, spying, the Iron Curtain, nuclear weapons, warfare, tanks, jet aircraft, fighters, bombers, transport aircraft, aviation, culture, and politics.
We also cover personalities such as Fidel Castro, JFK, Ronald Reagan, Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov, Mikhail Gorbachev, Konstantin Chernenko, Margaret Thatcher, John F. Kennedy, Josef Stalin, Richard Nixon, Lech Walesa, General Jaruzelski, Nicolae Ceaușescu.
Other subjects include Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Romania, Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, West Berlin, East Berlin, Cuban missile Crisis, Berlin Airlift, Bay of Pigs, SALT, Perestroika, Space Race, superpower, USSR, Soviet Union, DDR, GDR, East Germany, SDI, Vietnam War, Korean War, Solidarność, Fall of the Wall, Berliner Mauer, Trabant, Communist, Capitalist, Able Archer, KGB, Stasi, STB, SB, Securitate, CIA, NSA, MI5, MI6, Berlin Wall, escape, defection, Cuba, Albania, football, sport, Bulgaria, Soviet Union, Poland, China, Taiwan, Austria, West Germany, Solidarity, espionage, HUMINT, SIGINT, OSINT, IMINT, GEOINT, RAF, USAF, British Army, US Army, Red Army, Soviet Army, Afghanistan, NVA, East German Army, KAL007, T-72, T-64, Chieftain, M60
The podcast is for military veterans, school teachers, university lecturers, students and those interested in Cold War history, museums, bunkers, weapons, AFVs, wargaming, planes, A Level, GCSE students
The last voice you’d hear in a nuclear war (297)
The BBC Wartime Broadcasting Service (WTBS) is a little-known piece of Cold War history that would have been for many the last human voice they heard after a nuclear attack on the UK.
Iain started work for the BBC in 1988 and due to the pressure on training space, was trained in the nuclear bunker at BBC Wood Norton.
After training he went to Broadcasting House in London where he first encountered some of the technical infrastructure the WTBS would use. Iain did a spell in the main control room and recalls the red phone which was the link from Whitehall to initiate the BBC War Book.
Over time Iain has collected knowledge on all aspects of the WTBS and he shares details of where it would have been broadcast from, what would have been heard, and who, in the event of an attack, would have descended into the bunkers to broadcast it.
Iain also delivers a talk on the subject. There are more details on this link.
Hack Green Nuclear bunker that has a preserved BBC studio (as seen in our episode cover) https://www.hackgreen.co.uk/
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Extra videos and photos here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode297/
Previous UK Civil Defence episodes
How Cold War Britain Prepared for Nuclear War https://coldwarconversations.com/episode285/
Cold War leaflets and documents https://coldwarconversations.com/episode112/
Assigned to a government bunker https://coldwarconversations.com/episode107/
Visit to a Royal Observer Corps monitoring post and interview with the Chief Observer who served in the post https://coldwarconversations.com/episode30/
Alistair McCann has preserved a Royal Observer Corps monitoring post as a museum in Northern Ireland. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode11/
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