335 episodes

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

Cold War Conversations Ian Sanders

    • History
    • 4.7 • 360 Ratings

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

    On the Streets of Cold War Estonia fighting for Independence

    On the Streets of Cold War Estonia fighting for Independence

    Timo takes us on a journey through the tumultuous events of the 1991 Soviet coup attempt, as experienced from the streets of the Baltic States.
    As the coup unfolds, Timo finds himself in Lithuania, planning to covertly visit the closed city of Kaliningrad. He shares the tension sharing a dining table with a Soviet officer, unknowingly on the eve of the coup.
    As the coup escalates, Timo's narrative becomes a vivid street-level account of the Estonian people's defiance. He describes the formation of human walls against Soviet tanks, the strategic significance of the TV tower, and the Estonians' ingenious methods of maintaining communication despite Russian interference.
    Timo's reflections on the morality of his curiosity, the fear of violence, and the spirit of resistance that pervaded Estonia during those critical hours are a testament to the resilience of a nation on the brink of reclaiming its freedom.
    Timo’s book “Tanks & Roaches” is only currently available in Finnish, Estonian and Slovak and can be purchased on the links here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode334/

    Timo can be contacted at timlaine@gmail.com

    
    The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and viaa simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to continue to preserve Cold War history. You’ll become part of our community, get ad-free episodes, and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, we welcome one-off donations via the same link.
     
    Find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life! Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/
    Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/ColdWarPod
    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/coldwarconversations/
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/coldwarpod/
    Youtube https://youtube.com/@ColdWarConversations
    Love history? Check out Into History at this link https://intohistory.com/coldwarpod

    00:00 Introduction
    01:38 Timo’s summer in Estonia during the Cold War
    09:52 The 1991 Soviet Coup and its impact on Estonia
    20:34 Tom joins a demonstration
    29:47 The confrontation between Estonian and Russian troops near the occupied TV tower
    40:36 Estonians switched off the TV signal to calm down the Russians
    41:57 The bravery of the four Estonian men who were locked inside the tv tower during the Soviet invasion

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    • 52 min
    Introducing the Jordan Harbinger Show

    Introducing the Jordan Harbinger Show

    The Jordan Harbinger Show is an award winning podcast with some fascinating recent episodes. I hope you give it a listen.

    • 2 min
    Borderlands and Battles: A Finnish Town's Cold War Story

    Borderlands and Battles: A Finnish Town's Cold War Story

    Timo takes us to the remote Finnish border town of Kuusamo. He paints a vivid picture of a childhood overshadowed by his grandparent’s memories of their home lost during World War II and their proximity to the Soviet Union.
    As a child, he was fascinated by the invisible line that marked the end of the world— the heavily guarded border with the USSR. Timo recounts a tense encounter with border guards while visiting his grandparents, and his meeting with a Soviet escaper.
    He travels to Moscow and Eastern Europe as a young man which further fuels his curiosity about life on the other side of the Iron Curtain. Timo recalls the austere streets of Prague to the bureaucratic maze in Budapest and a harrowing night at the Romanian border.
    Timo’s book “Tanks & Roaches” is only currently available in Finnish, Estonian and Slovak but can be purchased via our episode extras page here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode333/
    The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and via a simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to continue to preserve Cold War history. You’ll become part of our community, get ad-free episodes, and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/
    If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, we welcome one-off donations via the same link.
    Find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life! Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/
    Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/ColdWarPod
    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/coldwarconversations/
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/coldwarpod/
    Youtube https://youtube.com/@ColdWarConversations
    Love history? Check out Into History at this link https://intohistory.com/coldwarpod
    00:00 Intro
    01:26 Timo's early life
    04:41 Timo's grandparents' experiences of World War II
    08:59 Incidents of people coming over the border
    08:56 Estonian man's escape
    28:32 Timo's trip to Moscow with his father in 1977
    32:03 Finns remaining in areas handed over to the Soviet Union
    39:34 Visits to Prague, Hungary and Romania
    41:34 First Impressions of Prague
    43:18 The challenges of Hungarian visitor registration
    45:49 Trouble getting into Romania from Hungary
    54:37 Polish smugglers on the train
    59:04 Timo's fascination with Estonia.
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    • 1 hr 9 min
    Australian Cold War Maritime Air Patrols

    Australian Cold War Maritime Air Patrols

    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 during his career including an “archaeological” mission, accidentally causing a diplomatic incident, as well as monitoring the splash-down and recovery of re-entry vehicles used to test the heat tiles for the Soviet Buran space shuttle.
    I’m delighted to welcome Leigh Collins to our Cold War Conversation.
    Episode extras including book recommendations, videos and photos here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode332/
    The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and via a simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to continue to preserve Cold War history. You’ll become part of our community, get ad-free episodes, and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/
    If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, we welcome one-off donations via the same link.
    Find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life! Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/
    Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/ColdWarPod
    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/coldwarconversations/
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/coldwarpod/
    Youtube https://youtube.com/@ColdWarConversations
    Love history? Check out Into History at this link https://intohistory.com/coldwarpod

    00:00 Intro
    01:49 Early interest in aviation and the military
    02:47 Aspirations in the RAAF
    04:08 Failure as a pilot
    06:43 Length of Orion missions
    09:05 Soviet naval activity around Australia in the 1980s
    16:52 RAF 617 Squadron held their annual reunion in Australia
    20:42 Use of GPS on the Orion
    24:23 Use of astral navigation using a Sextant
    27:59 Viewing the cockpit of the Vulcan
    31:10 Monitoring a Russian diesel submarine
    33:13 Soviet trawlers during exercises
    34:23 Exercise Silent Pearl
    43:49 Soviet Buran Space shuttle test bed recoveries
    52:52 Incident just out of Darwin where the crew ditched
    56:50 Operation Gateway, Australia's long-standing anti-piracy operation
    01:03:39 Threat of China during the cold war
    01:07:53 September 1993 deployment as a submarine observer
    01:12:23 Leigh worked with Sue Boyd from episode 151
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    • 1 hr 26 min
    A traumatic childhood journey from Cold War Poland to the United States

    A traumatic childhood journey from Cold War Poland to the United States

    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 of the American dream, we witness the sacrifices and choices that shape an immigrant's life.
    Norbert's narrative unfolds against the backdrop of the Cold War, where his family's German heritage in Poland subjected them to suspicion and prejudice. Our episode starts with his Grandfather’s story in World War 2.
    Photos and video extras here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode331/
    The fight to preserve Cold War history continues and via a simple monthly donation, you will give me the ammunition to continue to preserve Cold War history. You’ll become part of our community, get ad-free episodes, and get a sought-after CWC coaster as a thank you and you’ll bask in the warm glow of knowing you are helping to preserve Cold War history.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/
    If a monthly contribution is not your cup of tea, we welcome one-off donations via the same link.
    Find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life! Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/
    Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/ColdWarPod
    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/coldwarconversations/
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/coldwarpod/
    Youtube https://youtube.com/@ColdWarConversations
    Love history? Check out Into History at this link https://intohistory.com/coldwarpod

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Planning for a Hot War in the Cold War

    Planning for a Hot War in the Cold War

    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 soldiers and one Turkish woman were killed and 79 wounded.
    The terrorist threat to US Forces was significant and this is highlighted by the attempted assassination of General Kroesen commander of United States Army Europe by the Red Army Faction aka The Baader-Meinhof Group. Dan describes his own experiences in the immediate aftermath of the attack., including the issuing of live ammunition to US Forces in the field.
    Extra info here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode330/
     0:00 Introduction
    1:32 Dan's Insights in the War Plans Office
    10:29 The defector's shocking intel on US plans
    18:13 Reflections on Able Archer 83
    24:33 Terrorism and the attack on the La Belle disco
    33:21 Red Army Faction attempted assassination of General Kroesen
    42:20 The impact of these events on US forces
    58:41 Dan's views on the sudden changes in Eastern Europe
    1:13:38 Podcast extras, appreciation for financial supporters, and closing remarks
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    • 1 hr 16 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
360 Ratings

360 Ratings

Child of the Plains ,

Humbled

Powerful.

Sburke0351 ,

A treasure trove for educators

As a history teacher I have found this podcast to be my go to resource for information on the Cold War. This podcast was extremely useful in building up details to increase student engagement during this topic.

ApexLongimanus ,

Excellent History Lessons

This podcast has something for everyone. People who lived through the times and people that want to learn about how got to where we are.
Loving it.

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