236 episodes

Award winning real stories of the Cold War told by those that were there.

Cold War Conversations Ian Sanders

    • History
    • 4.7 • 259 Ratings

Award winning real stories of the Cold War told by those that were there.

    The first female CIA officer in Cold War Moscow (236)

    The first female CIA officer in Cold War Moscow (236)

    Marti Peterson was the first female CIA operative to be assigned to Moscow, probably the most challenging posting during the Cold War. Her story begins in Laos during the Vietnam War where she accompanied her husband John, a CIA officer. She describes their life in a small city in Laos, and the devastating news she received on October 19, 1972.
    Marti returned to the United States and one night at dinner a good friend suggested she look into working for the CIA. 
    After making it clear to CIA recruiters that she didn’t want to be a secretary or an admin assistant they trained her to become an operative, effectively a spy. When Marti was posted to Moscow during the day, she worked as a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy. At night, on weekends and during her lunch breaks, she would report to the CIA station in the same building to do her work as an operative.

    UK listeners buy Marti's the book here and support the podcast
    US listeners buy Marti's the book here and support the podcast
    Cold War history is disappearing; however, a simple monthly donation will keep this podcast on the air. You’ll 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 financial contribution is not your cup of tea, then you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us as well as sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.
    I am delighted to welcome Marti Peterson to our Cold War conversation…
    Episode notes here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode236/
    Follow us on Twitter here https://twitter.com/ColdWarPod
    Facebook here https://www.facebook.com/groups/coldwarpod/
    Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/coldwarconversations/
    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated – goodbye.
    Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/

    The Cold War Conversations Bookshop Help us to continue recording the stories of the Cold War by using our bookshop. Support the show

    • 55 min
    The 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students in Pyongyang, North Korea (235)

    The 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students in Pyongyang, North Korea (235)

    The 13th World Festival of Youth and Students was held from 1–8 July 1989 in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea. It was the largest international event staged in North Korea up until then.
    The event took four years of preparation by the North Korean government, which effectively spent a quarter of the country's yearly budget (US$4.5 billion) on it. Ultimately declared as the largest ever World Festival of Youth and Student with  about 22,000 people from 177 countries attending.
    This event was the last festival held during the Cold War era as waves of unrest began to occur throughout Central and Eastern Europe later on in the year.
    Greg Elmer has directed the film “The Canadian Delegation” which features long time activist Chris Frazer who was handed the task of assembling a Canadian delegation to North Korea. The film follows Frazer and a number of other delegates as they recount their participation in the Festival as world events continued to unfold around them.
    Cold War history is disappearing; however, a simple monthly donation will keep this podcast on the air. You’ll 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 financial contribution is not your cup of tea, then you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us as well as sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.
    Today’s episode is hosted by co-host Peter Ryan. I am delighted to welcome Greg Elmer to our Cold War conversation…

    Watch the film here
    There’s further information and videos here. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode235/
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode do visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.
    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated.
    Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/

    The Cold War Conversations Bookshop Help us to continue recording the stories of the Cold War by using our bookshop. Support the show

    • 55 min
    Britain’s Cold War Human Chemical Warfare Experiments (234)

    Britain’s Cold War Human Chemical Warfare Experiments (234)

    Ian Foulkes was exposed to the deadly nerve agent Sarin in 1983 at the  Porton Down Chemical & Biological Defence Establishment., one of the UK's most secretive and controversial military research facilities.
    Ian describes in detail the process and the ill effects this caused him and shares details of a little-known fatality where 20-year-old Ronald Maddison died 45 minutes after what scientists thought was  200mg of liquid Sarin dripped onto his arm.
    We also talk about the development of chemical weapons during the Cold War and the history of the Porton Down Chemical & Biological Defence Establishment. 
    Up to 20,000 people took part in various trials at Porton Down from 1949 up to 1989. In 2004 Maddison’s death was ruled to have been Corporate Manslaughter. The MoD withdrew a challenge to this ruling minutes before the hearing. In 2008  the MoD paid 600 veterans of the tests £8k each without admitting liability.
    Now if you think there is a vast army of research assistants, audio engineers and producers putting together this podcast you’d be wrong. This podcast relies on your support to enable me to continue to capture these incredible stories and make them available to everyone for free. 
    If you’d like to help to preserve Cold War history and enable me to continue to produce this podcast you can via one-off or monthly donations.
    Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/donate/ for more details.
    Do join our Facebook discussion group where the cold war conversation continues between episodes. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.
    I am delighted to welcome Ian Foulkes to our Cold War conversation…
    There’s further information on this episode in our show notes which can also be found as a link in your podcast app here. 
    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated – goodbye.
    Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/

    Support the show

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Flying for the CIA's Air America in South East Asia (233)

    Flying for the CIA's Air America in South East Asia (233)

    In 1964, pilot Captain Hansen found himself unemployed. He began to send out feelers to several companies including one that had placed an ad in the Washington Post called Air America. When he was called in for an interview which primarily consisted of two questions - can you fly good and do you drink a lot.
    Air America was the airline owned by the CIA. Its operations were unknown. Its schedules were irregular. Its pilots were shadow people. Its world was the world of spooks, covert air ops, adventure, and danger. Hansen would be flying in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and other locations in Southeast Asia. It could not have been a better fit for Hansen, an addicted adrenaline junkie. He would end up staying in Asia for over a decade and was fortunate enough to live to tell us about it in his book “Flight”

    Buy Neil's book here
    Cold War history is disappearing; however a simple monthly donation will help preserve it and keep this podcast on the air. You’ll 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 financial contribution is not your cup of tea, then you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us as well as sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.
    I am delighted to welcome Neil Hansen to our Cold War conversation…
    Further information is here. https://coldwarconversations.com/episode233/
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode do visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.
    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated. 
    Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/

    Support the show

    • 1 hr 24 min
    A photojournalist in Cold War Eastern Europe (232)

    A photojournalist in Cold War Eastern Europe (232)

    During the 1970s and 1980s, Arthur Grace travelled extensively behind the Iron Curtain, working primarily for news magazines. One of only a small corps of Western photographers with ongoing access, he was able to delve into the most ordinary corners of people's daily lives, while also covering significant events. His remarkable book Communism(s) A Cold War Album is effectively psychological portraits that leave the viewer with a sense of the gamut of emotions in that era.

    Illustrated with over 120 black-and-white images-nearly all previously unpublished- Communism(s) gives an unprecedented glimpse behind the veil of a not-so-distant time filled with harsh realities unseen by nearly all but those that lived through it. Shot in the USSR, Poland, Romania, Yugoslavia and the German Democratic Republic, here are portraits of factory workers, farmers, churchgoers, holidaymakers and loitering teens juxtaposed with Social Realist-designed apartment blocks, annual May Day Parades, Poland's Solidarity movement (and the subsequent imposition of martial law) and the vastness of Moscow's Red Square.

    Buy the book here https://uk.bookshop.org/a/1549/9788862087674
    Cold War history is disappearing; however, a simple monthly donation will keep this podcast on the air. You’ll 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 financial contribution is not your cup of tea, then you can still help us by leaving written reviews here. It really helps us get new guests on the show.


    We welcome Arthur Grace to our Cold War conversation…


    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode do visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.

    More episode info here https://coldwarconversations.com/episode232/


    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated.




    Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/

    Support the show

    • 59 min
    Escaping from Cold War Romania (231)

    Escaping from Cold War Romania (231)

    Zsolt Akos Pall was 17 when he decided to flee Cold War Romania for a better life in the West.  
    It’s a heart-warming story of the generosity of strangers. Young Zsolt finds compassionate border guards, gets lost in Vienna and has incredible luck wherever he turns as he negotiates the iron curtain as well as many other international borders to reach his brother in Sweden 
    However, his escape is bittersweet as we hear of his emotional farewell to his parents, not knowing if he’d ever see them again.
    Cold War history is disappearing; however a simple monthly donation will keep this podcast on the air. You’ll 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 financial contribution is not your cup of tea, then you can still help us by leaving written reviews wherever you listen to us as well as sharing us on social media. It really helps us get new guests on the show.
    I am delighted to welcome Zsolt to our Cold War conversation…
    There’s further information here.  https://coldwarconversations.com/episode231/
    If you can’t wait for next week’s episode do visit our Facebook discussion group where guests and listeners continue the Cold War Conversation. Just search Cold War Conversations in Facebook.
    Thank you very much for listening. It is really appreciated .
    Have a look at our store and find the ideal gift for the Cold War enthusiast in your life? Just go to https://coldwarconversations.com/store/

    Support the show

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
259 Ratings

259 Ratings

led1966 ,

Cold War veteran

Having been in PACAF for my four years I didn’t have the experiences my fellows did serving in Europe. We did have a Soviet sailor somehow send from a Russian destroyer to Clark Air Base in the PI needing an emergency appendectomy. I remember everyone wanting to see him and seeing him in the OR thinking he looks just like us. He grew up same as we did being told we were the enemy. I had a buddy who was from Belgium who was in the USAF and watching the fall of the Berlin Wall on AFRTS Growing up in central Pennsylvania not really realizing what the wall was or meant to the rest of the world. But learning a lot that night. I love the podcast. Learning so much!!!

Colo subscriber ,

Great program.

Ian deserves a big thank you for keeping the history of the Cold War alive. Given what is happening now in Ukraine, this program is more important than ever.

Junior Comp ,

Well done

Thank you so much for all the work that’s gone into this podcast. My father served in West Germany for most of his military career. This podcast has brought back so many memories for him.

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