Born into a family of Canadian Communists

Fred Weir was a third-generation red diaper baby from Toronto and a long-time member of the party. His uncle, trained at the Lenin School in Moscow in the 1920s as an agent of the Communist International, the Comintern and spent many years in the USSR. Fred had visited a few times, had studied Russian history … Read more

British Army “stay behinds” the Special OP Troop

    I speak with Colin Ferguson a veteran from the British Army‘s covert  Special Observation Post Troop which was founded in 1982. The “stay behind” Special OP Troop consisted of selected soldiers in 6 man patrols whose task was to dig in large underground hides known as “mexe” shelters along the inner German border. … Read more

How a Soviet conscript became a NATO General

In 1985, an eighteen-year-old named Riho Terras arrived at the Soviet armed forces’ large conscript assessment facility in Tallinn obeying his conscription orders. Little did he know that 26 years later he would be a NATO General. Riho shares his experiences in the Soviet Navy with us in some detail. We hear about his service … Read more

Eyewitness to the 1991 Soviet Coup with Brett Elliott

Today’s episode is different. Brett Elliott died earlier this year and I was contacted by his ex-wife Polly who offered me a cassette tape. Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Polly and Brett had met in college and got to know each other in Russian Club at Oklahoma State. In the summer … Read more

Pete – a BRIXMIS driver behind enemy lines in East Germany

Pete Curran served with BRIXMIS, the British Military Liaison Mission in East Germany. Their operation was established by a post-WWII Allied occupation forces’ agreement, where British, US and French missions had relative freedom to travel and collect intelligence throughout East Germany from 1947 until 1990. Pete’s story starts with details of his vetting interview, driver … Read more

Emanuela – a Cold War Romanian Childhood

    Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts   Emanuela Grama was born in the mid-1970s’ in a small provincial town in Eastern Romania. She proved us with a great insight into life in the Romanian provinces during the 1980s.  Emanuela lived in a small two-bedroom flat and tells of her parents … Read more

Flying into nuclear mushroom clouds

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Squadron Leader John Robinson AFC (ret’d) was an RAF pilot who was tasked to fly into the mushroom clouds of nuclear bomb tests to capture samples at Operation Buffalo at Maralinga in 1956, and Operation Grapple, at Christmas Island in 1957. He tells of his recruitment … Read more

Life in the underground Soviet music scene Part 3

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google PodcastsListen on Podcast AddictListen on Amazon MusicBecome a Patron! In the final part, we hear of Joanna’s heartbreak when her visa is refused, preventing her from marrying Yuri.  However, using an ingenious method she manages an emotional reunion and eventual marriage as the Soviet Union begins to … Read more

Life in the underground Soviet music scene Part 2

Listen on Apple PodcastsListen on SpotifyListen on Google Podcasts Joanna Stingray who was only 23 years old when she first set foot in the USSR and started meeting now-legendary musicians and artists of the Soviet underground. By 1985, she was writing and recording with them, and smuggling their music to the West in order to … Read more

Soviet and U.S. Military Liaison Missions & US Counterintelligence

I speak with Aden Magee who operated as the commander of a highly specialized Counterintelligence (CI) unit in West Germany during the last decade of the Cold War. We talk about his book The Cold War Wilderness of Mirrors – Counterintelligence and the U.S. and Soviet Military Liaison Missions 1947–1990. This is a rare book … Read more