Ralph Hänel book giveaway

      Ralph Hänel was our guest in episodes 177, 181 and 182 where he told his story of his life in East Germany including his Kung Fu classes, djing arrest by the Stasi and imprisonment  Ralph has kindly provided a 3 copies of his book “CThe RockStar and the Kung Fu Master” to … Read more

Ralph – A prisoner in an East German jail

This is the third and final part of Ralph Hänel’s story of his life in East Germany. In this episode, we hear his time in the Stasi prison in Cottbus which with its dark red brick façade was often referred to as the ‘Red Misery’. It’s a chilling insight into Stasi prison conditions and the … Read more

Ralph – Arrested and interrogated by the Stasi

Ralph Hänel continues the story of his life in East Germany. We hear of Ralph’s arrest by the Stasi and subsequent interrogation for 10 months. Ralph describes in some detail the arrest and his early days of imprisonment. He also details the techniques used to try and make him break and the pressure the Stasi … Read more

Ralph – DJing and Kung Fu in East Germany

Ralph Hänel tells some unique, strange and funny short stories about childhood and youth in East Germany. We talk about the experiences of his parents in the closing stages of World War 2, his schooling, and how he became a DJ, winning a trip to the Soviet Union. Ralph is a great raconteur with virtually … Read more

A South African journalist in apartheid South Africa

  John Matisonn is a South African journalist who  grew up in the suburbs in Johannesburg. In 1979 he was sentenced to jail for refusing to reveal his news sources. Matisonn describes life as a journalist in apartheid South Africa as well as his meetings with some of the key South African personalities of that … Read more

Korean war veteran & prisoner of war

70 years ago today would have been the middle of a desperate battle by outnumbered British forces at the battle of the Imjin River in Korea. The Korean War was among the most destructive conflicts of the modern era, and one of the few times when the Cold War turned hot. There were approximately 3 … Read more

From Foe to Friend – the British Army in Cold War Germany

    Germany has been at the heart of the British Army’s story since 1945. After the Second World War, the Army helped rebuild a devastated and divided nation. It provided protection during the Cold War and later used Germany as a base from which to deploy troops across the world.  Foe to Friend is … Read more

Advanced English studies in Moscow during the 1970s and 80s

Vadim was at school in Moscow during the 1970s and 80s. He attended an Advanced English Studies School where all subjects were taught however, the focus was on English. He provides us with insights into the setup of Soviet education as well as the school life, teaching methods, and pop culture. We hear how the … Read more

Commanding a Royal Navy Polaris Nuclear Missile Submarine (168)

    Our conversation with Rob Forsyth continues with his posting as a Lieutenant Commander or second in command to HMS Repulse, a Polaris nuclear missile. We hear in detail the challenges of command on these boats, their launch procedures and the conversations Rob had with his captain about the circumstances when they might refuse … Read more