British Nuclear Test Veterans

In 2021 I had the honour to speak with British nuclear test veterans at the  British Nuclear Test Veterans Association (BNTVA) annual conference. I met many veterans including John Robinson and Peter Lambourne. John Robinson was an RAF pilot who was tasked to fly into the mushroom clouds of nuclear bomb tests to capture samples … Read more

Imprisoned in a Soviet Military gaol – a BRIXMIS officer’s diary Pt 2

This is the 2nd part of my interview with Lt Col. Stephen Harrison, MBE who served for two years as a full-time Touring Officer with BRIXMIS. The tours were hazardous three-man, vehicle-borne patrols collecting intelligence on the Warsaw Pact forces in East Germany for up to five days and nights over a series of four-month … Read more

British Army Air Corps helicopter co-pilot in Cold War Germany

Paul continues his story with his recruitment into the Army Air Corps. It’s initially delayed with a tour providing airfield repair in West Germany and then the Falklands, but finally, he’s at training at Middle Wallop, the home of the Army Air Corps. He describes the training including underwater escapes, flying and navigation. As a … Read more

A boy soldier in the Cold War Royal Engineers

Paul joined the Royal Engineers in 1977, aged 16 as an apprentice. We hear of his experience of joining the army at such a young age and being away from home for the first time. After initial training, his first posting was to Osnabruck in 1979. Shortly after his arrival Paul is appointed to the … Read more

The man who built his own nuclear bunker

Graham Bate was 30-year-old Civil Servant when he built his own nuclear bunker in the garden of his rural home 20 miles outside Hull in the UK. It was here that the Bate family expected to survive for at least 3 weeks after a nuclear attack. We speak with Graham Bate and his son Conrad … Read more

Cold War number stations

  You might remember listening to short wave radio during the Cold War and coming across weird transmissions of metallic voices reciting random groups of numbers through the ether.  These are number stations, shortwave radio stations characterised by broadcasts of formatted numbers, which were being sent to spies operating in foreign countries. Number stations were … Read more

Cold War British Army fighting tactics in West Germany

  Frank Baldwin was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1979 and served for ten years, rising to the rank of Major. The first battlefield study he planned was in 1989 for HQ 4th Armoured Division. Since then, he has been a guide or historian for over 200 realities of war tours, battlefield studies and … Read more