21 – BRIXMIS, British defence of Berlin, and Rudolf Hess

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Welcome to episode 21 of Cold War Conversations

Today we’re talking to Nigel Dunkley MBE a former Royal Scots Dragoon Guard, performed intelligence gathering duties in the former East Germany with BRIXMIS during the Cold War.

BRIXMIS ( British Commanders’-in-Chief Mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany) was an intelligence organisation worked throughout the Cold War years from 1946 to 1990 gathering intelligence in the former Soviet Occupation Zone of East Germany on the threat posed to the West and NATO by the 20 Soviet and 6 East German Army Divisions and their Air Forces deployed there.

In the 1980s Nigel  also interpreted for Hitler’s Deputy Rudolf Hess in Spandau Prison, Berlin and provided some fascinating insight into character of Hitlet’s Deputy Fuhrer.

Later in his military career he was awarded the MBE and Bronze Star Medal for his services with the US 1st Cavalry Division during Operation Desert Storm. Nigel was also Chief of Staff at the Royal Armoured Corp Centre at Bovington, ending his army career as Defence Attache at the British Embassy in Berlin.

I am delighted to welcome Nigel Dunkley MBE to Cold War Conversations.

Join the discussion on facebook here.

Links

http://www.brixmis.co.uk/

Details on BRIXMIS operations in the GDR

US account of US Military Liaison Unit operations

Rudolf Hess Flight to the UK

Article on Rudolf Hess & Spandau Prison

Trip Advisor reviews of Nigel’s tours

Berlin Audio tour app Nigel has worked on

Books

Brixmis: The Untold Exploits of Britain’s Most Daring Cold War Spy Mission

BRIXMIS: The Last Cold War Mission

Video

Real footage of a BRIXMIS tour of the GDR

Trailer of film “Keep the Cold War Cold” covering the British, French and US Liaison missions

Secret Front – Cold War Documentary featuring Nigel (in German)

Secret Front – episode 2

Secret Front Episode 3

Support the Podcast and get access to exclusive extra content 

Available on our Patreon page here

17 – Eyewitness to the Prague Spring

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Album Jan Culik

Welcome to episode 17 of Cold War Conversations

In 1968 today’s guest was 15 year old at the same school in Prague as Czech communist leader Alexander Dubček’s son.

Jan Čulík provides a valuable eyewitness account of the heady days of the Prague Spring and the subsequent Warsaw Pact invasion. He provides some insightful views that I found challenged my understanding of the Prague Spring.

He details the situation in Czechoslovakia in the late 1960s, the Prague Spring, his experiences as the reformers were suppressed to the late 1970s and his arrest by the STB, the Czech secret police.

The interview starts as we talk about the level of censorship in Czechoslovakia before the Prague Spring.

Two part Radio Prague Interview with Jan

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/jan-culik-part-one

http://www.radio.cz/en/section/one-on-one/jan-culik-part-two

 Books

The Logic of Normalization

Contemporary Film of the Prague Spring

Pathe news report on the Prague Spring

Josef Koudelka’s photos of -Prague’68

Rare colour film of 1968 Warsaw Pact Invasion

Prague 1968 Seven Days To Remember

Unused Pathe news footage

Contemporary footage of the Warsaw Pact invasion

Czechoslovakia Vs Soviet Union 1969 Ice Hockey Match

Documentary Films

Documentary in english on the Prague Spring

Documentary on the End of the Prague Spring

Extra Content

Available on our Patreon page here

14 – The Prague Spring

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Prague 68 AlbumWelcome to Episode 14 of Cold War Conversations.

Today we have with us Lani Seelinger of Socialism Realised which is an excellent website and learning environment that uses multimedia content as teaching aids about the communist regimes in Europe. Using the Czechoslovak example, they describe the specifics of life in the Eastern bloc. Their material attempts to bring the experiences, thoughts, feelings and problems of people who lived during this era to life. Their aim is to reproduce the complexities and dilemmas of life under communism. I do recommend you check them out at www.Socialismrealised.eu

In today’s episode we return to Czechoslovakia and one of the most iconic moments of the Cold War – The Prague Spring of 1968.

Some of you will have seen the film of Alexander Dubcek and the adoring crowds as well as the powerful images of the Warsaw Pact invasion. Our chat shows that beneath those images there’s more nuances and I hope you find the episode insightful and entertaining.

I am delighted to welcome Lani Seelinger.

Contemporary Film of the Prague Spring

Pathe news report on the Prague Spring

Josef Koudelka’s photos of -Prague’68

Rare colour film of 1968 Warsaw Pact Invasion

Prague 1968 Seven Days To Remember

Unused Pathe news footage

Contemporary footage of the Warsaw Pact invasion

Czechoslovakia Vs Soviet Union 1969 Ice Hockey Match

Places:

National Monument at Vitkov Hill:

Jan Palach memorial on Wenceslaus Square:

Jan Palach memorial off Jan Palach Square:

Soundtrack to the Prague Spring

Karel Gott in 1968:

Lady Carneval

Tausend Fenster, which he oddly sang in German, representing Austria in Eurovision in 1968

Marta Kubišová in 1968:

Modlitba pro Martu (Prayer for Marta), which the opening of the video says is the “song of the year”:

Books:

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, Kundera

Nightfrost in Prague, Zdeněk Mlynář

Czechoslovakia’s Interrupted Revolution, Skilling

The Prague Spring and its Aftermath, Kieran Williams

Documentary Films

Documentary in english on the Prague Spring

Documentary on the End of the Prague Spring

Ceske Stoleti – The Czech Century

Other Films:

Those Wonderful Years That Sucked

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Pelisky (Cosy Dens)

Rebels

Episode 8 – Warsaw Pact Armoured Fighting Vehicles

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WP AFVs album

Welcome to Episode 8 of Cold War Conversations where we talk about the armoured fighting vehicles of the Warsaw Pact.

Russell Phillips has written several books on Warsaw Pact military equipment and our conversation is an interesting exchange covering  the evolution in design, tactics and the deployment of Warsaw Pact armoured forces should the Cold War have turned hot.

It also covers a slightly off topic conversation about saunas and swimming pools in Soviet submarines and Frankie Goes to Hollywood!

We welcome Russell Phillips

Links

Warsaw Pact Treaty

Warsaw Pact Info

Sino-Soviet Split

Soviet armoured fighting vehicles

Sagger wire guided missile

Bovington Tank Museum

Kubinka Tank Museum

The Norfolk Tank Museum 

Stanislav Petrov

Contentious tank 

Valery Sablin – inspiration for the book/film “Hunt for the Red October”

Letters of last resort

Argentinian plan to attack Gibraltar during the Falklands War

Russell’s web site

Russell on Twitter @Rpbook

Books

Red Storm Rising

Tanks and Combat Vehicles of the Warsaw Pact
Book 1 of Weapons and Equipment of the Warsaw Pact

Combat Engineering Equipment of the Warsaw Pact
Book 2 of Weapons and Equipment of the Warsaw Pact

Videos

US Army educational video documenting the characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses of two famous Soviet tanks of the Cold War era, the T-64 and T-72.

Modern Russian tank submerging with snorkel – not Cold War but gives you the idea.

Tankfest 2015 featuring Cold War T72 tank  making smoke

The Hunt for the Red October – film trailer

Deutschland 83 series trailer 

Swimming pool inside a Soviet submarine

Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes