Radio memories of the Cold War

Short Wave Radio was a battleground in the Cold War era. That's assuming you weren't trying to listen to your station through a barrage of Soviet jammers. 

On this page you can hear the main contenders in this ideological struggle for the hearts and minds of the world.

AFRTS was basically a relay of U.S. domestic output, in particular sports programming for the US troops worldwide.

"This is the American Forces Radio and Television Service".

The BBC World Service was totally different in the 1960s and 70s. It still had imperial overtones as can be heard on these clips.

BBC interval signal "bbc"

BBC interval signal "vvv"

"BBC East Mediterranean Relay Station." 

Radio Newsreel 


New Ideas

The World Today


Picture courtesy
The Voice of America was a key player. 

"This is the the Voice of America, from Greenville, North Carolina"

"The following programme is in Lithuanian"

"You are listening to the Voice of America from Monrovia, Liberia"

"VOA From Tangier, Morocco."

Radio Bucharest Rumania often showed idyllic holiday resorts in its QSL cards.

"Radio Bucharest Rumania"

Radio Finland

"This is Radio Finland Calling"

Israel Radio

"This is Israel Broadcasting from Jerusalem"


Picture courtesy
Radio Berlin International

German Democratic Republic 

"Radio Berlin International"

"Italian service of RBI"

The big daddy of the Eastern Bloc, Radio Moscow was found everywhere over the SW bands.

"Interval Signal"

The sinister sounding Radio Station Peace and Progress with its spine chilling interval signal.

"You are tuned to Radio Station Peace and Progress, the voice of Soviet public opinion."

Radio Netherlands operated in many languages via several relay stations.

Relay from Bonaire.

"Relay from Tananarive, Madagascar."

Radio RSA, The Voice of South Africa. Apartheid era.

"This is Radio RSA,  The Voice of South Africa."

Courtesy Bill McDavitt
Radio Sweden 

Radio Sweden Interval Signal
Radio Prague,
The stultifying dull, Radio Tirana which used to broadcast hours of Marxist-Leninist propaganda night after night.

"This is Radio Tirana"

"This is Radio Tirana" and intro music

Radio Tirana Interval Signal

Cheapo QSL from the Voice Of Vietnam.

Courtesy Ezio Ossidi
Radio Sofia, Bulgaria.

"This is Radio Sofia, Bulgaria."


Radio Vilnius,
"Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic" 

"Radio Vilnius"

This is a QSL card from the Czech spy station OLX of Prague.
Nothing to do with the Cold War, but a rare catch nevertheless.