Author: Mike Gerrard and Tony Cash, featuring contributions from alumni including but not limited to: Sir John Drummond (Trinity 1955), Dr James Muckle (Peterhouse 1957) and Mark Frankland (Pembroke 1954)
Publisher: The Hodgson Press
The authors along with 70 plus former 1950s national service Naval conscripts reveal how they learned Russian, spied on the Soviet military and shed light on the East-West conflict, including alumni of both JSSL (Joint Services School for Linguists) in Cambridge and the University of Cambridge. Acclaimed dramatist and author Alan Bennett (who came to the JSSL in Cambridge and went on to Oxford) supplies the foreword.
Everyone has heard of oral history; this may be the first ever email history. Nearly all the personal recollections were sent electronically. They recount the hazards of selection for the Navy; hilarious incidents in basic training; the perils of life at sea; grappling with a very foreign language leavened by films, novels and songs; training in top secret radio eavesdropping techniques; monitoring Soviet ships and planes exercising in the Baltic and North Seas; broadcasting to Russia or illuminating British readers, listeners and TV viewers about developments in the USSR.