Cold War Frequencies

CIA Clandestine Radio Broadcasting to the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe


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About the Book

Published for the first time, the history of the CIA’s clandestine short-wave radio broadcasts to Eastern Europe and the USSR during the early Cold War is covered in-depth. Chapters describe the “gray” broadcasting of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty in Munich; clandestine or “black” radio broadcasts from Radio Nacional de Espana in Madrid to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine; transmissions to Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Ukraine and the USSR from a secret site near Athens; and broadcasts to Byelorussia and Slovakia. Infiltrated behind the Iron Curtain through dangerous air drops and boat landings, CIA and other intelligence service agents faced counterespionage, kidnapping, assassination, arrest and imprisonment. Excerpts from broadcasts taken from monitoring reports of Eastern Europe intelligence agencies are included.

About the Author(s)

Richard H. Cummings was the director of security for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty for 15 years beginning in 1980. He currently lives in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Bibliographic Details

Richard H. Cummings

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: 6 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7864-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4068-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Abbreviations and Acronyms 4
1. Genesis of American Clandestine Cold War Broadcasting 7
2. Radio Free Europe: The American People’s Counter Voice to Communism 21
3. From Radio Liberation to Radio Liberty to RFE/RL 47
4. Clandestine Broadcasts from Greece to Bulgaria and Romania 67
5. A Seaborne CIA Fiasco and the Voice of Free Albania (VOFA) 89
6. Black Radio to the Baltic States from Radio Nacional de EspanÞa (RNE) 108
7. Black Broadcasts to Ukraine from Greece and RNE 137
8. Focus on Russia: Our Russia, Radio Free Russia and TsOPE 151
9. Clandestine Radio to Byelorussia and to Slovakia 176
Conclusion 195
Appendix A: Selected CIA Cryptonyms 197
Appendix B: National Security Council Directive 5412/2 205
Appendix C: Radio Nacional Propaganda Broadcasts 209
Appendix D: Frank Wisner Memorandum, November 22, 1950 211
Appendix E: Extracts from 1953 Jackson Report on Radio Free Europe—National Committee for Free Europe 215
Appendix F: Extracts from 1953 Jackson Report on Radio Liberty 218
Appendix G: Termination of Voice of Free Albania Broadcasts—Termination of HTGRUBBY Broadcasts 221
Appendix H: Personal History of Ferdinand Durčansky 224
Chapter Notes 227
Bibliography 253
Index 257

Book Reviews & Awards

“A significant study on the CIA’s shortwave radio broadcasts for USSR and Eastern European audiences in the early stages of the Cold War. The book will be a valuable resource and read for researchers and those interested in the Cold War.”—Free Latvia