Chinese Whispers: Listening to the Chinese : RAF Chinese Linguists Remember 1956-58
The 1950s saw the hottest part of the Cold War. In the west, NATO faced off against the Soviet Bloc. In the east, the Bamboo Curtain separated Communist China from the outside world. Espionage was a crucial factor in knowing the enemy's capabilities, activities and plans. The CIA had a variety of covert operations, including the Black Bat Squadron, which conducted low-level reconaissance out of Taiwan. In 1956, twenty-two Royal Air Force National Servicement, three Air Force regulars and four Army regulars were trained as Chinese Linguises at the Joint Services School for Linguists. They were eventually stationed in Hong Kong, where they monitored Chinese military radio transmissions.This book details their training and life in Britain and later in Hong Kong where, uniquely, they could talk to the Chinese in Chinese. They lived in 'The World of Suzy Wong' in a way that other 'foreign devils' could not. It was a memorable experience and created a bond between them that, after more than half a century, is still as strong as ever.
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