The BBC's Battle of the Airwaves

In a new episode from The History Hour, the BBC World Service takes a look back to March 1938 and the beginnings of its international broadcasting services in Portuguese and Spanish.

"This was an era of intense competition for legitimacy over the airwaves," says host Max Pearson. "The new BBC language services were launched amid rising concerns about the influence of Nazi Germany and fascist Italy in Central and South America."

In the first section of the podcast (through 9:36), learn the history behind BBC Mundo and BBC Brasil. With real radio broadcasts from history, you can get a glimpse into the importance of Britain's different language services and see how they managed to continue operating during World War II.

The full episode of "The Battle of the Airwaves in Latin America" is available here.

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