80 Interesting Facts About Cold War

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The term Cold War (1945 - 1991) is used to refer to the political and economic conflict between the group of democratic Western nations and the group of communist nations led by the Soviet Union in the twentieth century. Although there was never an actual war between these two groups, there was political and military tension between these world superpowers for much of the Cold War.

80 Interesting Facts About Cold War

Interesting Facts About Cold War

  • The cold war was an unarmed conflict.
  • The US and its NATO allies won the cold war.
  • The Cold War was won by the United States and its NATO allies.
  • The Berlin Wall was the quintessential symbol of the Cold War.
  • The cold war came to an end with the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis was the most dangerous period of the Cold war.
  • The CIA supposedly paid a porn-film actor to wear the mask during important scenes
  • The original version of the Pledge of Allegiance did not include the words “under God"
  • The Cold War was fought between the United States (NATO alliance) and the Soviet Union (Warsaw Pact).
  • The deadliest proxy war during the Cold War was the Vietnam War, over 3.5 million people were killed.
  • In the 1960s, bomber airplanes armed with nuclear weapons were flown worldwide by the United States Airforce.
  • The peak of the Cold War was the Cuban Missile Crisis, the closest the world has ever come to self-destruction.
  • Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!- President Ronald Reagon to Mikhail Gorbachev
  • More than 11 million people were killed during the Cold War through different proxy wars fought by both countries.
  • 3.5 million people were killed during the Vietnam war, one of the deadliest proxy wars ever fought during the cold war.
  • The United States Air Force created a plan to detonate a nuclear weapon on the moon to demonstrate its military strength.

Historical Facts About Cold War

  • Both President Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev agreed that they would pause the Cold War if there was ever an alien invasion.
  • Congress added the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of the Allegiance during the Cold War to symbolize resistance to atheistic communism.
  • The CIA of the United States and Committee for State Security, KGB of the Soviet Union, used extensive spying techniques against each other.
  • The Cold War was responsible for millions of deaths. These deaths occured through proxy wars fought by the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • Popular Cold War films include Red Dawn (1984), Firefox (1982), The Falcon and the Snowman  (1985), Spies Like Us (1985), and Rocky IV (1985).
  • U.S. President George H. W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev declared the official end of the Cold War at the Malta Summit in 1989.
  • During the Cold War, over 11 million people died in various conflicts where the Americans supplied one side and the Soviets supplied the other.
  • During the peak of the Cold War (1960s) the United States Air Force continuously flew bomber airplanes around the world armed with nuclear weapons.
  • The Cold War started in 1946 with the United States foreign policy of Soviet containment, and it ended in 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.
  • The nuclear arms race during the Cold War saw a peak in nuclear weapon stockpiles in 1985, where both countries combined had over 50,000 nuclear weapons.
  • The term Cold War was coined by English writer George Orwell in his essay “You and the Atomic Bomb”, which he published on October 19th, 1945.

Amazing Facts About Cold War

  • It’s estimated that more than 11 million people were killed throughout all the various proxy wars fought by the United States of America and the Soviet Union.
  • Winston Churchill was the first person to use the term "iron curtain" to refer to the Cold War boundaries. He said an "iron curtain" had fallen across Europe.
  • During the Cold War, CIA agents attempted to discredit the Indonesian president by making a pornographic film starring a man wearing a mask that looked like him.
  • The vast destruction of WWII left two superpowers standing: the United States and the Soviet Union, both with conflicting ideas of how to restore international order.
  • The most dangerous time during the Cold War was the Cuban Missile Crisis. It’s the closest the Soviet Union and the United States of America ever came to a nuclear war.
  • During the Cold War, Russia made such incredibly detailed maps of the Canadian Arctic that other ships still use them today and even prefer them over current Canadian maps.
  • The Cold War is called "cold" because there was no direct major conflict between the Soviets and the United States, although they supported major proxy wars around the globe.
  • In the foreword to his Cold War book titled, The Official C.I.A. Manual of Trickery and Deception, CIA Director John McLaughlin wrote "magic and espionage are kindred spirits."
  • The Cold War led to some ingenious spy gadgets, such as the "Rectal Escape Kit." A spy would hide the escape kit in his or her rectum, just in case they were captured and imprisoned.
  • The Iron Curtain refers to the border dividing Europe between noncommunist Western Europe and Communist Eastern Europe. Physically, the Iron Curtain stretched 4,225 miles (6,779 km).
  • Largely in response to the Cold War, twelve western nations created the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). If the Soviet Union attacked one country, the others would defend them.

Militry Facts About Cold War

  • Both countries used extensive spying techniques against one another. The United States had the CIA, the Central Intelligence Agency. The Soviet Union had the KGB, Committee for State Security.
  • The Soviet Union detonated its first atomic bomb on August 29, 1949, at the Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan. The event ended America's monopoly on atomic weaponry and launched the Cold War.
  • The United States Air Force developed a plan to detonate a nuclear weapon on the moon. The idea behind this plan was to demonstrate the military might of the United States of America.cold war facts
  • Eight months after the Cuban Missile Crisis, the White House and the Kremlin agreed to establish a hotline connecting the two capitals to prevent the two nations from coming that close to nuclear war again.
  • During the Cold War, the Soviets covertly shipped thousands of Russian troops to Cuba. While the United States estimated that around 8,000 Russian troops were stationed in Cuba, the real number was over 40,000.
  • The Cold War lasted 40 years, during which time the United States and the Soviet Union tried to control as many countries as possible, even if those countries were not very valuable economically or strategically.
  • The phrase Third World Country was a reference to a country who wasn’t aligned to either the United States or the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The term is commonly used today to reference a developing country.
  • The Vietnam War (1959–75) was the deadliest proxy war of the Cold War era. Over 3.5 million people died. The second deadliest war during the Cold War was the Korean War (1950–53), with over 3 million people killed.
  • The Cold War wasn’t an armed conflict. It was a long period of geopolitical tension between the United States of America and the Soviet Union. These two countries were the only remaining superpowers after World War 2.

Unbelievable Facts About Cold War

  • CIA agents during the Cold War used a method of communication based on how their shoelaces were tied. The shoelace patterns could convey messages such as "I have information," "Follow me," or "I have brought another person."
  • To keep news of the Cuban Missile Crisis from initially leaking, the White House told the public that President Kennedy was unable to appear at public events due to a cold. In reality, he was in intense meetings with advisors.
  • During the Cold War, the United States was eager to overthrow Fidel Castro, the dictator of Cuba, who was allied with the Soviets. Among other ideas, the CIA considered planting explosive seashells in the area where he went swimming.
  • When a Soviet submarine captain commanded navy officer Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov to authorize the use of nuclear torpedos against the United States Navy, Arkhipov refused. He is widely credited with nothing less than saving the world.
  • A now–declassified manual titled The Official C.I.A. Manual of Trickery and Deception includes tips on concealing a doping pill in a matchbook and then covertly dropping it into a person's drink while distracting them by lighting their cigarette.
  • Though women worked outside the home during WWII, during the Cold War, working women were considered a threat to national security. They were encouraged to stay home and raise the next generation to defend the nation if the Soviet Union attacked.
  • During the 1960s, the United States government funded a project by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) to develop a way to share information between military computers very quickly, which ultimately led to the development of the Internet.
  • The Bay of Pigs is the most famous Cold War conflict and is widely known as "a perfect failure" for the United States. Due to confusion over time zones, American bombers failed to support a group of Cuban exiles as they attempted to overthrow Fidel Castro.
  • Soviet spy Colonel Oleg Penkovsky provided valuable information about the status of the Soviet Union's nuclear weapons to both the CIA and British intelligence. The KGB arrested him on October 22, 1962, in Moscow and most likely executed him shortly after.
  • During the Cold War, the Soviet Union detonated the largest nuclear weapon the world had ever seen. Called the Tsar of Bomba (King of the Bombs), it released the equivalent of over 50 megatons of TNT, which was more than all the explosives used during WWII combined.
  • The Berlin Blockade was the first major crisis of the Cold War. The Soviet Union tried to limit the ability of France, Great Britain, and the United States to travel to their sectors of Berlin. The United States and Britain responded with history's largest air supply campaign.
  • The Space Race was started during the Cold War. The United States and the Soviet Union raced each other in spaceflight and space exploration technology, along with first achievements. The Space Race was considered won by the United States when they put the first men on the moon.
  • The movie The Day After was an American TV film about a fictional nuclear war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It gave viewers real world examples of what would happen in a nuclear war. It was scary enough that the U.S. President Ronald Reagan change his views on the U.S. nuclear policy.
  • In 1987, a West German teenager flew a single engine Cessna solo through every advanced Soviet defensive shield and landed at the Kremlin gates. He wanted to build peace between the East and West by performing such a daring stunt. The Soviets promptly arrested him for "malicious hooliganism."
  • To defuse the Cuban Missile Crisis, the United States agreed to withdraw its nuclear weapons from Turkey, and the Soviet Union agreed to withdraw its weapons from Cuba. Recently, the United States discovered that the Soviets actually left approximately 100 tactical nuclear weapons in Cuba for decades afterward.
  • The internet was born out of the Cold War. The United States government funded a project called ARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which was to develop a method for military computers to share information with one another very quickly. This was the first stepping stone for the internet as we know it today.

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