Category: COLD WAR

How Many Times Did the World Nearly End During the Cold War? Answer: A Lot

Samantha Franco
Mushroom cloud rising into the sky + John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev sitting together

There were numerous times throughout the Cold War where the world nearly ended. The Cuban Missile Crisis, for example, saw the United States and Soviet…

Two KGB and CIA Operatives Were Tasked With Corrupting Each Other – They Forged a Friendship Instead

Rosemary Giles
Soviet and American flags hanging over two empty chairs

The KGB and the CIA were notorious enemies during the Cold War. As national security agencies for two warring nations, their operatives were tasked with…

Viktor Belenko: The Soviet Pilot Whose Defection Gave the West Access to the MiG-25

Clare Fitzgerald
Military portrait of Viktor Belenko

Viktor Belenko was a Soviet pilot who defected to the United States during the height of the Cold War. A number of things make his…

The Nuclear War Between Russia and China That Almost Happened

Mushroom cloud rising into the sky + Portrait of Leonid Brezhnev + Portrait of Mao Zedong

In the early stages of the Cold War, Americans saw Soviet Russia and China as working together as one Communist “monster,” threatening to destroy everything…

Mars Bluff Incident: The US Air Force Accidentally Dropped a Nuclear Bomb on South Carolina

Todd Neikirk
Boeing B-47 Stratojets parked on a runway

Starting in the late 1940s and running through to the end of the Cold War, an arms race occurred between the United States and the…

Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars Program Featured Space Lasers for Nuclear Defense

Rosemary Giles
Ronald Reagan sitting at a table with other men while holding a yellow bumper sticker that reads, "SDI could ruin a nuclear bomb's whole day"

By the 1980s, the threat of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union was a very real possibility. US President Ronald Reagan…

Lionel Crabb: The Mystery Behind the Missing British Frogman

Rosemary Giles
Soviet cruiser Ordzhonikidze at sea + Lionel Crabb wearing a suit

During the Second World War, there were a variety of special units created to deal with threats from enemies both at home and overseas. One…

The US Air Force Lost An Atomic Bomb Over the Canadian Wilderness

Rosemary Giles
Convair B-36 Peacemaker in flight

“Broken arrow” is the term used when a nuclear weapon is stolen, lost or unintentionally detonated. It was first used in 1950, when an American…

The US Army Once Tried to Turn a Nerf Football Into a Grenade

US Marine preparing to throw a grenade

The Cold War was a time of near constant military innovation. The frequent advancement of weapons of war required a fast response, which sometimes meant…

John Wheeler and the Missing Papers That Nearly Sparked a Cold War Catastrophe

Todd Neikirk
Mushroom cloud rising into the sky + Portrait of John Wheeler

Even the most brilliant people on the planet can sometimes be a bit absent-minded. John Wheeler certainly fit this category. The theoretical physicist is credited…

Wilbert “Doug” Pearson Is the Only Pilot to Have Scored an Air-to-Space Kill

Military Portrait of Wilbert Pearson + ASM-135 ASAT being launched from the McDonnell Douglas F-15A "Celestial Eagle"

On September 13, 1985, the US Air Force made history. On this day, the first air-to-space missile was launched, successfully destroying an orbiting satellite. Powerful…

CIM-10 Bomarc: The First Operational Long-Range SAM Ever Developed

People standing below a CIM-10 Bomarc

The United States was in a strange position following the end of the Second World War. Not only was this an era that saw rapid…