Cold War | War History

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…

Richard Nixon Once Tried to Nuke North Korea – While He Was Drunk

Mushroom cloud rising into the sky + Kim il-Sung holding a glass of liquor + Richard Nixon drinking from a cocnut

Richard Nixon spent much of his life trying to become the president of the United States and he finally succeeded with the 1968 election. Not…

Operation Northwoods: America’s Proposed Cold War False Flag Operation

Todd Neikirk
Military portrait of Lyman Lemnitzer + Fidel Castro looking to the side

The Cold War was unlike any other time in US history. The Soviet Union had become a threat to democracy and the ideals Americans held…

How the Baneberry Test Disaster Changed Underground Nuclear Testing

Sign warning of radiation in a desert area

In the early morning of December 18, 1970, a nuclear bomb was lowered 900 feet underground at the US military’s Nevada Test Site. The bomb…

Atomic Annie: The Cold War-Era Cannon Capable of Firing a Nuclear Warhead

Mushroom cloud + M65 atomic cannon parked on grass

Toward the start of the Cold War, the United States government looked into developing atomic weapons capable of launching an attack on the Soviet Union,…

The Secret Military Plans Switzerland Put In Place to Survive the Cold War

Todd Neikirk
View of the Bad Seckingen covered bridge

Switzerland has long been considered one of the most neutral countries in the world, having always endeavored to avoid war. That resistance to conflict, however,…

A Shark Wreaked Havoc on the US Navy’s Nuclear Submarine Fleet

USS Florida (SSGN-728) at sea + Cookiecutter shark

There are a number of reasons why submarines have been taken out of commission while scouring the depths of the ocean. These include hitting sea…

Able Archer 83: The NATO Exercise That Nearly Sparked Nuclear War

Clare Fitzgerald
NATO members standing in front of a missile launcher

NATO has always been a topic of contention between the west and Russia. This was especially true during the Cold War, when there were fears…