50 Insane Cold War Facts That Will Shock You!


Ok, so before we start this Cold War epic,
we should probably explain to you what the Cold War was. The Americans and Soviets were more or less
buddies during the Second World War, fighting together against the Axis powers. But the U.S. was very concerned about communism
and the despotic Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. To put it bluntly, America feared that the
commies – as it liked to say – would take over the world. For that reason, the U.S. wanted to contain
communist expansionism. But the Soviets were building an arsenal of
arms, including nuclear weapons. Thus, an arms race was on the way. It’s thought Bernard Mannes Baruch, an American
financier and multimillionaire, coined the term Cold War, which basically means a war
without military action. And so, without further ado, welcome to this
episode of the Infographics show, 50 Facts About Cold War You Didn’t Know. Fact #50. So, as we said, it was Bernard Mannes that
coined the term Cold War. He was a rich man and also an advisor to all
U.S. presidents from Woodrow Wilson to Harry S. Truman. He’s famous for saying this: “Let us not
be deceived. We are today in the midst of a Cold War. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at
home. Let us never forget this: Our unrest is the
heart of their success.” 49. It was Winston Churchill who first used the
term, “Iron Curtain” in relation to the Cold War, which basically means the metaphorical
divide between the Soviet bloc and the West. 48. Churchill is often said to be one of the most
mythologized leaders that ever existed. He may have been a great orator during times
of conflict, but he has also been accused of being a bigot, a snob, a racist, and being
not too sympathetic to those who suffered at the hands of the British Empire. Perhaps one of the reasons why he was good
at talking was because he was a big fan of amphetamines. 47. Over on the other side of the iron curtain,
Joseph Stalin was responsible for around 2.9 million deaths. Those deaths, historians say, were related
to Stalin’s oppression, the Gulag, and forced resettlement. But if we include total deaths due to poverty
and famine while Stalin was in power, the number could be as high as 60 million. As far as evil dictators go, Stalin is often
said to take the number two spot behind China’s prolific paranoid practician of violence,
Mao Zedong. Surprisingly, Hitler only gets the bronze
for evilness. 46. Stalin wasn’t really named Stalin. He was born Josef Vissarionovich Djugashvili,
but that doesn’t really have a cool ring to it. He changed his name to Stalin ‘cos it means
Man of Steel. Superman’s currently rolling over in his
grave. 45. The Cold War started under American president
Harry Truman and ended while George Bush Sr. was in power. If you were around in 1989, you might have
read the headline, “Bush and Gorbachev suggest Cold War is coming to an end.” 44. The Soviets drew amazingly detailed maps of
the whole world during the Cold War. In fact, the U.S. and the UK were astounded
by how detailed and accurate they were, so much so that the US State Department uses
them today. Wired wrote in 2015, “University libraries
at places like Stanford, Oxford, and the University of Texas in Austin have drawers stuffed with
Cold War Soviet maps.” 43. In 1956, President Eisenhower signed off on
a resolution that made “In God We Trust” the official American motto. Some people didn’t like this, given America’s
religious diversity, but the president saw it as an important move against Communist
materialism. He also made it a law that the motto should
appear on all American coins and bills, presumably to make sure the American public would not
forget who they trusted the most. 42. “Under God” was added to the American
Pledge of Allegiance for pretty much the exact same reason. 41. Even though the Soviets and the USA were involved
in what was called the “Space Race,” at one point they were thinking about teaming-up
during the Cold War. According to NASA’s website, “Eisenhower
suggested creating a process to secure space for peaceful uses. Khrushchev, however, rejected the offer.” 40. Chinese Communist Party leader, Mao Zedong,
had been treated badly by the Soviets on many occasions. He got his own back, though, when he met Soviet
leader Nikita Khrushchev. Mao loved swimming, and he had learned that
Khrushchev couldn’t swim. On one visit, the latter was met by Mao, who
offered him some bathing shorts. He took Khrushchev to a private swimming pool. According to The Smithsonian, “Khrushchev,
meanwhile, stood uncomfortably in the children’s end of the pool until Mao, with more than
a touch of malice, suggested that he join him in the deeper water.” The embarrassed Soviet leader needed a floatation
device and apparently paddled like a dog. Mao was a happy man. Some years later, Khrushchev said, “It was
Mao’s way of putting himself in an advantageous position.” 39. When Mao visited Moscow in 1949, Stalin pretty
much left him in a hotel and kept feeding him lots of food. Little did Mao know that Soviet scientists
were secretly collecting his poo so that they could analyze it and see what he was made
of. 38. When Mao was 69, he had a 14-year old girlfriend. 37. According to the BBC in 2017, for decades,
the BBC hired MI5 to vet anyone who worked for it. If they were even slightly too left-leaning,
they would soon be made unemployed. The BBC writes that by hiring what they called
subversives, it might lead to a left-leaning government. You must remember that many American and European
intellectuals might not have been keen on Soviet rule, but many were so-called Marxists. 36. In the USA, Joe McCarthy created vast paranoia
regarding Reds Under the Bed and communist infiltration of good ole American society. McCarthy was feared, and his stringent witch
hunts pervaded all areas of society. He didn’t seem to have any scruples either,
but that may have been down to the heroin that he was addicted to. It’s said that America’s first “War
on Drugs” czar, Harry Anslinger, made sure McCarthy got his fix. 35. It’s said one of the most successful spying
operations from the UK and the U.S. was something called Operation Tamarisk. This involved rooting through Soviet trash
to find documents. The thing was, though, sometimes the Soviets
ran out of toilet paper and had to wipe themselves with said documents. According to one writer, Tamarisk was British
jargon for, “sifting through the detritus of military exercises.” 34. MI5 was almost as bad as McCarthy, believing
anyone with slight communist links was a threat to British security. They monitored and spied on left-leaning politicians,
anti-nuclear weapons groups, anti-apartheid groups, members of Amnesty International,
and Civil Liberties organizations. 33. The US planned to detonate a nuclear bomb
on the moon in the 1950s. It was known as Project A119 and Carl Sagan
was on the team. He was hired to study what the effect would
be if you detonated such a bomb in a low gravity vacuum. It was thought that such a thing would boost
American morale and demoralize the Soviets. 32. The Soviets wanted to do the same thing. Their plan was codenamed E-4. Apparently, the E project had certain steps. 1 was to get a spacecraft to the moon. 2 and 3 were to orbit around it, and 4 was
to bomb it. What a world we live in, eh? 31. The CIA used LSD on its own soldiers as mind
control experiments. They did the same to biochemist Frank Olsen,
who nine days later mysteriously jumped to his death from a 13-story New York City hotel. 30. In 1951, there was a mass poisoning in a French
town called Pont-Saint-Esprit. People died, but others suffered from scary
hallucinations and ended up in the madhouse. It was said to be something in the bread. There are many theories about what happened,
and one is that the CIA spiked the bread with massive amounts of LSD as part of its MKNAOMI
chemical warfare program. Writing about the incident of what became
known as the “cursed bread,” the Telegraph newspaper said, “One man tried to drown
himself, screaming that his belly was being eaten by snakes. An 11-year-old tried to strangle his grandmother. Another man shouted: ‘I am a plane’ before
jumping out of a second-floor window, breaking his legs.” CIA 1 France 0. 29. The United States Air Force in the 50s used
drugged bears to test ejector seats in powerful planes. Apparently, Himalayan and American black bears
were a good size. No bears died, but some broke bones. You can watch it on YouTube. 28. And Canada was just as bad. It forced some of its Inuit population to
relocate further north, just so it could show the Soviets it had sovereignty there. 27. It’s actually sometimes said that the Cold
War started in Canada. That’s because a soviet cipher clerk named
Igor Sergeyevich Gouzenko defected there just after WWII and handed over 109 documents relating
to Soviet espionage and future plans. Some of those plans of course were to build
massive bombs. 26. According to the BBC, during the Cold War,
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and US President John F Kennedy wrote each other lots of letters. They even sent each other gifts. One such gift was given to Kennedy’s daughter. It was a dog called Pushinka, who was the
offspring of one of the Soviet space dogs. It in turn had puppies which JFK called the
pupniks. 25. If you check out recently released secret
files from the National Archive, there’s a conversation with the CIA director in 1975
and an attorney. The attorney asks, “Is there any information
involved with the assassination of President Kennedy which in any way shows that Lee Harvey
Oswald was in some way a CIA agent. . .” But mysteriously, that’s where the
document ends. 24. The term ‘Third World’ was not related
to poverty or standards of living when it was first used, but it meant any countries
not in NATO. 23. The British satirical puppet show “Spitting
Image” showed Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev with what looked like a hammer and sickle
painted on his forehead. It’s actually a port-wine stain, a discoloration
of the skin. 22. If you look at secret files, you can see what
Gorbachev thought about 3,000 Chinese being killed at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989. In a meeting, he discussed what would happen
if his own government met with resistance. “We must be realists. They have to defend themselves, and so do
we. 3,000 people, so what?” he said. 21. Later in life, Gorbachev teamed-up with former
U.S. President Bill Clinton to make a children’s music CD. They won a Grammy for their efforts. 20. During the Cold War, the Americans devised
a cunning plan. They would portray President Nixon as crazy,
so crazy he might press that red button at any time and start a nuclear war. They called this “The Madman Theory.” The theory was that if they could make someone
look so volatile, then other countries wouldn’t provoke the U.S. Some media now say Donald Trump uses the madman
theory, or at least it looks like that. 19. The USA spent 20 million dollars on a cat…We
should probably just leave you to think about that…But we won’t. Called the acoustic kitty, this cat was designed
to spy on Soviets, as it had a listening device implanted in its ear canal. On its first mission to spy on two gents in
a Soviet Compound in the US, it got hit by a taxi and died. Some people refute this and say the cat was
just useless. Either way it’s amusing if you don’t pay
taxes in the U.S. Declassified documents show how the CIA resigned themselves to failure,
stating that spying cats were just not practical. 18. The CIA didn’t stop at felines. They also trained ravens, pigeons, and goats. In fact, as was revealed years later, animal
training for spying purposes was a huge project at Langley. 17. In 2017, the New York Times wrote a story
about a man who had just died at 77. His name was Stanislav Petrov and it was a
decision he made that saved us from an all out nuclear war. In 1983, his missile early warning system
informed him that the U.S. had launched 5 Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles
at Russia. Protocol was an immediate retaliatory strike,
but the man just couldn’t believe it was real. And it wasn’t, the machine was malfunctioning. “Twenty-three minutes later, I realized
that nothing had happened. If there had been a real strike, then I would
already know about it. It was such a relief,” he told the press. 16. This is the first line of an article in The
Guardian, “If you were born before October 27th, 1962, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov
saved your life.” At the height of the cold war, during the
Cuban missile crisis, the Soviets were about to strike with nuclear weapons. They believed America was about to strike
a submarine with a nuclear weapon and so the giant USS Randolph became the target for a
ten kiloton nuclear torpedo. You need three high-ranking officers to launch,
and Arkhipov said no. It turned out the U.S. wasn’t thinking about
its own launch. Phew. 15. LA Times headline, July 25th, 1986: “U.S.
and Soviets May Stage Joint Mars Mission.” Apparently, Reagan changed his mind, which
must have been a bummer for the then child, Elon Musk. 14. in 1983 Korean Airlines Flight 007 was
on its way from New York to Seoul. It didn’t get there because the Soviets
shot it down, killing all 269 passengers and crew. It was thought to have been a spy plane, but
it was just a regular old 747 carrying mostly vacation-goers. This created a lot of anti-Soviet sentiment
around the world. 13. The reason we first got the Global Positioning
System (or GPS) was because of that plane getting hit. After the event, President Reagan made sure
that GPS became a technology available to anyone in the world. Prior to that, only the military had it. 12. In the 60s in the USA, planes would fly around
all the time carrying nuclear bombs. This was a ‘just-in-case’ scenario. 5 of these planes with the bombs on board
crashed. That included a B-52 that crashed in North
Carolina in 1961, and it was carrying two 3–4-megaton Mark 39 nuclear bombs. Two people died, but you won’t have heard
about it. This was classified information. And little did North Carolina residents know,
that the bombs almost detonated…Do you think they would have blamed Russia? 11. As is often the case, the Russian threat was
overblown. While it was reported that Russia had scores
of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 50s and 60s, it was later revealed they
only had 4. 10. If you look at the CIA field agent training
manual from the 50s, you’ll find the secret CIA shoelace code. This showed how you could tie your laces in
certain ways to tell someone something. It might mean I have some information, or
keep following me. 9. In 1959, Soviet Premier Khrushchev wanted
to take his family to visit Disneyland when he was visiting the U.S. He found out he was barred. The State Department was later apologetic,
saying he could take his family another day to see Mickey Mouse and co. The U.S said the reason for the snub was only
because of safety reasons. Soviet leaders weren’t exactly popular in
the states in those days. Putin didn’t go either; he just made his
own version of Disneyland in Russia. 8. If your job is related to the destruction
of the world and you know how tenuous our safety is, you might as well have some bad
habits, eh? Well, check out the 1960s Semi-Automatic Ground
Environment computer for the department of defense. It’s got built-in ashtrays. 7. But health of citizens wasn’t a big concern
of the USA in those days. Indeed, during the 50s and 60s, the military
secretly used biological weapons on parts of the country to see what would happen. People got sick in San Francisco, but it was
worse elsewhere, especially if you were poor. A sociologist named Lisa Martino-Taylor said
St. Louis was particularly used for these experiments, and the reason was because there
were plenty of poor black neighborhoods you could spray with radioactive particles. Live Science says no one would have died because
of the experiments, but people were definitely exposed to toxic particles. “The Army exposed St. Louis residents to
a maximum of 14.4 cigarettes’ worth of cadmium over 31 months,” said the website. 6. During the cold war, U.S. air force pilots
were given eye patches. They were told that a nuclear explosion would
blind them and make flying impossible. So, if they got the Defcon 2 or “DEFense
readiness CONdition 2” alert, which means “Next step to nuclear war. Armed Forces ready to deploy and engage in
fewer than 6 hours,” they should put on the patch and save one eye. 5. The military had programs in the 50s and 60s
whereby they would tattoo children with their blood group. It seems the programs were only in Indiana
and Utah. These kids then became walking blood banks,
which is handy if everyone around you is dying. “I still have my atomic tattoo (O-), but,
as I grew it got distorted, so it’s pretty illegible today,” said one person, now an
adult. 4. Back to animals and a bright idea from the
Brits. MI5 didn’t need exceptionally expensive
cats, what they used were the entirely expendable rodents called gerbils. “MI5 sleuths planned to use gerbils to trap
secret agents, terrorists, and subversives during the cold war,” writes the Guardian. The plan was simple. Gerbils can smell sweat easily. Bad people at airports sweat and release an
adrenalin scent. So, gerbils were left at airport counters. Theses crafty creatures had been trained to
push a lever if they smelled someone releasing lots of adrenalin scent. And yes, this is real. 3. In 1962, the U.S. detonated a hydrogen bomb
in space, creating what it called a spectacular light show. Why did the U.S. do this? Just to see what would happen, of course. The test was given a cool name: “Starfish
Prime.” 2. When the Brits weren’t training gerbils
to work at airports, they were busy lying about H-Bombs. In the 90s, the US Department of Energy released
archives from 1958. In those archives were documents pertaining
to the British bluffing about an H-Bomb test in the 50s. H-Bombs are known as fusion bombs, while atomic
bombs are fission bombs. The former is much more powerful. The Brits wanted to be seen as a superpower
that shouldn’t be messed with, so they faked the whole thing – in that they blew up an
A-Bomb and said it was an H-Bomb. 1. We are going to end on something funny. The story goes that a man called Frank Wisner
who was managing psychological warfare for the US planned to drop thousands of condoms
over the Soviet army from the air. The condoms would be labeled ‘medium’,
and this was supposed to demoralize Soviet troops as they contemplated their well-endowed
American foes. Wisner was said to have had a great sense
of humor, but that didn’t stop him from killing himself in 1965. Hmm, I guess that story wasn’t as funny
as it was supposed to be… So, there you have it. 50 lesser known facts about the the Cold War. There are so many more secrets we didn’t
speak about today, but maybe we’ll come back to this another time. Can you think of a cold war fun fact that
we failed to mention? Let us know in the comments! Also, be sure to check out our other video
called Average American vs Average Russian! Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!

100 thoughts on “50 Insane Cold War Facts That Will Shock You!

  1. What a load of garbage. Poor little Joe Stalin never done nothing to make anyone nervous? This thing is virtually the same as propaganda.

  2. Thanks for giving us a background on the history of the War before diving into the facts.
    Also, thanks for making this video! 😊👍

  3. Pro American video in name of fact. You should shame for doing this, if you are not nutural, stop pouring poison in good people's

  4. Ugh, I'll just stop watching if every single one of your videos has an ORANGEMANBAD moment in it, it's cringe.

  5. So let me get this straight – Yep, SSSR killed a ton of people. But almighty America wanted to:
    1) bomb the moon
    2) bomb the space (really America?!)
    3) bomb their own residents with toxins
    4) spend $20 mil on a dead cat
    5) crashed nuclear bombers in their own country
    6) bomb Russians with condoms
    7) tag their own people to be used as a blood bank

    Right. And now they wonder "Why does the world hate us so much?".

  6. Do they not pronounce the letter "t" in whatever country the speaker comes from? "Cur-in." "Ee-in." It just sounds wrong.

  7. The bread could have also been from old moldly grain.. there have been stories in history about people having same thing.

  8. Why bears? Of all test animals, why choose bears. I mean chimpanzees would much more practical and there were no animal rights then. I guess that only choose bears because Russia loved them.

  9. This is so poorly edited -_- … You have Kruschev saying Mao's line in the swimming pool scene, & for #26, you have the Soviet guy who defected to Canada with Soviet secrets saying in his speech bubble that "Canada has massive bombs" when you, in fact, stated that the Soviets were the ones who supposedly had the massive bombs…

  10. There is a fact that in 1945 there was a plan called operation unthinkable proposed by Winston Churchill to pushed to the Soviet forces out of Eastern Europe but it was cancelled because British and american forces were outnumbered by the soviet forces at Europe in that time.

  11. no 14 on korean air get the fact right… soviet said that the flight is changing route over soviet military base

  12. Yea, you forgot the two atrocities that happened in Cambodia from the Comms, and the other in East Timor by the Caps/America 😓

  13. Even though the bears did live through the tests they where killed for autopsy short after the tests to check internal organs. 🙁 poor bears

  14. Well modern Usa is half comunist itself.Usa was scared that Russia will gain control over the entire World.
    Ideology has nothing to do with it.
    Americans called Joseph Stalin Uncle Joe.And took his daughter and gave her a house in Usa.His granddaughter lives in USA. A blonde chick that loves skateboards and has 2 tatoos.But also has Joseph's Georgian nose

  15. I’m pretty sure Russia would have flown/attacked USA directly from east to west and vice versa for the Americans. I doubt they’d have travelled over Western Europe

  16. The USA and the USSR did end up teaming up on the race to the moon. There’s rare video tapes that’s proves it but I guess you could just say it’s a “conspiracy”

  17. Badass of the week website wrote something first about stanislav petrov , but badass of the week didn't get proper credits for that !

  18. I never thought I would have anything in common with the government.but wow what a coincidence.I also have given a few bears some acid and had them test out my seat.what a crazy world

  19. Cold War is better described as war without direct confrontation. There was armed conflict, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, bay of pigs, etc but Americans and Soviets were not attacking each other directly.

  20. The Cold War was basically

    USA vs Soviet Union.

    The UK was just there helping the US lol. Most the other European countries didn't do much until the Korean War, but then again it's not the UK did much either. They did help the USA in espionage and nuclear weapons programs buts kinda it

  21. 2:20
    “Superman’s currently rolling in his grave”.
    Maybe…but he’ll be better by the next movie, with a full cg face.

  22. Some information is kinda left out to show the evil side of soviet union when you are teaching history first teaching should be to not be biased to one side

  23. Okay, child… there's being informative and non-committal, but there's also a well known concept of working people up to the speed of your speech to incite un-realities and cover your efforts… Can you name the Germans who are most associated with this practice?

  24. I could be wrong but you're condescending somewhat sarcastic way of speaking makes me think that you're a Canadian.

  25. It is safe to say u.s starts the coldwar and cherry pick russia because of their paranoia rising communism? War freak

  26. Here's a fact: In the 70s, America spent 12 million dollars on designing and building a pen that could write in space. The Soviets, however, found it much more simple and much cheaper to just use a pencil. A frickin pencil. Seriously, US, it was that simple.

  27. So how to defeat the Soviet Union?

    Bomb them with condoms and eventually the commies will extinct

  28. Starfish prime was detonated over the polar icecaps with intent to discover whether or not it would destroy the world. Not just to see what would happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *