25 Most Amusing Things That Happened During The Cold War

The Cold War was one of the tensest times in human history. The very existence of human hung in constant balance. Nuclear war was on everyone’s mind and mutual distrust filled the air. Spanning the length of time all the way from the end of World War II to the fall of the Soviet Union, the Cold War encompassed several smaller “hot” conflicts like the Vietnam War and the Korean War. In some ways, the Cold War was simultaneously one of the most destructive and one of the most constructive periods in human history. It was pressure and competition between the two sides that led to the Space Race and the moon landings. And numerous scientific discoveries were made as a result of the conflict. Of course, as we said before, all the Cold War wasn’t “hot” in the sense that guns were fired, it encompassed numerous smaller conflicts all of which were very “hot” and led to many lives being lost. In this list, however, we are going to focus on the stranger and less well known aspects of the war. This will include blunders, mess ups, and quirky facts. These are the 25 most amusing things that happened during the Cold War.

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25

The US and the USSR were initially going to go into space together but after President Kennedy was assassinated, the Soviets didn't trust Vice President Johnson

The US and the USSR were initially going to go into space together but after President Kennedy was assassinated, the Soviets didn't trust Vice President JohnsonSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
24

The USSR thought that the building in the center of the Pentagon was a top secret meeting room so they pointed their nukes at it. It was actually a hot dog stand.

The USSR thought that the building in the center of the Pentagon was a top secret meeting room so they pointed there nukes at it.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
23

During the Cold War, the Soviets could tell if a passport was fake because the staples in real passports would corrode due to the low quality metal

During the Cold War, the Soviets could tell if a passport was fake because the staples in real passports would corrode due to the low quality metalSource: chigagotribune, Image: wikipedia
22

The United States used bears to test the ejector seats of their jets

The United States used bears to test the ejector seats of their jetsSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
21

George Orwell was the first person to use the term "Cold War"

George Orwell was the first person to use the term "Cold War"Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
20

Originally, the term 3rd world country did not mean a poor nation. It simply meant any country not aligned with either the US or the USSR

Originally, the term 3rd world country did not mean a poor nation. It simply meant any country not aligned with either the US or the USSRSource: wikipedia
19

On that note, countries aligned with the US were considered first world, and countries aligned with the USSR were considered 2nd world

On that note, countries aligned with the US were considered first world, and countries aligned with the USSR were considered 2nd worldSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
18

The US had made plans to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon to show off military might. It was never implemented.

The US had made plans to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon to show off military might. It was never implemented.Source: theguardian
17

Canada forcibly relocated many Inuit into the northern parts of the country in order to affirm its sovereignty in the Arctic

Canada forcibly relocated many Inuit into the northern parts of the country in order to affirm its sovereignty in the ArcticSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
16

It was the Soviets, however, who had the best cartographers. Their maps of the Arctic were so detailed that they are still in use today

It was the Soviets, however, who had the best cartographers. Their maps of the Arctic were so detailed that they are still in use todaySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
15

Operation Kitty was a real operation undertaken by the CIA to equip cats with spy equipment. The first mission failed, however, when the cat was run over. Not surprising the $15 million operation was subsequently dropped

Operation Kitty was a real operation undertaken by the CIA to equip cats with spy equipmentSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia

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14

In 1945 several Soviet school children presented a US ambassador with a US seal for his office. It hung there for 7 years before it was found to have a listening device. The device came to be known as The Thing and was one of the first passive covert listening devices.

In 1945 several Soviet school children presented a US ambassador with a US seal for his office. It hung there for 7 years before it was found to have a listening device. The device came to be known as The Thing and was one of the first passive covert listening devices.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
13

The Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear warhead to ever be detonated, was exploded as a test in the arctic. It's cloud reached 7 times the height of Mount Everest.

The Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear warhead to ever be detonated, was exploded as a test in the arctic. It's cloud reached 7 times the height of Mount Everest.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
12

In the middle of the Cold War, a German aviator named Mathias Rust flew straight through Soviet defenses and landed in the Red Square to ease tensions between the East and the West. The craziest part? He was only 18 years old and had less than 50 hours of flight experience.

In the middle of the Cold War, a German aviator named Mathias Rust flew straight through Soviet defenses and landed in the Red Square to ease tensions between the East and the WestSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
11

When the CIA noticed some soccer fields in Cuba they became worried because "Cubans play baseball while Soviets play soccer". This eventually led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

When the CIA noticed some soccer fields in Cuba they became worried because "Cubans play baseball while Soviets play soccer". This eventually led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
10

In 1983 the USSR shot down a Korean civilian Boeing 747 (flight 007) that entered its airspace on its way to Seoul from New York City. This incident prompted the US to release its classified GPS technology for public use and simultaneously increased anti-Soviet sentiments

In 1983 the USSR shot down a Korean civilian Boeing 747 (flight 007) that entered its airspace on its way from New York CitySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
9

In 1983 Soviet computer systems detected an all-out nuclear launch by the Americans. Colonel Stanislav Petrov, however, went against what the computer said, trusted his gut, and decided not to launch back. It turned out that the computer had glitched. Nuclear holocaust had been barely avoided.

In 1983 Soviet computer systems detected an all-out nuclear launch by the Americans. Colonel Stanislav Petrov, however, went against what the computer said, trusted his gut, and decided not to launch back. It turned out that the computer had glitched. Nuclear holocaust had been barely avoided.Source: wikipedia, Image: Steven Depolo via Flickr
8

During the 1960s the US constantly flew planes around the world that were carrying nuclear warheads in case of a Soviet attack. Five of these planes crashed and two of the incidents resulted in nuclear contamination.

During the 1960s the US constantly flew planes around the world that were carrying nuclear warheads in case of a Soviet attackSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
7

American rail companies boasted in their advertisements that should actual war breakout, the railways would be bombed first because of their "immense importance".

American rail companies boasted in their advertisements that should actual war breakout, the railways would be bombed first because of their "immense importance".Source: cnn, Image: wikipedia
6

During the Cold War the Soviet Union had numerous "closed cities" that were restricted for foreigners and even citizens. They were typically for military use, and even today many of those cities remain closed

During the Cold War the Soviet Union had numerous "closed cities" that were restricted for foreigners and even citizensSource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
5

According to Fabian Escalante, Fidel Castro's closest security aid, the CIA tried to kill Castro 638 times

According to Fabian Escalante, Fidel Castro's closest security aid, the CIA tried to kill Castro 638 timesSource: kizaz, Image: wikipedia
4

The most powerful air raid siren built during the Cold War was nearly 12 feet long and rumored to be so powerful that it would turn fog into rain (Chrysler Air Raid Siren)

The most powerful air raid siren built during the Cold War was nearly 12 feet long and rumored to be so powerful that it would turn fog into rain (Chrysler Air Raid Siren)Source: victorysiren.com, Image: wikipedia
3

During the Cold War, American cartographers created maps that made the Soviet Union appear larger and closer than it actually was

During the Cold War, American cartographers created maps that made the Soviet Union appear larger and closer than it actually wasSource: pixabay, Image: wikipedia
2

Scientists have noticed that deer in the Czech Republic refuse to cross into Germany. This is because they learned to follow the example of their parents who avoided the electrified fences.

Scientists have noticed that deer in the Czech Republic refuse to cross into GermanySource: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia
1

At several points the CIA enlisted the help of the Mafia in order to assassinate Castro. Fidel was eventually quoted as saying "If avoiding assassination were an Olympic event, I would have won the gold medal"

At several points the CIA enlisted the help of the Mafia in order to assassinate Castro. Fidel was eventually quoted as saying "If avoiding assassination were an Olympic event, I would have won the gold medal"Source: wikipedia, Image: wikipedia


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