From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the covert naval operations of the 1980s, see the role of combat ships during the Cold War. This was an era of espionage, treachery, and the flexing of military muscle. Over four decades, the naval capabilities of East and West threatened mutually assured destruction, which helped maintain a tense but stable peace between the superpowers. Witness stories of remarkable humanity and bravery as we examine the period's most fearsome warships and subs and their operations in Cuba, Vietnam, and Soviet waters.
Explore two submarines, the Soviet Foxtrot B49 and the British HMS Ocelot – former Cold War enemies now moored in River Medway, Kent, U.K. Hear the story of Vasili Arkhipov, a Soviet submariner aboard the Foxtrot B59 who refused to authorize a nuclear launch. On board the destroyer USS Joseph P. Kennedy, see the role that she played in the blockade of Cuba. The Cold War spilled into the Far East, and we hear from Gerald Feola, a Vietnam vet and A-1 Skyraider crewmember on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid. We tell the story of USS Midway whose Captain Larry Chambers ordered valuable helicopters to be pushed into the sea so Major Buang Lee (a South Vietnamese pilot) and his family fleeing Saigon could land in a small Cessna.